Rites of Passage

“The art of losing,” the poet Elizabeth Bishop wrote, “isn’t hard to master.” That much is clear when you consider the loss-haunted coming of age shorts that round out our Rites of Passage block, where—for better or worse—experience evaporates whatever illusions, expectations, or misconceptions our protagonists are clinging to. These deeply personal, altogether striking narrative shorts, experimental films, and documentaries seem to suggest that, through such loss, we’re able to emerge more fully ourselves.


Carlos Estrada | Austin, TX | 11 min
Genre: Student, Narrative Short

After a devastating loss, Angel—an asthma-stricken young man from the States—travels to Mexico, where he reconnects with his estranged grandfather. On the Day of the Dead, an encounter with an unexpected visitor from the spirit realm leaves him shaken, and, ultimately, restored.


Eric Gheorghe | Atlanta, GA | 2 min
Genre: Narrative Short

Combining plain-spoken narration with unusual archival footage (including, among other things, shots of an astronaut training on a centrifuge), this unsentimental essay film recounts a recovering addict’s ill-fated path toward sobriety.

One of Their Own

Allen Colombo | Los Angeles, CA | 4 min
Genre: Narrative Short

Set in a world not terribly unlike our own, this haunting study of childhood isolation and difference follows Ray, a so-called “digital boy” who goes to extreme lengths to fit in with the human kids in his neighborhood.


Here There Be Tygers

Jennifer Trudrung & Polly Schattel | Asheville, NC | 10 min
Genre: Narrative Short

In this adaptation of a Stephen King short story, a young girl faces a terrifying predator and potential redemption after being bullied by her manipulative classmate and cruel teacher.

Caro Comes Out

Brit Fryer & Caro Hernandez | Brooklyn, NY | 12 min
Genre: Documentary Short

Caro Hernandez is on a mission: to come out as gay to her entire Cuban family, the majority of whom reside in her native Miami. Generously told and disarmingly funny, this self-described act of “queer torture” uplifts with its vision of intergenerational authenticity.

Sisters 3

Ace McColl | Atlanta, GA | 11 min
Genre: Experimental Short

In this bewitching fantasy, three mysterious figures revel in their sisterly bond as well as the beautiful environment that surrounds them. Set to a shimmering strings soundtrack, this lush narrative short is the latest film from Indie Grits alum Ace McColl.


Quiet and Clear 

Andre Rangiah | Franklin, LA | 8 min
Genre: Narrative Short

When Aurelian blocks her on Facebook after taking her virginity, thirteen-year-old Peezoo senses life in Franklin, Louisiana, is coming to a halt. To reclaim control over her body, Peezoo enters an arm wrestling match with the small-town patriarchy. From the sidelines, her controlling father’s world splits in two.

3-Part Horror-mon-ee 

Ashley Teamer | New Orleans, LA | 11 min
Genre: Experimental Short

This dread-saturated experimental short, an abstract rumination on growing up in post-Katrina New Orleans, chills with its forbidding juxtapositions of image and sound. Expect desolate nighttime highways, garbled radio dispatches from the police, and, of course, ever-present bodies of murky water, filled with mystery and menace.

Things That Happen in the Bathroom 

Edward Hancox | Austin, TX | 13 min
Genre: Student, Narrative Short

In the intimate sanctuary of the bathroom, a lonely young queer yearns for love, and learns how to survive heartbreak. Produced by Indie Grits alum Maggie M. Bailey, Things That Happen in the Bathroom received the Jury Award for Best Narrative Short at the 2019 New Orleans Film Festival.

Shorts Index


Feature Index