Along with all of the feature films, the Chattanooga Film Festival has six short film blocks that show off the creativity and range the fest offers. Short films are an important part of any film festival. They provide a break between all of the features while showcasing ideas that are not quite yet ready for the full length treatment. They serve as quick hits that provide a bolt of adrenaline and fun. Because of their shorter structure, they also have the room to take chances that audiences do not see in a hour and half long film.
Taking risks is evident in director Izzy Lee’s Meat Friend. Cinema history has proven that it is hard to get audiences to head out to theaters to see a movie that features a puppet. This is especially the case with genre cinema. Meat Friend is a story in which a pile of ground beef teaches lesson to a young child. Oh, and that pile lump of meat is an ex-con. Outrageous, gross, and silly, the short is a great example of the wild ideas found at CFF.
Along those same lines is Guts. The plot follows an office worker who is looking for a new promotion. On the same day he also gets into an altercation with a new co-worker. Everything stems from the fact that his guts are on the outside of his body. A disgustingly fun watch. Cruise goes in a slightly different direction. If you have ever wondered what happens on the other end of the line after you hang up on someone calling trying to sell you something, this is the film for you. It is not as visually outlandish as some of the other screenings, but is just as off the wall.
Which is not to say the shorts at CFF have completely forgone horror. What Happened to the Others? is a straight up horror story. The films starts with a young boy who has a strange encounter. Fifty years later, he has a family of his own and the mysterious creatures he met once before seem to have returned. Writer-director Douglas Wicker delivers a film filled with jump scares and allusions to folk horror.
Fans of genre films have tastes that can run from lots of gore to subversive humor. The short film blocks at the Chattanooga Film Festival has something for everybody. There are films that are all about the scares while others will leave audiences scratching their heads. Most importantly, the shorts highlight the indie filmmaking talent that is out there.
Tickets for the Chattanooga Film Festival are available HERE
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