Rachel Link

In 2016, we laughed, we cried, but mostly we watched a lot of short films. The Showcase featured many incredible pieces covering a wide range of topics, including death-defying carnies and extraordinarily dull men. To recap the year, Lauren Leadmon and I selected 10 of our favorite shorts that stood out in each of the following categories: Action Riding…

Changing Planet

Millions of years in the making, underground caves sustain delicate ecosystems that are rich in biodiversity. In this film, explorers of the vast cave networks in the southern United States explain the importance of preserving these subterranean worlds. Director Drew Perlmutter spoke with me about his love of caving and some of the unique challenges…

Changing Planet

From Persecution to Coexistence: An Image Makeover for America’s Lion Article by Rucha Chitnis This summer, America woke up to the unequivocally endearing footage of five mountain lion kittens born in the Santa Susana Mountains, just north of Los Angeles.  They made national headlines. “They nailed their Hollywood-area debut with adorable hisses, deep blue eyes…

Changing Planet

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Near Bermuda in the Atlantic Ocean, currents define the Sargasso Sea—the only sea that is not defined by land boundaries. Known by some as a floating rain forest, the Sargasso Sea is named for the free-floating seaweed Sargassum and provides food and shelter for a vast variety of wildlife. However, those same currents carry a…

Changing Planet

Dylan is a 12-year-old boy who strives to become a professional jockey. One of his first races was the Glenbeigh Races, a prestigious grassroots horse racing event in Glenbeigh, a rural southwestern area of Ireland. His training involves boxing, and his inspiration is supplemented by quotes from Rocky IV. Because he’s such a lightweight, he…

Changing Planet

Director Joanna Lipper‘s award-winning documentary The Supreme Price centers around one family’s fight for democracy in Nigeria. In the 1990s key leaders of the pro-democracy movement, M.K.O and Kudirat Abiola, died at the hands of the country’s military dictatorship. This extended trailer follows their daughter, Hafsat Abiola, as she continues her parents’ mission to turn…

Changing Planet

Roughly 10 women in a town in Sardinia still wear the traditional dresses they made as adolescents. These hand-embroidered garments are reversible, with the elaborately decorated side worn during major life events and a plain side worn on a daily basis. Filmmaker Andrea Pecora‘s Desula captures the detailed creation of these dresses and the stories…

Changing Planet

Travel from underwater to outer space in this incredible animation from production company Chromosphere and sound designer David Kamp. Watch forms found in the natural and scientific world emerge from the basic geometric elements of a circle. Watch forms found in the natural and scientific world emerge from the basic geometric elements of a circle. Chromosphere’s…

Changing Planet

Rangers in eastern Russia are working tirelessly to protect the Ussuriskii State Nature Reserve, which is under threat from logging and poaching. This nature sanctuary or Zapovednik is home to some of the last remaining Siberian tigers in the region. Filmmaker Emmanuel Rondeau interviews some of the men fighting to save the largest and most…

Changing Planet

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Teenagers engage in the age-old rituals of courtship at the Wayne Regional Agricultural Fair in Dudley, North Carolina. Filmmakers Kelly Creedon, Sami Jorgensen, and Callaghan O’Hare capture endearing interviews with young couples who earnestly believe they’ll be “together forever.” I spoke with Kelly Creedon about the making of the film. Why did you choose the…

Changing Planet

Curt Harper is a 50-year-old competitive surfer and beloved mentor to Southern California’s “groms” (young surfers). Diagnosed with autism as a child, a doctor recommended that Harper be institutionalized; his parents refused and instead fostered their son’s love of surfing. Now a fixture in the surf scene, this short documentary from Westward Productions highlights Harper’s…

Changing Planet