LPCA reopens theater for Oscar-nominated short films

LAKE PLACID — The Lake Placid Center for the Arts is reopening its theater for the first time in more than a year for in-person screenings of all of this year’s “Oscar Nominated Short Films” from Thursday, April 15 to Saturday, April 17.

In a press release, the LPCA says it is “thrilled” to welcome people back to the theater.

“This is great chance for film lovers to predict the winners before the Academy Awards take place on Sunday, April 25,” the release says.

Restricted capacity in the theater, assigned seating, social distancing and a mask requirement will be in place to keep movie-goers safe during the screenings.

Tickets are $15 per person for each evening ($45 for all three evenings). Tickets must be reserved in advance and are available online at www.lakeplacidarts.org or by calling 518-523-2512.

Documentary short films

At 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 15:

¯ “A Love Song for Latasha” (directed by Sophia Nahli Allison) — The injustice surrounding the shooting death of 15-year-old Latasha Harlins at a South Central Los Angeles store became a flashpoint for the city’s 1992 civil uprising. Nearly three decades later, director Sophia Nahli Allison’s film rebuilds an archive of a promising life lost. Oral history and memories from Latasha’s best friend and cousin converge in a dreamlike portrait that shows the impact one brief but brilliant life can have.

¯ “Do Not Split” (directed by Anders Hammer) — Told from within the heart of the Hong Kong protests, “Do Not Split” begins in 2019 as a proposed bill allowing the Chinese government to extradite criminal suspects to mainland China escalated protests throughout Hong Kong. Unfolding across a year, “Do Not Split” captures the determination and sacrifices of the protesters, the government’s backlash and the passage of the new Beijing-backed national security law.

¯ “Hunger Ward” (directed by Skye Fitzgerald) — Filmed inside two of the most active therapeutic feeding centers in conflict-ridden Yemen, this film documents two women fighting to thwart the spread of starvation against the backdrop of a forgotten war. The film provides unflinching portraits of Dr. Aida Alsadeeq and Nurse Mekkia Mahdi as they work to save the lives of hunger-stricken children within a population on the brink of famine.

¯ “Colette” (directed by Anthony Giacchino) — Ninety-year-old Colette Marin-Catherine is one of the last surviving members of the French Resistance. As a young girl, she belonged to a family of Resistance fighters that included her 17-year-old brother Jean-Pierre, who was arrested by the Gestapo and “disappeared” into the Nazi concentration camp system, never to be seen by his family again. For the past 74-years, Colette has never allowed herself to put one foot in Germany. But that’s all about to change when a young history student named Lucie enters her life.

¯ “A Concerto Is a Conversation” (directed by Ben Proudfoot and Kris Bowers) — This film tells the story of virtuoso jazz pianist and film composer Kris Bowers as he tracks his family’s lineage through his 91-year-old grandfather from Jim Crow Florida to the Walt Disney Concert Hall.

Animated short films

At 7 p.m. on Saturday, April 16:

¯ “Burrow” (directed by Madeline Sharafian) — In Disney and Pixar’s new short film, a young rabbit embarks on a journey to dig the burrow of her dreams, despite not having a clue what she’s doing. Rather than reveal to her neighbors her imperfections, she digs herself deeper and deeper into trouble. After hitting (bed)rock bottom, she learns there is no shame in asking for help.

¯ “Genius Loci” (directed by Adrien Mrigeau) — One night, Reine, a young loner, sees among the urban chaos a moving oneness that seems alive, like some sort of guide.

¯ “Opera” (directed by Erick Oh) — An animation project that can be defined as a contemporary animated edition of the Renaissance fresco mural paintings. Viewers will experience the range in-depth emotions through this epic reflection of human life: It is hopeful, comical, thoughtful, yet scary and sad. This piece is not only a living piece of art; it is an invitation to question the mechanisms of our society and human behavior.

¯ “If Anything Happens, I Love You” (directed by Will McCormack and Michael Govier) — Grieving parents struggle with the loss of their daughter after a school shooting. An elegy on grief.

¯ “Yes-People” (directed by Gsli Darri Halldrsson) — One morning an eclectic mix of people face the everyday battle, such as work, school and dish washing. As the day progresses, their relationships are tested and ultimately their capacity to cope.

The animated film screening also includes a selection of additional shorts: “Kapaemahu,” “The Snail and the Whale,” and “To Gerard.”

Live-action short films

At 7 p.m. on Saturday, April 17:

¯ “The Present” (directed by Farah Nabulsi) — On his wedding anniversary, Yusef and his young daughter set out in the West Bank to buy his wife a gift. Between soldiers, segregated roads and checkpoints, how easy would it be to go shopping?

¯ “Feeling Through” (directed by Doug Roland) — The first film to feature a deaf-blind actor in a lead role, is a coming-of-age story that follows Tereek, a teen wandering the streets of New York, desperate for a place to crash when he encounters Artie, a deaf-blind man in need of assistance getting to a bus stop. Out of an awkward meeting between strangers emerges an intimate bond, and a journey that forever changes Tereek.

¯ “Two Distant Strangers” (directed by Travon Free and Martin Desmond Roe) — Cartoonist Carter James’ repeated attempts to get home to his dog are thwarted by a recurring deadly encounter that forces him to relive the same awful day over and over again.

¯ “White Eye” (directed by Tomer Shushan) — A man finds his stolen bicycle, which now belongs to a stranger. While attempting to retrieve it, he struggles to remain human.

¯ “The Letter Room” (directed by Elvira Lind) — When an empathetic corrections officer gets transferred to the prison’s letter room, he soon finds escape in the deeply personal letters written to an inmate on death row. Starring Oscar Isaac and Alia Shawkat.


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