Beneath the Earth Film Festival – Winners Announced

For those of you who enjoy quality made short films, this year the NYC based on-line Beneath the Earth Film Festival, has some fantastic entries on a wide range of genres/subjects. Many were submitted to the competition and the committee selected the 7 that were the most unique based on their message, content, medium, etc. A few weeks ago the judges on the Grand Jury (which included yours truly) cast our votes and the winners were announced at the beginning of November.

Photographs, an incredibly heartwarming and touching silent animated piece took home the Best Film award, and the all too true (and trippy) After Ever After took the Audience Award. Click the image above to be taken to the site and have a look at/re-watch the winning videos yourself. You can also still see the other 5 films in the competition to see how they stack up against the winners.

The race was pretty close and additional acknowledgments go to Best Film winner Photographs for also snagging the Best Screenplay and Best SoundtrackBest Editing went to It’s Natural to be Afraid and Best Cinematography went to #omgimtrending.

Photographs is the story of an elderly woman living in an abandoned town finds a camera, which becomes a means for her to recreate her past life and remember a lost love. It has such a cuteness to it and if you can look past the similarities between this and UP you’ll find something equally sweet but also unique enough to stand on its own. The phrase “less is more” really comes to mind as so much is accomplished in the minimalist nature of this silent and affecting feature. It starts very cute and lighthearted but there’s a definite emotional gravity that really hits home when the reveal happens. Also for as endearing as the animation is throughout, the warmth and emotion is dialed up a few more notches thanks to the soundtrack (which it also won for). It is perfectly tailored to the short to help make this an all around winner that can be enjoyed again and again and again. Now go tell someone you care about that you love them!

On the flipside of heartwaming comes the Audience winner After Ever After where a young man ascends an illustrative psychological breakdown of the four phases of mental instability following an infatuated relationship’s breakup. It becomes a bit trippy as it chronicles how the main character deals with the steps in dealing with the breakup but in a way is perfect because I think we all become a little delusional when our hearts are broken. It boldly and admirably tries to put some ear marks in the steps on the road to emotional recovery. Much like life there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel and the final line of dialog is not only entirely inspiring but an incredibly brilliant message which is worth seeing just for that. Of course you’ll enjoy the pace and progression leading up to it as well.

Personally I really enjoyed them all but the one I was pulling for was Chase in Prose as it had a quality, tone and ambition that was the most the most cinematic oriented. I would have loved to see this expanded out into a TV series but that’s just me. That said I agree with the rest of my fellow members in the Grand Jury.

The films are only available until next Monday November 15th, so have a last look at them all and congratulations to all the winners!! See you next year!!