The nominees for the Best Short Film award capture the zeitgeist of 2016 in a unique, twisted and quintessentially British way. Death, life, love, identity, sexuality, migration, class: these films might come in small packages but they tackle some of our biggest issues with creativity, originality and a healthy pinch of dark, cackle-inducing humour.
The five nominees also showcase the incredible emerging filmmaking talent that Britain has to offer. Terri Matthews, an NFTS graduate and director of the animated short The Wrong End of the Stick, worked as a puppeteer for BIFA 2015 Best Short Film nominee Manoman and as lead 2D animator for the winning short, Edmond. Jacked might be Rene Pannevis’ first film out of film school but that hasn’t stopped him and producer Jennifer Eriksson from finding an incredible cast (Charley Palmer Rothwell and BIFA winner Thomas Turgoose) to tell a chilling and touching story that has already received nods from acclaimed film festivals such as Berlin and Aesthetica. Fyzal Boulifa and Jörn Threlfall, creators of the shorts Rate Me and Over, have previously been nominated for their outstanding short film work at the Sundance Film Festival and at BAFTA. Lastly we have Mother, a short from multi-hyphenate filmmaker Leo Leigh (son of Mike Leigh and Alison Steadman): after years in cinematography, composing and editing, Mother is Leigh’s first writing and second directing credit.
Each of these new filmmakers has something to say and their own way to say it. We can’t wait to see what’s next for them.
The Wrong End of the Stick
Malcolm Fetcher is a neurotic, middle-aged teacher lost in a dull marriage with his wife of twenty years, Beverly. As he faces an all-consuming identity crisis, their marriage disintegrates and he is forced to express a deep, hidden desire…
One day, Edwin comes home to find his mother dead on the living room carpet. Scarred and bereaved, he reaches out to his extended family for support – all two of them. However, the trip to the crematorium is only the start of Edwin’s mum’s post-mortem adventure. Deeply unsettling, dark and funny.
Waylen and Russell steal cars. Each one reveals something about the personality of its owner. When they discover something of immense personal value, they find themselves in a moral dilemma: as they listen to the old audio cassettes, they hear the last words of a dying man to his family. Waylen wants to take the car back, which causes an argument between the two friends. A raw, candid portrait of youth in the mean streets of East London, of friendship, loss and loneliness.
A portrait of teenage escort, ʻCocoʼ.
Over presents a crime scene. During the course of nine wide shots told in reverse order, we witness an intriguing story unfold. What has happened in this quiet neighbourhood? A murder, a hit-and-run, an accident? The reality is profound and deeply unexpected.