Home » 2021 Films » Shorts Program 2 – Portraits

This is a curated collection of both documentary and narrative short films that expertly and inspiringly highlight people through their personas, interests, and stories.

IN-PERSON: Saturday 9/18 at 11:45 AM in Theater #2
Available Friday, 9/17 from 7:00 PM through Sunday, 9/19, 9:00 PM

*The filmmakers of Clay Umbrella, Please Don’t Touch My Hair and No Islands are expected to be present for a discussion following the in-person screening.

Clay Umbrella

3 mins | US | B&W | Doc, Experimental | 🏆

A documentary short illustrating a young musician’s practice during the lost seasons of sheltering in the time of COVID-19.

by Neil Howard Butler

A 1995 graduate of the Film School at Florida State University, Neil has lived and worked in Los Angeles for the past two decades, mostly in the realm of film and television development. 2017 saw the release of feature Lewis & Klarq, an indie rock musical of sorts he wrote and directed with Jason Chimonides and which had its world premiere at the Cyprus International Film Festival where it won the Golden Aphrodite Award for Best Score. In 2019, his short Lost Tribe (also co-directed with Chimonides) premiered at the Tallahassee Film Festival. Neil is currently restoring his first feature, a road film originally produced in the mid-nineties on glorious 16mm b&w.


15 mins | US | Color | Drama | 🏆

A day in the life of Martin, a homeless man attempting to keep his individuality despite being dehumanized by everyday society.

by Jordan Hidalgo

Jordan is a video director, producer, and screenwriter. He is currently signed with HEVE, a branded content studio located in New York, New York, where he directs commercials, documentaries, and branded content. Past work includes creating documentaries, TV shows, video series and music videos for The New York Jets, Bleacher Report, Culture Trip, & Capitol Records.

Piccolo is Black.

13 mins | US | Color | Doc | 🍊 🦩 🏆 ✏️

After decades of Black Americans consuming insulting misrepresentations of their culture, they find a familiar home in Japanese culture and in anime characters like Piccolo.

by Ryan Joiner & Landon Watford

Ryan is a young woman known for many things; book buying (but not reading), passionate speeches about any and all Batman theory, and being the most chaotic, yet charming person in the room. She is an aspiring director, producer, and actress studying at The Florida State University’s College of Motion Picture Arts. Her goal in life is to create stories and media, for the underrepresented, that cause people to change the way they see themselves.

Landon is a chess fanatic, classic film lover, and George Carlin enthusiast. He’s convinced he’s an old man trapped in a young boy’s body. He is an aspiring writer and director, proudly studying at Florida State University’s College of Motion Picture Arts, dreaming of one day writing and directing unapologetically original and painfully hilarious films for the big screen.


15 mins | US | In Spanish | Color | Drama | 🍊 🦩🏆 ✏️

Though his family’s jazz club is the hub for Cuban culture in Ybor, Alfredo refuses to live in the past. Until his father falls ill.

by Alex Argiles

Born and raised in Havana, Cuba, Alex wanted to be an inventor and a magician when he was a kid. During college, he lived in Panama for two years, where he started a theatre company and produced and starred in a play called El Arte de Ser Infiel. He eventually moved to the United States to start a bachelors degree program at Florida State University and after graduating, he entered the MFA program in Film Production from the same school. He currently lives in Tallahassee, Florida, where he writes and works on future projects.

Please Don’t Touch My Hair

16 mins | US | Color | Doc | 🍊 🦩 🏆 ✏️ 🎬

A multicultural crew explores the complexities of making a film about Black hair.

by Yamoaa Gyimah

Yamoaa is a director and producer based in Atlanta, GA. A recent graduate from Florida State University, she focuses on capturing unscripted cultural conversations through video. She hopes to create more documentaries, talking with people all over the globe about their human experiences.

Trade Center

8 mins | US | Color | Doc, Experimental

The voices of five gay men who cruised for sex at the World Trade Center in the 1980s and 1990s haunt the sanitized, commerce-driven landscape that is the newly rebuilt Freedom Tower campus.

by Adam B Baran

Adam is a Brooklyn-based filmmaker, writer, curator and queer nightlife guru whose work focuses on hidden histories of queer sexuality. Adam’s latest film is the short documentary TRADE CENTER which world premiered in March at SXSW 2021. Adam also produced the Emmy-nominated Netflix documentary CIRCUS OF BOOKS, and wrote and directed the award-winning gay narrative short JACKPOT. Adam has served as the co-curator (with Ira Sachs) of the acclaimed Queer/Art/Film screening series, now in its 11th year, and has been a programmer for the Outfest and NewFest LGBT Film Festivals.

No Islands: Serena Viola Corson

29 mins | US | Color | Doc, New Media | 🍊 🦩 🏆 🎬

No Islands is an interview-driven docuseries that profiles artists, activists, and other cultural leaders in and around Tallahassee, FL. In this episode, Tallahassee artist Serena Viola Corson discusses how her work reflects her experiences and interests, including poverty, environmentalism, masculinity, and solidarity.

by April Cluess & Will Crowley