Brief treats: 12 Years of the Short. Sweet. Film Fest

The Short. Sweet. Film Fest returns to its original in-person format next week when 226 short films hit the big screens at Atlas Cinemas’ Shaker Square Cinemas.

“We’re going all in-person this year,” says Michael Suglio, festival executive director. “To me, films are meant to be shared with other people in a theater.”

The short films will be shown on two screens between Wednesday, March 1 through Sunday, March 5. Attendees can easily see multiple film programs per day since each film is under 40 minutes long.

The festival is entering its 12th year, and several short film genre programs will show each night. The festival kicks off on Wednesday, March 1 at 7 p.m. with an opening night selection of nine films.

“I feel like we’ve all been cooped up for a while now, and I’m really looking forward to watching films on the big screen with my peers and people who love film,” says Suglio. “It will also be great to see filmmakers share their work with the world in an in-person setting again.”

There will be two Student Filmmakers’ Night programs on Thursday, March 2—one running from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., and the second running from 7:30 p.m. until 10 :30p.m. Each program consists of eight student films.

On Friday evening from 7 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., guests can attend Local Filmmakers’ Night, featuring 15 films made in Northeast Ohio, including all five installments of Johnny K. Wu’s “Kill World” series.

“Local day draws the most people for sure,” says Suglio. “So many people live around Northeast Ohio, and they want to share, as well as experience, each other’s work.”

Also on Friday 10 LGBTQ+ films and discussions will be held from 7:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.

It’s a full day of film fest fun on Saturday, March 4, from 11 a.m. until 11:30 p.m., with showings in categories that include Comedy and Drama; Animation; Music Video and Comedy; Virtual Reality; Horror; and Experimental Horror.

<span class="content-image-text">Movie still from "Boss of the Toss"</span>Movie still from "Boss of the Toss"“The experimental horror category is another popular one this year,” says Suglio. “All the films are pretty unnerving, but in a good way.”
Sunday will feature a Local Filmmakers Matinee at 11 a.m., as well as 19 Documentary shorts beginning at 11:30 a.m.

as films Sunday will follow the same schedule.  Categories covered between these two days include drama, horror, comedy, music video and animation. Short. Sweet. Film Fest will conclude Sunday evening with the 12th annual film competition.

At the Short. Sweet Film Fest conclusion on Sunday, check out encore presentations of the 2023 Fest award winning films, followed by a Q&A with the judges.

Approximately 27 teams will present their short films in Short. Sweet. Film Competitions on Sunday night. After drawing a topic from a hat at the start of January, each team had about a month to produce their own short film.

The teams will present their works to a panel of judges, all of whom have an extensive background in the entertainment industry. The winning team will receive a $200 cash award.

“The film competition became a lot more popular this year,” says Suglio. “We have participants from Ohio, different parts of the country and even from Europe.”

Tickets are $15 per program category; $25 for Local Filmmakers Night; or $99 for an All-Festival pass. Shaker Square Cinemas is located at 13116 Shaker Square, Cleveland.

Dana Shugrue
Dana Shugrue

About the Author: 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.