The Solzy Awards for Short Films in 2019

The Solzy Awards

Sticking more or less to last year’s schedule, I’m presenting the Solzy Awards for Short Films prior to the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

It’s been a great year for film.  When it comes to short films, I’ve seen some films that have blown me away.  I’ve seen some films that I don’t think that anyone could have possibly imagined.  Without any further adieu, here are the winners of this year’s Solzy Awards for Short Film.

Best Live-Action Drama Short:  A Million Eyes

A Million Eyes, directed by Richard Raymond, marks the second consecutive year in which a film from Richard Raymond has taken home the prize in this category.  You can watch A Million Eyes on Tuesday December 3rd at 3 PM EST/12 PM PST via an exclusive live Facebook watch event.

Best Live-Action Comedy Short (Tie):  Sundowners, Daddio, Lady Hater, Milton, 40 Minutes Over Maui

Sundowners premiered at Sundance this past January.  Lisa Steen directs from a script written by Jessy Hodges and Anna Greenfield.  Hodges also co-stars in the short film, which is certainly among the most political films of the year.

Milton premiered during SXSW.  The film is written and directed by Tim Wilkime.

Lady Hater premiered during Tribeca.  The film is written and directed by Alexandra Barreto.  The film is very feminist but also shows that there’s no right or wrong way to be a woman.

Another film that I covered during Tribeca was 40 Minutes Over Maui.  The film, from co-directors Michael Feld and Josh Covitt, captures the chaos that ensued one morning in Maui.  While it may not exactly give us 40 minutes over Maui, I’d certainly love to see what happens if they expanded this into a feature film.

Daddio premiered during Toronto in September.  The film, which looks at different approaches to grief, marks Casey Wilson’s directorial debut.  Given that Wilson comes from the comedy world, it’s no surprise that this film features an all-star cast including writing partner June Diane Raphael, Happy Endings castmate Adam Pally, and Michael McKean.

There’s a few of these films that I could certainly see being expanded into a feature film.  Last year’s winner, Shiva Baby, is already being adapted by writer-director Emma Seligman into a feature film of the same name.

Best Live-Action Horror Short: The Rat

Listen, I’ve made it known for a long time that I am not a fan of horror films.  Yet there’s something here in Carlen May-Mann’s sophomore short that seeks to put a new stamp on the horror genre.

Best Animated Short:  Curse of the Monkeybird – A Looney Tunes Cartoon

The cartoon, directed by Pete Browngardt, follows Daffy Duck and Porky Pig in a search for a treasure. In terms of what’s going on, it’s not too far from Raiders of the Lost Ark.  The antics from Daffy and Porky are exactly what you would expect to see from them in a cartoon.

Best Documentary Short Subject:  Mack Wrestles

Mack Beggs was the focus of two films released this year.  The first was a short documentary produced by ESPN and the latter was a feature-length documentary that premiered during Tribeca.  Erin Sanger and Taylor Hess follow Beggs do a solid job at telling Beggs’ story and even include the clip from WFAA sports anchor Dale Hansen.

Best Environmental Documentary Short Subject:  Lowland Kids

Lowland Kids is heartbreaking as the film shows the devastation that climate change is taking on our coastal families.  Sandra Winther captures this devastation up front.

For shorts to qualify for the Oscars, they can’t premiere anytime earlier than October 1 of the previous year.  I go by the same rules for the Solzy Awards.  I did see some films in 2018 that premiered during last year’s Toronto International Film Festival.  This also speaks to how long some of these films run on the festival circuit.

The rest of the The Solzy Awards for film will be announced in December.

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.