575 Castro St.
Mike Plante, Short Film Programmer
Celebrate the start of LGBT pride month this June with the powerful short film 575 Castro St. Set to the original audio cassette recorded by legendary activist Harvey Milk in November 1977 meant to be played in the event of his assassination, the specter of history is turned in on itself as the footage we see appears to be fragments of Harvey Milk’s office, but in fact the shots are of the faithful set recreation of his office for Gus Van Sant’s Oscar-nominated fictional film Milk starring Sean Penn. Blending matters further, the set was designed in 575 Castro St., the former location of his camera shop and office. Thoughtfully composed by artist and filmmaker Jenni Olsen, whose short and feature work has graced the Festival no less than four times, this work stands as a testament and ode to a man who made a difference.
Then watch the smart and funny Countertransference, Madeleine Olnek’s second short to screen at Sundance. This particular piece shows how her background as a playwright has enabled her to harness stellar performances (most notably Deb Margolin as the lead) and deliver a script textured with both hilarity and depth. Overcoming some challenges on set – like an equipment truck hitting a parked car and causing $1,400 worth of damage – the fearless director put together an hysterical production, following a lonely woman with assertiveness issues as she finds her problems multiplied in therapy. If you enjoy Countertransference, check out Olnek’s debut feature Codependent Lesbian Space Alien Seeks Same, available on iTunes, Amazon, and other platforms via #ArtistServices.