by | Jun 20, 2021 | Films | 1 comment

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HELD OVER – encore screening:
Thursday Aug 19 – 7 pm
The 2021 Sundance Film Festival Short Films
Jury Award Winners and Nominees
with audience discussion after each screening
Proof of vaccination is required for admission

For our annual presentation of the Sundance Shorts Tour, CWC is proud to offer a 92-minute program of 7 Jury Award nominees and winners selected from this year’s Sundance Festival. Stressing quality over quantity, Sundance is widely considered the premier showcase for short films and the launchpad for many now-prominent independent filmmakers, many of whom become Oscar nominees.

Shorts Tour Filmmakers

Racial, ethnic and gender diversity prevails – six of the seven films were made by POC and half are women. The result is an engaging  slate of drama, comedy,  documentary and animation from emerging and established filmmakers hailing from Canada, Hong Kong, South Korea, Turkey and the USA (pictured here).

The Sundance shorts were more sensational and edgy when we started the program in Cincinnati in 2015. The world has changed and these thought-provoking shorts are “in the moment,” ranging from comedy to family drama to sociological thriller. Speaking to timely, universal topics with believable characters we care about and stories we can relate to, you’ll be thinking and talking about the program long after the lights go up.


Safety Protocol Update:

For the encore screening August 19, (as with July 16, 17, 18) vaccination is REQUIRED and you will need to show your Vax card (hard copy or phone photo) for admission.  See complete details on the CWC Policies Page.


Welcome back! After a year of Virtual Sundance, we are delighted to bring back the short films from the Sundance Film Festival in a safe enviroment at the Garfield !!

“THE 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

☀ ENCORE SCREENINGS: Thursday August 12, 1:00 pm matinee + 7:00 pm evening.

Fri July 09 – 7:00 Sat July 10 – 4:00 Sat July 10 – 7:00 Sun July 11 – 4:00 Sun July 11 – 7:00
Fri July 16 – 7:00 Sat July 17 – 4:00 Sat July 17 -7:00 Sun July 18 – 4:00 Ths Aug 19 – 7:00

Tickets are $10.00 in advance, available online via the Tix Button, and by phone at (859) 957-3456.
If not sold out, tickets at the door are $15.00, proof of vaccination required.

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

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.

For CWC patrons, general manager Michaele Kadivnik offers a 15% discount on your order, excluding alcohol; menu is on the website. Reservations are strongly recommended, especially if you are dining between a CWC double feature. 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



BJ’s Mobile Gift Shop,  Jason Park (director and writer), USA, 16 min

BJ's Mobile Gift ShopMobile or Magic? In this cleverly written and deftly executed short film, an enterprising young Korean American man roams the city of Chicago making sales out of his “mobile gift shop” — a suitcase on wheels.  His customers seem to have an immediate need that BJ can always fill.

BJ’s strong work ethic and rapport with the public validate his belief that working for himself is better than sitting in a corporate cubicle. The action and comedic elements are well paced, culminating in a heartwarming scene with BJ and his grandparents.

Sundance Short Stories, video with Jason Park – 4 minutes.

Sundance Meet the Artist, video with Jason Park – 2 minutes.

Nominee, Sundance Film Festival, Short Film Grand Jury Prize – Best Short Film, U.S. Fiction
Winner, Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival, Audience Choice Award – Best Short, Fiction

Jason Park, a second-generation Korean American born and raised in Chicago, came up through the ranks with internships at Telluride and Paramount Studios.  Park has written, produced, and directed several short films that played at international film festivals including Under The Boardwalk and Teachers, starring Tatyana Ali, through Film Independent’s “Project Involve.”

Jason is a 2020 Sundance Feature Film Fellow, currently developing his first feature film, Transplant, a film he co-wrote and will direct, which was selected for the 2020 Sundance Screenwriting Intensive. BJ’s Mobile Gift Shop had its world premiere at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival.


