The Elephant Garden
Director Sasie Sealy atmospheric coming-of-age tale, shot in North Carolina, is a vision of childhood bliss that’s on the verge of vanishing: Eleven-year-old Chloe realizes that her older sister Elisabeth now seems a lot more interested in boys than in her younger sibling. Watch Chloe make doe eyes at her sister’s new boyfriend, a shaggy-haired boy in her Spanish class, and pretty much everyone else.
Davyde Wachell’s intense little morality tale follows Andre, a young boy living in the slums of Rio de Janeiro, whose struggle to provide for his doting mother takes him along a rather dark career path—to put it mildly. From the outset, the short painfully juxtaposes scenes of Andre at rest with Andre at work.
Based on a short story by Roddy Doyle, Steph Green’s masterful film looks at 9-year-old African immigrant Joseph’s first day of class at an Irish school, where he is welcomed with something less than open arms. In eleven short minutes, Green contrasts the boy’s first day at school with the rather startling experiences that brought him there.
The New Yorkist
One of the oddest works among this year’s shorts, Dana O’Keefe’s film is also one of the most powerfully personal. Ennobling and funny, it tells story of Alex, a young artist caught between impossible ambition and the mundane realities of life. Over the course of seven whimsical minutes, Alex improves his trivia skills, seriously considers traveling to Kyrgyzstan, and ultimately lands, improbably, in the annals of history.
Yellow Sticky Notes
We’ve all been overwhelmed at points by Post-its, but few of us have turned the tables on those little sticky slave masters like animator Jeff Chiba Stearns: Upon realizing that his to-do lists had taken over his life and caused him to ignore the world around him for nine years, Stearns created this film, drawing on more than 2,300 of the yellow suckers to portray his predicament.