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Indie Boots Film Festival Showcases Shorts in Lakeview

 A still from the UK film "Nudist Beach."
A still from the UK film "Nudist Beach."
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Flock of Condors

LAKEVIEW — Movie buffs can watch a selection of local and international short films during a Thursday night festival of flicks "that are a little unruly," organizers say.

The Indie Boots Film Festival includes movies that take on the challenges of conveying complex ideas in as short as 60 seconds.

"You're trying to tell a story with brief moments," festival director Richard Paro said. "I think even more so than in a feature, everything really has to work together to make you care about these characters."

Paro said he and a screening committee waded through hundreds of submissions looking for progressive, low-budget films for the festival's second year. They settled on 15 shorts that range from just 60 seconds to 15 minutes.

Viewers can expect an eclectic selection of animated films, comedic shorts, documentaries and more — all made by local and international directors.

The films will be shown to a Chicago audience for the first time for $10 at the Landmark Century Centre Cinema, 2828 N. Clark St., in Lakeview for about an hour and a half Thursday night.

One of the Chicago-made shorts is "Zack," a 7-minute film that was shot in a single day by DePaul University senior Sean Pierce along with collaborators Zach Harris and Kevin Cline.

The movie follows around the title character after he lands at O'Hare Airport and takes a journey to Millennium Park, Pierce said.

The digital film student submitted his short to Indie Boots because he thought it would reach an audience that "might get it," especially because "Zack" uses unusual storytelling techniques such as "breaking the fourth wall" by directly addressing the audience and not following a traditional narrative, Pierce said.

Directors who plan to attend the festival also include Chicago filmmaker and festival committee member Cyra Polizzi, who directed the comedy "The Pigeon Family," and Canadian director John Banard, who made the comedy "A Fable About Beauty."

International festival highlights include "Nudist Beach," a UK film about a boy and a girl who meet awkwardly along the shores of a deserted nudist shore, and "The Third House," a documentary that tells the story of a tribe in Cambodia that builds teen girls a "love" house for the sole purpose of helping them find a partner.

Many of these films tackle subjects such as poverty, environmentalism, sexuality and generally "living outside the mainstream," Paro said.

"[Often] you go to film festivals and there's the environmental program and the lesbian program and the trans program," Paro said. "This [festival] is all mixed together."

Paro said Indie Boots presents voices from diverse filmmakers and offers them an audience interested in what they have to say.

"For some of the people who show up, seeing some of these films [could] open their eyes a little bit," Paro said. "Or they might just enjoy it and laugh, and that's fine, too."

The Indie Boots Film Festival begins at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Landmark Century Centre Cinema. Readers can see the full list of films on the festival's website.