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Short cuts


By Christiana

from the Double Exposure Investigative Film Festival

Short cuts article from the Double Exposure Investigative Film Festival, 2020, taking place in the United States. This review features 3 of the short documentaries premiering at the festival (In Event of Moon Disaster, Status Pending and Dieorama).

“In Event of Moon Disaster”:


Screenwriter William Safire collaborated with female directors Halsey Burgund and Francesca Panetta on this unique short which premiered at this year’s edition of the Double Exposure Investigative Film Festival. “In Event of Moon Disaster” uncovers supposedly exclusive speeches of former President of the United States, Richard Nixon, which would have been televised if the 1969 moon landing had failed.


This is a prime example of mass manipulation and misinformation which can be spread on the internet, leaving the public with an unprecedented dilemma – who to trust and what websites to turn to? Is the internet a safe space? The creative minds behind this short unravel the reality of this ever-present situation, and the impossibility of reacting properly, faced by audiences.


This 7-minute investigative piece presents mass persuasion told from the perspective of a distant fictional past and an unprecedented future. The development of new AI technologies and means of informing populations has allowed IT specialists to modify and significantly alter faces and conversations, and in turn, has caused a general confusion amongst listeners.


What if the moon landing was not successful? What if the astronauts’ attempts at quickening the evolution of mankind were in vain? Well, President Nixon would have held this speech in their memory… right?


“Status Pending”:

“Status Pending” is an urgent demand for authorities to reconsider their methods and means of offering citizenship to immigrant populations seeking shelter in the United States. Told from the perspective of five Mexican-American Immigration lawyers, the short feature centres around their fight against discrimination and systemic injustice.

Helping several minority groups with Latino backgrounds face the system daily, aspiring to obtain the chance at a better life, the documentary displays tragic hardships these populations have to go through in order to get legal approvement. Putting their freedom on the line, these brave people turn to the five Immigration lawyers in their attempt to live the American dream. Some of them were taken away from their families, others were sent to detention facilities and thus, deprived of getting a fair opportunity of obtaining a Green Card.

The imminent threat of deportation regrettably silences those lacking the legal right and power to act, but these five inspiring individuals constitute the dream team, their ticket to freedom. They have built a family which helps families remain together in their noble pursuit of demounting inequality. Priscilla Gonzalez Sainz’s “Status Pending” arranges privilege, grief and the feeling of togetherness in the same package, fusing a higher chance of a better tomorrow for immigrant populations.


“Dieorama” shares a bizarre and fully unexpected take on death, gun violence and their connection with the human emotions. They all go hand in hand, in Abigail Goldman’s perspective, as she builds gruesome scenes, crafting a complete sensorial experience with a unique artistic purpose. She takes gore-y snapshots of life, adapts them into a sort-of contradictory scenery through art, thus allowing it to have a completely new meaning.

Director Kevin Staake gives the audience one of the most oddly entertaining cinematic adventures in terms of short films, creating a feature both visually and psychologically disturbing, yet stunningly put together. One of the most impressive shorts currently in the game, “Dieorama” proves that it’s beneficial to go outside the known limits

and break some rules, when crafting a cinematic project, be it 2 hours-long or 10 minutes-short.


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