September 26, 2018 | ° F

NJFF Short Films

Photo by The Confession - Andres Sivori |

Courtesy of

The beauty of short films is that they can tell a tale and deliver a message in a creative and concise way. They allow a director to let their craft shine through — they also give them enough artistic freedom to experiment with unorthodox techniques without seeming overbearing.


Cranberry Sauce (Taylor Gledhill)

Cranberry Sauce is a delightful little film that is sure to entice young viewers and will cause older ones to have grins on their faces. Set in the 1940s, a young boy named Bobby is fervently engaged in acting out the events of his favorite cowboy radio-show, The Midnight Rider. He is interrupted by his mother who asks him to go to the store to pick up cranberry sauce for Christmas dinner. At the store, Bobby praises his luck when he thinks he will grab the last can of cranberry sauce but, last minute, is intercepted by a very nasty old woman. Bobby is faced with the dilemma of giving up or summoning his inner cowboy and finding a way to bring the nasty old lady to justice. While Cranberry Sauce reverberates with innocent naïveté and has some cheesy moments, this is not necessarily a bad thing. It is in fact the emphasis on Bobby’s innocence and child mentality that gives this film its charm. Cranberry Sauce is a heartwarming and worthy addition to the NJFF dossier.

Photo: Cranberry Sauce - Taylor Gledhill

Courtesy of


The Confession (Andres Sivori)

The Confession is a unique short film that manages to blend comedy with themes of adolescence, love, desire, religion and surrealism fairly well. A young Hispanic boy struggles to deal with emotions that he has towards his aunt. Searching for clarity, the boy consults a priest — the exchange between the two is as funny as it is poignant. The boy is told that he needs to control his emotions better. The film is marvelous in projecting scenarios that we all could relate to on one stage or another. The director’s implementation of creative shots and bizarre dream sequences highlights the main characters’ emotional states. The Confession is an imaginative journey into the mind and heart of an adolescent boy and offers insight into human nature.

Alex Natanzon

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