A Strange Kind Of Love – Péter Varsics (14m, Hungary)
HBO Europe Production Assistant Péter Varsics has been making films since he was 17 years old. He studied Fine Arts at Eötvös Lóránd University , acting as an independent director for commercials and music videos in the mean time.
A Strange Kind of Love tells the tale of a young painter, who has been forced to live without her sight after a traumatizing event. A romance with an admirer forces her to deal with what happened in her childhood. More and more, remembering her past becomes a requirement for her to continue her life and her love.
Angels And Ghosts – Sara Kenney (10m, UK)
Based on a true story, award-winning short Angels and Ghosts tells the emotive tale of Amber, a young woman on a quest to find her brothers who have disappeared. It’s a gripping animated adventure, narrated by Oscar nominee Samantha Morton.
This film explores what it’s like to have a family member affected by psychosis. The Director Sara Kinney has first-hand experience of people who have had psychotic episodes and wanted to find a way to tell a story, which reflects both the patient and family perspective. ‘I deliberately wanted to use an adventure/ sci-fi narrative to draw a wide audience into the story, which explores quite difficult subject matter,’ Sara told us. ‘My ambition was to create a character driven, narrative animation, with beautiful and unusual visuals.’
Box Of Things – Daniel Williams (8m, UK)
Director Daniel Williams (below) studied at the Future Works School of Media in Manchester and Box of Things is his first project as a Writer and Director.
Box of Things is inspired by a true story and focuses on the main character Yusuf. Yusef Is a Libyan national seeking asylum in Britain during the unrest in Libya. After receiving his deportation orders he decides on a plan of action to ensure he keeps his daughter as far away from his war torn homeland as possible.
‘I came up with the idea after reading a newspaper article. The story stuck with me and I really wanted to do something striking and different as a first short film’, Williams has stated. ‘I pulled the story apart and introduced new elements such as the cassette message, and setting it against the war in Libya to make it more current and relatable to the audience. I wrote the script on a train journey from Manchester to Wigan, took it to the crew the day after, and the final piece is very much representative of that first draft.’
Filming took just one day, with a month long post production process ‘we poured meticulously over every detail of the film to get it perfect and we couldn’t be happier with the finished project’ Williams told us.
Delivered – Ryan Dean (5m, UK)
Delivered was written, shot and edited in conjunction with the Sci-fi 48 hour Film Challenge. The film is set in an alternate universe where a new technology called ‘Genechip’ as become part of everyday life. Genechip allows you to do everything from pay for a coffee to match you genetic compatibility with a possible partner. Our protagonist, Trevor, is yet to commit to the trend of ‘thumbing’ until he meets the girl of his dreams.
Ryan Dean runs the production company the Big RD in London and became interested in filmmaking after he completed his university studies. ‘As we had only 48 hours to shoot and cut the film, it was a very quick process!
It was a tough shoot because of the extreme time restraints, but we were very proud of the outcome’ Dean said.
Fire Horse – Matt Bell (17m, UK)
Ada has seen her village alter beyond all recognition. Community spirit is in tatters, people are atomised, local services are long forgotten. Roddy’s village store is the last one standing, but is struggling in the modern world. To save her friend’s livelihood, 80 year old Ada will go to any lengths…
Matt Bell has worked as part of an Assistant Director’s team for the past eleven years. ‘I’ve always wanted to try my hand to directing and though a short film would be a good place to start’. The idea for Fire Horse came about after a run around his home town of Saffron Walden in Essex revealed how little character remained in the town. ‘I started thinking about the modern world and how we are all now online. We’ve now reached a point where we could all live our lives without leaving our homes. But how must that feel to the older generation?’
Fire Horse cost £4000 to make and was filmed in just two days.
Fun City – Justin Olstein (12m, Australia)
Prevented from speaking to his son, a divorced theme park attendant tends to the rides and patrons adrift in a sea of wonder and joy that he can’t relate to. But after an unexpected altercation, Alvy must choose between anger or change.
Writer Andrew Kavanagh and Producer Matt Downey worked with Director Justin Olstein to create Fun City. Director Justin Olstein said of the film ‘Sometimes we just don’t see things the way they truly are. This sentiment is what ultimately drew me to the character of Alvy and to bringing Fun City to the screen.
