SHORTS Film Festival – Thursday Evening

By Melissah Picca

The fifth night of the Shorts film festival hosted an all-Australian line-up of films bar one from Singapore.

As a Shorts first-timer I made sure I got there on time to immerse myself in the unknown. After taking in the high ceilings of the Norwood Concert Hall, ordering a platter and drink, I settled in for the night ahead. Amongst the most distinctive were The Bind, 50-50, Steak Knife and Katieland.

The Bind; a film that depicts a corporate lawyer haunted by the child she killed whilst driving and using her mobile. Fear manifests itself within the film with the gentle pitter-patter of footsteps from a child that you cannot see to the slightly off centre, camera angles that purposely enable the viewer to see just enough of what is in store for the main character. A film with a moral to its story, it is both terrifying and perfect.

A refreshing change of scenery and music, the audience is then transferred to the 1930’s in Sydney’s Kings Cross with 50-50. This classy portrayal of a vintage Australian underworld covers drug use, prostitution and romance. It is deliciously rich in colour, quite the opposite to The Bind, yet both have been produced by Annmaree Bell, a true showcase of her abilities.

Steak Knife, a comedy from South Australia, was well received by the audience. The short combines simple Australian humour with the grotesque imagery of a sliced foot as the result of a dare between two housemates. Perhaps to soften the blow for the queasy members of the audience (not mentioning names), there is an element of fantasy incorporated into the camera shots of the stars and urban landscapes that are breathtaking in this film.

This celestial theme was rekindled in the second to last short of the night, Katieland; seemingly a Victorian take on Alice in Wonderland at first glance (it is set in a rabbit infested room full of all sorts), this story becomes more meaningful as the audience is lead to discover the significance of the objects that fill the room, including those extremely close to her heart.

A captivating night comprised of a glorious concoction of short films. The festival provides an exclusive experience to its audiences. This would be why it’s sold out for the last two nights of the season. Moral of this story, get in early for next year’s!

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