Short and sweet: Film festival this week celebrates the art of the short film

What started as a small gathering at Market Garden Brewery in Ohio City, the Short. Sweet. Film Fest has now become has become a five-day affair.  Now in its 11th year, the short-film-only is now a can’t-miss event for aspiring Cleveland filmmakers.

“No more than 50 people came to our first screening in 2011,” says Mike Suglio, festival executive director. “We’ve had hundreds of people attend since, which is super cool to see.”

This year’s festival, running tomorrow, Tuesday, Feb. 23 through Sunday, Feb. 27, has taken on a hybrid model—with both streaming and in-person screenings.  

More than 150 short films will be shown throughout the week, each with a different theme. The screenings are geared toward specific audiences, including high school students, the LGBTQ+ community, and even dogs.

“I’m super excited about our Saturday showing for dogs and their owners,” says Suglio. “Each film shows animals in a positive light, and monetary donations will be accepted for the APL, NEO SPCA, and other animals shelters.”

The most widely attended event is the short film competition on Sunday, Feb. 27 when 20 film teams will present their original shorts to a panel of four judges, each with a professional background in film.

In January, each participating team drew a random prompt from a hat. The teams then had approximately one month to create a short film (no longer than five minutes) that captures the topic. Their work will be shown in front of a live audience and scored by the judges immediately afterward. The winning team will receive $200 in cash and a 3D printed award, created by Suglio himself.

Additional Short. Sweet. Film Fest themes include Local Filmmaker’s Night, comedy, music videos, virtual reality, and a few others.

Ticket prices range from free to $25. For those attending virtually, make sure to register by tonight, Monday, Feb. 21, to watch each short for free. A streaming link will be emailed. In-person screenings will be held at Metropolitan at the 9, 2017 E. 9th Street, Cleveland.

View the entire event schedule and buy tickets.

“We’re showing hundreds of shorts online and in-person,” says Suglio. “Our overall goal is for people to watch the films and enjoy them.”

Read more articles by Dana Shugrue.

Dana Shugrue is a graduate of John Carroll University, where she earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Digital Media and Professional Writing. She is a full-time Content Specialist at Budget Dumpster, and part-time freelance writer for FreshWater Cleveland. When she’s not writing, you can catch Dana taking a run through the metros or sipping a latte at her favorite local coffee shop.