By Daniel Borgen, PQ Monthly
Last year, Shorty Shorts came out of nowhere and burst onto the scene, surprising and delighting many a film-loving (and comedy-loving) Portlander. Principal architect Eric Sellers cooked up the idea — which features furious, short bursts of local talent — in his home over cocktails with friends.
“It started in my kitchen with a few drinks and a laptop,” Sellers says. “My friends and I spent hours on YouTube watching our friends’ short videos. As we watched, I thought about how great it would be to see them on the big screen — no matter the quality, really, but they had to be short. I feel like the queer community, my friends, me — we all have adult ADD, so things that are short and sweet really get and keep our attention.”
The original intent was to simply hold the inaugural queer film fest in a bar with a projector, but last year Q Center caught wind of the project and hosted it there. So Gula Delgatto (Eric’s alter ego) and Fannie Mae Darling donned their best gowns, collected some submissions — and the first Shorty Shorts was born.
“It was amazing,” Sellers recalls. “You can see some of the entries from last year on our website. And it became a much bigger deal than I expected — right now I’m in talks with James Franco’s people about showing a trailer from his upcoming movie, which has a Portland to LA transplant in it.”
Yes, that James Franco. As for the mystery transplant, you’ll have to stay tuned. Or go see for yourself.
This year, Shorty Shorts is all grown up, moving on to The Clinton Street Theater — along with an after party down the street at the Night Light Lounge.
“Like last year, there will be amazing performances and concessions,” Sellers says. “But this year we’ll have some fun, sexy things to buy — and win. Each director will receive a gift bag filled with our sponsors’ treats. And Gula promises there’ll be something very special at the Night Light.”
Much like last year, a city is all kinds of bated breath.
To watch films from last year’s festival and to submit your own short film, go to www.shortyshortsfilmfest.com. Videos — no longer than 10 minutes in length — must be submitted by Oct. 25. Shorty Shorts 2 happens Nov. 1 at 8 p.m. at the Clinton Street Theater. Stick with our blog for developments (including those Franco-related) as they occur.