This year’s last Tribeca Film Festival featured some great offerings in the entertaining-yet-underrated short film category, films by female filmmakers particularly. Filmmaker Heather Jack presented her directorial debut LET’S NOT PANIC, an apocalyptic comedy about love and neuroses in Tribeca’s NY: Double Expresso program. Jack, a recent N.Y.U. graduate who also wrote the script, tells the story of a woman on a quest to see her therapist during an apocalypse. Turning a subject like this one humorously is no easy task, through a brilliant feat of directing Jack manages to portray isolation in a busy city to comic effect, topping PANIC off with a cute twist at the end. The cast includes, Lyle Friedman, John Anderson, Doug Moe, Griffith Newman, Shacottha Fields and Alexis Pereira (visit the Facebook page)
In the Family Dynamics category producer/screenwriter Robin Rose Singer stars in APHASIA (featured image) as Emily, a woman who lives alone behind the safety of computerized devices and social media. When she finally agrees to a date with an online friend (played by Frankie J. Alvarez), she’s not prepared for what awaits. Much like Tom Hanks in CASTAWAY, Singer manages to capture isolation without dialogue with emotonality and expressions (special kudos for the apartment’s set design whose futuristic style helps emphasize the solitary nature of its occupant). APHASIA, directed by Luke LoCurcio, has a clever Twilight Zonesque ending which underlines the consequences of one’s dependency on technology.
LET’S NOT PANIC and APHASIA both have strong female characters and viewpoints and display that New York feel, which is what Tribeca is meant to represent.