Berkshire Shorts Film Festival, Friday

Just days before the Oscars, the second Berkshire Shorts Film Festival takes place tonight in Lee, Massachusetts. Makers of short films have found a boon with video-sharing websites, but it’s still a challenge to get their work in front of audiences, according to Patrick Toole, founder of the new Berkshire Shorts Film Festival.

“It’s getting easier because of the internet and Youtube, and short films are more of an accepted art form, but in the pst you had no venue to show a short film, except a film festival.”

So last year he put out a call for short films by independent filmmakers and staged a one-night film festival in Lee in October. The response was strong enough to prompt a second festival tonight.

Included is a piece by Shelburne Falls filmmaker Jared Skolnik called “The Earth Rejects Him,” a horror-inspired story about a young boy who discovers a body in the woods. It’s already screened at a few festivals. Skolnik says the opportunity to get immediate feedback from audiences is key.

“When you’re a filmmaker your work can be seen online but you don’t really have that connection that comes with a face to face conversation.”

Lighter fare is here as well, like “Business Men: The Tennis Match,” shot at a middle school tennis court in the town of Dalton. Director Dave Sondrini says its’s part of an ongoing series.

“The idea being there’s one seemingly uncomfortable moment that everyone sort of reacts to.”

A pair of highly confident young professionals finds its very poor tennis skills exposed.

The nine films range from four to 22 minutes each.