Oscar mavens know that the short film categories are the toughest to predict. That’s where the Glovebox Short Film & Animation Festival comes in. Now in its fourth year, Glovebox was launched by Jodie Baehre McMenamin and Liz Comperchio, who met in a printmaking class at the Art Institute of Boston, to showcase indie animators and filmmakers from around the world. In 2013, the festival’s best-in-show award went to Laurent Witz and Alexandre Espigares for their animated short “Mr. Hublot,” which went on to win the Oscar.
Glovebox brings a new slate of drama, comedy, animation, documentary, and experimental shorts to the Brattle Theatre on Jan. 25, from 1 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Viewers can attend for the entire day or see films in one-hour shifts.
Glovebox’s jury panel, made up of Boston-area artists, filmmakers, and representatives from cultural institutions, selected 50 films from more than 200 submissions from around the world. These include the recipient of the 2014-15 Golden Glovie best-in-show award winner, “Vanishing Points,” by Canadian filmmaker Marites Carino. Set along the edges of a soon-to-be demolished triangular building, it’s described as “a visual exploration of the power of momentary connection within an otherwise disconnected world.” Other films include “Ballkoni,” a dramedy by Lendita Zeqiraj from Kosovo, about a 10-year-old boy sitting on the edge of a balcony and the frightened neighbors and passersby who call police and firefighters for help; “The Ballad of Holland Island House,” in which New England multimedia artist Lynn Tomlinson uses clay-on-glass animation to tell the true story of the last house on a Chesapeake Bay island slowly sinking into the rising sea; and “Beetle Bluffs,” by Boston’s Anna Lindemann, who developed the film in collaboration with Brian Farrell, curator of entomology at the Harvard Museum of Comparative Zoology, home to one of the most significant insect collections in North America. Inspired by a pioneering 1938 paper by Philip Darlington, a former curator of the museum, “Beetle Bluffs” uses artifacts and insects from Darlington’s research to cleverly illustrate how edible beetles change their appearance to look inedible when a predator, such a a lizard, is near.
‘Vanya’ comes home
Back in 1994, Louis Malle’s “Vanya on 42nd Street,” a stunning re-creation of theater director André Gregory’s staging of Anton Chekhov’s “Uncle Vanya” in a crumbling Manhattan playhouse, enjoyed a very long and surprisingly profitable run at the Coolidge Corner Theatre. Now the film, which features exquisite performances from Wallace Shawn, Julianne Moore, and Brooke Smith and which turned out to be Malle’s last, is back at the Coolidge Jan. 5 as part of the “Stage and Screen” series. There will be a post-screening conversation with special guests from the Huntington Theatre Company’s production of Christopher Durang’s “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike,” who will discuss Durang and Malle’s disparate but equally compelling approaches to Chekhov’s classic themes of loss and longing. The Huntington’s production of this Tony Award-winning, Chekovian mash-up runs Jan. 2 to Feb. 1 at the BU Theatre. (See Page 4 for more on the stage production.)
For more information go to www.coolidge.org
Work in progress
A few years ago, Vermont native and 2007 Emerson College graduate Jesse Kreitzer left Brookline, where he’d lived for a decade, for a post at the University of Iowa. But his ties to Boston’s film community remain. Kreitzer is in post-production on his latest short, “Black Canaries,” which is partially sponsored by nonprofit Central Productions in Cambridge. Kreitzer just released the trailer for the film, an early 1900s coal-mining folk tale inspired by Kreitzer’s maternal ancestors, as he readies it for submission to the 2016 Sundance and Cannes film festivals. Kreitzer’s other short films have screened locally: “Lomax,” about folklorist Alan Lomax’s 1941 journey through the Mississippi Delta, was featured in the 2014 Woods Hole Film Festival, and “The Murder Ballad of James Jones,” which chronicles a rising feud between two Chicago bluesman, made its world premiere last September at the 10th annual Camden International Film Festival.
Check out the trailer for “Black Canaries” at www.vimeo.com/114393335Loren King can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.