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Short Films in Focus: Launchpad | Features

“Let’s Be Tigers” 

Written and directed by Stefanie Abel Horowitz 

My personal favorite of the bunch. A babysitter named Avalon (Otmara Marrero) spends an evening with young Noah (Dash McCloud). The subject of death and the afterlife comes up as Noah notices that all is not well with Avalon. Horowitz brings the same quiet sensitivity that made another short I wrote about a couple years ago, “Sometimes I Think About Dying,” so memorable. The best performances of the lot as well (that McCloud is a real find!). 

“The Little Prince(ss)” 

Written and directed by Moxie Peng 

A Chinese boy named Gabriel (Kalo Moss) makes friends with a new kid in school, Rob (Ching Yin Ryan Hu). Gabriel likes ballet and plays with dolls. Rob’s father has a problem with that and decides to intervene. 

After reading the title and description of this one, I braced myself for something treacly and overly precious, but it does a fine job of disarming the viewer, thanks to Peng’s assured direction and wonderful performances from the young cast. 

“Growing Fangs” 

Written and directed by Ann Marie Pace 

In this charming comedy, Val (Keyla Monterroso Mejia) is a teenager in a family of vampires who has decided to tell her friend “from human school,” Jimmy (Gilberto Ortiz), that she is half-vampire. Her family is dead set against it. Meanwhile, her doghouse in the backyard is a portal to the “monster school” where she is the new girl on campus (and half-human) and has a crush on the head cheerleader, which puts her in a predicament in which she has to confront her mixed identity. 

The films run between 14-19 minutes each.

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