So here it is! After all the planning and organising, late nights and stress disturbed sleep, the Norwich Film Festival opened its doors last night at Cinema City for the first time in 2013 to welcome the people of Norfolk to enjoy film shorts from all over the world.
At 20:30 sharp founder Kellen Playford thanked everyone for coming and introduced the films, which included a 2013 Oscar nominated film to the nearly packed cinema.
To kick of proceedings, two winners from the Bath Film Festival; Pussy Cat, a film which will ring true for anyone who has friends or relatives who have an unhealthy obsession with their feline friends, and Head over Heels, a beautifully made Oscar nominated stop motion animation about an elderly couple who have drifted apart. Literally. Walter lives on the floor, whilst Madge lives on the ceiling. When an event causes their world to turn upside down, the bickering couple must find a way to put their marriage back together.
After a short intermission, the BAFTA nominated films began with the surreal animation Here to Fall. The Curse came next, which took the audience in to the world of love and misogyny in a Middle Eastern village. Tumult, where the past meets the present, was the winner of the night if laughter was any indication. Set in Scotland during the age of the clans, a new kind of enemy threatens to destroy one family’s entire way of life.
In stark contrast to this came animation I’m Fine Thanks, a disturbing and bleak film about a young man struggling to cope in our busy and self-obsessed world. The Making of Longbird, the crowned 2013 Best Animated Film BAFTA winner, is an interesting and ambitious film about a man trying to bring Russian animator Vladislav Alexsandrovich’s classic Long Bird back to life. Long Bird himself has other ideas however, and berates the erstwhile narrator, mocking his script and his attempts to make Long Bird relevant in the modern world. The longest film of the night, Good Night, was powerful and tense in its depiction of two 14 year old girls’ first tentative steps into the world of sexual promiscuity. The night ended with the Best Short Film BAFTA winner Swimmer, directed by We Need to Talk about Kevin’s Lynne Ramsey. Beautifully shot with excellent cinematography, the film entered the mind of an endurance swimmer, using sounds and images to penetrate his thoughts, feelings and dreams.
Cinema City, celebrating its 35th birthday, proved to be a fantastic venue for the event and the audience were highly appreciative of the eclectic mix of films on show. This proved to be a wonderful opening night, but don’t forget, there’s another two nights of the festival to go! Screenings on Friday and Saturday will show another 36 films from thirteen different countries and there will also be a mingle session with some of the film makers after Saturday’s performance in the Cinema City bar. Tickets are selling fast, so book your seats here –
And here –
See you on Friday!