Hey, stoner, we've found your winter project.
It's not going to be hard, but it will require you to get off the couch and hit "record" on a camcorder. Actually, you know what? You could probably stay on the couch and do it. A project will keep you warm and active while the gray weather and rampant pandemic bears down on us. And you can be high as a kite while you do it. Plus, there's ticket revenue up for grabs!
The Stranger is known for its amateur porn festival, HUMP! Hundreds of filmmakers have won thousands of dollars taking it all off and making films to show at HUMP! In fact, HUMP! has been so successful for so many years that we've started other short-film festivals, including this one for stoners. That's where you come in.
The SPLIFF Film Festival is looking for stoner films that match these four categories: Trippiest, Funniest, Stupidest, and Best in Show. In addition to the award categories, SPLIFF! will share a portion of all ticket revenue with filmmakers who make it into the festival.
A tip: Films should be short. Like, as short as possible. According to the rules, they can't be longer than 4 minutes and 20 seconds (get it?). But honestly, a two-minute movie is going to have a better chance of making it into the festival than a four-minute movie, because we only have a limited period of time for each screening of SPLIFF.
Also: We need your film in by March 5. FIND OUT EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW RIGHT HERE.
Think about how much content you create FOR FREE for Instagram and Tik Tok and Twitter every day. This is basically like an Instagram story. Sure, it's going to need some creativity. Sure, it's going to need to be funny. Or trippy. Or stupid. But you've got this. Go put your highness to a higher purpose.
I was really stoned watching the animated French film, Fantastic Planet, for good reason—it’s trippy as fuck and can only be truly appreciated after a bong hit or two. In the distant future, humans are stolen from Earth and taken to the plant Ygam where they are kept as pets to a race of technologically advanced giant blue humanoids called Draags. The film follows a group of rebellious humans attempting to escape from Ygam to the Fantastic Planet where they are safe from the tyranny of these giant blue freaks. The Draags are a little disturbing to look at—their freaky, unblinking red eyes seem like they're beaming right into your soul. And the other creatures that inhabit this world are equally peculiar, coming straight out of the deep recesses of a surrealist subconscious. The score, composed by Alain Goraguer, blends elements of psychedelia, harpsichord, jazz, and wah-wah guitar that adds significantly to the far-out space age dystopia mood of the film. Kick back, spark an L, and put on this fantastic sci-fi film. JASMYNE KEIMIG
The plot of this classic buddy stoner comedy—kind hippie dude gets jailed after he (unintentionally) kills a (diabetic) police horse from over-feeding it munchies, his ragtag trio of friends hatch a plan to get him out, high jinks ensue—doesn’t really matter. What you need to know is that it’s funny and ridiculous, stars a pre-Chappelle's Show Dave Chappelle being funny and ridiculous, and features guest spots by the likes of Tommy Chong (“Squirrel Master”), Snoop Dogg (the “Scavenger Smoker”), Jon Stewart (“Enhancement Smoker”), Stephen Baldwin (“MacGyver Smoker”), Willie Nelson (“Historian Smoker”), and, my favorite, Steven Wright (the Guy on the Couch). LEILANI POLK
Those who are high have what can be described as a slower and also more sensitive sense of humor, which is why Jacques Tati’s 1967 French masterpiece Playtime is a great stoner movie. Its humor is not for the belly but the sensitive triggers of a sky-high head. CHARLES MUDEDE
Tampopo follows the story of Tampopo, a woman who runs a lackluster ramen shop in a Japanese city. She begs the dashing Gorō, a ramen expert/truck driver, and his sidekick, Gun, to become her teachers and help make her noodle dish the best in the city. Never has a bowl of soup been filmed so lovingly. The way the oil gleams off the murky broth! How the succulent slices of pork are perched almost suggestively on top of each other! And oh God, the slurping! As a perpetually hungry stoner, watching the characters in Tampopo eat bowl after bowl of delicious ramen sort of sounds like torture, but somehow it’s not. If anything, the visuals satiate the stomach—your eyes are eating here. Juzo Itami’s delightful film will forever change the way you appreciate and enjoy a bowl of ramen. JASMYNE KEIMIG
It’s a British stoner crime comedy that, like Half Baked, also involves four friends, a hatched plan gone awry, and a stoner on a couch. There’s a fantastic guest spot by Sting, perfectly intertwined plots, plus the most hilarious stoner shoot-out scene ever. I must quote this movie once a week. (“Chill, Winston.”) Its style is low-budget and kinda gritty, the thick Brit accents make some dialogue barely understandable (which, IMO, adds to the hilarity), it was referenced in the (not as good but similarly plotted and higher budgeted Ritchie film) Snatch, and is so worth your time to seek out if you’ve never seen it (and more so if you’ve never heard of it). LEILANI POLK
Maybe I'll lose friends over this, but Polyester is my favorite John Waters film. It's John Waters and Co.'s first real foray into the mainstream and it's batshit crazy, perfect for a free evening and a big jar of weed. Waters getting Tab Hunter, a certified movie star, to star alongside Divine, a certified monster, is one of the great accomplishments of the 20th century. Also, Lulu Fishpaw is my favorite character in Waters's entire canon. Hot take, I know. CHASE BURNS
I fucking love this movie. It’s all just so well-executed—the direction by the Coen Brothers, the outlandish but entertaining premise (a peace-loving, Eagles-hating hippie slacker-stoner gets caught up in a case of mistaken identity with a supposed millionaire who has the same name—"I am not Mr. Lebowski. You're Mr. Lebowski. I’m The Dude.”—that involves a debt-seeking pornographer and a [staged] kidnapping by a cult of German nihilists), the casting (no one has ever played a bowling-loving, gun-toting Vietnam vet with a soft heart better than John Goodman)… I want to watch it again right now, just writing about it here, and I’ve probably seen it a good 100 or more times since it came out in 1998. LEILANI POLK
Brazil is about life in a totalitarian state. It’s like George Orwell’s 1984, but much, much funnier. What makes it a stoner film is it precisely makes you laugh at a way of life that is in fact depressing. CHARLES MUDEDE
It’s the stoner comedy that launched Ice Cube’s career as a film star, with all the heavy comic lifting done by Chris Tucker as Smokey, and lines you probably remember (and may still use IRL) to this day: “Goddamn! You’ve got to be one stupid motherfucker to get fired on your day off.”; “I know you don’t smoke weed. I know this. But I’m gonna get you high today. ‘Cause it’s Friday, you ain’t got no job, and you ain’t got shit to do.”; “Puff puff, give. Puff puff, give. You fuckin’ up the rotation.”; “You got knocked the FUCK OUT!”; “Bye, Felicia.” LEILANI POLK