Tag Archives: stand up for diversity

The NBC Shortcuts Experience!

short cuts logoIn August 2013, I attended the NBC Short Cuts film festival. This is an event that was created to showcase the work of a variety of artists from diverse backgrounds who might not otherwise get much exposure.

At first, I was wary of anything NBC. The last time I’d been involved with them was for Stand Up for Diversity, a comedy event giving each comic one minute to make an audience laugh and impress the executives. If you impress everyone, you move on and go to their reality show for comics.


Any stand-up comedian would know one minute is pretty difficult. My dark humour did not go over with the judges. I guess they didn’t like pedophile and wheelchair jokes. Especially the guy in the audience who was in the wheel chair about whom I made the joke.

I digress. I’d never been to a film festival before and since it was my favorite price – free – I decided to give it a go. First thing that caught my eye was the bar with no bartenders. I found this odd. Just display drinks. So, in a moment of thirst, I stole one.

Once inside, I watched incredible short films. Since each film was a different genre, I went through a series of emotions. One film would have me laughing, and the next would have me horrified. By the 7th film, I had a taste of what it was like to be manic depressive. I had hit the spectrum of emotions lottery. Therefore, each film was effective.

Craig Robinson (center) with festival finalists.
Craig Robinson (center) with festival finalists.

At the ending of the films, I went back into the lobby. As if run by a Suddenly Salad commercial, there were snacks and bartenders. I then realized I had stolen free soda. I got to talk to Hannibal Buress, a comedian, and Steve Caple who was the recipient of the audience award for his incredible short, “A Different Tree.” I am starting to use Twitter for contacts, and I ended up tweeting back and forth with Hannibal Buress, asking him for a reference so I can get an Internship at Comedy Central. I have yet to convince him, but will keep on trying.

All in all, I will definitely go again next year and glad this program exists. Any young filmmaker in NYC should take advantage of the opportunity!

By Digital Film Academy Student Blogger Harley Page

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