RICHLAND — The third annual Tri-City Independent Film - Fan Festival is Friday and Saturday at the the Battelle Auditorium.
I screened a few of the short films and — like many short subjects — some are very, very good. At the same time, some aren’t so good but that usually doesn’t matter.
Short films have advantages their longer cousins don’t. Writers and directors get to the point in a hurry. You quite quickly decide whether it’s worth the investment of time or not. Usually by the time you decide, the 10- to 20-minute feature ends and you’re ready for the next.
Seance. Probably the best of the seven films I caught is a sub-titled horror short from the Czech Republic. A psychic is called to a castle to contact a dead woman. Outstanding cinematography, effects and a chilling plot will appeal to horror fans.
Burden. Sometimes short subjects become the set up for a full-length feature. Neill Blomkamp’s District 9 is a good example. Burden’s Earth-invasion premise has that feel. A decent plot and some great special effects dot this short’s landscape.
Pigeon Impossible. A junior spy gets on the bad side of a hungry pigeon in this clever animated farce. The battleground in this brief flick is the spy’s briefcase. It’s the funniest and smartest spy spoof this side of Maxwell Smart.
The Kirkie. Short features often poke fun of popular feature films and society. The Kirkie has a sci-fi convention addict questioning why he’s going to another convention and not out finding a girlfriend. While not gut-busting, or that well done, the film does have a fun moment or two.
That’s Magic. A magician’s regret is set to music. Not horror. Not sci-fi, and not even that magical, That’s Magic does have a couple of great show tunes to keep you interested.
The Shadow Strikes. Inspired by the 1940s radio show, The Shadow, a serial rapist holed up in a hovel is harassed by the ghosts of his victims. It’s an interesting piece of work that is a mere shadow of what a little more plot attention could have made it.
The Anachronism. Two kids into classifying animals and plants find an alien life form. It’s beautifully done but so dull that a documentary on the topic would have more life.
While some of the films I reviewed are good, and others aren’t, festivals such as this one are always a blast. Make some room in your movie weekend and attend.