AFI Fest: Best Films of the Festival

It’s been a dream come true being able to cover the AFI fest this week. So after watching blank amount of films this week, I wanted to share my Best of from the festival.

Best Short Film

1st Runner-Up: A 1984 Period Piece In Present Day

A 1984 Period Piece in Present Day still sits with me ever since I saw the short, and that is a sign of a great piece of film.

The short leaves you with questions you don’t get answers to, resulting from great filmmaking. A 1984 Period Piece in Present Day was a nibble of what I believe Glass can bring to the creative table, and I enjoyed every second of it.

Check out my full review of A 1984 Period Piece in Present Day

Runner-Up: Blackfeet Boxing: Not Invisible

Lappas and Rinaldi’s storytelling put together with the direction is impactful. It’s an in-depth look while showing you the bad and the upside of a strong community. It’s mesmerizing.

Check out my full review of Blackfeet Boxing

Winner of AFI Best Short Film: Blocks

I’ve watched Blocks over ten times now, and it was easily my favorite short of the Nashville Film Festival as well.

Blocks is HILARIOUS. It was different, unique, and any parents that would watch this would laugh a lot. Moloney’s writing is fine-tuned and quite hilarious. She took what traumatizes all parents and made it into a funny little short.

Check out my full review of Blocks

Best Feature Film

1st Runner-Up: Sound of Metal

Sound of Metal has been stuck on my brain ever since I saw it. Director/screenplay writer Darius Marder did an impeccable job of not giving the viewer the opportunity to understand everything early on. He forces us to actually understand him by putting us in his shoes. He wanted us to feel as lost and confused as Ruben was. He wanted us to learn at the same pace as Ruben. He did this so well — even down to the subtitles he added as Ruben started to comprehend more.

Check out my full review of Sound of Metal

Runner-Up: Nine Days

It was an intense battle between this and my film in my top spot. I was going to cheat and do a tie, but I figured that would be cheating.

Films are made to evoke emotions, but the best kinds of films are the ones that leave you with questions about what you would do within these same circumstances. Edson Oda’s writing articulates this personal viewing experience that challenges you about life, its value, its importance, and what we want out of it.

Check out my full review of Nine Days

Winner of AFI Best Film: The Father

The most significant reason this movie was number one is that Zeller didn’t waste one frame of this film. I never found myself wondering or saying this didn’t need to happen.

Zeller forces us to understand what it would be like to walk in the shoes of a man on the brink of losing it all. Zeller’s story is easy and straightforward, but the way he articulates it within camera and screenplay is poignant, strong, and powerful.

Check out my full review of The Father

Jacob is a film critic and co-founder of the Music City Drive-In. He is a member of the Music City Film Critics’ Association and specializes in the awards season. You can find him on Twitter @Tberry57.

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