Walnut Creek Short Film Festival

Get your film-mazing fill of brevity-rocking tales.

WAY BACK WHEN, well over a century ago, when cinematic wonders began to first flicker onto walls and bed sheets and the screens of vaudeville houses, storytelling was, to put it succinctly, succinct. A filmmaker set up the characters, the setting, and the plot, and zippity-phoosh, the movie was off and running and over practically before the viewer had time to eat any candy. But somewhere along the way, with the evolution of the modern cinema, and the multiplex, and the invention of television, a movie got rather longer. No longer did films play like "A Trip to the Moon" (a tidy 16 minutes). Now a story unfurled in an hour, two hours, even three. Which is a-ok, as many film fans do love a deep dive, but finding shorter, sprightlier cineworks can take a little effort. That effort will be eased, in Walnut Creek, however, from Friday, May 20 through Sunday, May 22, when the 4th Annual Walnut Creek International Short Film Festival debuts with a popcorn bucket full of tasty treats.

"OVER 15 COUNTRIES": The selections hail from around the globe, but they aren't all screened one at a time. Rather, there are a dozen blocks, running about 90 minutes each, which means you'll enter multiple worlds over the course of an hour and a half. The place? The Century 14. The gamut? Huge, from funny stuff to horror eekers. Tickets? They're twelve bucks per block, but you can get a day pass for $35. Call a few hours of lickety-split cinema a bracing tonic to the bigger blockbusters of summertime. Ready for a return to the lengths of moviedom's beginnings? Walnut Creek is your brevity-filled font of movie fun.

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