Short Film Fest Director Shares His Favorite Fall Flicks

Editor’s note: October is synonymous with dark nights and even darker films. But your autumn film selections don’t always have to be that way! We reached out to Chris Opper, director of the Door County Short Film Festival, for his top autumn picks and as promised, he turned out with a selection of adventures, dramas, supernatural horrors, and the always necessary rom-com.

When I think about fall movies, I get really excited about movies in general. Being able to capture a certain feeling visually is why we watch movies in the first place. They can reflect what our heart is yearning for. This is why we watch sad movies when we are feeling down or a good comedy when we are in the mood to laugh. A good movie can exert a certain emotion when we least expect it as well.

Fall, in my opinion, is the best time of the year. Certain words like leaves, sweaters or Oktoberfest just put me in a nostalgic mood. Then I know it’s time to put all my things away, plop down on the couch and cue up a good fall movie. My favorite movies for my favorite time of the year are as follows:


Stand By Me

Ok, so technically this is a summer movie, or the end of summer if you will. However, the looming feeling of the transition the main characters are going to go through when they go back to school makes it a fall movie for me. “I never had any friends later on like the ones I had when I was twelve. Jesus, does anyone?”



Good Will Hunting

There’s a lot about this movie that gets me into that fall feeling. The scene that jumps out at me and everyone else is the Tasters Choice among men scene. You know the scene, it’s the one where Robin Williams gives a wink to the world and says, “Yeah, I can act!” He’s done this many times before, but this was his best.



Trick or Treat

This would be a guilty pleasure of mine if I didn’t tell everyone I meet how much I love this movie. It’s probably because I saw it when I was 14 years old and it’s about heavy metal and it’s set on Halloween, but really I’ve watched it every year since then and I love it as much today as I did back then.



Kicking and Screaming

Noah Baumbach’s directorial debut about four college grads watching everyone go back to school, wondering what to do with their lives now. This one can be hard to watch for those not familiar with what Indie films used to be like. I almost put St. Elmo’s Fire here with the same description, but I like this one better.



When Harry Met Sally

Had to do it. The poster alone screams fall. Crunchy leaves, sweaters, billions of colors. This one has it all! And remember: “When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with someone, you want the rest your life to start as soon as possible.”


Chris Opper has been involved in filmmaking for the last 20 years. He is the director of the Door County Short Film Festival. This passion project brings many films from around the world to Door County every February. Want to learn more? Find him at Red Putter Mini Golf in Ephraim.

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