Short films from the Big Apple and beyond

Manhattan Short Film Festival hits the Panida Sept. 26-29

By Ben Olson
Reader Staff

Like short stories in literature, short films are often overlooked by the average consumer. It’s anyone’s guess why, since this underrated genre has the potential to pack an entire two hours-worth of pathos into a fraction of that time.

If not for festivals like the Manhattan Short Film Festival, the average moviegoer may never have the opportunity to delve into short films. The four-day festival takes place Thursday, Sept. 26-Sunday, Sept. 29 at the Panida Theater.

Audiences in more than 400 cities spanning six continents will watch the films simultaneously during the festival, with attendees voting on their favorites in real time.

This year’s event features 10 finalists, hailing from seven countries and representing the best short films from 2019. 

Notable entries this year are NEFTA Football Club, about two football-loving brothers from Tunisia who find a headphone-wearing donkey in the middle of the desert, and Debris, which takes place after a disastrous accident on a construction site causes a worker to stumble into the grim world of human trafficking. 

In This Time Away, an elderly man lives as a recluse, haunted by his past and memory of the family he once had, when a non-human visitor arrives to disrupt his isolation. At the End of the World takes place in an apocalyptic future in which a lonely government worker finds solace with a soldier during the final world war, but their future together is threatened when the soldier is sent back into battle.

Attendees, be ready to experience “one world, one week, one festival” and to vote on your favorite films.

Manhattan Short Film Festival • Thursday, Sept. 26, 7:30 p.m.; Friday, Sept. 27, 5:30 p.m.; Saturday, Sept. 28, 3:30 and 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, Sept. 29, 3:30 p.m.; $8.72-$10.38. Panida Theater, 300 N. First Ave., 208-263-9191, get tickets and more info at These films are not rated and may contain adult themes.

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