Superb Shorts: The Tree City Film Festival wants you to see this year’s Oscar-nominated short films

. April 24, 2018.
A still from The Silent Child, 2017’s Oscar-award winning live-action 
short film that will be shown at the Tree City Film Festival.
A still from The Silent Child, 2017’s Oscar-award winning live-action short film that will be shown at the Tree City Film Festival.

Sylvania’s Tree City Film Festival is a great opportunity to see local handmade films, thanks to the festivals 50-Hour Film Challenge and Shorties programs. But the festival also includes some films many people might not normally see: the short films nominated for this year’s Academy Awards.

Now in its sixth year, the Tree City Film Festival will be showing both the live-action and animated Oscar-winning shorts at 7pm on Friday,  April 27th and at 2:30pm on Saturday, April 28th at Olander Park’s Nederhouser Community Hall. Jennifer Archer, Director of the Sylvania Community Arts Commission, which puts on the festival each year, talks about why a community-driven filmmaking festival is also showing Oscar-award winning films.

Usually unseen cinema

How many of this year’s Academy Award-nominated short films have you seen? Do the names DeKalb Elementary, Dear Basketball, or Revolting Rhymes even sound familiar? Probably not, as it’s hard to see these films normally.

“The closest place to see them is in Ann Arbor,” Archer explained, “where a theater runs them one day a year.” Other than a handful of nominees that the Academy releases on YouTube every year, the only way to see the shorts is theatrical events like this. Or, you could go to film festivals to see them.

Amy Buckey, an advocate and patron of the Sylvania arts community, told Archer and the SCAC about this event, and hoped to get the films shown. So, a few years back, the TCFF started showing the shorts as part of their program. “We thought it would be great if we could show these award-winning films that would be almost impossible to see otherwise,” Archer said. Plus, most people only see a handful of short film each year, like the animated shorts before big-studio animated productions, like Pixar and Disney have done for years.

Something for everyone

Archer said she hasn’t seen any of them yet. “I like seeing the films for the first time with the entire audience, so we get to gain the same excitement and magic that they do.” Luckily she won’t have to wait long to see some of them, as the live-action shorts are the first event at the festival, and the animated shorts open the second day of the festival.

The Tree City Film Festival is one of Archer’s favorite yearly events, and the shorts are just a small part of it. “We’re getting people interested in film,” she said, “and inspiring people to make something. There’s something really cool about that.” And who knows, maybe someone who comes to this year’s festival and sees a spectacular work like the animated short “Lou” might come back next year to try out the 50-Hour Film Challenge.

Olander Park’s Nederhouser Community Hall,
6930 Sylvania Ave.

After the festival

Actors at Tree City Playhouse will host their 11th annual Festival of 10-Minute Plays, a programming effort of the Sylvania Community Arts Commission (SCAC). See original works selected from Tree City Playhouse’s 2016 playwriting competition, which garnered over 160 submissions from the U.S., Canada, and New Zealand.

$12/general, $10/students or seniors
Friday-Sunday. 7:30pm, May 4-5. 3pm, May 5
Church 3TwentyOne, 5845 Centennial Rd., Sylvania