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Dec. 14-16 Waltham Film Factory Shorts Fest

  • Charles River Museum of Industry & Innovation 154 Moody Street Waltham, MA, 02453 United States (map)
Shorts Fest 2018 EB header.jpg

This December 14-16, the Charles River Museum of Industry & Innovation in Waltham, Massachusetts, hosts the Waltham Film Factory Shorts Fest, a celebration of the art and science of the short film.

This is an opportunity to view exceptional works from around the world in a historic industrial museum, whose mission is to encourage and inspire future innovation. Documentary, animated, experimental, and narrative films of one to twenty-five minutes will be screened during this three-day festival.

*PLEASE NOTE: Parental discretion advised. Some of these films contain strong language and images.

The Inaugural Waltham Film Factory Shorts Fest offers filmmaker awards in several different categories and more than $3,000 in cash and prizes. The Grand Prize is $1,000.

Day 1: Friday Evening Screening

SOLD OUT! Day 2 Part 1: Saturday Day Screening SOLD OUT!

Day 2 Part 2: Saturday Evening FINALISTS SCREENING & AWARDS PRESENTATION. Tickets $15


Join us in the soaring Main Gallery of the Charles River Museum, surrounded by historical artifacts from the American Industrial Revolution, as we recognize the very best of our Waltham Film Factory Shorts Fest selections with a special awards presentation. Prior to the awards presentation, we will be screening the six finalists chosen by the Waltham FIlm Factory jury as the finest in each category–narrative, experimental/animation, and documentary–as well as our grand prize award recipient.

Beer and wine will be available during the event, with the oppurtunity to meet and chat with filmmakers in attendance. Filmmakers and artists from as near as Waltham and as far as Los Angeles currently planning to attend, include Raouf Zaki, Tim O'Donnell, Patrick Johnson, Nathan Hepp, Meaghan Dempsey, Kathleen O'Connell, and Jerry Bisantz. This will be a magical "Night at the Museum" not to be missed!

This event is sure to sell out so get your tickets now!

Day 3: Sunday Day Screening featuring a post awards screening of all 20 of our selected films. Tickets $10

Announcing the schedule & film selections for the
Waltham Film Factory Shorts Fest!
Congratulations to everyone!

Shorts Fest 2018 schedule.jpg

The Best Way Is By Hand

Submitted by Cathleen O’Connell, filmmaker
Waltham, MA - documentary

On a busy Saturday morning in Waltham, Massachusetts, seventh generation cobbler John Elhilow takes time to talk about the past, present and future of shoe repair. This short documentary takes you behind the counter and into the workshop as Elhilow plies his ancient craft in the modern world, saving the soles (and heels) of his customers. 

Screening Saturday Day & Sunday Day

Big Boy

Submitted by Yuri Solodov, filmmaker
Russia - narrative

The boy turns 6. His father for the first time sends him to the store to buy bread. The boy will receive his birthday present, a camera, as long as he completes this mission. In order to prove that he has grown up, the boy decides to take up this challenge. But he has to face many difficulties in the itinerary. Will the boy pass the test?

Screening Friday Evening & Sunday Day

Blue Division

Submitted by Sergi Marti, writer/director
Spain - narrative

Leningrad, summer 1943. German attempts to conquer the strategic location of Leningrad have failed miserably. Hitler, desperate, plays his last available card: Mission Spark.But to carry out the mission he will need his best men… He will need the Spanish soldiers of the… BLUE DIVISION.

Screening Friday Evening & Sunday Day

Brand New Day

Submitted by Pat Wells, filmmaker
Sylmar, California - animation or experimental

In chaos theory, the butterfly effect is the sensitive dependence on initial conditions in which a small change in one state of a deterministic nonlinear system can result in large differences in a later state. Fractal patterns and Golden Ratio Pulses have been discovered in the stars, and we are stardust. A parents love is a strong example of chaos theory, where love is passed down from generation to generation, regardless of blood line or adoption, creating a fractal of loving family. 'Brand New Day' is a narrative short without voice over, set to the music of Big D and the Kid's Table, 'Brand New Day'. Song 'Brand New Day' is based on the solo by Brad in Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Screening Friday Evening & Sunday Day

The Brick Story

Submitted by David Wittkower, filmmaker
Los Angeles, CA - animation or experimental

Based on a joke, The Brick Story tells the story of a Brick Layer's unfortunate turn of events as he tries to rid some extra bricks left over from a job.

Screening Saturday Day & Sunday Day

Day Off

Submitted by Nathan Hepp, filmmaker
Boston, MA - animation or experimental

A hardworking man looks forward to relaxing on his day off. The distractions of everyday life, however, interfere with his plans.

Screening Friday Evening & Sunday Day


Submitted by Raouf Zaki, filmmaker
Holliston, MA - narrative

In this silent film, when a withdrawn Middle Eastern man begins frequenting a Boston café, the headwaiter grows increasingly suspicious about the true nature of his visits.

Screening Friday Evening & Sunday Day

Happy Hour

Submitted by Paul Duff, producer
Los Angeles, CA - narrative

A drunk young man stumbles up to the bar with an outrageous story about a magic pocket watch which he believes will solve all his troubles, put him on the path to easy street AND help him win back the love of his life.