The Criminals, Serhat Karaaslan (director and writer), France/Turkey/Romania, 23 min

“Turkish sociological thriller shines as one of the most highly recommended short films in this year’s Sundance slate.” — The Utah Review, Sundance 2021

The CriminalsTwo university students want to find a hotel room for a romantic encounter. Sounds a like a universal quest, but there is a problem. They are in a small town in Turkey, once a secular republic but now governed by strict Islamic religious codes banning cohabitation without a marriage certificate. They are rejected from every hotel because they don’t have proof of marriage.

This is not a one-night stand – Emre and Nazli are in a long-term relationship and in love. If they game the system by getting two rooms and then get caught together they will be branded as criminals, subject to arrest and imprisonment. They take the risk and things do not go well.

Director Serhat Karaaslan does a terrific job in creating believable characters we care about and building tension as events unfold for the young lovers. This is not your typical rom-com about horny youngsters just looking for an opportunity. The Criminals – through looks, touches and conversations – shows us that true love means intimacy beyond having sex, especially in the face of oppression and physical intimidation by the authorities.

Sundance Meet the Artist, video with Serhat Karaaslan – 2 minutes.

Winner, Sundance Film Festival, Special Jury Prize – Screenwriting, International Fiction
Nominee, Sundance Film Festival, Short Film Grand Jury Prize – Best Short Film
Winner, European Film Festival of Lille , Festival Award – Best Screenplay
Winner, European Film Festival of Lille , Best Actress – Deniz Altan
Nominee, SXSW Film Festival, Grand Jury Award – Best Narrative Short
Nominee, Short Shorts Film Festival Asia, Festival Award – Best Short Film

Serhat Karaaslan has directed one feature film and several shorts. His short films were screened and awarded in major festivals like the Toronto International Film Festival and Festival del film Locarno. His debut film, Passed by Censor (Cannes Cinéfondation Residence), premiered at the 2019 Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, where it received the critics award, and won several awards at festivals around the world.


Wiggle Room, Julia Baylis & Sam Guest (directors and writers), USA, 14 min

Wiggle Room

Faced with the imminent repossession of the ADA ramp from her home, a young wheelchair-bound woman visits her insurance company to pursue a year-old claim for payment.  In a “take a number and wait forever” environment, Daisy realizes that the barrier of bureaucracy is her biggest challenge.

Tension mounts as she encounters an arrogant claims adjuster who attempts to blow her off but she makes a stand and refuses to leave. Suddenly, the adjuster is attacked by another disgruntled policy holder and Daisy saves his life. In the chaos that follows she discovers unexpected leverage that could resolve her situation.

Sundance Short Stories, interview with Julia Baylis and Sam Guest – 4 minutes.
Sundance Meet the Artist, video with Julia Baylis & Sam Guest – 2 minutes.
Trailer – 1 minute.

Winner, Sundance Film Festival, Special Jury Prize – Acting, U.S. Fiction, Deanna Gibson
, Palm Springs International ShortsFest, Best of Festival
Nominee, Palm Springs International ShortsFest, Young Cineaste Award
Nominee, SXSW Film Festival, Grand Jury Award – Best Narrative Short

Wiggle Room Canadian native Julia Baylis and Long Islander Sam Guest are now based in Brooklyn. They have collaborated on a number of projects, but Wiggle Room is their first truly narrative film. “My focus was more in fashion, costume, production design, and Sam was more photography,” Baylis explains of their partnership. “And together we started to make these films. They were just films for fun. We would shoot them in Long Island where he’s from, and I would focus more on the sets and the casting and the costumes, and Sam would shoot them and bring that eye to them.”

And while Wiggle Room is a narrative short, the pair’s interest in realism continues to play a role in their storytelling. “We are really interested, specifically as filmmakers, in taking realism and heightening it,” they explain. “If you even look at the film, Vilma, who plays the receptionist—she’s an actual receptionist in real life. We shot it at an actual agency. You know, Deanna is a first-time actor who experiences a lot of this day-to-day. So we wanted to take realism and push it to an extreme feeling where you’re overwhelmed by the experience to the point that it’s almost maddening.”


