Shorts 11: This Is America

“This Is America”, the Childish Gambino song and accompanying video, is a sarcastic and jarring take on America today. Its juxtaposition of shocking violence with dancing and smiling faces has made the title shorthand for anything that illustrates the absurdity of some of the things this country takes for granted.

These films similarly use a heightened reality to critique aspects of American culture, including prescription drugs, consumerism, gun culture, immigration, and discrimination.

Grayslake Campus
Saturday, September 7
6:00 pm
Sunday, September 8
4:50 pm

Waukegan Campus
Saturday, September 7
4:50 pm
Sunday, September 8
6:10 pm

Aembras
Directed By: Chad McClarnon
Written By: Chad McClarnon & Trey McClarnon
Cast: Tara Warren, Dean Shortland, Aviva Leigh, Aly Gonzales
 
Aembras means freedom. Aembras means opportunity. Aembras means dignity. Aembras is feeling better and living well. This is exactly what attracted Trina Kemper-Lomax to the company, but companies like this don’t reward small, quiet people. Sales are slow, inventory is stacking up, and she feels like her moment is slipping away. Her dreams feel like they are right in front of her, should she grab them? Can she?
USA, 8 minutes
Festivals: Nashville, deadCENTER


Gun Shop
Directed By: Patrick Smith
 
There are currently 393 million firearms in the US. This film shows 2328 of them. “Gun Shop” juxtaposes the frightening visual power of guns with a whimsy of Jazz percussion, and a dose of cultural irony.
USA, 3 minutes
Festivals: Port Townsend, Arizona, Woods Hole


Negroland
Directed By: Jewel McPherson
Written By: Jewel McPherson
Cast: Shamier Anderson, Marley Garner
 
A young African-American father fights to save the life of his young zombie daughter but before long his valiant attempt to bring her back becomes a torturous journey that makes him question his own very existence.
USA, 17 minutes
Festivals: Cinequest


Hiding In Daylight
Directed By: Cheryl Allison
Written By: Gregory G. Allen
Cast: Judy McLane, Julee Cerda, Jim Newman, Gary Hilborn
 
After a gay purge, four best friends are surviving by living in fake marriages to each other. They secretly meet once a week to see their true spouse and play a “game” where they reminisce about their former openly gay lives. After 3 years of weekly gatherings, they must determine if their clandestine meetings are worth risking their lives. In one night, emotions run high, friendships begin to unravel and everything changes in an instant.
USA, 15 minutes
Festivals: Newport Beach, Oxford


Candy Shop
Directed By: Patrick Smith
 
There are 11,926 pharmaceutical drugs available worldwide, this film shows 2863 of them. Pills and capsules are choreographed into a cacophony of shape, color and size, resulting in a satirical commentary about our cultural, recreational, and economic infatuation with prescription drugs.
USA, 3 minutes


Illegal
Directed By: Jesus Nebot
Written: Jesus Nebot
Cast: Susana Santiago, Jo Galloway, Kiana Jun Bartholomew, Jesus Nesbot

A traffic stop due to speeding takes a turn for the worse landing a mother and her 6 year old daughter in jail.
USA, 8 minutes