With a festival entitled the Rushes Soho Shorts Festival, the Short Film category has to be considered one of the most important of the competition (I’m sure the organizers don’t see things this way, but the name kind of dictates it). With a restriction of 12 minutes in duration, these three fictional works from the UK are a good representation of the kind of shorts doing the festival rounds at the moment; the character driven romantic drama, the effects driven fantasy and the retro-tinged dark comedy all have very high production values and carry the potential as true festival crowd pleasers.

Michael Davies’ Love at First Sight may have a plot that feels all too familiar (think Groundhog Day meets 50 First Dates), but a new twist on an old story makes his heartwarming short feel fresh and rewarding. A story of love at first sight set in a retirement home, you know you’re about to witness something pretty special in the world of short film when you spot John Hurt in the opening titles.

Peter Szewczyk’s imaginative ColourBleed stemmed “from a memory that the director had of his uncle performing a bit of home surgery, after an accident at a factory“, and developed into an aesthetically pleasing film showcasing the flair of the director and his team. With 67 visuals effects shots throughout its short duration, this is definitely a film reliant on its post-production, but where the film shines in some areas it feels stunted in others. An annoying soundtrack and some average acting ultimately resigns what could have been a breathtaking short into somewhat of a disappointment, leaving you with the lingering feeling of what could have been.

If effects driven pieces are your cup of tea, then Szewczyk’s Dark Clouds, a short he made in his “spare time while working on the films Avatar and 2012“, might be something you’ll enjoy.

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