Black Bodies, Kelly Fyffe-Marshall (director and co-writer), Canada, 4 min

A Black man laments as he comes face-to-face with the realities of being Black in the 21st century.
Black Bodies

In the space of just four short minutes, viewers are given profound emotional insight into what it’s like to be looked upon as a criminal, as a target, simply because of skin color.

A few years ago Canadian citizens Kelly Fyffe-Marshall, Donisha Pendergast and Komi Olaf were packing their car as they prepared to leave the vacation home they had rented through AirBNB in Rialto California. A woman in the neighborhood called police, reporting that black people were burglarizing the home. Minutes later six police cars surrounded the visiting trio.

This real-life instance of aggressive racial profiling was the genesis of Black Bodies, the remarkable visual poem created to convey the senseless violence against black people and the trauma suffered simply for being black. Shot in a single, sparse room by Fyffe-Marshall, the spoken word performances by Olaf and Pendergast render a concise, powerful and indelible statement on where we are now with race relations.

Sundance Meet the Artist, video with Kelly Fyffe-Marshall – 2 minutes.

CBC – The National, Black Bodies gets a national shout out – 1.5 minutes.

Los Angeles Times, 911 call  fuels national discussion on racial bias.

Nominee, Sundance Film Festival, Short Film Grand Jury Prize – Best Short Film
, Toronto International Film Festival, Changemaker Award
Nominee, Toronto International Film Festival, Best Canadian Short
Winner, 9th Canadian Screen Awards, Best Live Action Short Drama
Winner, Toronto Film Critics Association, Jay Scott Prize – Emerging Filmmaker

Sunflower Production GroupKelly Fyffe-Marshall is a director, screenwriter and social activist who has directed music videos, documentaries, narratives and branded content. She is a founder of Sunflower Studios, a female-run production company based in Toronto comprised of black women, immigrants and first generation Canadians.

Her work includes the award-winning short film Haven, which premiered at SXSW as well as winning Audience Choice at BAFTA and most recently her two-part short film Black Bodies and Marathon which were a response to a racial incident that happened in California.

Kelly uses film to change perspectives, create healing and share powerful stories. She is currently in development for her debut feature film When Morning Comes as well as developing the series He’s One Of Us.



Kkum, Kang-min Kim (director and writer), South Korea/USA, 9 min

KkumIn this highly personal and beautifully rendered stop motion animation, Kang-min Kim reflects on his life journey as shaped by the dreams of his mother. Separated by distance, the filmmaker and his mother communicate by cell phone – like most moms she calls to check on him, but also to share premonitions that come to her in dreams.

Kkum means “dream” in Korean and Kim feels that his mother’s dreams watch over him, predicting significant events – the conception of a child, recovery from illness, etc.

Working with the simplest of materials, styrofoam, and shooting in crisp black-and-white, Kim employs subtle yet precise lighting and minimalist set design to great effect. One particular special effect, when various forms display sudden bursts of growth, was achieved with a very basic method: burning pieces of Styrofoam, and playing the footage in reverse. Kim’s wish is that his film will help viewers think about and appreciate their mothers.

Nominee, Sundance Film Festival, Short Film Grand Jury Prize – Animation
Winner, SXSW Film Festival, Special Jury Award – Animated Short
, Ottawa International Animation Festival, Grand Prize for Short Animation
Winner, Ottawa International Animation Festival, Public (Audience Favorite) Prize
Winner, Stop Motion Montreal, Best Independent Film
Winner, Korea Independent Animation Festival, Grand Prize
Winner, Ann Arbor Film Festival, Best Animated Film
Nominee, Annie Awards, Best Animated Short Subject
Nominee, Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival, Best Short Animation
Nominee, San Diego Asian Film Festival, Best Hormonal Dream
Nominee, Hong Kong International Film Festival, Golden Firebird – Best Short Film

Kang-min Kim was born in Incheon, South Korea, in 1979. In 2011 he graduated from the California Institute of the Arts and is now based in Los Angeles. This Oscar-qualified short is the first Korean short animation to take grand prize at the Ottawa Animation Festival and the 3rd film in Ottawa festival history to win both top short and public prizes.


