In a boisterous bar just off Brick Lane, a crowd of hip young film fans are arguing over seats and arthouse movie trivia. We're at Shorts On Tap, one of London’s most successful short film nights, which celebrates its second birthday this week.
Shorts On Tap is the brainchild of Filippo Polesel whose passion drives the events: “Short film is the most honest format,” he explains. “We like to think that one can see the real soul of a filmmaker.”
The regular showcases, run by Polesel with filmmaker Michele Fiascaris, are packed with great work from around the world, by both established and emerging film talent, and are followed by informed chat and networking. The recipe works well and the exposure of the featured filmmakers often proves fruitful. As Polesel says: “We love to hear when a director gets approached after a screening and gets offered a new job or collaboration. That's a real honour for us: serving a purpose for new London filmmakers.”
To mark their anniversary we’re sharing two of their favourite London Shorts as a taste of what’s on the menu in a typical event. The first is The Fly, a stylish gangster comedy written and directed by Olly Williams. It’s the story of a hapless getaway driver pushed to the limit by a stray insect.
Polesel says: “The Fly has great pace, is quite quirky and great fun to watch. It's got all the right ingredients in just the right amount: surreal but somehow believable, great acting and great photography – we love its style.”
And below is Lost in the Park made by Shorts On Tap’s Fiascaris with Rachael James. It’s a humorous brief encounter about two strangers who get a little lost in translation. The film was shot in Bishop's Park in Fulham. Fiascaris says: “The inspiration came from my experience as an Italian in London. Here I've witnessed with my own eyes how misunderstandings between people speaking different languages can lead to very funny situations, and I decided to make this into a short film.”
The future is bright for Shorts On Tap. Having successfully established themselves in London the team is now looking to branch out with events of a similarly relaxed style abroad: “The next big thing for us is to cross the UK border permanently with screenings across the world. We've hosted two events in Tokyo this year and we're in the process of starting permanent screenings in Berlin, Paris and Rome too.” Fiascaris is also working on a feature about Italians in London called Made in Italy (see a taster here).
Shorts On Tap’s second birthday showcase Look Who’s Two Part II is on 3 December at Cafe 1001 in Brick Lane from 7pm. Tickets are £5 on the door (or £4 in advance). On 8 December they also have a night of films on the theme of climate change called Critical Degrees.
Want to be featured? If you have a London-themed short film that you’d like us to consider for this series, send an email with the subject “London Shorts” to Stu Black and Ioanna Karavela via our email: firstname.lastname@example.org