Short Shorts—The Southwest Film Center at UNM is looking for a few good shorts. The First Annual SWFC Short Film Festival is a chance for aspiring young filmmakers to show off their talents. Organizers are looking for films/videos in four categories: Narrative, Music Video, Experimental and Documentary. Films should be no longer than 20 minutes and must be accompanied by a $20 admission fee. Deadline for submission is Thursday, April 15. Winners will be showcased in a series of public screenings beginning Thursday, April 29, and awards will be handed out on Saturday, May 1. For complete info, including a submission form, log on to swfc.unm.edu/filmfestival.html.
Here in America, the Disney Corporation, the greatest stronghold of animation in the western world, continues to hemorrhage profits and forebode the end of "traditional" cartoons. The company all but insists that the recently released Home on the Range is the last non-computerized film they will bother to make. Overseas, however, animation seems to be enjoying a minor renaissance. Earlier this year, France loaned us the charming and unpredictable Oscar nominee The Triplets of Belleville. Now comes the latest work by Japanese up-and-comer Satoshi Kon. While Tokyo Godfathers isn't exactly groundbreaking cinema, it does showcase a strength and breadth of animation with which Americans seem unwilling to experiment.
Amazingly enough, Johnson Family Vacation was not produced by the UPN network. Had the film premiered on the network that gave us "The Parkers," "The Hughleys," "Girlfriends" and "Moesha", the urban-friendly cast and carefree plot might have scored a few ratings points. Lost amid the early spring rush of action films, romantic comedies and kid-friendly cartoons, Johnson Family Vacation is a side trip that's just not worth the effort.
TV-wise, Easter isn't nearly as big a holiday as, say, Christmas. Sure, there are a few seasonal specials and the occasional holiday classic. (What would Easter be without a few Cecil B. DeMille epics?). But there aren't usually enough programming choices to fill up your entire day off. That doesn't mean, of course that you can't try.