White Wedding, Melody C. Roscher, (director and writer), USA, 10 min

White WeddingBased on the filmmaker’s own family experience, this is an emotionally intense short film about Bella, a biracial bride played by “Black Panther” star Nabiyah Be.

White Wedding has a twist you would not expect — adding to an already racially tense Southern wedding, Bella learns that her estranged father, a black musician, was a member of the band hired to perform at her wedding. On what would normally be a young woman’s “dream day,” the situation gave Bella good reason to confront her father about his prolonged absence after her birth.

The story line and production values make this an excellent film about closure. When asked what inspired her to make this film, Melody Roscher said, “I imagined the most terrifying thing that could happen in my life at the moment.”

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

Sundance Meet the Artist, video with Melody Roscher – 1.25 minutes.

Melody RoscherMelody C. Roscher hails from Richmond, Virginia, now based in New York, and she is developing her feature directorial debut, Bird in Hand. In addition to directing, she’s half of the producing team The Wonder Club, with Craig Shilowich. Together, they are producing Robin Comisar’s upcoming feature Great Choice. Roscher recently produced Christine, James White, Creative Control, and Simon Killer. She also was a line producer on the indie film Martha Marcy May Marlene and HBO’s acclaimed miniseries The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst.

It’s been an interesting trip for Roscher, 36, who grew up in Richmond’s East End. She got her first hands-on experience with filmmaking during high school at a summer program at New Millennium Studios. She was always obsessed with movies and how they’re made — walking around with a camcorder even before that — and that summer sealed the deal.  She worked part-time restaurant jobs and set her sights on New York University’s Tisch Film Program, and nothing else. “I wasn’t going to college if I didn’t get in,” she said. She did, and wound up living in New York for many of the next 17 years, building a career as a freelance producer, making commercials and films.


To Know Her, Natalie Chao (director), Hong Kong/USA, 15 min

To Know HerOne of the most personal of the short film documentaries on the Sundance slate, To Know Her pulls the viewer into the director’s family in an intimate way, providing a touching tribute to her mother.

According to director Natalie Chao, “the film is a poetic exploration of my family’s relationship with my mother, who passed away when I was 14 years old from clinical depression. As a director and cinematographer I am always trying to understand the gaze I carry – but instead of searching for it I realized in these home video tapes that I inherited my camera tendencies from my mother, because she always pointed the camera at the subject who mattered to her most. I want to throw that loving gaze out back towards her and all of our lives. With the help of my father and sister, I want to share each of our perspectives and invent our gaze.

“The film’s title was inspired by the quote ‘to know her is to love her’, which my Dad had inscribed on my mom’s niche. It made me reflect on how little I knew about her beyond old photos, shaky home videos and letters written in a language I can now barely understand. My mom was always recording, always observing. I hope that through discovering my family’s gaze, I have gotten to know her (and love her) in an unobservable way.”

Sundance Meet the Artist – conversation with Natalie Chao – 2.5 minutes.

Nominee, Sundance Film Festival, Short Film Grand Jury Prize – Documentary

Natalie ChaoNatalie A. Chao is a filmmaker and cinematographer who completed her BA degree in film production at University of Southern California and Université Paris-Sorbonne, with a Certificate in Cours de la Civilisation Française. She has production intern experience at Doomsday Entertainment (LA) and EuropaCorp (LA). Creative and Production internship experience at J. Walter Thompson (Hong Kong). Online marketing internship experience at Lomography (Hong Kong).

Born, raised, and currently based in Hong Kong, she is interested in bridging the gap between realism and poetry in order to tell stories through a more engaged and intentional gaze—one that can map out our memories, not drawing lines between camera and subject, identity and politics. She is currently a 2020 Sundance Ignite x Adobe Fellow.

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