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"American Short Shorts Film Festival" appears Big in Naha

By: Kenny Ehman

Date Posted: 1999-06-11

Big screen movies have always been a popular source of entertainment for people around the world. Since the days of silent movies, to the big blockbusters of today, there have been countless actors, actresses and directors who have brought to us many memorable moments. Who can forget Clark Gable in "Gone With the Wind," or Marilyn Monroe together with Jane Russell in "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes." Hollywood has brought us musicals, adventure, romance, and comedy, paving the way for a whole new generation of movie audiences. Over the years the making of films has grown more complicated, making higher budgets a necessity. Films such as "Armageddon," "Titanic," and the "The Phantom Menace" have dazzled audiences with their special effects and incredible cinematography. Yet, we often overlook the creative side of film making, which is not always so visible in today's mainstream movie business.

True film buffs will tell you that the more obscure industry of short films offer some of the most creative films ever made. Short films challenge a film-makers imagination as they try to stir audiences without the benefit of Hollywood expenditures. The results are often originality and excellent directing.

Short films actually began in the early 1900's during the pioneer days of film making. Most silent movies made in those early days were short films, and the trend continued until the 1930's, when full-featured movies began to take over the market. The short film industry has also been a well known place for incredible talent - Martin Scorcese, Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Spike Lee, and Francis Ford Coppola all began their careers with making short films.

Because of the limited number of showings for short films, the average movie-goer seldom has a chance to view such excellent works of art. Many of the films are only shown for brief time periods at special film festivals held around the world, making it difficult to see them. The "American Short Shorts Film Festival" is one such event, and is currently touring Japan. Luckily for audiences here on the island, the festival will be coming to the Naha Civic Hall on June 18 and 19.

Anyone who is interested in films, will not want to miss this event. The showings include a variety of over thirty different short films, each one ranging in length from one minute to thirty minutes, all made by American film-makers. The festival will also include six "shorts" made by George Lucas never seen before in Japan. The Lucas films were taken from his days as a film student, offering Lucas fans a chance to see early work from this master of movie making.

The festival is divided into four different programs of several shorts. Tickets can be purchased for either one program or two. On Friday, June 18, the Opening Premiere will begin at 2 pm, followed by two programs at 6 pm and 8 pm. On Sunday four programs will be shown, beginning at 12:30 pm and continuing into the night. Short films by George Lucas can be seen in each of the four different programs.

Tickets for the "American Short Shorts Film Festival" are on sale at Teruya Music, located on Park Avenue in Okinawa City. Advance tickets cost 500 for the Opening Premiere, 700 for one program, and 1300 for any two programs. Tickets at the door will be on sale at 800 for the Opening Premiere and 900 for one program.

The Naha Civic Hall is located of Highway 330 next to Yogi Park.

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