Best of Shorts - Rural Route New York

USA, 2013


The Rural Route Film Festival was created to highlight works that deal with rural people and places. The festival, which showcases rural themes in an urban environment, features award-winning narrative, documentary, and experimental films as well as music videos. Based in New York City, the most urban of environments, the festival brings an alternative to the box office action flick so often set in New York or Los Angeles.

An impressionistic, haunting portrait of Sámi reindeer herding in the twilight expanses of the Lappish wilderness. German-born/London-based filmmaker Eva Weber is a recent Sundance Institute award recipient for development of a feature film, also based in Arctic Finland.

Following an argument with her boyfriend during their countryside getaway, Laura meets a mysterious stranger picking mushrooms in the forest. First-time filmmaker Gunda Aurich has been a stage director and actress at notable German venues such as the Schiller Theatre in Berlin.

St. Paul, MN based animator Tom Schroeder draws up a sort of animated documentary about his friend's pet rooster, who survives the bird flu, alcohol, sleeping pills, and the Oedipal assault of his son, Max.

Native American brothers collide as hardworking Jim struggles to get demolition derby die-hard Ace to attend his court date, or be thrown in jail.

Cameras in and around the nests of black-capped chickadee, red squirrel, house wren, horned lark, red-breasted nuthatch, black tern, brook trout, and song sparrow. Easterson has over a decade of experience collecting wildlife imagery from unique POVs for museums, web and TV.

A fascinating documentation of the ancient art of cutting turf by hand in the bogs of Ireland to use for winter fuel. In recent years machines have been implemented to do this work, and soon the traditional methods, and the comradeship, will be lost.

Savvy non-fiction filmmaker/Carelton College professor Laska Jimsen provides a poetic visual account of a Christmas tree processing facility, and also some insight into the human impulse to control, exploit, and profit from the natural world.

John survives alone in the woods, living in what he believes to be a post-apocalyptic world. He broadcasts daily emergency messages - sometimes more as a radio journal than in an earnest attempt to contact fellow survivors. Little does he know, several local hikers are listening on the other side of his broadcasts.

This MOS footage, preserved by the moving image archive at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville documents the first and third years of the Farm Progress Show. Shot in beautiful, saturated Kodachrome 16mm, it provides a clear vision of a time in which technology was changing rural lifestyles; radio and television spread music and news, and new farming equipment changed the structure of agriculture.

Dutch filmmaker de Ruijter captured over 1,000 still images of circular patterns in Google Earth. These circles fit precisely within the irrigation grid constructed by the U.S. Public Land Survey system - sections of one sq mile, 640 acres - 'alien-looking' man-made designs on our planet.

A film about the regenerative power of nature and the futility of mankind's struggle against the natural processes of decay. Featuring an original score by Jim O'Rourke, a voice-over by Will Oldham, and some of the best footage of the aurora borealis ever captured.

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