Short reviews of films from this year’s DC Shorts Film Festival

Though it’s a hodgepodge of different tones and genres, Showcase 12 mostly focuses on relationships between two characters. Whether the pairs are boyfriend/girlfriend (Try a Little Harder), father/daughter (The Christmas Tree) or dude/zombie (What’s Life Got To Do With It), Showcase 12 isn’t lacking in dynamic duos.

Try A Little Harder: Misanthropic sculptor Tracy works through creative blockage and relationship troubles in this offbeat, darkly funny short.

Viral: How does someone become “YouTube famous”? That’s the question this short doc interrogates, featuring interviews from both cultural anthropologists and viral sensations (“David After Dentist”” “Mystery Guitar Man”!) that analyze changing notions of fame in the digital age.

Ferngesteuert: The motivations behind a troubled teen’s drastic crime gradually come to light as a psychiatrist grills him in this heavy German drama.

Outside My Window: This Rear Window-esque music video combines powerful visuals and a heartfelt story, but the overwrought song pushes it a little too far into melodramatic territory.

Advancing Age: Shot for the 48 Hour Film Project, this short follows down-and-out Denny as he confronts mortality on his 30th birthday. It’s a low-concept idea made memorable by comedic, quick-witted writing.

The Christmas Tree: In this poignant drama, a father fallen on tough financial times must confront an ethical dilemma—-in front of his young daughter—-when their Christmas tree is stolen.

Ideologies: Men in a nursing home cling to their military pasts and stage imaginary wars in this witty and hallucinatory six-minute Norwegian film. Think Apocalypse Now meets Bubba Ho-Tep.

What’s Life Got To Do With It: And you thought your Craigslist roommate search went badly. In this goofy but sharply written short, the only person who shows up to sublet Josh’s ex-girlfriend’s room is—-wait for it—-a zombie. It’s weird at first, but soon enough the pair become fast friends. File under…zombromance?

Saturday, Sept. 8 at 9:30 p.m. at E Street Cinema (followed by Q&A)

Monday, Sept. 10 at 9 p.m. at E Street Cinema

Saturday, Sept. 15 at 6 p.m. at Atlas Performing Arts Center