When I covered the Newcomer category last year I marvelled at the opportunity it provided for short film veterans to discover new filmmaking voices who were yet to appear on their radars. This year I have to admit that two-thirds of my picks have already found their way onto DN, guess our radar’s got more sensitive over the past 12 months.
GAMMA – Jonathan Gales
GAMMA from Jonathan Gales of multi-talented outfit Factory Fifteen, is one of those pieces that not only stands up to multiple viewings (we first spotted in February) but also becomes more impressive the more you know about its production. A well crafted monologue which falls somewhere between eye witness testimony and plea of desperation playing out over the crumbling destruction of Pripyat and snatched glances of its weary narrator.
Callum – Michael van der Put
Michael van der Put’s Central Saint Martins graduation film Callum, sees its lonely protagonist find love only to have it snatched from him into tragedy, he then has to deal with the conflict of a gang that demands his silence and his own guilt over his inaction. The script follows the expected conventions of the genre but van der Put makes good use of his mixed timelines, whilst James Tarpey delivers Callum’s grief/guilt convincingly.
Extranjero – The Queen
It was less than a week ago that I finally watched Sundance London winning short Extranjero, so it’s still clear to me why this low budget film would rise (sorry) to the top of any selection it found itself in. All joking aside, its ethereal, dreamlike qualities remain even when you already know how things play out.