Short Film

Short film showcase

Short Film

A Short Mission: The Girl is Mime Starring Martin Freeman

Martin in Mime

We recently saw Sherlock (Benedict Cumberbatch) take to a spot of short film action in Little Favour and now his trusty sidekick Watson is at it.

Now slightly taller and back from middle earth, Martin Freeman trades in his role as the Hobbit for Clive, a mime artist. Directed by Tim Bunn, The Girl is Mime is a thought-provoking, unique look at the world of mime in an ordinary man’s life and its colossal repercussions.

Did the mime commit the crime? Clive Buckle (Martin Freeman) is being questioned about the murder of his wife. The police are convinced he did it; they just need a weapon, but Clive’s saying nothing.

Wonderful acting across the board helps strengthen this wonderful piece of film.

Also, The Girl is Mime cleverly throws contrasting subjects together, to create an interesting juxtaposition from start to finish. First off, the traditional use of mime and a mute film is used in a modern setting. Also, Clive’s consistent use of mime objects as if it was normal, from proposals to interrogation, creates a blend of some fantastical aspects of general life alongside everyday settings, resulting in an entertaining concoction.

This also creates a mixture of feelings in the audience. Intrigue. Laughter. Sadness. In a simple short, The Girl is Mime makes you laugh out loud and want to cry, all in the space of seven minutes.

The Girl is Mine was screened this very evening at The Ritz ‘Premiere’ International Short Film Festival in Lincoln. We’re sure you’ll enjoy it just as much as the audience did there…

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Short Film

A Short Mission: The Cub


It is very rare that a film can create a simple and funny story in just over four minutes. Here in Riley Stearn’s The Cub is a film that does exactly that. It is also a wonderful production that, in execution, can provoke some rather loud laughs. On the official selection for Sundance this year, The Cub has delighted at film festivals proving that you don’t have to be so complex in order to illicit a reaction.

The Cub centres around parents who make a pact with a pack of wolves. For some delicious and succulent meat, the parents ask for their child to be raised by the wolves. They hope that growing in the wild will prepare their daughter with the necessary skills to survive and when she masters these animalistic traits, she will then be given back to her human parents so they can teach her about manners and human stuff.
It pretty much plays like a realistic, and horrific, version of The Jungle Book. It doesn’t need much more added to it because it works so well. Stern gives this deadpan humour life and it certainly takes a bite. Aesthetically, it is kind of beautiful even if steeped in this kind of sepia tone, customary to independent movies. And for some, this technique may lead many to write the short off – for all the wrong reasons sadly.

But, impressively, Stern has created a film that is charming, gory and overall, comical.

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Short Film

A Short Mission: Curfew


Curfew is the Oscar Winning short film from the 85th Academy Awards. Written, directed and starring Shawn Christensen, it was a dead cert for that small golden statue. Why? Because it is one of the most poignant and heart wrenching short films of the year.

Curfew tells the story of drop-out and dead-beat Richie attempting suicide in his bathtub. However, a phone call interrupts his night and his sister – the pair estranged from a troubled background – is in a jam; she needs someone to look after her daughter. Ritchie is her last resort and dutifully he obligates. When his niece Sophia turns up, the two take to late night New York, finding that there could be something salvageable between the pair.

Christensen’s work is a very intricate play on a simple story. At heart, it is a child and adult bonding over circumstances beyond their control. When really this is a beautiful tale on finding something to hold onto, especially something you thought was lost. Richie has reached the edge and his scars are still raw. But Sophia touches upon a past and a happiness, bringing this wonderful innocence back into Richie’s life. Christensen tells the story so well, drenching most of it in bleak darkness but includes this dancing dream sequence to represent the light coming through. Most of all, it is honest.

Curfew is definitely award winning and almost poetic. It is a must see.

We’ll leave you with the trailer and you can purchase the whole thing over on iTunes here.

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ABCs of Death 2 Finalists Revealed


Recently we reviewed Todd E Freeman’s excellent short ‘M is for Marriage’ which was entered into Magnet Releasing’s 26th Director competition for a chance to be part of the highly anticipated sequel to the 2012 horror anthology film ABCs of Death.

Now for those of you who don’t know about the film, ABCs of Death is an anthology film divided into 26 individual chapters each helmed by a different director telling a story involving death. Last year, the same contest was held to find the 26th director and the winner was UK-based animator Lee Hardcastle, who submitted the claymation short “T is for Toilet”.

