As one of the Film Editors of The Badger I am embarrassed to admit that I’ve never really watched short films before, at least not at a short film screening so the Secret Cinema event on Friday 7 November in conjunction with The Future Shorts Festival at the Duke of York was a first. That said after just that one night I am definitely converted.

For a newcomer to short film like myself, it was, I admit, a little disconcerting watching a series of films, one after the other, completely unrelated by any sort of genre, filmography technique or unifying theme. However, as feature film running times seem to get longer and longer it was really refreshing to see such good film making in films with such a short running times that meant if it wasn’t to your liking you didn’t have to watch much anyway!

Not that, that happened for me at all, I really enjoyed the whole event and I am really keen to see more. I cant wait for the selection coming up in CineCity. They would definitely be my ‘Editors Choice’. Expect them to be a diverse, humorous, poignant, scary, intriguing or even down right bizarre collection, in fact expect the unexpected and do check them out: Lodz Film School Shorts on Mon 24 8pm, New Romanian Shorts, Thurs 27th 8pm and Uk Shorts Sun 30th 2pm all at Sallis Benny Theatre.

Luckily Lucy Westcott, a proper short film aficionado, was there to report back a more experienced opinion on the short films screened at the special event of Future Shorts:

It was a chance for aficionados of short film to indulge in nine of the best, handpicked and award-winning short films from across the world. Before the screening started, the wandering audience were greeted by DJs We Change the Frequency, spinning vinyl by the likes of Neil Young and Sebastian Tellier. Local artists were also kindly allowed to display their work before the big screen, which gave the festival a rather close-knit, community feel.

Future Shorts showed a wide range of genres, from a very current zombie love story- more reminiscent of E4’s ‘Dead Set’ than ‘Shaun of the Dead’- in Australia’s ‘I Love Sarah Jane’, to animated, sci-fi gem ‘The Control Master’, in which an evil scientist and a powerful device turn peaceful suburbia upside-down. There were two films which served a purpose as quasi-music videos; ‘ZZZ Are Playing Grip’, a one-take top-shot video featuring trampoline gymnasts and the band on their backs, stimulating playing their instruments, and ‘Who’s Gonna Save My Soul’, a collaboration between Chris Milk and Gnarls Barkley (The expression “ripped my heart out” becomes literal… then the heart starts crooning). However, the majority of the nine films shown concerned the age-old tale of love; experiences of the directors condensed into beautiful snippets of memory and emotion.

The final film of the night was the 1989 New Zealand film ‘The Lounge Bar’. This is the tale of a chance meeting of three people in a New Zealand bar one evening, and the unravelling of the fact that they are all inextricably linked to each from an incident five years ago. Unrequited love, as ‘The Lounge Bar’ shows, leads to all sorts of terrible things. The film is extremely bizarre but hilarious and reminded me in many ways of a David Lynch film. A ballad of the bar runs through the film and if you can find it anywhere, even on YouTube, it is certainly worth watching.

Future Shorts was a wonderful festival and we thoroughly enjoyed it. Make sure you get your ticket for when it rolls around next year and in the mean time for more short films check out the selection at Cinecity!

Categories: Theatre

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