Sight & Sound: The Best Denton-Made Short Films of 2016

The last few years have seen a prolific rise in short films produced among college students and graduates that are choosing to stick around town. There is a good number of local videographers ready to make their mark with music videos, documentaries, and narrative films. The following five films were selected by the community as the best Denton-made films of 2016. They provide cinematic experiences ranging from college drama to absurd comedy to experimental visuals.

On January 26th, The Dentonite will provide a public screening of these films at Backyard on Bell at 7pm.

The transition from high school to college is meant to be the sensible path into adulthood. In The Struggle, Todd (played by Mathieu Myrick), is faced with a financial challenge as he nears his planned graduation date. It's a tale that's all too relatable for young adults who have to worry about their financial comfort while trying to make the grade. Noah LeGrand's soundtrack connects the audience to the angst beguiling the main character of the film.

Written and directed by Nick Coker
Produced by Samantha Castro
Cinematography by Holden Foster
Music by Noah LeGrand
Starring: Mathieu Myrick

Crazy Beans is a comedy that presents absurd conditions treated as if they're par for the course. Imagine the Jelly Belly game with an influence of Jumanji.  While watching this film you'll wonder: how bad can a jelly beans game get? Assume you're not one of the writers of the Saw series, it gets crazier than you can imagine.

Directed by Samuel Decker
Written by Samuel Decker, Nick Chaviers, Josh Arriazola
Produced by Roy Aguilar
Staring Nick Chaviers, Josh Arriazola, Jon Anderson, and Umar Qadeer

A quinceañera is a celebration signaling a young lady's entrance into adulthood. Cristina Gonzalez' debut film tells a deeply personal and cultural story with an authenticity of which Hollywood is bereft. Quince is primarily a Spanish-speaking film utilizing the Hispanic pool of DFW's acting talent to stay true to the characters written by Gonzalez. The overarching theme of this film is that family is where your home is. For more info and behind-the-scenes footage, visit their website.

Written and Directed by Cristina Gonzalez
Produced by Valarie Gold
Cinematography by German Torres
Starring Miranda Tamez, Rosana Nerez, Jorge Patillo, and Pablo Esparza

(The password to watch the film is: TheGallows)

What becomes of the relationships you've built up after you've graduated college? "Reality bites," as they say, and everything from friendships to romance is reassessed as career choices take priority. The Gallows centers around a graduation party where unspoken feelings threaten to derail a long term relationship with the pictures on the wall to prove their history. 

Written and directed by Erik Olson
Produced by Sierra Robinson
Cinematography by Jacob Hashem
Music by Vraciu
Starring: Scout Gutzmerson, Asher Maier, and Bethany Burnside

Still Forms is visual painting that's a bit of a super music video using excerpts from three songs by Leoncarlo. This collaboration between Wesley Kirk, Leoncarlo, and Jamie Jones is an immersive arts experience that's a reminder of Walt Disney's mission to make an animation with "music you can see and pictures you can hear." 

Concept and direction by Wesley Kirk
Music by Leoncarlo
Danced performed and choreographed by Jamie Jones

Header image from the set of Quince taken by Samantha Castro
Header design by Mateo Granados