CFF 2022: Patrick Kelly’s Under the Radar Short Films
The short films at Chattanooga Film Festival this year were brilliant and took up much of my time. They boasted such an incredible variety that I truly believe there was something for everyone. I know “under the radar” may seem like a loaded term, but I tried to stay up to date on what was being discussed on the festival’s Discord server. It wasn’t always easy to keep track of what people were enjoying because there were so many great films playing across the lineup, but the following are the short films I feel many might have missed or that need more people championing them.
This film from Casey T. Malone gave me an existential crisis while watching. It touched on topics that have been in my head these past couple of years due to the pandemic and trying to raise a child. The struggle of isolation, figuring out who we are in this new world, and doing what we can to ensure there’s a real future for our children. There is a beautiful hope within this film and it’s all presented in a honest and heartfelt manner.
Add it to your watchlist: https://letterboxd.com/film/kharon/
We’ve had so many great films over the past few years tackling mental health and trauma and it’s safe to say you can add Jakey Lutsko’s short to that list. Tackling the trauma of death, relationships, and life in general, we see the main character struggling to process his grief. Through a combination of psychological and body horror, Jakey Lutsko creates a tense short that resonated with me because I’ve experienced the same struggle.
Add it to your watchlist: https://letterboxd.com/film/cycles-2022-1/
3. Floaters Dot Com
Steve Girard made a weird film but it’s a type of weird that I greatly enjoy. You have body horror, analysis about our reliance on technology, and on top of it all, a rich ‘lil warlock. I’m just guessing but I would say this was heavily influenced by David Cronenberg, especially Videodrome and Naked Lunch so if you’re into that then you will likely enjoy this.
Add it to your watchlist: https://letterboxd.com/film/floaters-dot-com/
4. Trash Life
At only three minutes long, Jeffrey Owens and Dillon Vaughn use every second of their short to make you uncomfortable. Creepy voices repeatedly droning on a telephone, harsh lighting, nightmares, and that’s all before the big reveal.
Add it to your watchlist: https://letterboxd.com/film/trash-life/
5. Weee Wooo
Charlie McWade’s short plays with the sound to create a unique tension. In a world where people wake up without the ability to hear anything except a faint call leading them to the woods. Viewers experience this new world right along with the characters as we watch in complete silence before it will cut back to allow us to hear what the characters are missing out on.
Add it to your watchlist: https://letterboxd.com/film/weee-wooo/