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Short cinema 

Shorts --- they're fun to wear in the summer, and they're even more fun to see at a film festival. Especially when packaged together in eclectic groups like they are at HF3. In addition to an evening of mini-pictures from RIT students (Saturday, November 8, 5:15 p.m., Little Theatre) and a gaggle of international filmmakers who focus on fare for the kids (Saturday, November 8, 11 a.m., Little), there are two full programs of shorts created by women from all over the world.

            My favorite was Unearthed, a super-cool stop-motion animation flick from Rhode Island School of Design grad Christina Spangler that showed a runaway potato wrestling a possum, taking its eye, and learning the horrors of the origin of thick-cut chips. You'll see that in Program #1 (Wednesday, November 5, 11:15 p.m., Little), along with BAFTA nominee The Most Beautiful Man in the World (about a little girl grounded for making friends with a strange man), Exercise With Ching Yung (about director Wenhwa Ts'ao's father and his inability to sit still), and the unusual Strange and Charmed (about the relationship between romance and sub-atomic particles).

            Program #2 (Friday, November 7, 11:30 p.m., Little) features the poignant Spring in Awe, which at first looks to be a tribute to various flashing neon signs in Manhattan set to an updated version of "I Put a Spell on You." But then things take a dramatic turn as Martina Radwan (she worked on last year's brilliant High Falls entry, Personal Velocity) switches her focus to the war-related Times Square news crawls. Program #2 also includes the curiously titled Kitchen Bird Cocoon and the delicious sounding The Candy Machine, which is what we used to call my grandma when we were little.

--- Jon Popick


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