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Inaugural Indie Short Film Festival in Charlottesville is selling out of tickets fast

Short films don’t last very long. At this rate, neither will the tickets.

The inaugural Indie Short Film Festival won’t even open until Friday, but its Film Block No. 2 already has sold out. The latest festival drawing film fans to Charlottesville is serving up buzz by numbers.

Among the final selections, 20% of the short films were screened earlier this year at the prestigious Sundance Film Festival, and a quarter of the entries are by Virginia filmmakers.

Submissions came in from 14 countries, nine of which are represented on the official schedule; among them are short films from Poland, Mexico, France, Italy, Canada and across the United States. Five local venues are involved: Violet Crown Charlottesville, Vinegar Hill Theatre, Common House, Vault Virginia and the Bradbury.

To filmmaker and festival founder Ty Cooper, it all adds up to a valuable new platform for emerging filmmakers, an anticipated economic boost for the city and a treat for fans who love settling into their seats for new films and lively discussions about them.

“It’s high-level giving back in several ways,” said Cooper, who’s busy with last-minute tasks transforming his film series into a full-fledged festival. “What’s great about it is Virginia filmmakers can actually get to a festival. We give them the platform in their own back yard. It’s also driving tourism and driving the economic machine.”

Cooper told The Daily Progress he is handling most duties himself for the inaugural outing and gaining a better feel for what tasks to share next year.

“I have a great associate programmers’ team, and I just brought someone on board to be volunteer coordinator,” Cooper said.

Serving as programmers are Annette Banks, a five-time Emmy Award-winning documentarian; Richard Bird, a respected actor and producer; and Healey Lange, an award-winning writer and director.

The festival begins at 9 p.m. Friday with a launch party at Common House. Maestro the Cellist, a Washington, D.C.-area musician, will be performing pop, hip-hop and rhythm and blues; DJ Maiya will spin. Common House also is the place to hear panels discuss a variety of topics, including acting, writing, cinematography, directing, producing and the experiences of women in the film industry.

If You GoIndie Short Film Festival Friday through Sunday Violet Crown Charlottesville, Vinegar Hill Theatre, Common House, Vault Virginia and the Bradbury $149 all-access package; $100 movie buff pass; $25 launch party; $45 brunch; $15 individual screening blocks; panels and table reads are free

Screenings will be presented in blocks at Vinegar Hill Theatre and Violet Crown Charlottesville. A buffet-style Sunday brunch starts at 11:30 a.m. Sunday at the Bradbury, and the winners of the screenwriting competition will be announced at the event.

There are two blocks of documentary films, two showcases of Virginia films, a Black Expressions in Cinema block, an animated film block and a collection of eclectic entries.

Admission is free to discussions and table reads, but pass holders get priority seating.

To learn more, and to purchase tickets, go to


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