NORMAL, Ill. (WMBD) — Film lovers in Bloomington-Normal can join viewers across the country to watch and vote on competitive short films this weekend.

The 25th Annual Manhattan Short Film Festival runs from Sept. 22 to Sept. 25 and screens its top finalists in more than 500 cities. More than 100,000 moviegovers are expected to attend a participating venue this weekend.

Normal Theater will once again join the ranks of venues airing these films.

The theater’s participation in this international annual festival is both “a beloved tradition among local film aficionados and a cornerstone of our programming as Central Illinois’ only Art House movie theater,” said Civic Arts Manager Adam Fox.

This year’s finalists were chosen among 870 submissions from 70 countries. By being selected as a finalist, each film is automatically qualified to be nominated for an Oscar.

The finalists this year are:

  • “Don vs Lightning” (Scotland)
  • “Love, Dad” (Czech Republic and Slovakia)
  • “Save the Bees” (United States)
  • “The Treatment” (Spain)
  • “Freefall” (France)
  • “Fetish” (United States)
  • “Freedom Swimmer” (Australia)
  • “The Blanket” (Finland)
  • “Warsha” (Lebanon)
  • “The Big Green” (France)

More information about each film and its filmmakers can be found on the festival’s website.

In addition to being screened worldwide simultaneously, the Manhattan Short Film Festival is unique in that the audience selects the winner. Each attendee is given a ballot upon entry to the theater to vote for Best Film and Best Actor.

The winners, as chosen by the audience, will be announced on the festival’s website at 10 a.m. EST on Oct. 3.

Visit Normal Theater’s website for screening times and to purchase tickets. For questions about the film festival, contact Adam Fox at (309) 454-9720 or