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I like short shorts |


I like short shorts

WONDERBLOG - Ping Medina -

The largest short film network in the world, Future Shorts, has finally touched down in Manila to showcase the best short films from filmmakers around the globe. 

This monthly film event, called Future Shorts One, was founded in the United Kingdom by Fabien Riggall in 2003 to bring the short film medium “to the masses and develop its true commercial potential.”

According to the Manila leg’s programmer Louella Suque, “Fabien recognized that the common woes of a wannabe filmmaker are exposure, distribution and funding. By putting their works out there for an audience to watch and appreciate, you start helping these filmmakers build networks and gain exposure.”

This unorthodox film festival, whose marketing and distribution mainly operates online, is steadily growing in 12 countries and 19 cities for an audience of 20,000 people worldwide. It has launched its Southeast Asia leg in countries like Vietnam, Indonesia and Cambodia, and the Manila leg has been gaining an audience since its official launch in November last year.

Shorts of future shorts

I got to watch some of the short films including El Extraño (The Mysterious, Spain 2009) by Victor Moreno Rodriguez, which is a one-minute, single shot (meaning no cuts) frame of goats being herded down a country road. True to its title, I have no idea what it means, but there is something eerily intriguing about it.

One of my favorites is Youth (USA, 2010) by Tommy Petroni, an uplifting 4-minute montage of a bunch of energetic kids in California out on a quest for life without a dull moment.

The film plays out like an awesome music compilation of adolescent memories, starring the 16-year-old director’s real friends, and occurring in his real-life Manhattan Beach neighborhood. Successfully treading the thin line between good, clean fun and stupid buffoonery, without losing that sense of mystical adventure, the word “kinetic” would probably best describe such raw and honest work.

The poignant Apricot (Australia, 2009) by Ben Briand is a modern tale of true love finding its way into each other again. The breathtaking shots are set in the quiet countryside to capture the simplicity of first love. The actors did gorgeous work of the complex material and wasted none of the close-up shots. Although I like the romanticized approach, this film might be a bit too polished for anyone with a taste for the alternative.

The future of shorts

One of the main problems of independent filmmakers is distribution  getting it out there to a consistent and hungry audience. Making the rounds of university film festivals all over, both as actor and spectator, I say with regret that there must be at least a hundred student film gems that don’t make it far beyond campus walls.

And as a fan of the short-form medium, it is now easier for young filmmakers to execute ideas because 1) short films are cheaper to produce and 2) quality cameras and editing tools are a few mouse clicks away. This develops the potential of a short film festival like Future Shorts  which made the right move to make it a monthly event as I stress the importance of selecting quality films  to become a regular event that can attract a larger paying audience. 

With the event virally gaining strength, Louella opens the call for local filmmakers who have short films lacking an audience to appreciate, “We want Future Shorts to be the platform for Filipino short filmmakers to showcase their work. By submitting their short films to us, they are actually giving themselves the opportunity to be screened not just locally but also globally.”

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Future Shorts screening tonight at 8 p.m., Green Papaya Art Projects along Kamuning Road, Quezon City. Admission is free. Please contact Whammy or Louella at 0929-1234-928 or search “Future Shorts - Philippines” on Facebook.

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For other Future Shorts links on my Twitter:

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