‘Distanced from his young son, Alvy sees only the injustice of his situation, not the hand he’s had in its creation. The film’s amusement park setting allowed me to augment Alvy’s journey with a sense of irony and longing – the wonder and joy of the park serving as a constant reminder of all that Alvy wants and does not have.’
Grace – Faye Viviana & Haley Sims (9m, USA)
Viviana and Sims’ submission juxtaposes the day of a prostitute and a ballet dancer against the poignant sound of “Amazing Grace”, illustrating the way in which we ultimately persevere with grace, finding beauty in the grittiness and struggles of life.
Viviana and Sims have said of their work, which they produce through their independent production company UB Productions ,‘we do not put just any art into the world; we strive to create beautiful, powerful, moving work that not only inspires others, but even ourselves.‘
Liars – Oscar Nobi (7m, UK)
London based writer/ Director Oscar Nobi has been making films for almost three years and Liars is his second short film. It is based around a personal experience. ‘I remember showing my first film to friends and family; the feedback was positive but I couldn’t help but wonder whether they were just trying to spare my feelings. This led to Liars’.
In Liars a man unwittingly yells the blunt truth from a rooftop while everyone around him would much prefer a flattering lie or two. It was filmed in one shot on one day and took 18 takes to get right.
Nuclear Mysticism – Guy Phenix (1m, UK)
This film is a one of a series of one minute documentaries made during 2013 by Guy Phenix. The film follows a girl on location at Kelvingrove Art Museum, Glasgow as she discusses a nuclear mysticism artist in one minute.
This Is Shanghai – Rob Whitworth (3m, Singapore)
In 1980 Shanghai had no skyscrapers. It now has at least 4,000 — more than twice as many as New York. This is Shanghai explores the diversities and eccentricities of the metropolis that is Shanghai, exploring what lies behind the famous skyline.
Photographer Rob Whitworth and urban identity expert JT Singh joined forces combining deep city exploration and pioneering filmmaking. – This is Shanghai is a roller coaster ride seamlessly weaving between the iconic, sparkling and mismatched buildings of the financial district, travelling by boat and taxi touring Shanghai’s impressive infrastructure whilst glimpsing some of the lesser-known aspects of Shanghai life such as the lower stratum areas or the stunning graffiti of Moganshan road.
The Undream – Alexander Thomas (18m, UK)
The Undream revolves around insomniac Tom, who is trapped in his incessant inner monologue. He goes on midnight walks through a deserted town, but he can’t quite shake the feeling that he’s being followed…
Alexander Thomas studied Film Directing at the University of Westminster. When not directing or working on screen adaptations he teaches Film, Media and Academic Skills at the University of East London and London Metropolitan University.
Une Aventure d’Escargots – Clara Pougeard (4m, France)
Clara Pougeard, originally came from France but currently lives in Norwich where she is studying Film and Moving Image Production at NUA. She has also studied animation for two years at the Sainte-Geneviève Institute in Paris.
Une Aventure d’Escargots (or a A Snail Adventure in English) is Pougeard’s graduation movie about two snails, who, hungry, try to cross a deep ravine to reach a plentiful tree bounty. It is a story freely inspired by a poem from Jacques Prévert (a French poet and scriptwriter) about two snails going to the funeral of a dead leaf.
Whilst the pre-production took nine months, astonishingly the animation took just two weeks.
Une Balade á la Mer – Damien Stein (4m, France)
Following a tiny man’s ride to the sea from the big city to free his goldfish, facing dangers at every turn, Une Balade à la Mer is a sweet film showing how troublesome the modern world is for smaller creatures.
This is Damien’s first short film, made as an experiment to see how he could edit together images and sounds. Work first started on the project five years ago ‘I couldn’t finish it, I thought I had done something wrong. But six months ago, I decided to put an end to it so I could move on, and fortunately people liked it.’
Une Balade à la Mer will receive its first UK screening at the Norwich Film Festival.
Wake – Nick Fogg (1m, UK)
Lis is determined to live life to the full. She developed an extreme sports habit after turning 70 and is now a self-confessed adrenaline junkie. And she recently decided to hold her own wake – whilst still very much alive – so as not to miss out on the party.
Director Nick Fogg started as a Theatre Director and has gone on to make dramas and documentaries for BBC Local TV, the Community Channel and Current TV.
‘Wake was shot as part of a longer documentary project about people’s attitudes towards getting older at different ages. Lis’ story just stood out. She’s an inspiring lady. She recently had her 90th birthday and is still living life to the full.’