Eleven short films have been chosen for screening at the Night of Shorts at the Dakota Film Festival at 7 p.m. Friday at the Belle Mehus Auditorium.
• "Fire in Cardboard City:" When a city made from cardboard catches fire, it is up to the local fire chief and his brave deputies to save Cardboard City from total destruction in this animated film by Phil Brough, of New Zealand.
• "Shinaab, Part II:" This film, by Lyle Mitcherll Corbine Jr. and Vaughn Potter, takes a look at Ojibwe ideas surrounding the death process, as a young man strives to honor his late father.
• "To Be, or Not:" Matt Fern and Daniel Bielinski offer a look at a Shakespeare fanatic who attempts to win over his community and the biggest theater director in town with his one-man production of "Julius Caesar."
• "Skin:" Guy Nattiv, of Israel, offers his first American film in which a black man smiles at a 10-year-old white boy across the checkout aisle of a small supermarket in a blue collar town. This innocuous moment sends two gangs into a ruthless war that ends with a shocking backlash.
• "Beneath the Ink:" Director Cy Dodson tells the story of one Ohio tattoo artist Billy Joe White, who is challenging his community by saying: "Bring me your mistakes." This is a timely look at hate and racism in the western foothills of the Appalachian region that reveals heartfelt stories of change and redemption.
"Directing 'Beneath the Ink' was a remarkable experience for me," said Dodson in a director's statement. "I had access to very profound and personal stories that creates a story arch full of texture, depth, and surprises."
Dodson will be attending the film festival and speak about his documentary.
• "Fern:" Johnny Kelly and Greet Kallikorm, of the United Kingdom, give a humorous rendering of a woman who loses her husband and finds a houseplant. In this short film, the unlikely friendship between a lonely woman and a household plant turns ugly.
• "Fauve:" Writer and director Jeremy Comte, of Canada, sets his film in a surface mine, where two boys sink into a seemingly innocent power game, with Mother Nature as the sole observer.
• "Change:" Alec Holland and Joseph Greening delve into a humorous offering during a worship service.
• "Fast Horse:" Director Alexandra Lazarowich, of Canada, follows the return of the Blackfoot bareback horseracing tradition in a new form: the Indian Relay. Siksika horseman Allison Red Crow struggles to build a team with second-hand horses and a new jockey, Cody Big Tobacco, to take on the best riders in the Blackfoot Confederacy at the Calgary Stampede.
"My work tells stories from an indigenous point of view and to tell untold stories from Indigenous communities, inspiring native youth to be proud of being native," said Lazarowich in a director's statement. "I am always trying to confront the stereotypes about what Indigenous films can look like and sound like."
• "One Cambodian Family Please for my Pleasure:" A.M. Lukas and Lizzie Nastro tell the story of a lonely refugee from Czechoslovakia, who paints an all-too-appealing picture of her American life as she types a letter begging an organization to send a Cambodian refugee family so that she may help resettle them in the "dreamland" of her new hometown: Fargo.
"This 14-minute film is based on the very true story of my mother, Helena, who escaped persecution in communist Czechoslovakia to be resettled not in her bustling dream city of Manhattan, but in the bleak, population-challenged landscape of Fargo," said Lukas in a director's statement. " The film is about her need, as a refugee who made it out of her own bad situation, to help others in a similar position."
Lukas will be attending the film festival and speak about his film.
• "How Tommy Lemenchick Became a Grade 7 Legend:" Writer Nicolas Billon and director Bastien Alexandre, of Canada, share the story of Ophelia, an 11-year-old girl who lives with a complex: She’s never been kissed. First, she finds a suitable candidate and then orchestrates a situation that leads to her first kiss. The result is how Tommy Lemenchick became a Grade 7 legend.
In addition to Lukas and Dodson, filmmakers Potter, Fern, Bielinski, Holland, and Greening plan to attend and present their films.
Advance tickets can be purchased for $17 at the Bismarck Event Center Box Office, Etix.com or by phone 800-514-3849 or at the door for $22.