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The short film may seem like an archaic form, an early-20th-century relic typified on one hand by arty experiments like Manhatta and Berlin: Symphony of a Metropolis and on the other by slapsticky series like The Three Stooges and Our Gang. But the Internet has made shorts relevant again, and growing attention to the form gives the DC Shorts Film Festival a little extra rub in its eighth year. The festival groups films into 90-minute screenings during its opening weekend, tallies votes for the best of the shorts, and then shows the winners on Sept. 17 and 18 at the Atlas Performing Arts Center. Between those bookends, all of the movies are rescreened, which means you have plenty of opportunities to take in the 145 films submitted from 23 countries. Not surprisingly, comedies dominate the docket—though eye-gouges, bowl haircuts, and lovable l’il scamps will probably be in short supply.
Films show beginning at 7:30 p.m. at E Street Cinema and 6:30 p.m. at Artisphere. $12 per showcase in advance, $15 day of show. See dcshorts.com for schedule.