Oscar-nominated shorts to be shown at Bear Trap Dunes

Any film buff who has been preparing for Oscar night has likely gone to the movie theater to see many of the nominated feature-length films. But it’s not as easy to see some of the other films nominated, so the Rehoboth Beach Film Society is offering two local screenings, to give locals and visitors the chance to experience this year’s Oscar-nominated short films.

“The timing is so appropriate, with the actual date of the Oscar awards,” explained Sue Early, executive director for the Rehoboth Beach Film Society. “Shorts are something that people don’t get to see a lot of. They’re not in mainstream theaters. They’re not on TV. We show a couple of short programs at our festival each year. This is an opportunity for people to see shorts that have been nominated. This is really the only opportunity they get to see these.”

The screenings will take place on Thursday, Feb. 21, at 7 p.m. at DiFebo’s at Bear Trap Dunes in Ocean View and on Friday, Feb. 22, at 7 p.m. in the upstairs screening room at the Movies at Midway in Rehoboth Beach.

Tickets cost $4 for RBFS members and $6 for non-members. The five shorts that will be shown — “Asad,” “Buzkashi Boys,” “Curfew,” “Death of a Shadow” and “Henry” — range in subject matter from an elderly concert pianist’s experiences as he searches for his wife, to a coming-of-age fable depicting a Somali boy as he struggles to survive in his war-torn land.

“I say it’s like not investing in an entrée but sampling a variety of appetizers — you get a little sampling of everything,” explained Early. “That’s what shorts are. You may not like one, but you may love the other four. It just gives you a variety of films, topics and filming techniques, all in one sitting.”

Each screening session will run approximately 114 minutes in all and may be followed by a discussion of the shorts.

“A lot of times, we do a discussion afterwards. It depends on the audience’s willingness to stay. If it’s been a long film, they might want to go home. Usually, we bring a guest. Sometimes, it’s just our education outreach coordinator. It’s a different person every time. Sometimes the audience just starts, if they’re really into it.”

Oscar shorts aren’t the only special screenings the film society holds. From September through May, there is a screening at Bear Trap on the fourth Thursday of every month, and one in Rehoboth on the fourth Friday of each month.

“This is a pretty popular one, because of the uniqueness of it,” Early said of the pre-Oscar shorts event. “It’s kind of neat for people to be able to see these films, for when the Academy Awards are actually announced, they’ll know what they’re talking about.”

Early said the society’s mission is to promote the art of film and, through outreach initiatives, to entertain, educate and enrich the cultural life of the local and extended communities.

“We see film as not only as an art but a vehicle, a communicator of many different messages. It can bring people together by showing the commonalities that we may have, even if we live a thousand miles apart. We share certain human experiences… Film just serves so many wonderful purposes — far more than just entertaining.”

She added that she hopes members of the community will come out next week to experience the shorts and have some fun at the movies.

“I hope people come out to see these, because it really is a wonderful opportunity to see really quality films.”

For more information, call the Rehoboth Beach Film Society at (302) 645-9095 or visit www.rehobothfilm.com.