Earthquakes, war in Iraq, tsunamis, unemployment, war in Afghanistan, housing prices in the dumps, nuclear reactor meltdowns, riots in the streets, and Moammar Qaddafi in really cute sweaters: isn’t there anything in the news that can bring a smile to my face?
Well, if, besides smiles, you don’t mind having to text your friends “LMAO” all day, then you’ll want to check out the Los Angeles Comedy Shorts Film Festival, happening April 7 – 10 at the Downtown Independent Theater (251 S. Main St.) and the Movie Magic Screenwriter Competition run in conjunction with the festival.
LACSFF (don’t try to pronounce that it will just make you cough) begins its 3rd year celebrating comedic short films and the people who make them. Their press release says LACSFF (cough, cough) is “touted as the largest comedy film festival in the US, introducing the freshest comedy talent to the industry.” I looked up “touted” and it means exaggerated or boastfully, so they may be fibbing, but don’t let that bother you. I attended last year and it was the most fun I’ve had since I went with four of my college buddies to Mexico for spring break. (Note to Margaret – That was long before I met you, dear.)
Just to make sure there were no more exaggerations I cornered Festival Artistic Director Gary Anthony Williams (MADtv, The Boondocks , Boston Legal) and interrogated him about some critical issues. I wondered why I wasn’t in the Festival, so I asked: “As a beginning filmmaker, was I not in class the day you came to visit or do you find festival films some other way?”
Gary made a claim I refuse to confirm: “You were in class. You were just busy talking to that new French exchange student about the importance of snobbery. Our films come from online submissions. We do a healthy combination of online advertising, word of mouth, and good old ‘cross-fingered’ hope.”
Undeterred, I focused in on the selection process: “How many entries were screened and did you ever fall asleep watching them?” Gary explained, “We screened in the ballpark of 800 shorts and read about 800 scripts for the screenplay competition. Falling asleep was not permitted. We did get very good at jogging in place as we drank hot coffee, however.”