Past event

2022 Oscar-nominated Shorts Festival

The Trenton Film Society is back live at Mill Hill Playhouse with showings of the 2022 Oscar Shorts nominees in Animation, Live Action, and Documentary categories!

Documentary Shorts

🎟 6:30 p.m., Thursday March 24, 2022
🎟 6:30 p.m., Friday, March 25, 2022

$20. An intermission with packaged snacks is included.
160 minutes. PG-13-rating equivalent

See the documentary shorts film descriptions below.

Live Action Shorts

🎟 12-2 p.m., Saturday, March 26, 2022
🎟 5:30-7:30 p.m., Saturday, March 26, 2022

$12. Complimentary packaged snacks will be available between screenings.
121 minutes. R-rating equivalent. No one under 17 admitted.

See the live action film descriptions below.

Animated Shorts

🎟 2:30-4:30 p.m., Saturday, March 26, 2022

$12. Complimentary packaged snacks will be available between events.
97 minutes. R-rating equivalent, no one under 17 admitted.

See the animated film descriptions below.

DOUBLE FEATURE: Animated Shorts PLUS Live Action Shorts

🎟 12:00-4:30 p.m., Saturday, March 26, 2022
🎟 2:30-7:30 p.m., Saturday, March 26, 2022

$20. Save $4 over buying tickets for both screenings individually!
Complimentary packaged snacks will be available at intermission.
218 minutes plus intermission, R-rating equivalent, no one under 17 admitted.

See the animated film descriptions and the live action film descriptions below.

Covid-19 Health Precautions

Every attendee must show a picture ID and proof of vaccination, and wear a mask at all times.

For extra safety, Mill Hill Playhouse has updated its ventilation system with a state-of-the-art HVAC system by Honeywell. This system features ultraviolet light filtration. UV-C light irradiates the coil and air handler interior, killing mold, bacteria, and viruses.

Documentary Shorts

Suitable for adults and children 13 and up.

AUDIBLE- director Matt Ogens (USA/38 min.). A cinematic and immersive coming-of-age documentary following Maryland School for the Deaf high school athlete Amaree McKenstry and his close friends as they face the pressures of senior year and grappling with the realities of venturing off into the hearing world. Amaree and his teammates take out their frustrations on the football field as they battle to protect an unprecedented winning streak while coming to terms with the tragic loss of a close friend. This is a story about kids who stand up to adversity. They face conflict but approach the future with hope—shouting to the world that they exist and they matter.

WHEN WE WERE BULLIES- director Jay Rosenblatt (Germany/USA/36 min.) A mind-boggling coincidence leads the filmmaker to track down his fifth-grade class and fifth-grade teacher to examine their memory of and complicity in a bullying incident fifty years ago. 

THREE SONGS FOR BENAZIR- directors Gulistan Mirzaei and Elizabeth Mirzaei (Afghanistan/22 min.) The story of Shaista, a young man who—newly married to Benazir and living in a displacement camp in Kabul—struggles to balance his dreams of being the first from his tribe to join the Afghan National Army with the responsibilities of starting a family. Gulistan and Elizabeth Mirzaei’s remarkable access sheds light on the experience of modern-day Afghans who live, love, and seek space for themselves amid constant instability. 

LEAD ME HOME- directors Pedro Kos and Jon Shenk (USA/39 min.) 500,000 Americans experience homelessness every night. Lead Me Home is a documentary short by Jon Shenk and Pedro Kos that captures the experience from multiple perspectives. This immersive, cinematic film personalizes the overwhelming issue by telling the real-life stories of those going through it as a first step toward challenging uninformed attitudes and outmoded policies and gives the audience a rare, in-depth look at the scale, scope, and diversity of unsheltered America today. 

THE QUEEN OF BASKETBALL- director Ben Proudfoot (USA/22 min.) She is one of the greatest living women’s basketball players. 3 national trophies. Scored the first basket in women’s Olympic basketball at the ’76 Olympics. Drafted to the NBA. But have you ever heard of Lucy Harris?

PURCHASE TICKETS at the top of the page.

Live Action Shorts

No one under 17 admitted. Adult themes, language, smoking, some violence. 

