LYSFF ups its game

Love Your Shorts gets new screen, projector

In Israeli filmmaker Gal Attia’s Black Balloons (opening-night block), a coincidental meeting in a cemetery between a clown and a widow helps both with their grief.

Exclusive to MeierMovies, February 14, 2024

The Love Your Shorts Film Festival has installed a new screen and projector for the 14th annual event, which will take place February 15-18 at the historic Ritz Theater in Sanford, Florida.

The new screen is significantly larger than the old, measuring roughly 23×13 feet, while the new projector is capable of projecting images at a higher resolution.

“The theater’s been talking about it for years,” says Brian Casey, screening and programming director. “We kind of had to do both [new screen and projector] at the same time. … This is the largest screen that would fit the proscenium and still be retractable.”

The festival will present 66 short films (of 30 minutes or less) from 14 countries, not including the five films that will be shown on Thursday for Education Day. That Thursday presentation, which will also include a panel discussion (“How I Became a Filmmaker”) and Q&A session, is free and will be presented by the Organization of Independent Filmmakers (OIF).

Festival blocks include opening night (a mix of genres), “E for Everyone” (a mix of family-friendly films), animation, documentary, international (though some international films appear in other blocks), comedy, sci-fi/horror, drama and “Florida Flavor” (movies from the Sunshine State). The event ends on Sunday night with the “Best of the Fest,” which will feature the winning films from the previous blocks, as picked by audience votes (plus, potentially, one additional film chosen by the selection committee). A panel of judges will then pick the overall winner.

In the dystopian Dandelion (animation block), by Ling Zhao and Zhengwu Gu, a coal-burning robot working in a mine discovers something he has never seen before.

Several movies are from Central Florida, including some with University of Central Florida (UCF) ties. And in a first, the festival will present a film from Iran, Psychicken, written and directed by Ata Mojabi, in the sci-fi/horror block. Noteworthy attendees will include Jason D. Gregory (a screenwriter, author, producer and lecturer at UCF, who will moderate the Thursday discussion) and festival alumni Lukas Hassel. The actor, known for the NBC show Blacklist, among other projects, has two movies in the festival: Dummy (opening night), which he directed, and Split Second (sci-fi/horror), in which he acts.

A ticket to a single film block is $12, except for “E for Everyone,” which is just $5. A weekend pass is $85. For the full schedule and more information, visit

© 2024 MeierMovies, LLC

Please note that my companies, Paul Meier Dialect Services and the International Dialects of English Archive (IDEA), are sponsoring this year’s festival, but I have no financial or organizational relationship with Love Your Shorts.