Short Films Roundup – Sundance 2023

A number of short films are screening during the 2023 Sundance Film Festival but the following were a select few that piqued my interest.

Mirror Party (U.S. Fiction/Short Film Program 6)

Following two shorts and a feature, Bridey Elliott returns to Sundance with her third short film to premiere at the festival. This time around, Elliott co-writes and stars with Angela Trimbur in a short film about two women role-playing a breakup conversation. Which reminds me, why do people break up over a text message? Anyway, this is a short comedy with plenty of dancing and it runs just under nine minutes.

DIRECTOR: Bridey Elliott
SCREENWRITERS: Angela Trimbur & Bridey Elliott
CAST: Bridey Elliott, Angela Trimbur, with Billy Scafuri and Charles Rogers

BurgerWorld
A still from BurgerWorld by Maddie Brewer, an official selection of the U.S. Shorts program at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute.

BurgerWorld (Animated Short Film Program)

BurgerWorld is in the same vein as the late night animated cartoon comedies that you might find on Adult Swim. In case anyone needs a reminder, animation is a medium and is not exclusively for children. I can say with full certainty that this short film is not for children. Without giving the film away, two fast-food workers find themselves in a burger world and have the responsibility of liberating vegetables from meat. Oh yeah, Maddie Brewer also pens some songs for the animated short. It works as a short film but I could also see BurgerWorld as the type to be expanded into a feature film or adult animated comedy.

DIRECTOR/SCREENWRITER: Maddie Brewer
CAST: Maddie Brewer

Help Me Understand
Kali Racquel, Deirdre Friel, Nicole Michelle Haskins, Dana Powell, Rachel Harris and Kate Flannery appear in Help Me Understand by Aemilia Scott, an official selection of the U.S. Shorts program at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute. Photo by Mike Maliwanag.

Help Me Understand (U.S. Fiction/Short Film Program 1)

Anytime I see Paul Feig‘s name attached to a project, it’s certainly going to have my attention. That’s the case here as the Bridesmaids filmmaker produces with Laura Fischer through their Powderkeg Media label. It’s the same label that also brought us the genius that is The Shabbos Goy. But I digress. Aemelia Scott writes and directs a short film about six women coming to a consensus. Scott got her start in sketch comedy so it’s nice to see the filmmaker coming to Sundance with many talented comedians. You might even recognize few names in the cast.

DIRECTOR/SCREENWRITER: Aemelia Scott
CAST: Dana Powell, Dierdre Friel, Rachael Harris, Nicole Michelle Haskins, Kate Flannery, Ken Marino, Karli Racquel

The 2023 Sundance Film Festival runs January 19-29, 2023.

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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.

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