A Taste of Middle Coast Film Festival (21 – 23 September 2018)

Written by Fiona Underhill

After four years in Bloomington, Indiana Middle Coast Film Festival has packed up and moved to Chicago where they’re putting on a killer programme that they can’t wait to share with a new audience.

Middle Coast Film Festival is hosted by The Davis Theatre, 4614 N Lincoln Ave. Chicago, IL 60625

They show films in six categories:

  • Narrative Features
  • Narrative Shorts
  • Documentary Feature
  • Documentary Shorts
  • Episodic
  • Experimental

Their focus is to connect their filmmakers to a smart audience, who will for sure question what they just watched…which is why they come to film festivals in the first place. Middle Coast’s goal is to provide an inclusive, uplifting, and affirming community to makers and audience members alike. Join them on September 21-23 for great cinema from local, national, and international makers and irreverent panels.

Thank you to Programming Director Mylissa Fitzsimmons for providing the screeners to JUMPCUT – Mylissa is the gatekeeper of the festival, who brings the best submissions forward, places them in the perfect spot and then brings all these filmmakers together. Unfortunately we at JUMPCUT ONLINE do not have a Chicago correspondent yet, so our festival coverage has been done remotely. We have watched three narrative shorts and one episode from a web series, from the following categories:

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Getting Sh*t Done – Characters confronting all life’s obstacles thrown at them.

Gaze (dir. Farnoosh Samadi, Iran/Italy) – a woman witnesses a crime on a bus and faces a choice as to whether to speak up or hold her tongue. She must then live with the consequences of this decision. This is a very well acted short, with a good amount of tension to hold the viewer’s attention.


Funny Ha Ha – All things funny and absurd with shorts, web series and music videos.

Local Air – web series available on YouTube (dir. Josh Raby, USA) – this is a comedy series of 10 episodes about a morning TV show called Local Air. It brilliantly captures the cringey ways in which they try to fill the time with local news stories and ‘people of interest.’ The show is presented by married couple Gil and Sandra Cotton and in the first episode is celebrating its 20th Anniversary, when Sandra has some shocking on-air news for her husband. The best aspect of this show is the local commercials that come on during Local Air and a series that Gil does where he tries out local eateries. This is in the same vein of awkward TV as The Office and is really funny. Definitely worth giving it a shot on YouTube.


It’s Not That Scary Creepy, Freaky and Scary shorts.

Doris (dir. Hayder Hasen, UK) – a short that lulls you into a false sense of security before going completely batsh*t crazy – this horror is funny, shocking and goes in an unexpected direction. It is well constructed for a short and paces each of its sections well.


Lean into SexyAlluring, Seductive, Suggestive, and other strong emotions.

Parthenon (dir. Frank Mosley, USA) – the most ‘arty’ of this selection of shorts, focusing on an incredible central performance by Lily Baldwin. This short is in two halves – the first is reminiscent of Madeline’s Madeline and makes for uncomfortable viewing, it is difficult to watch. The second half is amazing and focuses on the connection between an artist and model in a life-drawing class.

So – there is much to discover at Middle Coast Film Festival, with a focus on female and LGBTQ filmmakers. Make sure you check it out, if you can!