Filmmaker In Focus: Whiskey Fist and Hot Dog Hands [Video]

Whiskey Fist and Hot Dog Hands screened in the 2017 SXSW Film Festival shorts program. While these titles are intrigue enough, take a closer look with our Q&A with the directors below. Be sure to take a few minutes to watch these quirky shorts, your day is bound to be more interesting if you do!

Whiskey Fist

Gillian Wallace Horvat is a Los Angeles-based filmmaker, writer, and film programmer. Her short Kiss Kiss Fingerbang won the Grand Jury Prize in the Midnighters category at the 2015 SXSW Film Festival. She also lends her voice talents to Hot Dog Hands.

Whiskey Fist from Gillian W Horvat on Vimeo.

Q: Tell us a little about your film?

GH: Whiskey Fist is a short film that uses absurd and vulgar comedy to probe the sensitive social sphincter holding back a much-needed dialogue on the obstacles to empathy between genders. It's set in the world of "branding", where our protagonist, Justin, is an intern. Young Justin seems in certain danger of assimilating his misogynistic environment and becoming a douchebag. But one night a mysterious blonde impregnates him with a bottle of high-end whiskey – magical realism ensues.

Q: What motivated you to tell this story?

GH: I can neither confirm nor deny that my assault on the advertising space was inspired by a contest held by an alcohol company that offered emerging filmmakers the chance to tell their stories by asking them to create a 7 page pitch that the company would own in perpetuity for no compensation. It sounded like a great opportunity, but I decided to make my own film instead.

Q: What do you want the audience to take away from this film?

GH: The only way to ensure equality between men and women is for both sexes to see one another as peers. Part of that is understanding biology, and the ethics and responsibilities that are concomitant. The majority of politicians at the state and federal level are still men. I feel in my heart that if they made the effort to empathize with the reality of female bodies they would make the right decisions about allowing women access to health care, supporting maternity leave, and legislating wage parity.

Hot Dog Hands

Matt Reynolds grew up just north of San Francisco. His animations have screened internationally at numerous film festivals. His short, Bottom Feeders, premiered at SXSW in 2015. In 2016, he received his MFA in Experimental Animation from CalArts. Reynolds also designed and animated our 2017 film festival bumpers.

Hot Dog Hands from Matt Reynolds on Vimeo.

Q: Tell us a little about your film?

MR: This was a bonkers idea for a cartoon about a woman who can't stop growing fingers.

Q: What motivated you to tell this story?

MR: I think the most fun film projects are those that start from an absurd premise, and here I was trying to connect a woman growing fingers to an underground community of retired postal workers.

Q: What do you want the audience to take away from this film?

MR: Your weirder ideas are the better ones.

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By Neha Aziz