Over five hundred entries were submitted and yesterday it was announced that the twelve finalist had been selected. Six of the finalists decided by a public vote are Dante Vescio & Rodrigo Gasparini‘s “M is for Mailbox”, Sean Tretta‘s “M is for Matchmaker”, BC Glassberg‘s “M is for Mind Meld”, Antonio Padovan‘s “M is for Misdirection”, Santi González‘s “M is for Multiverse Apathy” and completing the list is Jason Koch and Clint Kelly‘s “M is for Munging”. The remaining six finalists were chosen my a panel of judges include Miakate Russell‘s “M is for Muff”, Steve Daniels‘ “M is for Marauder”, Álvaro Núñez‘s “M is for Miracle”, Summer Johnson‘s “M is for Make Believe”, Wolfgang Matzi‘s “M is for Meat” and completing the line up is Robert Boocheck‘s “M is for Masticate”.

The lucky twelve finalists will now be judged by the sequel’s twenty five other directors which include Larry Fessenden (The Last Winter), E.L. Katz (Cheap Thrills), Aharon Keshales (Big Bad Wolves) and the wonderfully talented Jen Soska and Sylvia Soska aka The Twisted Twins (American Mary).

If you want to check the final twelve out you can do so by visiting the following links:

The six decided by the public vote

Inline image 1

“M is for Mailbox”

Dir. Dante Vescio & Rodrigo Gasparini

Inline image 2

“M is for Matchmaker”

Dir. Sean Tretta

Inline image 3

“M is for Mind Meld”

Dir. BC Glassberg

Inline image 4

“M is for Misdirection”

Dir. Antonio Padovan

Inline image 5

“M is for Multiverse Apathy”

Dir. Santi González

Inline image 7

“M is for Munging”

Dir. Jason Koch & Clint Kelly

The final six chosen by the Jury

Inline image 6

“M is for Muff”

Dir. Miakate Russell’s

Inline image 12

“M is for Marauder”

Dir. Steve Daniels

Inline image 11

“M is for Miracle”

Dir. Álvaro Núñez

Inline image 8

“M is for Make Believe”

Dir. Summer Johnson

Inline image 9

“M is for Meat”

Dir. Wolfgang Matzi

Inline image 10

“M is for Masticate”

Dir. Robert Boocheck

After watching all twelve final entries it’s hard to pick out just one that stands out as the quality of the entries are very high. However, the overall winner will be announced on the 15th of December.

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Short Film

A Short Mission: I’m Fine Thanks

fine thanks short

There is only so much that an animation can do in a running time of four minutes.

To be able to portray the anguish, turmoil and complication in someone’s life is also a hefty job to pull off. However, in Eamon O’Neill‘s short film I’m Fine Thanks not only are we treated to a world of bright colours but also the hidden rage that we pass by every day.

I’m Fine Thanks is about a guy who has been bullied and picked on his whole life, amounting to someone that isn’t that special. When the girl who used to bully him adds him on Facebook, he begins to crack as his whole world around him comes into a sharp and ignorant focus.

O’Neill’s animation is a unique movie that has been drenched in this vibrancy. The cartoon element of the story is loud and crass, setting a peculiar and brilliant tone for the rest of the movie. Designed with a fresh style, I’m Fine Thanks is abundant with shapes and colour that tell a somewhat harrowing story in a fantastic way. While the story is nothing new O’Neil tells it in vignettes building up to a pretty bleak end for a movie filled with the spectrum range.

Winner of Best Graduate Film at the Ottawa International Animation Festival, I’m Fine Thanks is obscurely real and disruptive, proving that talent can come in many forms and palettes. And a provoking story can be told in so many different ways.

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Short Film

A Short Mission: Wes Anderson’s Castello Cavalcanti


It is only a few months til Wes Anderson returns for The Grand Budapest Hotel. Luckily, for those who admire or love Wes Anderson’s work, sponsored by Prada, he has released this little short; Castello Cavalcanti. Starring Anderson’s favourite Jason Schwartzman it focuses on an American racing car driver who, during a midnight race, crashes into a small village called Castello Cavalcanti. Turns out, this is the village of his ancestors and, as he tries to get back to his hotel, he is unearthing some faces he has only seen in movies.

The lead up to The Grand Budapest Hotel is exciting for some and tiresome for others. The kitsh indie director Anderson has found a home in his beautiful and quirky tales. Here, in Castello Cavalcanti, it feels more like an introduction to something bigger rather than a stand-alone short, ignoring the fact that it could potentially just be one big advert. It is familiar Anderson territory and those who do not want to tread, don’t. It boasts the same style, storytelling and Schwartzman.

