Arts Desk

For 2011, DC Shorts Goes Brazilian

The DC Shorts Film Festival opened the submission period today for the eighth installment of the yearly contest of brief movies by up-and-coming filmmakers. The festival is once again open to all genres, though this year it is partnering with the Embassy of Brazil to curate a group of shorts from that country.

Jon Gann, the festival's director, said he suggested the partnership to a Brazilian cultural attaché a few months ago as an aside to another conversation.

"We'd like to do more international stuff in general," Gann said, noting that DC Shorts had worked with the Canadian Embassy in its earlier years. The Brazilian Embassy is already home to one of the more robust foreign film series, having recently staged its fourth annual Brazilian Film Week in December, though those events have been more weighted toward feature-length films. Gann sees his partnership with the embassy as an opportunity to get Brazilian short films playing at his festival and at embassy events.

Last year's DC Shorts presented 97 films out of roughly 800 submitted. Festival organizers expect those figures to increase this year, but Gann is not abandoning his style of sending rejected filmmakers specific reasons why their submissions were nixed. They occasionally take issue with his reasoning, Gann told the City Paper in 2007, but the festival proudly advertises its review process as "no secrecy, no bullshit."

The early deadline for film submissions is Jan. 31, followed by the regular deadline on March 30 and late deadline on April 15. It's $30 per submission for the earliest batch; the fees rise after that. But Brazilian films get in free. All the submission guidelines can be found here.

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