In the spirit of Oscar weekend, LACMA will be hosting our ninth annual Young Directors Night, an event that highlights the emerging talent of the Los Angeles film community, on Saturday night. This year, LACMA received over eighty film submissions—the highest ever in the event’s history! From those we selected six shorts that will be competing for the Art of Film award. Here’s a sneak preview of what you’ll see on Saturday:
Overnight Stay/Ubernachtung is an animated short film, hand-drawn and painted by director Daniela Sherer. This documentary retells the vivid memories of an 83-year-old Holocaust survivor whose interactions with strangers in 1941 in Krakow, Poland, evokes the horror of the World War II era and poses questions about the dichotomy of good and evil in human nature.
In playful mockery of young love, director Eddie O’Keefe has created Sun Sessions, the quintessential American coming-of-age tale of Henry Marsh. After a bad breakup with Jane, his high school sweetheart, the Elvis-obsessed Henry enlists the help of his band mates, the Guffmans, to win her back with some unconventional tactics. For those of us who still long for the drive-in diners and squeaky clean teenyboppers of the 1950s, Sun Sessions is an entertaining take on growing up after losing your first love.
Created almost entirely with real food, Sweet Dreams is a stop-motion animation film about a stalwart cupcake yearning to find something beyond his world of sugar-cube skyscrapers and frosting-covered friends. When his makeshift boat crashes on foreign shores, he makes a shocking discovery that changes him forever. Director Kirsten Lepore’s immense talent for stop-motion storytelling shines in this endearing tale of friendship and community.
Set in Paris in 1939, Dance With Me takes us into the lives of Pierre, an older man working in a swing dance club, and his wife, Violette. When Pierre’s dream to dance again comes true one magical night, he must choose between his newfound agility and his love of fifty years. In celebration of the couple’s anniversary, Pierre and Violette prove that sometimes love is all the magic you need.
Lintscape, animated by director Caitlin Craggs, tells the story of… killer lint! A woman does the laundry. Dust and suds, hair and fibers move through the room: is it voluntary or not? Benign or malicious? Lo! Something is moving with undeniable intent, but will she see it in time?
Mixing narrative, experimental, and vérité footage, director Yu Gu explores themes of exile, art, hope, and family in her documentary film, A Moth in Spring. Yu returned to China in 2009 intending to shoot a script based on her childhood memories of her own father’s struggle for artistic freedom. When she and her family are forced to leave the country by China’s National Security Bureau, Yu discovers that the desire for freedom of speech is a force that unites three generations of her family, spanning China and North America.
Jason Gaulton, Muse Coordinator