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World's Best Short Films Returns To Manasquan Feb. 15 With New Lineup

February 3, 2014

Manasquan Native Robert Anderson's Short 'Ashore' About a Man's Recovering from Superstorm Sandy Will Premiere

World's Best Short Films

Date & Time:
Saturday, Feb. 15 - 8 p.m.

Algonquin Arts Theatre
173 Main Street, Manasquan, N.J.

Tickets: $13
Algonquin Arts Box Office: 732-528-9211 or

Caption: Actors Clifton Dunn and Eric Jennings with the production crew of "Ashore" on Manasquan Beach in during filming. (Courtesy Robert Andersen)

"ASAD" Trailer:

"Ashore" Trailer:

MANASQUAN, N.J. (Feb. 3, 2014): The nationally acclaimed "An Evening of the World's Best Short Films" returns to Algonquin Arts Theatre with a brand new lineup on Saturday, Feb. 15, at 8 p.m.

This year's lineup includes two Academy Award-nominated films, "ASAD" from director Bryan Buckley and "Time Freak" from director Andrew Bowler. Produced by Asbury Shorts, New York's longest-running short film exhibition, this "Short Film Concert" program features the best in comedy, drama and animation by combining classic shorts with international festival winners.

Asbury Shorts and Algonquin Arts Theatre are also pleased to announce the world premiere of the short film "Ashore" directed by Manasquan native and Wall High School graduate Robert Andersen. Andersen's first short, "Asbury Park," won Best Short honors at the Boston International Film Festival and the Redstone Film Festival. His new film, "Ashore," was filmed in Manasquan 100 days after Superstorm Sandy and checks in on a man trying to rebuild his home and make sense of his relationships with his girlfriend and best friend after the storm's destruction.

"World's Best Short Films" is sponsored by Linda P. Hejduk & Peter A. Flihan, Jr. Produced as a fast-paced event, the films range from one to 15 minutes long presented back to back much like a musician's set list with a guest host introducing the films.

Tickets for "World's Best Short Films" are $13 and available online at, by calling 732-528-9211 or by stopping in to the box office at 173 Main Street. The exhibition is recommended for audiences age 16 and up.

"ASAD," which was an audience favorite on the 2012 festival circuit, is set in a war-torn fishing village in Somalia with the main character, a boy, torn between piracy and an honest career as a fisherman. "Time Freak" was inspired by time-travel films including "Back to the Future" and tells the story of a neurotic inventor who creates a time machine and gets lost traveling around yesterday.

Trailers for the films are posted on the Algonquin's Facebook page and are available on YouTube and will continue to be added until the event.

"Ashore" features footage of Manasquan Beachfront in the wake of the storm. Andersen was inspired to write Ashore after the devastation caused by Superstorm Sandy. Working with virtually no budget Andersen assembled a skeleton crew and shot the film in one day.

He worked with the local Manasquan community to find shooting locations, including an actual home damaged by the storm, whose residents graciously allowed him and the crew to film during their repair process.

Andersen's wife, Melissa, was the assistant director for the shoot and his parents, Manasquan residents, provided lodging for the cast and crew.

The film's writer, director, and editor, Andersen, grew up in Manasquan and attended Wall High School, Rutgers University, and film school at Boston University. He worked hard to maintain a local feel for the film and stay true to the story's Jersey roots. Lead actors Eric Jennings and Briana Packen, from Toms River, attended acting school at Rutgers University's Mason Gross School of the Arts. Fellow lead actor Clifton Dunn frequently visits Jersey Shore throughout the year in search of the area's best waves. The film also features music from The Mermen, whose lead guitarist, Jim Thomas, grew up in New Jersey and surfed waves at Manasquan Inlet. Contributing musician Carmen Costa is also a New Jersey native.

For more than three decades director Doug LeClaire's Asbury Shorts have taken programs around the world from Boston to Chicago and Berlin to London. Director Jason Reitman (Juno, Up in the Air) has hosted the show and called it "The best short film show I've ever seen."

About Algonquin Arts Theatre:

Algonquin Arts Theatre (AAT) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 1992 with the mission to provide cultural enhancement and arts education to all audiences at the Jersey Shore through high-quality performances and programs in theatre, music, film and dance. The end goal is to foster appreciation of the arts and promote lifelong learning, particularly among underserved audiences including the economically disadvantaged, senior citizens and individuals with disabilities.

Algonquin Arts Theatre's programs are made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts / Department of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts; by funds from the Paul F. Zito, M.D. Educational Foundation, by Simon Kaufman, Esq. & Maria Zito-Kaufman and the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation.