“People make choices that are not good for them. The right choice is not always easy, but the answer is always clear,” Caren (Samia Akudo) tells her two boys (David Schallipp and Matthew Schallip) in Adam R. Brown and Kyle I. Kelley’s creepy Fluffernutter, one of seven flicks that make up “Mind F*ck Shorts,” which, depending on your sense and sensibility, might or might not be good for you. “Mind F*ck Shorts” is being shown June 14 at 7:00 at the seventh annual Lower East Side Film Festival, which runs through June 15 at Landmark Sunshine. The odd evening also includes Maya Margolina’s “Birdsong” video, focusing on a strange ecofeminist battle between Lake7 (Bunny Michael) and Lou (Nire), with guest appearances by various living creatures, and L.A. rapper Old Man Saxon’s video for “Sunday Saxon,” which displays a rather offbeat sense of humor. In Justin Ulloa and Jamie Dwyer’s animated Pizza Face, a vain waitress gets her comeuppance, while Morgan Miller’s animated There’s Too Many of These Crows takes Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds to a whole new level. Duck puppeteer Mike Crane (Clayton Farris) has a pretty rough birthday in Marcus C. W. Chan’s Everything’s Gonna Be OK, while in Zachary Fleming’s Staycation a sad man’s (Rob Malone) lonely vacation on Sullivan St. has a revealing mystery guest (Joanna Arnow).
This year’s jury consists of Sasheer Zamata of SNL, Jeremy Allen White of Shameless, documentarian Paola Mendoza, Webby Awards founder Tiffany Shlain, Stephen Schneider from Imaginary Mary and Broad City, cinematographer Sam Levy, Entoptic founder Andrew Lim, and P.O.V. creator and executive producer Marc Weiss. Started in 2013 by Roxy Hunt, Shannon Walker, Damon Cardasis, and Tony Castle, the Lower East Side Film Festival hosts a mix of shorts, full-length films, and special events; also on the 2017 schedule is the U.S. premiere of Evan Beloff’s Kosher Love, followed by a Q&A with the filmmakers (June 11, 6:00); the panel discussion “Writing the Documentary Screenplay” with David Riker, Sarah Burns, Jeremy Chilnick, and Nelson George, moderated by Michael Winship (June 13, 6:00); “Queer Shorts: Best of Newfest,” with a Q&A (June 13, 9:00); and the closing-night world premiere of Aaron Feldman’s Poop Talk, followed by a Q&A with executive producers Jason and Randy Sklar. Film festival season is upon us; among the other ongoing, upcoming, or just completed festivals are the Human Rights Watch Film Festival, the Brooklyn Film Festival, the Soho International Film Festival, and the Israel Center Film Festival, but we’re pretty sure that the Lower East Side Film Festival is the only one claiming it will f*ck with your mind.