Shocking, strange, real and surreal: this year’s Bafta-nominated short films make up a vintage crop. And they’ll be on at cinemas in London, across the country and beyond, from the end of February.
We know the winners: Operator in the film category and Edmond in animation. The former stars Kate Dickie as a support officer on the end of a frantic 999 call who must help a woman and her son survive a house fire. It’s a tense, punchy piece that makes you realise just how much emotional strain our emergency services are under. Writer-director Caroline Bartleet wrings warm sweat out of the simple set-up, and even more impressively managed to make the film in just two days after raising the money for it on Kickstarter.
Edmond is a beautifully fuzzy stop-motion story that explores fear and frustration through the eyes of a man who can’t quite keep his head together. Nina Gantz’s topsy-turvy narrative charts the connections between his broken present and childhood trauma, all the way back to the womb as it tries to untangle Edmond’s quasi-cannibalistic tendencies. It’s disturbing and charming in equal measure.
Among the seven short films that will be touring, there are several excellent London-set entries. We’ve featured Billy Lumby’s tale of teen angst in the Jewish community Samuel-613 before — and it’s still terrific. Also recommended is Jörn Threlfall’s Over, a clever recreation of a refugee’s death in reverse set in Twickenham. Simon Cartwright’s Manoman starts with primal scream therapy and ends up with a death on the tube — it’s a mad, amusing, unsettling dissection of plasticine men-cum-hooligans.
Altogether they add up to a night at the flicks to remember, much more so than a lot of the measly multiplex fare we sometimes have to sit through.
The tour kicks off on 26 February at the ICA with a special screening attended by some of the filmmakers. For details of other screenings click here.