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The 2023 Sundance Film Festival Short Films

June 16 – 17 – 18  &  23 – 24 – 25

Jury Award Winners and Nominees
with audience discussion after each screening

NYT Review 6-22-2023

Our ninth annual presentation of the Sundance Short Film Program is a 90-minute compilation of seven Jury Award Nominees and Winners from this year’s Sundance Film Festival. The thought provoking slate is a mix of fiction, documentary, and animation telling stories (primarily about families) that are funny, poignant, inspirational, and full of interesting characters we can relate to.

Screening at the Garfield Theatre, the program repeats on six days spanning two weekends, offering flexibility for busy patrons. Discount dinner options and ample parking enhance the convenience factor.

2023 Changes:  Run dates for the short film tour were moved up this year, held in June instead of July. There is a welcome shift away from gloom-and-doom – four of the seven films offer comedic elements. Saturday screenings include open captions.

Shorts Tour Filmmakers

Cementing its status as the premier short film showcase, a record setting 10,981 shorts were submitted to Sundance 2023, with only 64 (less than 1%) selected for the festival.

Curated by expert Sundance short film programmers, this year’s filmmakers look like a cross-section of America, including nine women and two men with racial and ethnic diversity — mixing French-Canadian, Filipino, Ugandan and Korean perspectives with American stories.


“THE 2023 SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL SHORTS TOUR.”  A 92-minute program with seven short films selected by Sundance senior curators. * Most people find the post-film discussion worthwhile — budget two hours for the complete experience.

☀ THE GARFIELD THEATRE, 719 Race St., Cincinnati, OH 45202. Google Map    Garfield Parking Options


Fri 6/16, 6:30 Sat 6/17, 4:00 Sat 6/17, 6:30 Sun 6/18, 4:00
Fri 6/23, 6:30 Sat 6/24, 4:00 Sat 6/24, 6:30 Sun 6/25, 4:00

Adult Tickets are $12.00 in advance, $16.00 at the door. Tickets are available online via the Tix Button, and by phone at (859) 957-3456.

The Garfield is ADA accessible. ADA details and Covid-19 safety information can be found on the CWC Policies Page.

Outside food and drink is not allowed in the theatre.
Purchase of a ticket confirms acceptance by the purchaser that the presenter/host and their staff will not be liable for any loss, damage, action, claim, cost or expenses which may arise in the consequence of attendance at this event.
Purchaser declares that they will not attend unless in good health on the day of the event. Further, purchaser understands it is impossible to guarantee that they will not be exposed to Covid-19 and will attend at their own risk.

It couldn’t be easier – across the street from the Garfield Theatre, you’ll find the Butcher & Barrel, home of delicious shareables, salads, entrees, sides and desserts, plus excellent wine, craft beer and mixed drinks.

CWC patrons receive a 15% discount on their order, excluding alcohol; menu is on the website. Reservations are strongly recommended, especially if you are dining between weekend sessions. You should present your online confirmation or ticket from the event, and let your server know if there are time constraints. The discount is valid only for the date of ticket.

HOURS: MON-TUE, closed; WED-THS, 4-10 pm; FRI-SAT, 4-12 am; SUN, 4-10 pm. The kitchen closes one hour before the restaurant, every night. Hours and menu subject to change – check the website before booking. RESERVATIONS: 513-954-8974 or



Help Me Understand | USA | 2023 | 14 min | written and directed by Aemilia Scott | Live-Action Comedy – Drama

Nominee, 2303 Sundance Short Film Grand Jury Prize – Best Short Film

Help Me Understand “Six women come to a consensus.”  The six are in a laundry detergent focus group asked to choose between two “brand visions” (i.e., scents). Led by a patronizing and annoying marketing guy it becomes obvious that the company wants a unanimous decision.

But there is one holdout, Jane, who will not be easily swayed. As increasingly ludicrous gambits are tried to change Jane’s mind, one wonders how this will end.

Then we get a sharp twist into the lived experience of being a wife and potential mother. The resolution hits hard, pitting real life against branding aspirations.



Parker | USA | 2023 | 13 min | directed by Catherine Hoffman and Sharon Liese  | Live-Action Documentary

Nominee, 2303 Sundance Short Film Grand Jury Prize – Best Documentary Short

ParkerParker invites us into one family’s intimate journey of reclaiming what it means to bear a name. Centered around three tight-knit generations of the Parker family, this short documentary reflects a theme missing on screen – Black joy.

What is in a name? Legacy and history, a sense of pride, or maybe even trauma. Names make us both an individual and part of a unit. They are the first thing we own in this world. For Black Americans, naming has always been a fraught topic. Most still have the last names of the men who enslaved black families only a few generations ago.

