PBS Short Film Festival 2021: A Story of America

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The PBS network gives local, independent, and amateur short film artists a platform to showcase their work. Launched in 2012, this will be PBS’s tenth year hosting this short film festival. The festival will host a wide range of film genres, and this year 25 films are selected for public viewing.

As a viewer, you will expect to see film topics about religion, race, family, artistry, politics, creativity, and romance. This year’s PBS Short Film Festival is guaranteed to be fun.

Here is one of my favorite short films from PBS Short Film Festival 2020:

Embers is a film by filmmaker Prakshi Malik that tackles the challenging racial injustice topic felt by many minorities and disadvantaged students within the academic community. The film emphasizes how the school administration can negatively amplify black teenage rebellion into a race factor. And it is not the actions of the teenagers but the radical response given by the adults being highlighted in the film.

Why was there so much hostility? Whether it was weed or a cigarette, does it matter?

We were all young once; we all did stuff our parents would cringe about.  What happened to lines and after-school detention? When schools were not run like a business but were a safe space to make mistakes. But this is the reality in some school districts. This level of harsh punishments, prejudice, and discrimination is hard to believe if you have never experienced it.

It is interesting how a school environment has the power to negatively or positively shape our lives as adults. And by school environments, I am referring to the faculty, the administration, the policies, the board, etc., and their role in a student’s formative years.

We place our children in a school and hope for the best, but who are these people in your child’s life? What are their views? What are their motivations? It is weird to think, as a parent, you are pouring all of this love, attention, knowledge into your child at home, only to have someone derail your hard work because they do not care enough.

The short film You Know The Drill highlights a similar but different angle on how schools can negatively impact children. This film questions the psychological effects that active shooter drills may have on a child’s wellbeing.

Other good films to check out include Do Not Disturb, The Seed Saver, All-Inclusive, Maria, Paddle Together, Quilt Fever, To Infinity, History of White People in America, Edwin, Celestia Morgan, and One Way. SFW will review the PBS short films Preston’s Gone, Standing Above The Clouds, In This Family, We Gon’ Be Alright, and Happy Hounds in the upcoming days.

The film festival will be streamed at PBS.org/FilmFestival from Monday, July 12-July 23, 2021. SFW will also be mentioning some of our favorite picks from the festival during the event.