Short Film Program

By Level Ground (other events)

Saturday, October 10 2015 12:00 PM 2:00 PM

Ideals & Identity
I’m Yours (Dir: Chase Joynt / 6 min) 
The Romantics (Dir: Ryan Daniel Dobson / 15 min)

How do you resolve the tension between ideals and identities? 

Ideals are pristine, simple, and lofty. Individuals live messy, shifting, and multifaceted lives. 

Together, these fantastic short films compel the viewer to tear down preconceived notions about individuals or ideals of romantic expression. When gender roles force a relationship into dangerous cycles of competition and probing questions end fruitful conversation, we learn to hope for a more vulnerable way forward. 

As we watch these films, we want to consider the benefits of learning to look past ideals as a means of helping us discover each other’s true identities.

I’m Yours is a clever, inviting short film that introduces the viewer to two people: Nina and Chase. These subjects are responding to implied questions, the kinds of questions they often get asked as transgender individuals. Nina and Chase are honest in answering these probing questions, and their honesty demands attention. 

Listening well to Nina and Chase - or to anyone - might mean ridding ourselves of preconceived ideas about their identity. If we are comparing their answers to our internal assumptions, we may well miss the charming, complex person sitting in front of us. 

The Romantics is a comedic short film that explores the idea of over-romanticizing relationships, skills, and individuals. Can a real-world relationship work when both people in it are striving for an unattainable ideal? 

With archery, calligraphy, and an epic duel, this short film skillfully satires the absurdity of ideals and the tragedies that arise from people making decisions based on unrealistic standards rather than interpersonal honesty. 

Family & Community
A Long Walk (Dir: Chinonye Chukwu / 15 min) 
My Mother’s Orphan (Dir: Melissa Perez / 11 min)

In the already controversial realm of faith, gender, and sexuality, few topics touch a nerve quite like family. We all have someone whom we deeply care about and deeply disagree with on one topic or another. The question becomes, then, how do we move forward in relationship with grace and kindness rather than anger and shame? 

These short films offer vital insights on the topics of family and community. Remembering a family’s shared history may be a bedrock for future hope. Acknowledging a community’s tragic silence may be the catalyst for a better way forward. As we watch these films, we hope to reflect on the delicate nature and tremendous strength of familial and communal bonds.

A Long Walk is set on a single day in a tight-knit neighborhood that reacts with silence to the public shaming of a child.

Will that silence come back to haunt the members of this community or a young boy who did not stick up for his friend? With unflinching honesty, this powerfully acted short film looks squarely in the face of past failures and offers a lament for the tragedies that result from this kind of communal silence. 

My Mother’s Orphan is a poignant short film that follows a mother-daughter relationship fraught with challenges. A young woman struggles to find acceptance from her aging mother, a devout Catholic who does not approve of her daughter’s same-sex relationship.  
In the midst of these difficulties, a few serene moments and memories from the past lift the characters to a place of newfound grace, leaving the characters without easy answers, but with care for one another. 

Free lunch included while we watch and discuss four short films!