Announcing the film finalists for #SSFF2020

Are you ready for it? We’re kicking off this new week by announcing our short shorts film finalists for #SSFF2020!

It’s a special year for our short short film festival, as this year marks its 15th year. Each film clocks in at 5-minutes or less, and *YOU*, the audience, will choose the winner  this Saturday, January 18 at the 15th Annual Short Shorts Film Festival. We’ve chosen the finalists, not it’s up to you to crown the winners of the evening.

Meet the short shorts making a viewing at The Underground:

Un-heard by Jason Habel (comedy)

  • A lame cover-up causes some serious daddy issues for a five-year-old girl.

Zuerst  by Jim Hall (experimental – Indianapolis, IN)

  • Trains transcend the space-time continuum. They are moving metaphors. At the end of our journey we arrive at our fate. “Zuerst” was a poem written by acclaimed Austrian Poet Sophie Reyer. It is a poem about the journey in life we all must take. This experimental FilmPoem jumps tracks with those words and challenges the perceptions of those watching the piece.
    The end result is a beautiful and at times grotesque runaway train. A train full of life revealed by the quick cuts and pictures bonded with sound that hurtles both passenger and viewer down the tracks. A train bound for that final station where the mosaic made up of the human condition ends…
  • Special recognition to Sophie Reyer, who is the poet and narrator of this short film.

Danger Daisy by Rachel Knoll (documentary – Minneapolis, MN)

  • Ski Jumping was one of the original Olympic sports. However, it wasn’t until the 2014 winter Olympics that women athletes were able to compete.  This motivational short shows the portrait of a young female athlete who grew up training in downhill ski jumping, seeing the shift from women athletes beginning to compete, to now advocating herself for the ability to compete on the same size hills as her male counterparts.

Liberate by Karen Lavendar (experimental – Beverly Hills, California)

  • Have you ever felt that the world only sees you as sliver of who you really are? In this performance art piece, Ingrid Rogers, as a woman of color, expresses her desire to be fully seen and heard. Liberate is a call to action to step into your light and create unapologetically.

ZipperMan by Edward Linder (comedy – Minneapolis, MN)

  • Leading man Kip Richardson, star of ZipperMan, is dealing with the price of fame in a private situation.

Peach Cobbler by Andrew Huggins (drama – Charlotte, NC)

  • A mother connects with her son through his favorite dish.

The Duluth Rowing Club by Jayva Jordan (documentary – Duluth, MN)

  • The power of teamwork, friendship, and determination through the sport of Rowing.

BIGFOOT: Bob and the Snowbike by Jerry Belanger (comedy – Duluth, MN)

  • An under 2-minute short about a BIGFOOT , a ” Snow Bike ” and a Mountain .

Dark by Necdet Yigit (drama – Mardin, Turkey)

  • Ali’s only dream is to tell the colors to his blind brother…

HEROES and SUPERHEROES by Paul Thomas (documentary)

  • This film is dedicated to the patients and families of GILLETTE CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL. Rare, behind-the-scenes access embedded with Ramsey County SWAT team as they coordinate and participate a meaningful event for the children.

The Latelys – “Hoping for the Sun” by Brian Barber (music video – Duluth, MN)

  • A music video for The Latelys

née Rabbit by Hallie Bahn (animation – Minneapolis, MN)

  • née Rabbit confronts the mind’s struggle to maintain a true identity even as our memory begins to fade. Can we continue to know ourselves when we have no recollection of our past actions and reactions? Do we adapt our identity to incorporate this loss into our life’s story? Or do we resign ourselves to wake up each day anew and if so, who are we?

A Distant Memory by Michael Stenzel (other – Duluth, MN)

  • A man wakes one morning staring into the sun. This brings a distant memory to the surface, but he can’t quite place it. A quest for the answer ensues. (Permission received from Mansions and Millions Record Label and World Brain to use song in video.)

L.A. Buddy by Alex Kamb (comedy – Los Angeles, CA)

  • (Game of Thrones theme music playing) – Come find your *Real Hollywood Dream* and *True Friendships* in L.A.!!!

Philosopher Kings by Tom Rush (music video – Williamsburg, VA)

  • Featuring music and vocals by Far Pines, this video tells the story of a fox living in Looneytown who wonders why everyone he comes across seems to hate him for no reason. Soon, she will find that for as many crumby people as there are in the world, there are an awful lot of good ones too. Join our main character, The Fox, as she roams from town to town in search of inspiring folks and inspired dreams.

Maple St. by Leif Tystad (drama – New York, NY)

  • A love story between two witches living in the same Brooklyn apartment building shot on 16mm film.

Yet Another by Tim Disbrow (comedy – Annadale, NJ)

  • Cooped up inside and overcome with boredom, a young boy ventures out of the house to find a little excitement–but it’s not the first time.




The Underground Theatres’s Short Shorts Film Festival (SSFF2020), marking its 15th year in 2020, is northern Minnesota’s only short film festival.

  • FESTIVAL DATE: Saturday, January 18 @ 7:00pm
  • TICKETS: $20
  • Purchase online here or call 218.733.7555 (M-F, 10am-6pm)

A panel of judges have selected the film finalists (highlighted above), and, it is you, the audience, who will vote for the top three winners of this year’s festival. That’s right; the audience chooses who wins! Stick around while the votes are tallied for a toast to 15 years of short shorts in Duluth, Minnesota, as well as a 15-ticket giveaway. Our audience will also enjoy complimentary snacks  by Pizza Luce while the votes are tallied.

Operated by The Underground, a satellite theatre of The Duluth Playhouse, this annual celebration of short cinema debuts 15-18 short films out of more than 100+ film submissions and welcomes local, national, and international filmmakers of all kinds and in all genres.