With the 145 films that are scheduled to be screened during its run, the 2011 DC Shorts Film Festival & Screenplay Competition is sure to have a little something for everyone when it opens next month.

This will be my first year attending, and I’m already very excited about what DC Shorts has to offer attendees this year. With a field of offerings that cover issues and themes from many different cultures, the 2011 DC Shorts Film Festival should be a welcome boost to what has so far been a somewhat mundane summer season for cinema in the DC area.

The festival’s website, www.dcshorts.com, provides the following information regarding this year’s event:

DC Shorts showcases the largest audience-driven collection of short films in the USA. For our 8th year, we are showing 145 films from 23 nations — and expect hundreds of filmmakers and thousands of audience members mix, mingle and explore the world of short cinema.
DC Shorts has been named by MovieMaker Magazine us as “one of 20 festivals worth an entry fee” (three years in a row) and “one of the leading film festivals” in the country. We have also been voted by Washington City Paper readers as a top area festival!
During the film competition weekend (September 8–10), will screen the films in 17 unique 90-minute showcases — all followed by Q&A sessions with the filmmakers.
After the competition weekend (September 11-18), we will re-screen all of the programs, plus remix films into specialty shows. The week culminates with the special “Best of DC Shorts” screenings on September 17 and 18 at the Atlas Performing Arts Center.
Explore the films using the Sorter — a visual way to read film descriptions, view trailers and see what others’ think about the movies. Visit our Blog to get a behind-the-scenes look at the festival. And of course, purchase tickets before they sell out (they always do!)
And remember to buy a ticket for one of our HUGE parties — The Celebrity Bash at Madame Tussaud’s, the Brazilian Carnival at Artisphere and the Closing Bash at Atlas Arts Center. Party tickets include open bar and delicious nibbles.

Here are a few of the films that I thought S&A readers may be interested in:

Blue Night Club [Brazil; 14 min]
A portrait of the everyday life of a farming family during the coffee harvest.

A Boate Azul | Blue Night Club – Teaser from Cássio P. dos Santos on Vimeo.

Miss Divine [USA; 4 min]
Memories of a Sunday School teacher.

O Plantador De Quiabos (The Okra Planter) [Brazil; 15 min]
An okra farmer must choose which bicycle to purchase: a utilitarian model or the pink one desired by his daughter.

O Gigante Do Papelao (Think Big, Think Small Scale) [Brazil; 11 min]
Sergio is also known as Cardboard Architect, using micro-trash to create facades, slums and whole cities.

O Gigante do Papelão – teaser Tampa + (English subtitle) from Bodhgaya Films on Vimeo.

One Shoe Blues [USA; 5 min]
Blues Legend B. B. King cannot find one of his shoes. Sock puppets co-star.

Protect The Nation [Germany/South Africa; 16 min]
Against a backdrop of xenophobia, a South African township boy must wrestle with his own feelings after a stranger’s kindness saves him from attack.

Sambatown [Brazil; 6 min]
A love triangle among the beauty and music of Carnival.

SAMBATOWN – trailer from cadux.com on Vimeo.

Slow [USA; 13 min]
Slowing down a blind date might be the key to starting a worthwhile relationship.

SLOW Teaser from Darius Clark Monroe on Vimeo.

Soccer City: Superstar (Comeback Kid) [USA; 6 min]
Meet Isaac “Shakes” Kungwane, a true symbol of life and soccer in township South Africa during the first ever FIFA World Cup in Africa.

Soccer City: Comeback Kid from Nick Fitzhugh on Vimeo.

What To Bring To America [USA; 14 min]
An Ethiopian immigrant is pressed by family and tradition to make a decision as the moment approaches for her daughter’s genital cutting.

What to Bring to America – Trailer from Christophe Nassif on Vimeo.

For those who are also interested in the screenplay competition, www.dcshorts.com provides the following:

Listen to a script read aloud. Choose a winner. See the final film next year!
Sat., October 15 @ 7:00pm
Mount Vernon United Methodist Church
900 Massachusetts Avenue NW
Washington DC 20001
(Gallery Place Metro)
We are very proud to present our fifth Screenplay Competition. Watch six scripts read live by actors and the screenwriter! At the end of the show, vote for your favorite script. The winner will receive $1000, plus another $1,000 when the film is completed. Plus, you can see the final movie at DC Shorts 2012! This is a unique competition — no one presents scripts in this way.
Last year’s winner, “Interview Date” is being shown in Showcase 7.
Mirror Image
An over-worked young professional on the verge of a promotion is forced to confront his life choices when his mirror image refuses to go to work.
Joel Santner, Washington, DC
A young girl prone to flights of fancy, deals with the perils of young love – but not without the guidance of some spirited companions.
Matthew Ogosi, Toronto, Ontario
A pirate crew, fearing their captain has slipped into alcoholism, conduct an intervention.
Adam Perkins, Stevensville, PA
The Loop
Two scientists successfully test a time machine, but are they prepared for the implications of time travel?
Matthew Himlin, Scottsdale, VA
The Soil and the Taste of the Grape
It is said that you can’t go home again. But, as a successful young investment banker discovers, it may also be true that you can never really leave.
Richard Herstek, Washington, DC
The DC Shorts Screenwriting Competition is part of the larger ScriptDC (October 14–16) — a multi-day series of classes, competitions, roundtables and networking opportunities for screenwriters of every skill level. Presented by the region’s most respected film and video organizations, this unique weekend combines the best of each group’s programming skills, ensuring that all participants gain the skills and knowledge to take their writing to the next level.