17 DECEMBER 2021
This screening session features 13 short films (see below). All films are English spoken and/or English subtitled.
CLOSE-UP FILM CENTRE
97 Sclater Street
London E1 6HR
Free seats are available on a first-come, first-served basis at the front desk before each screening. Reservation is not required, but optional. If you want to be certain of your seat(s), reserve your ticket(s) here.
Face masks will be required.
YULUU (U.K.) BY FATIMA KRIED
Synopsis: Through a beautifully stripped back animation style, Yuluu looks back at the story of a young woman stranded in Beirut during the abrupt start of the 2006 war. Running time: 00:02:52
About the director: Fatima is a British Libyan filmmaker, writer and producer based in London. She has cut her teeth producing commercials for major brands for the past 4 years. Yuluu is her first animation film.
DEAR 2020 (U.K.) BY ISHE GRANT
Synopsis: A poetic reflection on the ups and downs of lockdown in London. Running time: 00:01:40
About the director: Ishé Grant is 16 years old. "I've had a love for film since I was young, and since then that's been a creative avenue that I've always wanted to use to express myself. I've always loved the concept of bringing an idea from your own mind to life in a creative way, which is why I plan on representing peoples' stories as well as my own in the future."
POLE BOY (U.K.) BY KUSH GUPTA
Synopsis: This documentary tells the story of an amputee pole dancer and athlete. Andrew, the protagonist of this documentary, shares the story of his amputation and his discovery of the world of pole. Andrew has won awards and medals in pole competitions, he has also set a world record and is very passionate about pole. We take a look at his experience entering a pole competition against able-bodied pole dancers for the first time. He only had this one chance to do this performance and tell his story through pole as it's based on such a personal life experience for him.Running time: 00:13:28
About the director: Kush was born in India, at the age of 7 moved to Ireland where he grew up in a small town called Cashel. He has a BSC in Digital Media Design and a Masters in Creative Advertising. He grew curious about the behind the scenes process of how ads were made. After moving down to London, he applied for a one-year filmmaking course at Metfilm School.
THE MOTH (U.K.) BY GEORDIE LEYLAND
Synopsis: A lonely lightbulb remembers the love of its life. Running time: 00:03:00
Festivals: Birmingham FF, Brussels Independent FF, Boston Short FF, Verona IFF, Sydney World FF, and more.
About the director: Geordie trained as an actor at RADA in London. He has written screenplays and studied story & film for the last ten years, whilst doing various jobs - a film school receptionist, a photographer, a butler, a film set runner and for a while a door to door salesman. Today he is a scriptwriter. Most recently he has been making branded short films, for which he likes each one to have a strong narrative drive.
PRESTIGE (IRAN) BY ZAHRA AHOOEI
Synopsis: Mahsa is an Iranian woman TV presenter. She sings and posts her videos on Instagram anonymously. As a result of this, Mahsa faces a challenge during one of her shows. She now needs to decide between leaving the country and losing her job… Running time: 00:14:55
Festivals: Venice Film Week, Boston Short FF, MikroFAF International Short FF (Winner Special Mention Plaque), Amsterdam Independent FF, Sydney World FF, and more.
About the director: Zahra Ahooei (Tehran, 1990) began her career as a writer, journalist and researcher within social, scientific and cultural realms in national press. After graduating from Hilaj Film School, Ahooei directed her first short film called “Extra Time” (2015). “Prestige” is her third short film.
SPECIAL DELIVERY (U.K.) BY JOHN MCPHAIL
Synopsis: A young delivery driver struggles with one simple direction: DO NOT OPEN THE BOX. Running time: 00:03:13
About the director: Glasgow born John McPhail studied Cinematography at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and wrote and directed his first short film “Notes” in 2012. His next short “Just Say Hi” (2013) was the first ever film to win multiple awards in the Virgin Media Shorts competition. McPhail’s first feature film, micro-budget romcom “Where Do We Go From Here?”, premiered at Glasgow FF in 2016 and went on to win multiple awards worldwide including a BAFTA nomination. John’s next feature, zombie musical comedy “Anna and the Apocalypse” went on to win multiple awards and TWO BAFTA nominations. The film was theatrically released world-wide and is already gaining cult status with its fans.,McPhail has recently teamed up with producers James Shin (Scooter Braun) Michael Parets (Free Association) and writer Sarah Jane Inwards (Jellyfish Summer) to create a 90’s high school, sci fi, horror, jukebox musical inspired by the story of Lady McBeth, which has been sold to Amazon Studios.
VENUS (U.K.) BY ANDREW MCGEE
Synopsis: Iris, torn out of her idyllic digital world and uploaded into a stolen synthetic body by her grieving mother, must face her body's objectification and violent potential in a dark future. Running time: 00:14:12
About the director: Andrew is professional editor and independent filmmaker based in the South East of England. He has written, edited, and directed short films nominated for major awards, and has a passion for all things sci-fi.
