Rich and reverent.

This short animated film, which made the first cut as a possible nominee for the upcoming Oscars, is based on Hawaiian legends revolving around large healing stones located at Waikiki Beach.

The result looks like a painting come to life before our eyes.

The animation style, which flows and ebbs, is complemented by the use of Olelo Niihau, described as “the only unbroken form of the Hawaiian language.”

Hitting on concepts of healing and gender diversity, the film is unique in every way.


Coin Operated

Space, the final frontier.

These are the voyages of a curious, adventerous young boy intent on launching himself into the great unknown and kissing the stars on the way down.

A clever, beautifully-animated short film about a life-long love of space, as explored through a rickety rocket ship which sits camped outside a local grocery store, it’s a small winner of a film.

In five short minutes director Nicholas Arioli gives us a laugh or two, gently plucks the heartstrings, and tells a complete story.

Job well done.


Feeling Through

One big win for personal growth.

Quietly powerful, this short film sneaks up on you, building emotional intensity until it lets everything out in one final punch to the heart.

It tells the tale of a homeless man, struggling to find a place to spend the night, who accidentally becomes involved with a deaf/blind man trying to get a bus home.

The lure of taking financial advantage of his new companion is huge, and largely understandable, given the first man’s situation.

But director Doug Roland is telling a different story, and he guides us to a note-perfect finale.


Wild Love

Um, yeah, so probably not for the kiddos.

Come to this gnarly man vs. animal slugfest with the right attitude and it’s frequently hilarious.

Don’t, and you’ll probably be the one huddled over in the corner, whispering, “What is wrong with you?”

A lot, apparently.

I don’t want to spoil things, especially for a film which is just a zippy seven minutes, so let’s just set the table like so — a human couple make an error in the woods, and come to regret it. Big time.

Go, enjoy … then prepare your angry emails.


A Love Song for Latasha

She died for $1.79.

Shot from three feet away, in the back of the head, while holding two dollars to pay for her orange juice, Latasha Harlins was just 15-years-old when her violent murder at the hands of a quickie-mart owner helped spark the 1992 L.A. riots.

But for all the hate the crime generated, this short film, an Oscar favorite this season, instead embraces the bright promise the young woman held in her heart.

Remembered in the words of her cousin and best friend, Latasha comes alive again, and it’s heartbreaking.

She should be here to tell the world her own story.