January/February 2005

Q&A with David Russell of Big Film Shorts

Founded in 1996, his company specializes in distributing short films

Rugged Rich and the Ona Ona (Eric T. Finkel)

David Russell is the go-to man for all things short film. In 1996, he started Big Film Shorts, a distributor which specializes in the unsung short form. Eight years later, Russell and his company are getting ready to partner with Canadian short film channel Movieola to launch the first short film cable channel in the United States.

The State of Short Films

The director of the largest shorts fest muses about the genre

Cinema was born as a short form. Most early films were mere seconds long. Throughout the history of celluloid, countless great filmmakers have worked in the short format, and in many cases it is the medium that gives film and video-makers their best shot at creative freedom.

Filming Curtis

How one man’s life became a movie

When I was a teenager, I took a poetry workshop in Brookline, Massachusetts with Barbara Helfgott Hyett, a wonderful teacher and poet.

The Anatomy of a Short

Ten years ago two witty gents from Colorado, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, made a riotous animated short called The Spirit of Christmas (aka Jesus vs. Santa). The film was originally commissioned by Fox executive Brian Graden as a personal holiday card but was ultimately turned down due to its explicit content.


Short Film Festival

Several couples chat casually, surrounded mostly by empty red velvet seats inside Brookline, Massachusetts’s Coolidge Corner Theatre in early November. It’s 7:12 pm, exactly 12 minutes after the lights should have dimmed and about 11 after the projector should have whirred into action.

The Pay-Off

Kevin Everson turns the ordinary into the extraordinary

In the first few minutes of Kevin Everson’s new film Spicebush, the screen splits into two frames, one showing a brick factory employee at work, the other a hostess announcing the winning numbers for the Ohio lottery. The juxtaposition serves as context, but it’s clear from the rest of the movie that Everson’s interest lies in the relentlessness of labor.

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