"The UN of Film Festivals" Comes to Wellfleet

A still from the short film
Manhattan Short Film Festival - A still from the short film "The Devil's Ballroom" by Norweigen director Henrik M. Dahlsbrakken.

Filmgoers in Wellfleet will unite with audiences in over 300 cities next weekend, viewing and judging the work of the next generation of filmmakers from around the world in the 15th Annual MANHATTAN SHORT Film Festival.

Screenings will be held at the Wellfleet Preservation Hall, located at 335 Main Street in Wellfleet on Friday, October 5 at 7:30 PM, Saturday, October 6 at 5 and 7:30 PM and Sunday, October 7 at 2 PM.  Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at http://www.wellfleetpreservationhall.org.

Out of 520 entries received from 49 countries around the world, festival staff selected ten short films as finalists. Each film is 18 minutes or under in length. Countries represented this year include Norway, The Netherlands, Russia, England, Ireland, Peru, France, Romania, Spain and the USA, in what festival organizers describe as the “United Nations of Film Festivals.”

These short films will not only entertain a global audience, but will be judged by them as well. Filmgoers will be handed a voting card upon entry and asked to vote for the one film they feel should win. Votes are tallied at each participating cinema and submitted to festival headquarters where the winner will be announced in New York City, as well as posted online on Sunday, October 7th, at 10 PM.

With past finalists achieving the ultimate in recognition by being nominated and even winning the Oscar in the short film category, the Manhattan Short Film Festival has become known as a breeding ground for the next big thing.

In one week, over 100,000 people from as far north as St. Petersburg, Russia, to as far south as Buenos Aires, Argentina, as far east as Kathmandu, Nepal, and as far west as Perth, Australia, to over 150 cinemas in 47 US states will come together to view and vote on these 10 films.

“While the goal of any festival is to discover and promote new talent, the real aim of this festival is bringing communities together via stories from around the world,” says Nicholas Mason, festival founder and director.

“Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined that what started as a small, relatively simple event when I projected a handful of short films onto the side of a truck on a downtown Manhattan street 15 years ago, would grow into what it is today, with communities all over the world getting together to celebrate via ten short films...it's become like Earth Day—but with film,” adds Mason.

“We are so excited to host the Manhattan Short Film Festival again this year.  Audiences loved the films as well as the opportunity to participate in choosing the winner.  People stopped me on the street for weeks afterward to talk about it,” says Janet Lesniak, Managing Director of Wellfleet Preservation Hall.

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