Asbury Shorts, the short-film festival born on Long Island, returns Friday at Molloy College’s Madison Theatre in Rockville Centre to showcase the best of a format that most moviegoers never get to see.
When it comes to short films, says festival founder Doug LeClaire, “If you don’t have Pixar on your end credits, you’re not going to be in theaters.”
Unless, that is, you end up at the Asbury Short Film Concert. Founded by LeClaire and a handful of friends in 1981, the festival was named for its humble headquarters on Asbury Avenue in Westbury (specifically, the living room of LeClaire’s mom’s house). What began as a way to present the work of filmmakers from local colleges such as CW Post, Adelphi and Hofstra is now celebrating its 38th year. Its mandate is to bring short films from all over the world to audiences in one neat package. The upcoming show will be hosted by local comedian Ally Leftridge.
“I guarantee you, 97 percent of the attendees have never seen these films,” LeClaire says. “Could be a Sundance winner, a Berlin winner, an Oscar winner. How would you see them? We are all about showing these films on a real screen, the way they’re meant to be seen.”
Here is a sampling from this year’s program:
PICKLE A humorous if slightly macabre documentary about a married couple on a Maryland farm who attempt to rescue and heal various wild animals — often with unfortunate results. Director Amy Nicholson is a former advertising director known for the “Wendy, the Snapple Lady” campaign.
THE CAPTION If you’re one of those people who enters the cartoon-caption contest in a certain well-known New York magazine, this comedy is for you: It’s about a man so obsessed with winning that his marriage begins to suffer.
THE HONEYS & BEARS This 3-1/2-minute documentary focuses on a group of elderly African-Americans who meet once a week at a Harlem public pool to practice synchronized swimming. Directed by Veena Rao.
TIME FREAK A young man develops a time machine so he can redo the previous day, when his attempts to impress a certain woman didn’t go so well. It was directed by Andrew Bowler and produced by his wife, Gigi Causey, for roughly $25,000. After the film became an Oscar nominee in 2012, Bowler turned it into a feature film starring Asa Butterfield.
THE QUALITY OF MERCY This 2002 film from Long Beach-born director Stephen Marro follows a struggling actress (Mary Louise Parker) who winds up sharing a cafe table with a critic (Jon Avner) who trashed one of her performances. It’s being inducted into the Asbury Shorts USA Hall of Fame this year.
Asbury Short Film Concert
WHEN | WHERE 7:30 p.m. Friday, Madison Theatre at Molloy College, 1000 Hempstead Ave., Rockville Centre
INFO $18; 516-323-4444, madisontheatreny.org