A feature-length selection of short live action and animated films from the EE British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA), showcasing rising names in British film making. “Eight small wonders … a joyous subversion of the norm” – Ryan Gilbey, New Statesman.
ORBIT EVER AFTER Dir: Jamie Stone, UK, 2013, 20mins
SLEEPING WITH THE FISHES Dir: Yousif Al-Khalfia, UK, 2013, 9mins
ISLAND QUEEN Dir: Ben Mallaby, UK, 2012, 16mins
SEA VIEW Dir: Jane Linfoot, UK, 2013, 24mins
EVERYTHING I CAN SEE FROM HERE
Dirs Sam Taylor, Bjorn Erik Aschim, UK, 2013, 7mins
KEEPING UP WITH THE JONESES Dir: M. Pearce, UK, 2013, 28mins
I AM TOM MOODY Dir: Ainslie Henderson, UK, 2012, 7mins
ROOM 8 Dir: James W Griffiths UK, Poland, 2013, 7mins
7.30 p.m. start with a short interval.
BAFTA Shorts Compilation
UK/Poland 2012-2013 118mins total Cert 15
If it’s striking visual statements you’re after, this compilation of eight short films nominated for the BAFTA 2014 awards for Best British Short Film and Best British Short Animation will serve you well. In the former category, the best film definitely won: at only eight minutes long, Room 8 takes a single head-spinning idea and plays merry havoc with it.
The animation winner, Sleeping With the Fishes, is totally charming. Elsewhere, it’s a mixed bag: Orbit Ever After has a strong cast, impressive special effects and an open-ended story, while Island Queen questions us about our empathy with its self-engrossed characters. The two longest films are both very enjoyable: crime drama Keeping Up With the Joneses and the Loachian tragedy Sea View are both powerfully acted and emotionally compelling. The most eye-scorchingly beautiful work of the lot is Everything I Can See From Here, a kaleidoscopic and challenging explosion of colour and effects.
Acknowledgements: Tom Huddleston, Time Out, Dylan Cave, Sight and Sound
An abbreviated synopsis of each film is given below.
Orbit Ever After (UK, 2013, 20mins, dir. Jamie Stone)
A teenager living in a ramshackle space capsule in Earth orbit plans to connect with a young woman who flies past his home every day.
Sleeping with the Fishes (UK, 2013, 9mins, dir. Yousif Al-Khalfia)
Animation in which Sonja, a lonely fish seller, is attracted to a delivery man who seems to resemble a rainbow trout.
Island Queen (UK, 2012, 16mins, dir. Ben Mallaby)
A directionless 30yr old attempts pregnancy by artificial insemination but is shocked by revelations about the donor.
Sea View (UK, 2013, 24mins, dir. Jane Linfoot)
Portrait of a brief encounter between a teenage girl and an older man in a rain-swept seaside town.
Everything I Can See from Here (UK, 2013, 7mins, dirs. Sam Taylor/Bjorn Aschim)
Two men playing football are confronted by a mysterious alien.
Keeping Up with the Joneses (UK, 2013, 28mins, dir. Michael Pearce)
Narrative that tracks the plight of an MP’s wife, held hostage by two of his shady business associates.
I Am Tom Moody (UK, 2012, 7mins, dir. Ainslie Henderson)
A musician argues with his childhood self about how talented he really is.
Room 8 (UK/Poland, 2013, 7mins, dir. James Griffiths)
In a dystopian future, a prisoner finds a metal box in his cell that may be a portal through which he can escape.
“What shines through this compilation of fresh talent is the sense of adventure and excitement demonstrated by each of the film-makers, many of whom will surely become the new stars of British cinema” – Ollie Charles (attrib), Total Film
“I really enjoy shorts because you get the idea of a whole story in quick time. All in all, the ‘shorter’ the better, although overall there was too much water, wasn’t there?”
“It’s good to be able to see shorts. You get the film presented in an ‘unplugged’, less refined, form with more space for experiment. That’s quite uncommon now, even in independent cinemas”
“A really enjoyable collection of shorts – thank you.”
“An interesting and contrasting mixture”
“I very much enjoyed the variety of this evening’s films.”
“An interesting and varied evening – thank you. Repeatable.”
“This programme of shorts was very welcome – maybe two or three per year?”
“Very good. Nice variation from the usual evenings. You can do this again.”
“A good concept – we should have a shorts night every season.”
“All really interesting films. Within our usual scoring criteria, I would give the whole event an A!”
“Enjoyable. [You] saved the best film for last!”
“A pick’n’mix of contemporary British cinema that dealt with various themes in different mediums. Highlights were the harrowing honesty of Sea View, the comic artistry of Everything I Can See From Here and the clever structure of I Am Tom Moody”
“As ‘easy’ to appreciate as conceptual art but interesting to see that what is happening in art is happening in film. The layout [of tables and chairs] was all very social but ….”
“Why so much sea in the first half?”
ORBIT EVER AFTER
“Terrific! A dysfunctional space romance.”
“The topic of love from a different point of view.”
“Great context for the old ‘rites of passage’ story.”
“Steam punk and Noel Coward soundtrack – what’s not to love?”
“Less steam punk sci-fi than small-holding punk. Well acted but whimsical.”
“Nice space atmosphere”
“I’d be interested in the cost of production.”
SLEEPING WITH THE FISHES
“Bizarre, quirky, enjoyable. Didn’t cost much to make I suspect.”
“It’s a fishy business!”
“Pretty good – quite funny”
“Not sure who suggested this or why it was made but certainly different. The script would form the basis of a complete feature.”
“Seemed like ’00s comedy, with its cast of downbeat and inadequate types in a backwater. Acting and production shaky.”
“Wacky but a good deal of ‘much ado about nothing’!”
“An unusual take on Sweet Bird of Youth”
“Excellent photography but poor sound”
“Terrible sound, awful script, bad idea.”
“Assured chamber cinema. A wintry vignette of deception and disappointment conveyed with minimal dialogue and the smallest of gestures. Felt almost like New Wave cinema.”
“Dismal story brilliantly told.”
“Good but difficult to watch”
“Undecided – a clear message but directed at whom?”
“Loss of innocence – sad but predictable”
“Gritty – a heart-rending lesson to have to learn.”
“Steep learning curve ….”
“As a film, a pretty pointless exercise”
“I’d rather watch Corrie”
EVERYTHING I CAN SEE FROM HERE
“Dr Who meets A Space Odyssey – visually challenging.”
“I highlight the fact that the football was burnt but why did it appear again later?”
“Inconsequential but not uninteresting”
KEEPING UP WITH THE JONESES
“Gripping fantasy – a great case for Lewis/Hathaway, or Cagney/Lacey”
“Gripping and mysterious”
“A tale of the unexpected”
“Getting near to Michael Haneke territory, with this calm, unflinching look at hostage taker and hostage who both discover that they need to escape from lives that have become intolerable.”
“(Rather like) an episode of a good quality TV crime drama.”
“What ghastly house … still, you gotta sympathise.”
“Poor direction and sound”
I AM TOM MOODY
“Whimsical, with a nice bit of guitar music”
“Nice little nostalgic childhood fable”
“Best film of the night”
“Entered a whole new dimension!”
“Brilliant – best film of the evening!”
“A miniature with maximum effect. Just like the trompe l’oeil device in Room 8, which could [have] come from an Escher print.”
“I really enjoyed this.”
“Very clever. Kafka? Orwell?”
“A creepy and clever room-within-a-room concept”
“I loved the geometry.”