Tomlin, Firth, Dench Shine in Stars In Shorts at Nuart; On Cable, iTunes Oct. 9

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Short films deserve a little more respect, especially when they feature actors such as Colin Firth, Lily Tomlin, Judi Dench, Kenneth Branagh, Keira Knightly, Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Julia Stiles, among others.

Stars In Shorts is a collection of short films that opened its theatrical release this past weekend (Sept. 28) at the Nuart, and follows with a release on iTunes, cable and satellite Pay Per View on Oct. 9.

In “The Procession,” Lily Tomlin and Jesse Tyler Ferguson are a mother-and-son combo caught in the awkward position of leading a funeral procession for a deceased person that they don’t even know. While laughter may be inappropriate at a funeral, you’ll have a hard time keeping a solemn face while watching these two seasoned comedians.

“Steve” gives Colin Firth the opportunity to shed his heroic, good-guy image when he puts Kiera Knightly on the spot in this short, that offers a good argument for keeping your neighbors at a distance.

Director Neil LaBute packs a powerful one-two punch with “Sexting,” starring Julia Stiles as the other woman, who impressively carries a one-sided conversation, and “After School Special,” with Sarah Paulson, a film that will probably disturb most parents.

Judi Dench proves you’re never to old to take advantage of social networking in “Friend Request Pending.”

Alexander is a screenwriter at the end of his rope in the musical “Not Your Time,” and Kenneth Branagh and Jennifer Morrison are parents of a paranormal child in the suspenseful thriller “Prodigal.”

ShortsHD, is the first high-definition channel dedicated to short movies, an on-demand service available on iTunes and DIRECTV (Channel 568), and AT&T U-Verse (Channel 1789). Operated by SHORTS INTERNATIONAL, the channel has what is likely the world’s largest movie catalogue dedicated to short films.

Journalist Laurie Schenden covers the entertainment industry, with many of her notable celebrity interviews appearing in the Los Angeles Times and other national and international publications. As a longtime columnist and feature writer for the LA Times, she also covered events and California destinations for the lifestyle, Outdoors and Travel sections. Laurie Schenden's international pieces include the long-running Where Are They Now celebrity feature for Spotlight Magazine, published in five languages. Laurie has also contributed to numerous documentary films, and produces content via Saving Grace Films.

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