13 DAYS 13 SHORTS

HELLO AND WELCOME TO 13 DAYS 13 SHORTS! WE ARE A CREATIVE COUNTDOWN TO HALLOWEEN WHERE THE LAST 13 DAYS OF OCTOBER EACH GET A THEME AND PEOPLE MAKE STUFF INSPIRED BY THOSE THEMES. 

THIS YEAR WE ARE HOSTING A FILM FESTIVAL! WE HAVE JUDGES, WE HAVE PRIZES AND IT'S COMPLETELY FREE! 

THE DEADLINE TO SUBMIT IS OCTOBER 31ST AND OUR ONLINE PREMIERE WILL BE NOVEMBER 6TH.

HEAD OVER TO OUR FILM FESTIVAL PAGE TO LEARN MORE.

a message from omar

My earliest memory is decorating for Halloween. I’m not making that up for this post, it’s true! It was a gloomy October day, a Saturday before Halloween. My mom was putting cardboard gravestones on our lawn, turning it into a cemetery, and my dad was hanging up a sound-activated cartoonish looking bat. 

 

And I was siting there, three or four years old, staring around in wonder, asking myself “do we really get to do this?” 

 

Even at that young of an age, I could tell that my parents were taking our… for lack of better term “normal” suburb house, and we were making it spooky! We were making our house interactive. The lawn had become a graveyard. The doorway was now a cave with a silly little bat. 

 

My parents were crafting an experience. 

 

With this being my first memory, it should be no surprise that Halloween is my favorite holiday. It’s not just the houses. The whole world around us changes. Leaves turn bright red. The sky gets darker sooner. The wind shifts direction, the moon seems brighter. 

 

Halloween is a whole thing. 

 

So it should also be no surprise that Halloween is a holiday where we make art. I mean yes, in 13 Days 13 Shorts we literally make art, people create paintings and collages and record music. But also we decorate homes. We decorate cakes. We make costumes! It is inherently an artistic holiday capturing that sense of change and inspiration that drifts through the air. 

 

Unlike holidays like Christmas or July 4th or Easter, the tradition doesn’t overtake the aesthetic. Every Halloween is completely different. We have no idea what types of outfits and colors we’re about to see. Sure there’s the usual suspects: pumpkins, ghosts, werewolves. But this year we’re going to see a slew of Squid Games references, comic book superheroes, or completely new inventions and creations that will capture our imaginations. No two Halloweens are alike. 

 

And you know, I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately because of the last few years we’ve had. This has been a very scary time, and not in a fun spooky way. We’ve had to figure out a lot, and I don’t know if we’ve had all the art we needed to explore those feelings and mysteries. Possibly that’s because of the way we talk about art. It’s studied in schools as historic. We identify previous eras of culture with art. The Stone Age had cave paintings, the renaissance period had renaissance paintings, Woodstock defined the 60s, new wave the 80s, moody new age the 90s, etc etc etc. 

 

But I don’t think art is there to stand as a frame of reference when looking back. I think that’s not an accurate way of discussing art. I think art is immediate and present. I think art is now. 

 

I think art is the experience. 

 

So decorating the front of your home, putting a carved pumpkin by the window, placing a plastic skeleton next to your tent, that’s a moment you’re crafting for someone to experience! That’s an artistic conversation! And with 13 Days 13 Shorts, we get to do that on an international level! 

 

Folks tune in from all over the globe to experience collages, visual art, short films, new and odd sounds, poems, script pages, desserts and even clever made-up apps. The art here makes people laugh, think, get scared, feel something. 

 

You all have taken an empty webpage and turned it into a Halloween experience. 

 

This is our collective haunted house. And you’ve haunted it with art. The best art. 

 

So thank you. Really that’s what I’ve been trying to say this whole time. Thank you. Thank you so much for taking the time to crunch all your inspiration and emotions and existence into a piece of art, and thank you for sharing that art with all of us. Not just because we need it, which we do, but because it enriches us. Everyone who experiences your art leaves as a more interesting and complex and expressive person. You are forging this year’s Halloween vocabulary, whether you submitted 13 pieces or just threw in a theme suggestion. 

 

You know, the more I think about it, maybe Halloween isn’t a time of change. Maybe it’s a time of… anything. A moment, a brief respite from all the day-to-day everything, when anything is possible. A lawn could become a graveyard. A doorway could become a bat cave. Anything can happen! Anything we want! Anything we decide to do. 

 

Thank you for deciding to do this. 

 

Thank you for making this Halloween this Halloween. 

 

I don’t know what this next year will bring. But I know this: there’ll always be Halloween. There’ll always a moment when we can do anything. 

 

Thank you all again. Thank you for submitting art. Thank you for celebrating the art of others. Thank you for making 13 Days this beautiful little haunted house. You are the very best. 

 

Until next Halloween, my friends. 

 

- Omar

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