HYDRO K (U.K.) BY ALEX SIMPSON, PHILLIP SUDDICK
Synopsis: Kelsey is a dancer from London. Growing up he battled with a life threatening illness, and won, shaping his outlook and redefining his path towards teaching. He talks about how this has fed into his philosophy on life, and influenced his approach to movement. Kelsey’s story is testament to finding inner strength by using dance to channel positivity and resilience.Running time: 00:04:09
Festivals: Doc.London Documentary FF.
About the director: Alex Simpson is a born storyteller. She loves exploring and has a fascination with the big, difficult questions that we as humans sometimes find hard enough to understand, let alone answer. In her filmmaking she relishes human connections and delves into emotional subject matter. A celebration of the individuals who live near the edges and bold contemporary visuals are her twin passions. Phillip Suddick is a photographer and director based in London, making energetic and authentic work. He shoots in a relaxed and honest way, celebrating vitality, passion and the spirit of adventure.
LULLABY (IRAN) BY ELHAM KHAZAEI
Synopsis: A woman is working in a sewing shop. Against the wishes of her boss, she responds to her cell phone and sings a lullaby from behind the cell phone to calm her baby. Running time: 00:01:40
Festivals: Amsterdam Independent FF.
About the director: Born 1999 in Mazandaran, Iran. Law student at Azad University of Chalous, Elham has been a theater actress for two years. She has acted in three plays so far. She has also appeared in short films as an actress. This is her first experience directing a film. Her main concern is defending women's rights as well as children rights.
EAST OF LONDON (U.K.) BY GIOVANNI MONTALVO
Synopsis: In East London, Jacob finds himself between a looming drug deal and commitments to his family. He must decide whether to face danger in order to make money for his mother and sister, or leave it all behind and risk his life for walking away. Running time: 00:13:38
Festivals: Carmarthen Bay FF, Toronto Black FF, London Micro FF, Bolton IFF, Liverpool FF.
About the director: Giovanni Montalvo is a 22 year old film director born in Mexico City, raised in Houston, Texas and has studied film in London, England. He could write a whole paragraph here about how great and awesome and passionate he might be at film, but he'd rather let his films speak for themselves.
UNRAVELED (SPAIN) BY ISABEL EMILY KATHERINE WIEGAND, ASIL ATAY, ARDEN COLLEY, KELLIE FAY
Synopsis: A young woman relives a pivotal moment that embodies her relationship with her mother. Running time: 00:03:39
About the directors: Arden Colley (1986) Arden made a full-time commitment to animation in 2016, and focused on building her portfolio in multiple mediums and honing her skills with independent shorts such as Fish Food (2017). She completed Masters in Stop-Motion at BAU in 2019. Asil Atay (Izmir, 1993) graduated from Visual Communication Design in Izmir University of Economics and has a master degree in Stop-motion animation in Design College of Barcelona (BAU). He created short movies like Luca (2016), The One (2017), Golden Bell (2018) and Voyager (2018). Kellie Fay (1967, Calgary) has been enchanted by magical, miniature beings and fairies and stop-motion animation since she was a child. Completing the Master’s of Stop Motion Animation at BAU, University of Design in Barcelona affirmed her passion for three-dimensional miniature puppets and structures, and affinity with fibers and clay. Isabel Wiegand (1992, Ipswich) was always interested in art in all its forms. She graduated in Sculpture at RUFA Rome University of Fine Arts and took her Masters Degree in Stop-Motion Animation at BAU in Barcelona. Among her short films: Full (rotoscope animation, 2015), Sulla morte senza esagerare (stop-motion animation, 2017), TV (stop-motion animation, 2018).
I WANT TO BE THE OCEAN (GERMANY) BY RAMAN DJAFARI
Synopsis: A small community in the woods experiences a flooding. The people of the city recite a poem, admitting to their doubts. A meandering film about identity, uncertainty and the hope to escape it. Running time: 00:01:07
Festivals: Toronto Arthouse FF, Amsterdam Independent FF.
About the director: Raman Djafari is an illustrator, animator and filmmaker based in Hamburg, Germany. With a background in illustration and design he ventured into animation, film and music videos. Through his work he tells both surreal and fragmented narratives that explore the human condition. Next to his own creative work he also teaches animation and illustration.
DOGWATCH (AUSTRIA) BY ALBIN WILDNER
Synopsis: After losing his lifelong position at an industrial corporation, Raphael is forced by the Austrian Unemployment Office to take an underwhelming job as a night-time security guard. He recently moved back in with his bedridden mother, who is also cared for by the dedicated Ukrainian nurse Vera. Through her support, Raphael gradually learns to cope with his new life situation, but a tragic incident breaks his world apart once more. A warm-hearted narrative about a part of society, whose basis of existence is increasingly threatened. Running time: 00:29:58
Festivals: Warsaw IFF, SHOTS IFF, Poitiers FF, Big Shorts Award Berlin, Austrian FF, Polish IFF, 180' Berlin Filmfest, Bucharest ShortCut CineFest, and more.
About the director: Albin Wildner (Vienna, 1983) shot his first documentary film in Costa Rica in 2004. He's worked as a graphic designer and independent cinematographer, has an engineering degree and completed systemic family constellations psychology course along the way. In 2014, Albin Wildner took up directing and cinematography at the Vienna Film Academy.