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Emily is blogging from San Sebastian-Donostia and Cannes 



New York is abuzz with news about the arrival of a more famous festival, Tribeca, but this past Sunday night, the film-goers of Park Slope were instead asking, "What about Wallabout?"

This festival now in its second year is sponsored by the Pratt Institute, and on Sunday night in a very "Brooklyn" bar complete with two bars--one loungey one downstairs and another with folding chairs set up in rows--16 student films selected from over 75 submissions captivated the audience of this free event.

Several amongst the selection were especially noteworthy; I look forward to seeing more from the filmmakers in the future.

Pamplemousse, Gavin Shapiro

 While perhaps not the most technologically or cinematographically advanced film (although the long-timed shots of New York at night were exceptionally beautiful), this short definitely had the most laughs. Recounting the story of a student who wakes up finding his native English has been replaced by the French he has been trying so hard to learn, he finds that life is much more difficult when you can't understand those around you and they can't understand you. My one personal qualm was in the choice of actor, whose distracting American accent made it difficult to believe that he could no longer speak English, even when screaming a variety of French curse words to himself.

As They Fade, Jenna Lyng

While the end of this film had me asking... "Wait, what?" it was a beautiful, ethereal film about life and death. With its nearly dreamlike style as we follow the discoveries of a girl whose memories of her past come flooding back with artifacts she finds underwater. The beauty of the film and the overwhelmingly true feeling dream-style make up for the fact that I'm not exactly sure what happened in the end.

Blind Date, Chin Gunn

This simple story of a true "blind" date between a blind man and the woman who doesn't know that he cannot see her is made all the more poignant with its concentration on the visual aspects--the brewing of espresso, the way the light hits the cake on the table, the beautiful girl who sits with him, the city at night. The only distracting part was the odd attempt at subtitles, which half the time made no sense at all.

Out of the Forest, Tobias Bundorff Boesen

Out of the Forest was the clear winner in my mind. This beautiful stop-action animated film operates in a dream world where rabbits live in the forest, drinking wine, wearing monocles and looking through photo albums. The combination of the music, the childlike nightmare themes and the surprise ending rendered this my top choice for the filmmaker to watch.


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