Indie-Lincs 2017: Nominees for Best UK Short

Akita | Alastair Cummings and John Hickman, 2016

  • Reviewed by Luke Compton

Akita is a quiet and contemplative short film about a worn out labourer who befriends a seemingly abandoned dog. It’s a micro-budget short where the focus is on ideas of companionship and how an individual fits into our increasingly complicated world. There are therefore larger themes and issues that directors Alastair Cummings and John Hickman want to tackle, and I think it’s safe to say that he does a good job at exploring them. It is definitely made to engage with the festival circuit, so it will no doubt find itself fitting snugly into Indie-Lincs. The film smartly concentrates on a small slice of life and it is therefore very focused on the themes it explores. This is quintessential for the film to get right because of how low budget it is. However, it does still manage to utilise the environments very nicely with a couple of great uses of landscapes. The contemplative nature of the film does offer a lot of substance, particularly thematically. The ending note is one that requires thought and I think it benefits from it.

  • Akita will be screened on Saturday 18th March at 10am, along with the following films: 18 Steps Island; Thou Salt Not Lie; and Con Men.

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The Alan Dimension | Jac Clinch, 2016

  • Reviewed by Luke Compton

The Alan Dimension is a terrific animated short about an ordinary middle-aged man with the gift of precognition, only for it to foresee the most rudimentary of things, such as the layout of his breakfast. This short is not one to be missed and will no doubt stand as one of the festival’s highlights due to the very smart storytelling. It is worthy to note that a short of this quality comes from a Masters graduate from the prestigious National Film and Television School. The animation in this short is excellent, and it really helps flesh out the smart mix of sci-fi and reality. I mentioned before that the storytelling is very smart and it is so because it manages to tackle large ideas and yet know how and when to perfectly scope inwards in order to create a film that is easy to engage with and even connect with. This scoping inwards really helps to inform the stellar theme of the short.

  • The Alan Dimension will be screened on Saturday 18th March at 8pm, along with the following films: Last Call Lenny; The Bathtub; and MAD.

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Our Wonderful Nature: The Common Chameleon | Tomer Eshed, 2016

  • Reviewed by Daniel Sheppard

An oddly charming animated short, Our Wonderful Nature epitomes the strength of a simple story. As a chameleon tries the delicacies of the rainforest, they realise that their eyes are bigger than their belly, meeting some hilarious consequences. To solely talk about the narrative of this short, however, would not do the film the justice it deserves. Lars Krüger is an absolutely astounding animator, and his work on this film perfectly showcases the talent of animators who exist outside of the mainstream animation industries, regrettably getting less acknowledgment. Aesthetically pleasing, Our Wonderful Nature rightly deserves the success it is having all over the globe.

  • Our Wonderful Nature will be screened on Friday 17th March at 3pm, along with the following short films: Stream of Doubts; A Hole to China; Zero G; Blown Out of Proportion; Pink Velvet Valley; and The Eggman.

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What About the Rent? | Christopher O’Donnell, 2016

  • Reviewed by Daniel Sheppard

Perhaps misleadingly presented as a film that employs effortless codes and conventions, What About the Rent? is an intricately executed short. Combining Maeve Ryan’s performance and Declan Freenan’s screenplay with Christopher O’Donnell’s direction and Aaron Elvis Kyle’s cinematography, the film builds a bizarre intensity; a solemn suspense that stays with you beyond the films duration, with questions raised and their answers left unsaid, all in a six minute phone call.

  • What About the Rent? will be screened on Friday 17th March at 7.30pm, along with the following films: The Pine Tree Villa; Silence; and Even Lovers Get the Blues.

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