Each of the films in the 15th Annual Extremely Shorts Film Festival is less than three minutes. The short screen time might seem to be a limitation for the filmmakers, but juror Andy Smith says it’s just the opposite. “The time constraint really forces filmmakers to experiment,” he tells us. “It liberates you from any preconceived notions about what a film should be. You think a film has to be 90 minutes long; it has to have a beginning, middle and an end. I really love films that don’t do that. The time constraint really shifts your focus and forces you to throw all those preconceived notions out the window. “
Smith, who is executive director of the Nickelodeon Theatre, a not-for-profit arthouse cinema in South Carolina, had more than 150 submissions to wade through as juror for the festival. Just 29 works made it, and they’re a varied bunch. There’s Lucas Leyva’s metaphorical Reinaldo Arenas, based on a true story of a shark left on a Miami street. The Spanish-language film deals with issues of immigration and displacement. Becky Sloan and Joseph Pelling, from the This is It Collective based in Great Britain, contribute Don’t Hug Me, I’m Scared. At the beginning, it seems to be a funny puppet-based film featuring a singing book, but it takes a sharp left turn before the credits roll. Sean Hughes’s animated Gummba Sutra also made the cut. It’s a mature-audiences-only film that shows what happens when Gumby accidentally wanders into a book about sex. 7 and 9 p.m. Friday, 8 p.m. Saturday. 2442 Bartlett. For information, call 713‑868‑2101 or visit www.aurorapictureshow.org. $5 to $25.
Fri., June 29, 7 & 9 p.m.; Sat., June 30, 8 p.m., 2012