The Loft's First Friday Shorts
The Loft Cinema, 3233 E. Speedway Blvd., 795-7777, www.loftcinema.com
The first Friday of every month, the Loft hosts a short film contest that has very few rules and no prescreening process. On the day of the contest, hopeful filmmakers submit shorts no longer than 15 minutes, and they roll in the order they were received. After three minutes, a giant gong is illuminated, and the audience can--and often does--shout out for the movie to stop playing. It's certainly a lesson in bravery for budding filmmakers, as it takes nerves of steel to submit to the oft-unruly mob. The entries range from bafflingly oblique to hilarious (intentionally so, or otherwise) to surprisingly poignant. But in the capable hands of the dashing and dry-witted host Max Cannon, of "Red Meat" comic fame, the evening is always entertaining. And if nothing else, it's wonderful to partake in this example of democracy in action.