We are thrilled to announce our short of the week!

Shiri Paamony Eshel came to #MNFF5 last summer to present MARIA, a documentary short centered on an 18 year old poet living in New York City. MARIA won the Best Short Documentary Award at the 5th annual MNFF. You can see the film for free here.

Maria is an 18 year old poet, daughter of Mexican immigrants from the Bronx, NY. Her life was never easy, living with her alcoholic father, mother, mother’s schizophrenic husband and two sisters. The family moved between housing projects and shelters and she never really had hope for a better future. In high school, she experienced depression and social isolation which led her to cutting herself. Luckily, she started writing poems.

“It has been a year since MNFF festival gave me the honor of receiving the Best Short Documentary Award,” writes filmmaker Paamony Eshel. “I am currently still working on my documentary “Ruth”, about a 104-year-old lady from the upper west side of Manhattan, NYC.

“When Coronavirus started and took over our lives, I changed my focus to documenting life under the pandemic in my neighborhood, Hell’s Kitchen, to explore the effect and the changes Coronavirus brings. Along with the video work, which I am not sure where it will take me, I am also taking photos aiming to document this moment through people’s masked faces, when all you can see are their eyes; the windows to their souls.”