Short on Shorts: Identity as Teacher

Two short films, official selections programmed for screenings at the 2022 HollyShorts Film Festival August 11-20, 2022, highlight the work of authors who embrace their identities to teach others about what it’s like to be viewed as different in society. Each shares in their own words the importance of being true to one’s self and to share one’s experience with others in the hope of teaching acceptance. Impactful personal accounts, ELSA and The Baldwin Archives, both short films put the author in the role of teacher in variations on a theme.


Director: Cameron S. Mitchell
Synopsis: Elsa Sjunneson is a Deafblind professor and media critic, skilled fencer and hiker, and published author who has written for Marvel Comics and won the Hugo award for Science Fiction twice. Through the pen and the sword, Elsa takes us on a journey to see the world through a perspective that’s hardly, if ever, been seen before.

Short on Shorts Commentary: Elsa Sjunneson has spent her whole life achieving—and racking up enviable accomplishments as an athlete, academic and author. All while being Deafblind and leaning into a role of teaching society to change its perceptions about disability. Watch the trailer.

See the film at HollyShorts: Mon, Aug 15th, 2:30 PM PDT @ TCL CHINESE 6 THEATRE || #6

The Baldwin Archives

Director: Laura Seay
Screenwriter: Tory Devon Smith
Cast: Tory Devon Smith, Jordan Gavaris, Kristen Rozanski
Synopsis: One Room. Two Men. One bold conversation. In 1963, famed author James Baldwin sits with BBC journalist Peter Duval Smith as the legendary writer expresses his perception on the plight of racism in America, and the importance of compassion for your fellow human being.

Short on Shorts Commentary: Reenacting a powerful conversation, The Baldwin Archives illuminates author James Baldwin’s masterful communication skills used to transcend his personal experience with racism to set the Black experience into context. Facing down tough questions with grace and aplomb, Baldwin transforms the interview into a platform for education, using his intellect to encourage mutual understanding and enlist others to work against racism. Watch the trailer.

See the film at HollyShorts: Mon, Aug 15th, 5:00 PM PDT @ TCL CHINESE 6 THEATRE || #6

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