SUNDAY, MAY 9 / 10 AM – 4 PM

Des Moines Art Center hosts 22nd annual MANHATTAN SHORT Film Festival

Posted on Thursday, September 12, 2019

For Immediate Release
Contact: Barbara Briggie-Smith or Jordan Powers
Tel: 515.271.0343 or 515.271.0344
Email: or

Download PDF

DES MOINES, IOWA (September 2019) – The Des Moines Art Center is honored to once again host the MANHATTAN SHORT Film Festival — the world’s first global film festival — on three dates: Friday, September 27 at 6:30 pm; Sunday, September 29 at 1:30 pm; and Sunday, October 6 at 1:30 pm. Each screening shows the same 10 short films, and runs approximately two hours, 30 minutes. This program is FREE and will be held in Levitt Auditorium. The films are not rated, but are intended for adult audiences. Reservations are being taken for each of the three dates to ensure all interested viewers have a chance to see the films and cast their votes.*

Established in New York City in 1997, this year’s Festival received 1,250 submissions from 70 countries. Ten entries have been selected as finalists in the annual Festival and are being distributed on DVD to participating theaters around the world, enabling audiences to view the films and vote on them as well. (Attendees at the 9/27, 9/29, and 10/6 screenings will all have the opportunity to vote.) The finalists hail from seven countries with films from France, Iran, Finland, and Germany as well as two films from the U.S. and a record three from the U.K. These 10 films represent the best short films submitted, testimony to the enduring vibrancy and creativity of short films worldwide.

Winners will be announced by MANHATTAN SHORT Film Festival on Monday, October 7 at 10 am EST and the Art Center will also post the results on its website,, the following day. 

*Space is limited for these screenings. Free reservations can be made by visiting

More detailed information can be found at

Yves Piat, director / France / 17:00 minutes
In Tunisia, two football-loving young brothers find a donkey lost in the middle of the desert on the border with Algeria. But why is the animal wearing headphones over its ears?

Julio Ramos, director / USA / 14:00 minutes
After a disastrous event on his construction site, Armando acts quickly to save his crew, but instead stumbles upon an unspeakable truth. Debris is an intense and visceral glimpse of the grim world of human labor trafficking.

Marziyeh Riahi, director / Iran / 12:48 minutes
Local laws say Bahareh's husband must accompany her to driving lessons so she and her instructor will not be alone, a task made more complicated when the two men don't get along.

Alysse Leite-Rogers, director / Canada / 13.48 minutes
A waitress at an upscale restaurant reaches her tipping point with a table of difficult customers and concocts a special dish of revenge.

Richard Prendergast, director / UK / 16:53 minutes
Our love affair with the automobile means that a car can feel like it is part of the family. Sometimes it's more than that.

Pia Andell, director / Finland / 15:38 minutes
Two middle-aged women turn a friendly game of tennis into an intense competition but stand united at the end of the match when they discover one thing in common.

Adi Wojaczek, director / Germany / 14:00 minutes
Rejected by a famed dance school, Malou gets a chance to prove that she's destined for a career as a dancer despite the odds seemingly stacked against her.

Magali Barbe, director / UK / 14:00 minutes
An elderly man lives as a recluse, haunted by his past and memory of the family he once had, until a non-human visitor arrives and disrupts his isolation.

Florence Keith-Roach, director / UK / 13:08 minutes
When Annabelle wakes up alone in a stranger's bedroom on her 30th birthday, she thinks the day cannot get any worse. But then Bernard walks in and he is not the man of her dreams.

Fon Davis, director / USA / 13:08 minutes
In an apocalyptic future, a lonely government worker finds solace with a soldier during the last World War. But their future together is threatened when the soldier is sent back into battle.

Des Moines Art Center

Recognized by international art critics as a world-class museum in the heart of the Midwest, the Des Moines Art Center, an AAM-accredited institution, has amassed an important collection with a  major emphasis on contemporary art. The collection’s overriding principle is a representation of artists from the 19th century to the present, each through a seminal work. This accounts for an impressive collection that ranges from Edward Hopper’s Automat to Jasper Johns’ Tennyson, Henri Matisse’s Woman in White, Georgia O’Keeffe’s From the Lake No. 1, Francis Bacon’s Study after Velásquez’s Portrait of Pope Innocent X, Bill Viola’s Ascension, and Cecily Brown’s Half-Bind. 

The Art Center’s physical complex marries with the collection for a totally integrated experience. The collection is housed in three major buildings, each designed by a world-renowned architect—Eliel  Saarinen, I. M. Pei, and Richard Meier. With the exception of special events, admission to the museum is free.

In September 2009, the John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park opened in Des Moines’ Western Gateway Park and features artwork by many of the world’s most celebrated artists. Philanthropists John and Mary Pappajohn provided funding for and donated 31 sculptures by internationally acclaimed contemporary artists to the Des Moines Art Center. The collection of sculptures by such artists as Ai Weiwei, Louise Bourgeois, Deborah Butterfield, Willem de Kooning, Mark di Suvero, Olafur Eliasson, Keith Haring, Robert Indiana, Ellsworth Kelly, Yayoi Kusama, Jaume Plensa, Richard Serra, and Joel Shapiro is the most significant donation of artwork to the Art Center in a single gift in the museum’s history. The park is a collaborative effort of the Pappajohns, the City of Des Moines and Parks and Recreation, the Des Moines Art Center, and numerous corporate and private funders.

#     #     #

entirely unexpected