While Parker grapples with some of the complicated themes of naming in the African American community, the Parker family navigates it all with charm and a love that radiates off the screen. Handheld shots take us into the Parker’s homes and make us feel a part of the family and levity is plentiful in the conversations between family members. Archival photos come alive with playful animations that transport us to scenes with Adolphus and Sedoria in the early days of their romance.



Take Me Home | USA | 2022 | 16 min | directed by Liz Sargent | Live-Action Drama

Nominee, 2303 Sundance Short Film Grand Jury Prize – Best Short Film

Take Me HomeAfter their mother’s death, members of a Korean-American family deal with disability and estrangement. Anna, a cognitively disabled woman and her sister Emily must reunite and learn to communicate in order to move forward.

What makes Take Me Home different from other films in this genre is its cinematic approach. The filmmakers create a documentary feel that is as deeply human as it is visually captivating. The film takes its time to show the viewer the world that Emily and Anna live in, offering understated performances.

Emotionally poignant moments are grounded in the subtext and body language of the actors. While a lesser film might use trauma and sentimentality in the pursuit of sympathy, Take Me Home shows the viewer humanity in the pursuit of empathy.

The film is a sister collaboration, with the role of Anna played by Liz’s sister Anna Sargent, who was born with a cyst on her brain leaving her with little short term memory and various degrees of cognitive and physical disabilities. Take Me Home is her acting debut and she steals every scene that she’s in. She plays opposite established professional Jeena Yi, who serves as the entry point for the audience to see into Anna’s world, and brilliantly navigates the difficult role of feeling like the world is on her shoulders and there’s no one to help her.

In the end, it’s when Emily sees Anna for who she truly is, an independent and capable woman, that she realizes that she doesn’t have to navigate the uncertainty of the future alone.


Inglorious Liaisons (Les Liaisons Foireuses) | France/Belgium | 2021 | 11 min | written and directed by Chloé Alliez and Violette Delvoye | Animated Comedy,

Nominee, 2303 Sundance Short Film Grand Jury Prize – Best Animated Short Film

Inglorious LiaisonsAn entertaining and creative depiction of a love triangle which unfolds at a teenage house party dominated by free-flowing alcohol, loud music and raging hormones. Inventively, the filmmakers use light switches for their stop-motion characters’ faces.

Capturing both excitement and angst, Inglorious Liaisons shows empathy in its humor. Its color, music and characters combine to explore attraction and the frustration and confusion of stereotypes in a light-hearted but not at all shallow manner.



Rest Stop | USA | 12 min | directed and produced by Crystal Kayiza, Jalena Keane-Lee and Brit Fryer | Live-Action Drama

Winner, 2303 Sundance Short Film Jury Award – Best US Fiction

Rest StopOn a bus ride from New York to Oklahoma, Meyi, a young Ugandan-American girl, gains a new understanding of her family and the world as she travels with her mother Ezeresi, brother Winston and baby sister Charlotte, from New York to Oklahoma.

As the family moves through the many landscapes that have come to define the American dream, Rest Stop tells a relatable story about the moments when we realize our parents are human and how that shapes our place in the world — moments that explore family, migration, gender, and power. 

POOL PRO (Piscine Pro)

Pool Pro | Canada | 8 min | written and directed by Alec Pronovost | In French with English subtitles | Live-Action Comedy

Nominee, 2303 Sundance Short Film Grand Jury Prize

Pool Pro

This irreverent comedy gives a big middle finger to those meaningless jobs many of us have to endure in our lives.

Charles-Olivier recently graduated with a degree in history and a minor in Viking studies. With no job prospects in his chosen field, he reluctantly applies for a job a pool/hot tub store. Berated and abused by the store manager, Charles-Olivier becomes deliberately terrible at his job and releases his frustrations by sabotage and singing to hardcore metal in his car.

Written and directed by Quebecois filmmaker Alec Pronovost, who himself used to work at a Club Piscine.


When You Left Me On That Boulevard | USA | 13 min | written and directed by Liz Sargent | In English and Tagalog with English subtitles | Live-Action Comedy

Winner, 2303 Sundance Short Film Grand Jury Prize

When You Left Me On That BoulevardIn this fresh and hilarious take on extended family, irreverence and tradition, teenager Ly and her cousins get high to cope with a boisterous Filipino family Thanksgiving at their auntie’s house in southeast San Diego in 2006.

Although we rarely get to see the Filipino-American community on screen, Boulevard stirs feelings of nostalgia from a cherished era no matter what road you’ve traveled.


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