“People wish to be poets more than they wish to write poetry, and that’s a mistake. One should wish to celebrate more than one wishes to be celebrated.” – Lucille Clifton
Quick Flicks: TOP5 Short Films by Diverse Filmmakers for April 2022
Written by: Christine B.
March 31, 2022
With a growing list of must-see films and a shrinking schedule, it can be hard to find the time to keep up on the latest flicks. Short films are an ideal way to consume high-quality films in a small quantity of time. Here are the top 5 short films by BIPOC creators to check out this April.
In a Heartbeat
Directed by Estaban Bravo and Beth David
In just 24 hours, the full 4-minute film became an online sensation with over 2.5M plays. While LGBTQ+ storytelling has made its way into almost every genre so far, In a Heartbeat is one of the first of its kind that’s meant for young audiences. With a charming 3D animated style reminiscent of Pixar, the short dares to depict something that the big studios, despite their recent forays into diversity have failed to—a gay lead character. In a Heartbeat follows a closeted boy named Sherwin whose heart literally pops out of his chest to chase after the boy of his dreams, Jonathan. At the risk of being outed by his own heart, Sherwin must track down his heart before it reveals to his crush how he really feels.
Production on the short started in January 2016, when Esteban Bravo and Beth David began working on their senior thesis at Ringling College of Art and Design. The initial pitch featured a boy and a girl, but both artists decided to switch it to a same-sex couple in order to make the story feel more akin to their personal experiences.
At Your Convenience
Directed by Raymond Lai and Randall Park
An absurd and refreshingly original hybrid live-action/animated short comedy about two best friends who own and operate a convenience store together. As the two begin to drift apart, they both find themselves falling into a rabbit hole of drugs and crime.
Raymond Lai is a director and producer known for Dying to Kill and Duel of the Dogfist 2: Positive Contact. At Your Convenience was created for his MFA thesis at USC. He is currently working on a coming-of-age sci-fi dramedy about a teenage DJ who must save the love of his life from the grips of an intergalactic soul-sucking android.
Randall Park is an American actor, comedian, and writer. He is best known for Fresh Off the Boat, The Interview, and Always Be My Maybe. While he stars as the lead in At Your Convenience, Randall was also involved in the creative production of the short.
Directed by Dinh Thai
The 50+ time award-winning short film MONDAY follows Kwan, a young hustler living in Los Angeles running a veritable one-stop shop for any illicit goods. Always out to make a score that he can parlay into profit, he knows everyone and everything, blending into one clique or group to the next. His reasons for the hustle aren’t apparent, but as he maneuvers through his neighborhood, he’ll confront racism as well as question the morality of his occupation.
Dinh Thai is an Asian American award-winning Writer/Director, Filmmaker, and Commercial Director. Dinh’s narrative work has been featured on HBO, Cinemax, Amazon, Short of the Week, and Omeleto. Born in Vietnam, fled to France, and finally settling in Los Angeles, the 80s and 90s nurtured a fascinating cultural mix that strongly informs Dinh’s filmic approach and aesthetic.
Directed by Jonathan Yi
Alex, a young struggling actor working the graveyard shift of a mailroom enters an industrial world dominated by rage and exhaustion that he will never forget. Here, he encounters a motley crew of co-workers, many first generation Chinese immigrants. With each nightly interaction, Alex learns life-long lessons from the melting-pot of racial diversity in the office.
Jonathan Yi is an award-winning director and cinematographer. He is the director of HBO’s East of Main Street, Nickelodeon’s All That reunion, and Complex Conversations. Yi has been a film professor at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts since 2009.
Directed by Eddie Alcazar
Harold’s tormented search for peace results in an unexpectedly destructive awakening after he undergoes a lobotomy. Then his wife passes and his already twisted mind turns itself inside out. Suffering from grief, the traumatic surgery, and mind-warping medication that the doctor has prescribed him, Harold begins defacing museum art works, scalding portraits with sulfuric acid and sometimes tearing at paintings with his fingernails in the desperate search for his wife. With a delicate blend of live action and stop-motion shots, The Vandal is a masterfully disorienting experiment into the mind’s perceptions of grief.
Eddie Alcazar is an American film director, writer, producer, and game developer. He was named one of the 25 up and coming faces in Hollywood by Filmmaker Magazine and one of the best new directors in America by Shoot Magazine. His latest projects include producing Kuso, which was selected into Sundance 2016 and directing his feature-length sci-fi thriller PERFECT, executive produced by Steven Soderbergh.
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