Whether you’re a fan of short films or completely new to them, “Asbury Shorts” is sure to please.
Known as New York City’s longest-running short-film exhibition and touring show, “Asbury Shorts” is bringing its 37th annual Short Film Concert to The Garden Theatre at 160 W Plant St. The show kicks off at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, June 16.
Director Doug LeClaire said the short-film exhibition is not a traditional film festival and described it more as an entertainment event.
“Our show is — without a doubt — a celebration of independent filmmaking in the short (film) world,” LeClaire said. (Short films) never get theatrical (debuts). Unless your name is Pixar, you never get your short film in the theaters.”
He added short films typically are featured in film festivals and said the mission of “Asbury Shorts” is to expose short films to an audience that does not normally participate in film festivals.
“We want to keep great, short films in theaters or public places for folks who don’t regularly go to film festivals,” LeClaire said. “People who rarely — or if ever — go to film festivals get a chance to see an overview of short filmmaking from the past 15 years to the present. … On the other side, the filmmakers now have a non-film-festival audience who are real people — citizens of the world — who are going to really assess their work.”
Although this is only the second year “Asbury Shorts” has included Winter Garden in its tour, LeClaire said he hopes to make the Garden Theatre an annual stop.
“We’ve done really well in Florida the last few years,” LeClaire said. “Floridians love our show, and they really have this incredible respect for independent, short filmmakers. … I hope we can turn (Winter Garden) into an annual (stop).”
LeClaire said each “Asbury Shorts” concert features about 10 to 12 short films that run an average of eight to 12 minutes each.
“The reason we call it a concert is (because) it’s sort of like a music concert in that we’ll have a set list (of short films),” LeClaire said. “A couple of times a year, my production team and I … scour the (film) festival world to see who has won awards in different festivals across the country.”
Films for each concert are chosen from those that have won awards at various film festivals. Each film falls under one of three genres: comedy, drama or animation, LeClaire said.
“We’re giving the audience is an opportunity to sit and see ... an Oscar nominee, a Sundance winner, a Brindley Film Festival winner, a Tribeca audience choice — all in one night,” he said. “We want to provide new audiences and new eyes for these filmmakers who’ve already had their festival run. … We’ve always been this non-competitive, non-festival, short-film exhibition, and it seems to work really well for us.”