Short Film News

Some days, I have the day to myself and find myself with nothing to write about. I trawl the internet, news websites, blogs, twitter feeds, film sites and there’s nothing, zip, nada that inspires me to grab the keyboard and write something. Today is not one of those days. Today is a good day for short films.

News the first: As regular readers will know, the Glasgow Short Film Festival took place last weekend, and concluded with the announcement of the winner of the inaugural Best International Short Film Award. For those, like myself, who didn’t make it along, the winner was Peter in Radioland a documentary by Johanna Wagner. The Glasgow Film Festival itself concludes this weekend and there looks to be some interesting Middle Eastern cinema showing over the next couple of days. One of my favourite things about this festival is that there are often two screenings of the films being shown making it possible to recommend a good film to a friend and have them be able to see it, however the only film I managed to see was the cold war thriller, L’Affaire Farewell which although rather engaging, was already on its second showing.

News the second: With all the recent fuss about Tim Burton’s new version of Alice in Wonderland it’s all too easy to forget that this is far from the first adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s best known work. That was made back in 1903, just 37 years after the book was published. The film was directed by Cecil Hepworth and Percy Stow, with music composed and performed by Wendy Hiscocks. At twelve minutes long it was the longest film made in Britain up to that point (and is a lovely early example of tinting to portray mood) however, due to extensive damage to the only remaining print, even after extensive restoration by the BFI it now only runs for just over nine minutes. The BFI have made it available to view for free online and more information on the restoration can be found here.

News the third: Not technically short film news, but related to the short film Pumzi that I wrote about a few weeks ago. Pumzi director, Wanuri Kahiu‘s feature film From a Whisper (2008), about the aftermath of the Nairobi bombings in 1998, is screening at the ICA in London on the 10th and 11th of March, as part of the Birds Eye View Festival. The screening will include a Q&A session with the director.

News the fourth: More of a signal boost this one, the Africa in Motion: Edinburgh African Film Festival has issued a call for entries for its short film competition. They’re looking for young African filmmakers, those who haven’t completed a feature previously, to submit short films up to 30mins long. Submission guidelines and entrance forms can be found here. The closing date is May 31st 2010 with the short list being announced at the end of August.

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