Buoyed by the success of the ninth annual Door County Short Film Festival in February, the Sister Bay Advancement Association scheduled an encore screening of the fest’s most popular films this weekend.
On Saturday afternoon The Clearing Folk School will host seven hours of short films along with the festival’s lone feature-length documentary, Through the Windmill. The documentary shares the history of miniature golf in the United States, with a cameo by the Red Putter in Ephraim.
Among the films receiving an encore screening are the recipients of the festival’s two annual awards: the Juried Golden Mug Award, denoting the top film chosen by a panel of judges, and the People’s Choice Golden Mug Award, chosen by audience votes. This year, the 2018 Juried Golden Mug Award was awarded to Dutch filmmaker Niels Bourgonje, of Amsterdam, for his four-minute film Bridge. The 2018 People’s Choice Golden Mug Award was given to California filmmaker Edina Kishonthy, of Culver City, California, for her 17-minute film In A Dream.
There is global grief over what many perceive as the loss of manners in the modern world. People are living faster lives with no time for “please” and “thank you.” In the perfect world, people would have enough time and self-awareness to do all of those things and more – send thank-you notes, offer to shovel the elderly neighbor’s driveway, and be patient with fellow drivers. As far as manners are concerned, could there ever be too much of a good thing?
Dutch filmmaker Niels Bourgonje wondered that too, so he put together a script, gathered a crew and actors, and made the four-minute film Bridge, which has been sweeping short film festivals in America and the Netherlands for its comical insights into small town life.
“That is something I was interested in: how polite can you get and is there a limit to being polite?” Bourgonje said. “Because we are getting busier and busier, politeness is something that’s very important and shouldn’t be forgotten but I also like the idea that you can be too polite.”
In the film, two automobile drivers are brought to a standstill when they simultaneously arrive on either side of a short, one-lane bridge in the Netherlands countryside. Rather than acquiesce to the other’s suggestion to pass through, the men engage in a friendly standoff that quickly brings this light comedy into the comically dark side.
Bridge is one of four short films he filmed last March that make up a pilot for a comedy show. The comedy follows the lives of different characters living in the same small village. There is no lead character. Rather, the main character in one episode could be a supporting character in another.
“It’s this idea of, you have these small towns where you constantly see each other and you constantly interact…you can’t escape each other,” Bourgonje said. “…In the big cities, everyone is so anonymous and so focused on their own life and with stuff like Facebook everyone is living in their own bubble. What I loved about living in a village is that even though you think, ‘I’m not going to communicate with that person,’ or ‘We don’t have any similar interests,’ but because you keep running into each other, you find out you’re much more interested than you thought you would be. You bond with one another.”
All of the short films of the pilot fall into the light comedy genre, but each ventures into its own mood, with one sweet, another absurd, and the last one sadistic.
For more of his work, visit nielsbourgonje.com or follow him on social media.
In A Dream
A longtime interest in dream journaling inspired California filmmaker Edina Kishonthy to craft a script and short film about one young woman’s quest to find the literal man of her dreams.
In A Dream is a 17-minute film fashioned after romantic comedies of the ‘80s and ‘90s that follows an idealistic, wholesome character named Kate who has recurring romantic dreams featuring the same man. She uses every dating app at her disposal to find him, leading her on dates with interesting and unexpected people.
“I think a lot of women have dreams about that certain Mr. Right,” Kishonthy said. “Who’s it going to be? You sometimes see flashes of your future, maybe, as you imagine it. I was trying to come up with a fascinating plot of: who is this guy? Does he really exist in real life? I went on a forum on Reddit, which is exclusively about dreams, and I searched on there to see if anyone had an experience like that. Several people reported, both men and women, that they have had dreams about a certain someone that they thought they had not seen before recurring as a romantic interest and then they ended up meeting them.”
To follow the film, visit facebook.com/inadream.short or find Kishonthy on Twitter and Instagram using the handle “Fulfillms.”
The encore screening of select films from the Door County Short Film Fest is April 21. Doors open at 1pm, short film showings begin at 2pm, and Through the Windmill will be shown at 6:30pm. Food and beverages will be available for purchase at The Clearing event, plus free popcorn. Tickets are $5 each. To reserve a seat in the limited-seating venue, send an email to [email protected]