Here's the goods from the festival's Master Class with DP Robert Elswit and Q & A with Spirit of Short Film Award winner Gus Van Sant.
Best Student Documentary Short winner "The Battle of the Jazz Guitarist" is easily my favorite of the fest, while Christoph Kushnig's powerful drama "Hatch," winner of the Best Student Live Action Short (over 15 minutes) Award exhibits impressive directorial restraint. Panavision Grand Jury Award winner "Paulie," from director Andrew Nackman, is sweet and hilarious, while Julio O. Ramos' Best of the Festival Award winner "Behind the Mirrors" is dirty, clever and now eligible for Oscar consideration.
Among the other films I caught that were not singled out with awards, stand-outs include Rupert Reid's hilarious charmer "Boo!" (Australia), Caleb Johnson's disturbing "Root," Rob Richert's "My Name is Your First Love" (both from the US), and Myriam Muller's "The Father, the Son...and Anna" (Luxembourg).
Winners are listed on the next page along with trailers for "The Battle of the Jazz Guitarist," "Behind the Mirrors" and "My Name is Your First Love."