A queer sci-fi about 10 aliens in human host bodies learning how to be men. Joseph Sackett directs “Dominant Species,” a profound and strangely funny exploration of what it means to be a man, and a commentary on social conformity and masculinity as dictated by narrow cultural and biological standards (the men are shown photos of women and instructed: “these are women, you will impregnate them.”) Arriving to Earth as specks of light and entering human bodies, the men are led through a series of exercise by a figureless voice. They learn to stand, speak, fight, dance, and talk to women. The voice refers to them only by number, and insists always that “mother is watching.” The first and foremost directive is for the men to dominate — to this end, they acquire a varied skill-set of physical and mental prowess. But as the training goes on, one man, #10, begins to think and feel things beyond the instructions. Sackett’s film is one of the best shorts of the year, a masterpiece built on a brilliant concept and executed with gorgeous widescreen compositions and impressively non-human performances. -KA. Writer, Director: Joseph Sackett. Cinematographer: Mia Cioffi Henry. Producer: Natalie Eakin. Editor: Prashanth Kamalakanthan. Production Designer: Yu-Hsuan Chen. Costume Designer: Lily PrenticeComposer: Ariel Marx. Cast: Julian Cihi, Will Seefried, Marchánt Davis, Vasile Flutur, Colby Minifie.