Among all the hubbub around the Sydney Film Festival and all the wonderful feature length films ready for consumption, it’s easy to forget the great number of short films being shown a the film festival. Here is a sample six.
A crowd favourite at the festival, Julian by Matthew Moore is a sweet, funny, twist driven comedy that seems more tropfest than Sydney Film Festival but is perfect snack of entertainment. The young Ed Oxenbould is wonderful with great comic timing as the dibber-dobber Julian who is just trying to do the right thing. It hinges a little too much on its comedic twist, but it’s a good cheeky one sure to muster up a chuckle.
Imagery from The Maker by Christopher Kezelos has unsurprisingly been used in much of the Sydney Film Festival promotional material as its creative visual flair is the film biggest asset. The stop-motion film follows a strange rabbit-like creature frantically trying to create life against the clock. With a tiny running time, The Maker is understandably simplistic in its narrative and theme, but its gorgeous to watch unfold and when it does it’s surprisingly resonant.
Another animated addition to the lineup, The Hunter by Marieka Walsh is visually distinct using black and white sand animation to beautiful effect. Overscored by a thick and arresting narration, the film is a poetic and lyrical story of a hunter whose life is changed by an encounter with wolves and a local boy. A wonderfully realised morsel of great film.
The Perfect Fit
Playing in front of First Position for a perfect ballet match up, The Perfect Fit by Tali Yankelevich is a quick look at one of the finer, but most important details of the ballet world: the making of the pointe shoe. Ballet enthusiasts will appreciate the insider look into how these shoes that are a vital part of an ballerinas life are created, and there are some lovely parallels between the dancers and the shoe makers. Simple in topic, simple in style, The Perfect Fit is a great “did-ya-know” documentary.
Dumpy Goes to the Big Smoke
Winner of Best Director –Short Film at the festival, Dumpy Goes to the Big Smoke by Mirrah Foulkes is the story of Dumpy, an unhappy woman whose only joy is her party of cats. Produced by Aussie heavyweights Blue Tongue Films, the film is misleadingly simple at the start, but slowly finds its poignancy by its conclusion. Emily Tomlins is great as Dumpy, and much of the film’s success rides on her performance. However, it winning Best Director of all prizes is curious considering that its biggest flaws could be pointed at the director.
Another stop-motion film crackling with creativity is Rippled by Darcy Prendergast. Whilst it plays more like a video clip than a short film, there is still some entrancing substance behind the journey of a strange cat-like creature through a crumbling terrain. The film is immensely inventive and is obviously crafted with painstaking tact and skill.