Screening Friday Evening & Sunday Day


Submitted by Radheya Jegatheva, filmmaker
Australia - animation or experimental

A film that explores the relationship between man and technology...told from the perspective of a phone.

Screening Saturday Day & Sunday Day

Just Words

Submitted by Lila Antonenko, filmmaker
Russia - narrative

A quiet domesticated policeman and his happy-go-lucky colleague are investigating a routine suicide. The policeman breaks the law and his own moral principles after he has heard a familiar voice from a victim’s cellphone.

Screening Saturday Day & Sunday Day

The Last Time I Heard True Silence

Submitted by Tim O’Donnell, filmmaker
Waltham, MA - documentary

Noah Cass was a machine gunner for the Marine corp during the 2005 Operation Spear in Iraq. During an over-watch mission his team was ambushed and a mortar round hit his truck leaving him with permanent hearing loss and tinnitus.  When Noah returned home he dealt with issues common to veterans transitioning into civilian life: aggressive behavior, alcohol, addiction, depression, difficulty keeping a job, and relationship problems. Noah eventual hit rock bottom after 3 years and was desperate for a change. After losing more friends to suicide than in war, he decided to become sober and start running in his local woods.  Noah, now a father and husband, enters the 50-mile wilderness race with only completing one 26-mile marathon prior. This race represents the journey a young soldier has to face to help cope with a past that haunts him every day.

Screening Saturday Day & Sunday Day

Life On The Ledge

Submitted by Marc Kornblatt, filmmaker
Madison, WI - documentary

In this short documentary filmed in Israel, two laughing doves nesting outside his window capture the heart and imagination of a man mourning the recent passing of his mother. Website

Screening Friday Evening & Sunday Day

Memories For Sale


Submitted by Jerry Bisantz, writer/producer
Waltham, MA - narrative

Charlie, a struggling young writer from Lowell, MA has finally hit pay dirt with a biography about his favorite old time comedian, the great Sidney Freedman. BUT at the 11th hour the book will be rejected unless Charlie gets Sid to expose long held secrets about his past. What price is a man's dignity? Is there any privacy in this tabloid era?

Screening Friday Evening & Sunday Day


Submitted by Anna Maria Ferri, filmmaker
Spain - narrative

Coco is Sergio's inseparable friend since Carla left. One day Coco takes him to "Láquesis", Carla's favourite shop. It seems to emit a powerful magic. This is a dark tale about how everything that makes you happy can disappear in the blink of an eye. One moment of distraction is enough for our life to end up in the hands of a destiny that was not ours ... or maybe yes.

Screening Saturday Day & Sunday Day

The Pirate Captain Toledano


Submitted by Arnon Shorr, filmmaker
Los Angeles, CA - narrative

When the Pirate Captain Toledano interrogates a stowaway on his ship, he finds that the young man is a refugee from the Spanish Inquisition. The stowaway wants to become a pirate to plunder Spanish ships. The Captain must decide whether to make the stowaway a pirate, or to make him walk the plank. “The Pirate Captain Toledano” is the world’s first film set in the little-known world of Jewish piracy in the Caribbean.

Screening Saturday Day & Sunday Day

Pizza Birdy Bath Waterfall

Submitted by Tim O’Donnell, filmmaker
Waltham, MA - documentary

Tommy is a young man with Landau–Kleffner syndrome, an extremely rare neurological disorder with only 100 cases diagnosed every ten years. LKS is characterized by frequent seizures and sudden aphasia (the inability to understand or express language). Over the past five years, Tommy’s caretaker, Erin, has developed a way to communicate with him using words and phrases from his favorite Disney films. Tommy and Erin take their weekly walk on Walden Pond to reflect and get away from the world.

Screening Friday Evening & Sunday Day

Ready for a Baby


Submitted by Anastasia Dyakova, filmmaker
Australia - animation or experimental

A young woman in her thirties feels very happy and excited – she has a partner, everything in her life is under control, so now is the perfect time to have a baby. It should be easy and natural, with love and fun and everything else––right?

Screening Saturday Day & Sunday Day

The School Of Honk


Submitted by Patrick Johnson, filmmaker
Somerville, MA - documentary

The School of Honk is an open community brass band that promotes joy and inclusivity through weekly gatherings and parades around Somerville and Cambridge.

Screening Saturday Day & Sunday Day

The Tent Village

Submitted by Nilima Abrams, producer/director
Burlington, VT - documentary

A nuanced view into the lives of roadside tent dwellers in India, filmed by their teenaged children. An unflinching yet gentle exploration of the interplay between external oppression, internalized self-defeat and hope, highlighting the innate worth of all people.

Screening Saturday Day & Sunday Day

What Metal Girls Are Into

Submitted by Laurel Vail, filmmaker
Los Angeles, CA - narrative

Three women going to a three day metal festival in the desert find something disturbing in the freezer of their isolated vacation rental.

Screening Saturday Day & Sunday Day

Earlier Event: December 13
2nd SHIFT Concert: Lula Wiles