In this diverse collection of documentary and narrative shorts, Joan Chen directs a love letter to Shanghai, young boys grapple with the notion of death, an angry woman meets her stepbrother’s fiancée and a bit player from Rosemary’s Baby has his story unraveled. With a variety of storytelling methods and means, the filmmakers depict various weighty topics and the results are unsettling, amusing and vibrantly realized. All films are in competition for a Golden Gate Award.
GASP A teenage boy’s flirtation with death takes an even darker turn when he meets another boy who might have similar inclinations. (Eicke Bettinga, Germany 2012, 15 min)
Shanghai Strangers Amid the vibrant clash of ancient and modern that is Shanghai, actor/director Joan Chen tells the passionate story of an illicit love affair. (Joan Chen, China 2013, 23 min) This is a Cinema by the Bay film.
Stepsister A woman named Beth (played by local treasure Beth Lisick) meets her fiance’s less-than-welcoming stepsister and attempts to win over the hostile younger woman. (Joey Izzo, USA 2013, 18 min) This is a Cinema by the Bay film.
A Story for the Modlins The stranger-than-fiction tale of a bit player from Rosemary’s Baby named Elmer Modlin whose box of memorabilia falls into the hands of filmmaker Oksman in Madrid. With this cache of photos and letters, the director pieces together the Modlins’ unsettling history. (Sergio Oksman, Spain 2012, 26 min)
Vacances After his mother’s passing, nine-year-old Léo is on holiday with his family, but the boy’s emotional response to what has happened remains curiously subdued. (Frédéric Doll, France 2012, 15 min)