LIFF: Short Films, Quick Reviews!

final collage LIFF coverI find cinemas some of the most peaceful places that exist. People are always so relaxed when they enter one, so calm… and above all, so ready to be silent for a few hours and just listen. Listen, watch and embrace the stories they are going to be told. The lights go off, the last whispers ramble through the room, and the popcorn that’s still warm perfumes the close neighbourhood of an exquisitely sweet taste. Now, the films are not late starting…

On Sunday, I went to the Shortwave cinema that is on Bermondsey street, near London Bridge. After walking for about ten minutes, I reached my destination… A nice and modern square, at the heart of which is a very London-styled café/pub, and behind which a red door opens up on a very small, yet cosy room, where the screening of some short films was going to take place.

I was welcomed by a friendly smiling face, who took me inside, where I picked a seat in the second-to-last row, and a few minutes later, I was joined by Veemsen (the director of MAYA) and one of his friends, come to support him.

final collage LIFF

Out of the seven short films selected for the 6pm screening, six held my attention…

✰ The Dark Room by Thomas Hescott: Charming and elegant, The Dark Room reads a lot like an English version of French legendary feature, Le Fabuleux Destin d’Amélie Poulain.

SYNOPSIS: “Augustus Pike woke up covered in sweat and shuddering with shame and regret. He was remembering a slightly stupid remark he had made at a party in 2005 to some people who he didn’t really know. This was not uncommon for Augustus, who frequently encountered crippling bouts of latent embarrassment – for things that had happened up to two and a half decades ago. Then one day he discovered a way to right the wrongs of his past.”

Dry Socks by Ben Plumb: Emotionally loaded and heart-stirring, Dry Socks is a beautiful life lesson reminding everybody that life is beautiful and worth living, and that some people can change a life in wonderfully unexpected ways.

SYNOPSIS: A young teacher, struggling to care for his dying wife, has a conversation with a suicidal girl on a bridge which leaves his life transformed.

Standing still by Chris McGill: A very different and effective way of doing comedy.

SYNOPSIS: A bittersweet mockumentary comedy about a living statue of Hamlet, who is standing still in more ways than one.

Lesley by Craig Ainsley: Simple and genuinely funny!

SYNOPSIS: An actor wants to flee the digital world and reconnect with nature, but his desire to be a Hollywood superstar won’t leave him alone.

Charlie Cloudhead by Rupert Cresswell: Following a simple story and gently reminding its audience that it’s never good to keep things bottled up in one’s head, Charlie Cloudhead is probably one of the most genuine short dramas to have been featured that Sunday.

SYNOPSIS: A tragic comedy drama about a man who bottles up his problems into a cloud floating above his head. A tense birthday dinner with his wife forces Charlie to confront his issues with spectacular results.

Maya by Veemsen Lama: Beautifully simple, amazingly shot and uplifted by a very emotional music, Maya is a universal story. A story about survival, friendship, simple dreams and never-ending faith. This film is a celebration of the beauty of life. No matter the obstacles, no matter the darkness and no matter the tears. [Read my full review of MAYA here].

SYNOPSIS: Maya, Bikram and Kancha suddenly find themselves trapped in the heart of Kathmandu. Vulnerable, penniless and alone, they are forced to live their life on the streets with only hopes and dreams of happiness.

MAYA LIFF awarded best international short copy

No later than yesterday evening, I met up with Tom and Veemsen, respectively producer and director of MAYA, to attend this year’s award ceremony of the London Independent Film Festival, also taking place at Shortwave cinema. The show started around ten past eight in the evening, and some 22 prizes in total were awarded, including one that went to MAYA, which won Best International Short Film 2016, and Last Leg, the short of a new friend, Ella Bennett, that was awarded Best Short Film 2016.


If you already are a big fan of ‘Maya’, you’ll love Veemsen Lama’s next short, ‘Chyanti’, but the crew needs your help to complete it! Visit their Indiegogo page to contribute >> https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/chyanti–2#/ 

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