Extremely Short Film Festival 2011: Motion Pictures Handpicked by Wholphin's Main Man

There's a reason why people name check McSweeney's. The San Francisco-based, shoestring-budget enterprise of Dave Eggers - author of A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, How We Are Hungry and What is the What - represents, with nary a lame offering, what's right about contemporary literature (read Salvador Plascencia's The People of Paper, if you haven't already, to see what Art Attack is yapping about).

Along with books and a time-sucking website, McSweeney's publishes the literary periodical The Believer as well as the quarterly "DVD magazine" Wholphin. The inaugural effort launched in December 2005 with a cannon blast, thanks to a heavy-hitting lineup of artsy indies that included short films by Miranda July, Spike Jonze and David Byrne.

This weekend, Houston will get a taste of McSweeney's when Brent Hoff posts up at the Aurora Picture Show's Extremely Short Film Festival. Hoff, editor and co-founder of Wholphin, juried this year's event that exclusively features films that run for three minutes or less.

Festival organizers have been (obviously) playing up Hoff's appearance at the shindig that's scheduled to take place at 8 p.m. Friday and 3 and 5 p.m. Saturday. Thanks to his cinematic expertise, the lineup is jam packed with intriguing "animated, experimental, narrative, and documentary short films," according to Aurora Picture Show's website.

The screening will include 22 motion pictures, such as Despejadoby Antonio Pérez (the tagline reads, "A few clouds in the sky and something shines far away") and Bryan Arguello's Mini, which "looks at The Woodlands from above."

Award winners, determined by an audience vote, will be unveiled during a closing party picnic at 6:30 p.m. Saturday. Attendees can stuff their pie holes on menu offerings by Saint Arnold Brewery, Ruggles Green, Mission Burrito and more before participating in the "time-honored karaoke tradition."

The scene is Molly Gochman's Studio, 2442 Bartlett Street. Admission to the screenings is $10 for Aurora non-members. For more information, check out the Aurora Picture Show's website.

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Steve Jansen is a contributing writer for the Houston Press.
Contact: Steve Jansen