But for those who enjoy his work, this new micro movie or vignette (the sense of more to come is rife here), it is stunning and intriguing. Saturated in these beautiful colours and boasting some epic camera angles, it has enough to carry its own weight. And though, at first glance, the ending feels without completion, if you look again you’ll see; it is someone who allows fate to crash into him and accepts that there is much more to his grounded state than he first thought, allowing to connect with his roots. As a fan of Anderson’s films, it mirrors his poetry well.
Still, on the road to The Grand Budapest Hotel, let us hope there are more pit stops along the way.

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Short Film

A Short Mission: If I Had A Heart


If I Had A Heart is a brilliant and engrossing movie about an abandoned man’s fight for life. Set in the bustling city of Seoul, this Korean short movie encompasses the need to push forward, no matter what brutality it aims at us. It follows the sad story of a fighter Sam Il who narrates his tale. As a baby, he was abandoned by his mother in a coin locker with a note that urged him to accept and fight death. If I Had A Heart follows this brutal and harrowing story.

Written and directed by two British brothers Matthew and Simon Halsall, If I Had A Heart conveys this heart crushing darkness and intelligence that sets them apart from other shorts. Although bleak, it is about that ray of light in the darkness; yourself and your own acceptance of death. Our lead Sam powerhouses through his tale that sets him in the murky underworld, and mirrors films of such dismay as Korean Oldboy or Drive.

The Halsall Brothers’ choice to set their tale in Korea is a bold one but they use it effectively to create some violent but provoking shots. They unearth every detail and despite the night soaked drama being forthright, the directors mirror the violence inside Sam with the violence of the city. As his inner turmoil combines with this vivid imagery, If I Had A Heart in turn becomes gripping, shocking and truthful. And in a story about the futility of life, it is beautifully desolate.

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Send us your shorts or send us your suggestions on Twitter following our @ashortmission account.

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Short Film

A Short Mission: The Chase

the chase

Originality is scarce these days: Hollywood lashes mountains of money in often vain attempts to create a picture which is novel. Presumably with a much smaller budget, The Chase manages to achieve that in a snappy two minutes.

The Chase centres around one woman on the run from two bad guys, in a pursuit to capture an envelope: Ordinary? Anything but.

Creators Smith and Foulkes manage to bend a seemingly normal story into a unique short by developing the plot through various computer programmes, whilst on a bog-standard computer screen.

Ranging from real-life clips to HTML moving letters to the archetypal recycle bin, The Chase enthrals viewers through its sheer simplicity. One minute viewers are on Facebook changing the women’s disguise, the next they see her running through the album covers on album flow in iTunes.

A mute film that doesn’t need speech, The Chase seamlessly weaves through ample computer programs: it’s so clever yet so simple, that this short almost feels do-able to any of us, but we never have. The Chase does it so well and it is truly unique.

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Short Film

A Short Mission: Little Favour Review

little favour

Little Favour is possibly one of the most hotly anticipated shorts this year, mainly due to the weight of the main star, Benedict Cumberbatch. Produced by Sunny March Productions and funded by crowdfunding sites, Little Favour has become the highest selling short film on iTunes.

Written and directed by Patrick Victor Monroe, the film follows Wallace, a secret forces type agent who is called upon by his friend James (played by Arrow’s Colin Salmon) to return a favour. James, unfortunately, has got himself at the wrong end of a deal, and sure enough he has some unruly types on his tail. It is, however, Wallace who finds himself as pawn and soon he is plunged further into a murky underworld.

The first thing notable about Monroe’s film is how fantastically shot it is. Drenched in the gritty underbelly of London, Little Favour is a feast of imaginative camera angles and stunning cinematography. It is heavy on the visual impact, where techniques are used to enhance the movie.

Monroe’s script is adeptly done, not over-saturating the affair with dialogue and utilising Cumberbatch’s chameleon talent to convey Wallace’s journey; all the while allowing him to puff and punch his profile away from his more iconic period roles. Monroe impressively sets up a short tale that pokes much deeper into mentality and the relationship between Wallace and James (Salmon is toweringly good here,) as well as setting up well thought out twists. It is a stylish independent short that is every bit as creative as it is gripping.

There is a shaky middle and those who aren’t a fan of action thrillers may scoff at Nick Moran’s Russian Villain; he is just a little too over the top to sit comfortably in this espionage movie. But Monroe’s script and final product is impressive, hitting the right points of suspense to happily fill the time allowance. With strong leads, a wicked script and great direction, the movie hits all the right notes any slick actioner should.

What are you waiting for? Little Favour is ready and waiting for you to download it now on iTunes.

