March 31, 2015

We’re digging into our archives and remembering where we have been this year by selecting Little Horribles: MINIBAR as our Online Short of the Month!

This brief but juicy webisode comes from the bold comedic voice and vision of Amy York Rubin, whose entire web series, Little Horribles was the focus of an intimate event at the Rayko Photo Center during SFJFF34.

Detailing the trials and tribulations of a self-indulgent lesbian (played by Rubin), MINIBAR depicts a family vacation gone hilariously, horribly wrong.

What inspired you to make this film?

I had an experience very similar to what happens in Episode 5 — where I just stand there blankly while another woman showers praise of beauty on another girl and I was irrationally upset by it. I had this idea after that, this thought that people hurt other peoples’ feelings all the time, like really badly, and just never had any idea about it. I wanted to explore how little we connect with people around us. We have no idea what anyone is feeling most of the time and sometimes we’re experiencing, in total isolation, what I call “little horribles.” Once I had this seed of an idea in my head, I started finding inspiration for episodes everywhere. It’s just a matter of noticing interactions in a particular way — and of course following through on actually completing the scripts and production.

What was your greatest challenge during the filmmaking process?

The biggest challenge was probably just getting it out there, the process after the filmmaking. I think the indie world is such a balance of sticking to your guns and doing what you want but also making something targeted for a hungry audience and connecting with that audience. I was constantly balancing things like the story I wanted to tell versus how short people’s web video attention span can be, or the people I wanted to cast versus the people with big followings who would help promote the series. It’s a balance.

Any thoughts you’d like to share about screening this film in a Jewish context?

It was such a warm and awesome experience. From the family I stayed with during the festival to the ride to the airport, everyone was so friendly and supportive and it was kind of a special thing to be surrounded by so many artsy Jews! I felt like people got the series and the overarching narrative, in kind of a more visceral way.

What film/media has inspired you lately?

I just saw Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach’s new film, Mistress America, and it’s insanely good. I’ve never seen anything like it. They tell this fresh, interesting, funny story in the most unique and comedic way without dehumanizing the characters. It was an amazing mix of almost slapstick style theatre and grounded, honest character-driven stories.

What do you do when you’re not filmmaking?

I spend a lot of time with my dog, Mishmish.

Lastly, gefilte fish: delicious or disgusting?

Delicious. It’s the hot dog of the sea.

Inspiring communities to expand their understanding of Jewish life through film, media and dialogue. Presented by the Jewish Film Institute! www.jfi.org

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