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Super Shorts: Sparrow Songs

With shorts ranging from Porn Star Karaoke to The Donut Shop, the team behind Sparrow Songs—TFF alum Alex Jablonski and Michael Totten—prove they're filmmakers to watch.

Porn Star Karaoke

Sometimes, when it comes to art, you have to give yourself deadlines. The collaborators behind Sparrow Songs, cinematographer Michael Totten (who worked on the beautiful-looking doc Rize) and Alex Jablonski (whose short, Blue Boy, played at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival), have used this principle to produce one short documentary a month. It's a fascinating project, and it's taken them around America, from a donut shop to porn star karaoke to the circus to minor league ball, with every scenario shot in the most elegant and beautiful way by Totten's camera.

As disparate as the topics may be, the shorts are all united in their humanity and gentleness, the respect and empathy that they show towards each subject. Their latest short, The Farm, would make a nice starter for Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck's Sugar—both films take a hard look at what it takes to be a minor league baseball player, and the slim chances of reaching the majors. Porn Star Karaoke is another highlight; seemingly light-hearted and kitschy at the start, it gets towards the underlying darkness in the lives of the interviewees, porn stars or not.

So far, this project has netted Totten and Jablonski a notice from Filmmaker Magazine as one of the "25 New Faces of Independent Film," and they're in the process of raising funds for this labor of love. To learn more about Sparrow Songs, check out their endearingly honest blog (where you might find out the "truth" behind Exit Through the Gift Shop), and make a pledge on their Kickstarter page, where they're in their final week of fundraising.

Porn Star Karaoke is embedded below, and you can check out all ten Sparrow Songs on their homepage.


Sparrow Songs - Episode 3 - Porn Star Karaoke
from Sparrow Songs on Vimeo.


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