ON MY MIND- director Martin Strange-Hansen (Denmark/18 min.) Henrik wants to sing a song for his wife. It has to be today, it has to be now. It’s a question of life, death, and karaoke. 

PLEASE HOLD- director KD Davila (USA/19 min.) In the not-so-distant future, Mateo (20s, Latino) is arrested by a police drone without explanation. Finding himself locked in a fully automated jail with no means of recourse, Mateo realizes he’s fallen through some kind of crack in the system. To get out alive he’ll have to go head-to-head with the labyrinthine, computerized bureaucracy of the privatized American justice system, in search of an actual human being who can set things right. 

THE DRESS- director Tadeusv Lysiak (Poland/30 min.) Lust, sexuality and physicality. These are the deepest desires virgin Julia suppresses while working at a wayside motel. That is until she crosses paths with a handsome truck driver, who soon becomes the object of her fantasies… 

THE LONG GOODBYE- director Aneil Karia (UK/12 min.) Riz and his family are in the middle of preparing a wedding celebration when the events unfolding in the outside world arrive suddenly on their doorstep. The result is a devastating and visceral feat of filmmaking and a poignant poetic cry from the heart. 

ALA KACHUU - TAKE AND RUN- director Maria Brendle (Switzerland/38 min.) Sezim, 19 years old, wants to fulfill her dream of studying in the Kyrgyz capital when she gets kidnapped by a group of young men and taken to the hinterland. There, she’s forced to marry a stranger. If she refuses the marriage, she is threatened with social stigmatization and exclusion. Torn between her desire for freedom and the constraints of Kyrgyz culture, Sezim desperately seeks a way out.

PURCHASE TICKETS at the top of the page.

Animated Shorts

No one under 17 admitted. Unlike in previous years, this year the animated shorts are not suitable for children. They contain themes of nudity, sex, extreme violence, bestiality, and disturbing imagery. There will be a thirty-second warning title card just before the films, so if you choose you can have time to leave the theater. 

ROBIN ROBIN- directors Dan Ojari and Mikey Please (UK/32 min.) The tale of a small bird with a very big heart. After a shaky nativity of her own—her unhatched egg falls out of the nest and into a rubbish dumpster—she comes out of her shell, in more ways than one, and is adopted by a loving family of mice burglars. More beak and feathers than fur, tail, and ears, more cluck and klutz than tip-toe and stealth, she is nonetheless beloved by her adopted family, a Dad Mouse, and four siblings. As she grows up, though, her differences make her something of a liability, especially when the family takes her on furtive food raids to the houses of the humans (pronounced ‘Who-mans’) in the dead of night. Neither fully bird nor fully mouse, Robin embarks on a food heist of her own to prove herself worthy of her family and also, hopefully, to bring them back a Christmas sandwich. Can they survive? Can they bring home the sandwich and the star? And, most of all, can Robin discover, and learn to love, who she really is, delighting her family and earning her wings in the process?

BOXBALLET- director Anton Dyakov (Russia/15 min.) Delicate ballerina Olya meets Evgeny, a rough boxer who personifies “strong but silent.” With very different lives and worldviews, will they be brave enough to embrace their feelings? Can two fragile souls hang on to each other despite the world’s cruelty?

AFFAIRS OF ART- director Joanna Quinn (UK/Canada/16 min.) Beryl is a 59-year-old factory worker who’s obsessed with drawing and determined to become a hyper-futurist artiste. We also meet her grown son, Colin, a techno-geek, her husband, Ifor, now Beryl’s model and muse, and her sister, Beverly, a fanatical narcissist living in LA. Affairs of the Art provides glimpses into Beryl’s, Beverly’s, and Colin’s peculiar childhoods, and we see that obsession is in this family’s DNA.

BESTIA- director Hugo Covarrubias (Chile/16 min.) Inspired by real events, Bestia enters the life of a secret police agent in the military dictatorship in Chile. The relationships with her dog, her body, her fears, and her frustrations reveal a macabre fracture in her mind and a country. 

THE WINDSHIELD WIPER- director Alberto Mielgo (Spain/15 min.) Inside a cafe while smoking a whole pack of cigarettes, a man poses an ambitious question: “What is Love?” A collection of vignettes and situations will lead the man to the desired conclusion.

PURCHASE TICKETS at the top of the page.

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