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Short Film

A Short Mission #8: House Cocktail


House Cocktail is an ideal short film in that it takes a simple concept – the story of two men battling to gain the admiration of an attractive woman – adds in a fun unexpected element, and keeps it down to a neat length that wastes no time with unneeded footage. Mark Chavez plays the likeable loser character, credited as ‘The Good’, and he’s fun to watch. The first time around we weren’t sure quite how the film and his character were going to pan out, and there was a flicker of doubt in our minds as to whether it could realistically fulfil its objective. However, once we saw the film through to the end we were very pleasantly surprised by the concise and simple way the story concludes. It fits with the rest of the piece and is very satisfying, even more so for its succinctness.

The rest of the cast – Laura Haddock as ‘The Beautiful’ and Shenoah Allen as ‘The Bad’ are both fine in their roles, doing exactly what they need to do without being particularly stretched by the material. The direction is clean and efficient, and the writing is sharp. There are no complaints to be made here at all. House Cocktail is an enjoyable couple of minutes and when it all comes down to its closing shot, it doesn’t disappoint.

This short has since been adapted into a feature film, The Last Sparks Of Sundown, starring Pajama Men and Facejacker‘s very own Kavyan Novak and is set to be released soon. We’ll be speaking to the cast and crew shortly but in the meantime be sure to keep up to date with the film on Twitter.

Give this one a look and then let us know what you think in the comment box below!

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Short Film

A Short Mission Halloween Special: M is for Marriage


poster_misformarriageIn 2012 producers Ant Timpson and Tim League released their anthology film ABCs of Death. It featured twenty six shorts showcasing work by twenty six different directors from around the globe including Jason Eisener (Hobo with a Shotgun), Xavier Gens (The Divide), Ti West (House of the Devil) and Ben Wheatley (Kill List). The film was given its premiere at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival where it was announced that a sequel was already in the works.

It has since been confirmed that ABCs of Death 2 will feature the work of Larry Fessenden (The Last Winter), E.L. Katz (Cheap Thrills), Aharon Keshales (Big Bad Wolves) and Jen & Silvia Soska (American Mary). This said, twenty five directors have been confirmed and, just like last year, the producers are looking for someone to join the project in their 26th Director competition. Lee Hardcastle won the competition last year with his entry T is for Toilet and the search has already began over on the official ABCs of Death website to find this year’s winner.

Director Todd E Freeman’s M is for Marriage serves not only as an entry into the ABCS of Death 2‘s 26th Director competition but it also acts as a teaser for his upcoming feature film Love Sick. In the short an experienced therapist by the name of Doctor Christian is working with a couple who are seeking help to either resolve their conflict or help them gain closure. Focusing on a session of Bio-Medical Psychotherapy, the wife is encouraged to embrace her anger and hate towards her husband’s recent infidelity but things don’t go quite to plan.

A three minute tour-de-force, M for Marriage is incredible with a solid performance from Natalie Victoria who perfectly delivers the emotions needed to ground the credibility of the short. Combined with the quality of Freeman’s direction and Philip A. Anderson‘s stunning cinematography, what we have here is a quality crafted short that is both intense and fascinating. Watching the film not only made us want to see more from Todd E Freeman but it also gains our vote in the 26th Director competition.

If you would like to show your support for Todd Freeman and the team behind M is for Marriage you can visit the official website and cast your vote before the competition closes on 14th November.

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Short Film

Benedict Cumberbatch Attends Little Favour UK Premiere


final cut Copyright itunes[2]

Last night The W Hotel played host to the UK premiere of the Patrick Viktor Monroe-directed short film, Little Favour. Attended by Monroe himself, the premiere was held as a crowd funding reward providing the perfect opportunity for all investors involved in the initiative to catch an exclusive screening of the film alongside the film’s stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Colin Salmon and Paris Winter Monroe.

Little Favour is the first film to come out of new studio SunnyMarch and swiftly set an all new record as the fastest and highest funded film in crowd funding history with a stunning £86,240 raised in a mere twelve days, outstripping the original target of £25,000.

The film follows Wallace (Cumberbatch) struggling to get over his war scars to start a new life as far from the military as possible until an old comrade James (Salmon) calls up to ask for a ‘little’ favour. Although determined to leave his military background well behind him, James saved his life making it impossible to say no. As soon as Wallace offers a helping hand he finds out it may be slightly more than just a Little Favour…

Little Favour will be available in the whopping total of 76 countries (at time of posting) and is now available for pre-order on iTunes in the UK and will be available to download this bonfire night, November 5th, 2013.

In the meantime we’ll leave you with a ‘little’ trailer:

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Be sure to keep up with everything Little Favour over on Facebook.

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