In lieu of the world crumbling into a glorified dumpster fire, it’s hard to not be scared. Look, we are in the middle of a pandemic, there is no getting around that. You can’t turn on your phone, TV, or car radio without being reminded of this fact. And pretending otherwise gets boring really fast.
It never fails to intrigue and impress me what people have decided to do with all this unexpected free time. Some have decided to master their cooking skills. Others finally have a reason to do a deep clean of their homes. I, personally, am attempting to teach my eleven-year-old chihuahua how to sit on command. I have been unsuccessful so far.
Then, there are the select few who have decided to get extra creative; to grab the metaphorical bull by the horns, taking the pent up energy their fear has given them and putting it towards something creative to cope. As well as comfort others. Musical duo Twenty One Pilots recently released a song all about the anxieties of self quarantine. This week, pop star Lauv debuted a podcast (episode 1 here) where he and fellow musicians to talk about mental health in times of isolation. And then there are the beautiful people of South America who have decided to participate in a film festival.
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As part of Brazil’s digital Chattanooga Film Festival–happening Friday, May 22nd through Monday, May 25th–comes the premiere of The Pandemic Anthology, a collection of creepy short films submitted to Fantaspoa’s recent “Fantaspoa at Home” filmmaking competition. “Each terrifying segment, conceived and shot while social distancing, embraces an amazing “can-do” spirit that proves, even while quarantined, creativity is a monster that will never die.”
The Pandemic Anthology consists of “…14 most representative and creative short films produced capturing this moment in time that, if humanity is lucky, will never be repeated.” Despite the circumstances, the most modern means and willing participants make for gripping stories that are reminiscent of goofy home movies tricked out with sick sound effects.
The competition is fierce, however, one story in particular, Jerome: A Christmas Carol, is the stand out effort for me (as well as my personal favorite). It’s the story of a cat who is hungry. As a radio broadcast updates listeners on the world’s deteriorating status, the feline furiously searches around his home for something to eat, though the situation becomes deadly once viewers realize his owner has died; thus sealing the fate of our furry little friend. The final shot, where the cat lays beside his empty bowl, as the broadcast signs off with a “May God bless us all” makes for one hell of an ending.
All in all, The Pandemic Anthology is a promising gem that shouldn’t be overlooked for it’s overlapping theme of the, y’know, whole pandemic thing. This film, as well as dozens of others, will be available to watch at any time while the festival is happening. Additional details, ticketing for US residents, and more can be found here.