MANASQUAN — Brick Township writer, producer and actor Karen Goeller was the featured local artist at the 42nd Asbury Short Film Concert presented at the Algonquin Theatre on March 11.
The event celebrated nine short independent films from the United Kingdom, Ireland, New York, New Jersey and Indiana.
Among the films’ themes were clever couple communication, senior and pre-teen courtship, village collective memories, people validation and a neighborhood conspiracy to stage a birthday surprise, which was the plot of Ms. Goeller’s short film.
The house was fully packed with 500 people roaring in laughter at the selected shorts and the funny scenes they depicted. All the films selected thrived on light-hearted takes on life and promoted universal messages of hope and love for life and everything that comes with it, including family, neighbors and work.
“I think a lot of people have stress in their lives and they need a little bit of an escape,” said Ms. Goeller of comedy as a genre for executing the theme of hope. “I don’t consider myself funny in the least bit. But I think it’s hilarious that I’m not funny but I wrote a comedy and also acted in the short.”
“Escape Artists” is a six-minute independent film about what one’s family and neighbors can do for a member of the community who needed cheering up. Like going out to see a film, Escape Artists is a de-stressing therapy to the humdrums of life, according to Ms. Goeller.
The film starts with two neighborhood artists who connived with the rest of the neighborhood – the local waitress, kids by the building steps and a man and woman arguing on the street – who all agreed to trick a local police officer into attending his own birthday celebration. It is a silent film shot in black and white and directed by Lindley Farley.
The film won in the 2022 Red Dragon Creative Awards for Best Debut Director and Best Comedy in the 2022 After Hours Film Festival. It was also a selection in other festivals like The Grove Film Festival, Atlantic City Cinefest and Care Awards.
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