Thursday, 11 November 2010

The UK Film Council Kills Bees. Fact.

Sorry Will Massa, you gave me the ammo for this blog post.

Hopped down to 'Kino Shorts 12' at Manchesters Green Room last night. Was treated to a powerful showcase of the finest talent in short films from the North, celebrating the independent film scene defiantly.
Having never been to Green Room I instantly regretted this fact on seeing the throng of talent (& Iam including eye candy). The venue is actually two converted Victorian railway arches beneath Oxford Road Railway station &notes that it's mission since 1983 has been to 'develop and present local, national and international performance' (applause)

'We encourage participants to be creative, and provide expertise, space and resources for discovery learning and expression' (send them a national prize for goodness sake!)

Naturally there was an undertone of pretentiousness, especially as the first half were those films selected and funded by Virgin and Media. It's a superb scheme, set up to fully support the growth of the North West's digital and creative industries, but there was an insinuation that the films in the second half were of a lower calibre and class, demonstrated by only 1/4 of the original audience turning up to watch the second half (too busy networking& congratulating themselves at being 'bloody fabulous darling').

Still, the set list was bang on the money.

8 films, each followed by a Q&A with those involved (directors, producers etc)

They all had an element of impact, some stronger than others.

First half.
My Lad
Bus baby
Into the Woods
The Hive (this was kept a secret til the evening, noted as a '
Top Secret Premiere')

Second half.
Dirty Egg
About a Blue
The Bag Lady

Ranging between 1 minute 30 seconds and 15 minutes, it was like a selection box - some you enjoyed but wouldn't really want to see again, others have
that taste you can't get out of your mind & some were fresh, new but you couldn't put your finger on why you liked it so much.

Top 3

'After two years of visiting his favourite cafe, will Joe end up in a pickle when he finally asks the gorgeous waitress on a date?'

A situation we've all seen before; someone likes someone who they see every day, they become infatuated and shy, a shadow of their usual self. Attempting to build up courage to speak in coherent sentences which immediately deflate on actual contact. Waitress played by Waterloo Actress Linzey Cocker. Shot snappily and quite brilliantly.

Dirty Egg
'Egg isn't happy. The bus is late again, and everyone in the wold is an annoying, disgusting, scary wierdo. Well, almost everyone ...'

With a budget of £800 it starred 3 cast of This is England 1986; Thomas Turgoose, Perry Fitzpatrick and Chanel Cresswell. Set predominantly on a bus it was a mirror of, again, what we've all come across. Crowded buses, consistently late, odd-bods all over the show and blaring music of a ridiculous calibre. Apparently based on a true diary. I love my friends dearly, but I'm not quite sure their lives could be translated into a notable film.

Director (Patrick Coyle) and Will Massa at the Q&A
The Hive
A bee rustler and his younger brother attempt to steal hives from a desolate farm. Successfully doing so, they depart rapidly, yet the younger of the two has been stung. An allergic reaction washes over him, leaving the elder fearing for his life. Returning to the farm, he seeks help.

I'll save the twist until it hits the festivals, but it was powerful, arresting and completely captivating. The whoops and hollers at the credits were heart warming.

Despite not making my top three, 'About a Blue' stood out; 'under every cloud there's a silver lining ... and blue it shines ... A dream turns reality for one true blue as his football dream comes alive'. Shot for £100 (& you could tell) it was a bloody good little Mancunian film. (

I'd encourage anyone &everyone to go to this event.

Whilst the films were inspiring, the fashion was ... not.

I saw cowboy boots with white tights, cropped turtle neck jumpers and more bleached denim that I could shake a stick at.

Who said art&fashion were long lost siblings? (damn, I may have, damn)

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