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'Posies' and 499 more help LA Shorts International Film Festival celebrate 25 years

July 22, 2021
1 min read time

The LA Shorts International Film Festival is in full swing, showcasing 500 films from 55 countries via their On Demand portal through July 31. The festival is accredited by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television, and the Academy of Cinematographic Arts and Sciences of Spain. This year marks the fest’s 25th year, making it the longest-running festival in Los Angeles. 

Posies is a standout. The film by R.H. Stavis and Katherine Fisher questions the space between good and evil, and whether that space can exist in our modern world. The filmmakers say they were influenced by the 2016 election, and the great divisions that currently exist in our country.

They elaborate: "In 2016 the world changed ... we  have  watched  the  transformation, holding  our  breath, afraid  of  what  will  happen  each  day: will we lose more of our rights? Will we see more bigotry? More hatred? More violence boil to the surface? We are a polarized country, divided by more than just politics. We are divided by, essentially, what we believe to be "good" versus "evil." But what exactly does that mean? Who is good, and who is bad? And more importantly, what about the rest of us? Those of us with flaws? Those of us who fall into the cracks of the absolute?"

The film examines a world where people devolve into monsters or their own worst fears. In this richly photographed sci-fi space, human skin starts to devolve and leave spaces, which protagonist Maddy (played by Anna Diop) beautifully and gently fills with flowers, hoping to avoid being discovered as a "monster" by her longtime lover. 

A standout line for Diop (and the film itself) is when she muses out loud, "What if all these things we do when we are normal add up and there’s someone somewhere watching, and the more we do it, the worse it becomes and worse we become?" In other words, all human faults are accounted for. On a larger scale, it feels as if the artists are asking whether humans can exist in a world without moral ambiguity.  

To watch Posies and the many other shorts from the Oscar®-qualifying festival, click here.

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