I have just watched the twelve films up for the Short Film Award at this year’s London Film Festival. Short film is an underappreciated medium and always worth seeking out. The films were a diverse bunch; some were incredible and others were so pretentious I was genuinely angry that someone would want to steal other people’s time by asking them to watch. Below are four that particularly caught my eye:
Director: Nina Gantz
A charming, surreal, and funny stop motion film about Edmond; a man looking back on the significant moments of his life. Moments that often seem to involve him trying to eat loved ones. The felt characters were enhanced with hand drawn facial features creating a pleasing animation hybrid. I loved it.
Director: Maïmouna Doucouré
A French short drama with a plot! You have no idea how much you can long for plots when watching short films. Told from the point of view of a young girl Mother(s) explores what happens when the father of a nuclear family returns homes with the woman he has impregnated. Incredibly touching and with an impressive young actor at its centre. I loved it.
Director: Caroline Bartleet
The first time I have noticed a Kickstarted short out in the wild. A woman and her son are trapped in a house fire and dial 999 for help. All we see is the 999 operator’s face as she deals with the situation in an incredibly tense six minutes. Excellent face acting. I loved it.
Director: Jörn Threlfall
In a quiet suburban street we see a series of vignettes depicting what appears to be the aftermath of a crime. With each shot we slowly move back through the day leading up to the reveal of just what has happened. This short is shocking and has a message ingrained in it while also subtly showing how little impact an incident can have on those who just pass by. I loved it.