Review: Aesthetica Short Film Festival, day two

The booze is discovered in Gin And Dry
The booze is discovered in Gin And Dry

Ian ColeIan J Cole overcomes locked gates and freezing rooms to discover more fascinating short films


I returned to the 1331 cinema for comedy screening 3. This I’m afraid was a mixed bag.

First up was Gin And Dry by Oscar Plewes, a tail of booze rationing at a retirement home where residents go in search of a late night Christmas drink. This gentle film is amusing in places with just the right amount of pathos.

Ian’s rating: ★★★

asff-pregnant

This wasn’t that case with Angelina Colom’s Pregnant which is too cutesy for its own good. The whole film hangs on a fantastic performance by Reece Lister as Ben as the five-year-old boy who decides he wants to become pregnant like him mum.

Ian’s rating: ★★

Next was the really nice, well written and directed: No Messages from Cian McGarrigle. This film manages to develop characters very quickly that were likeable and I cared about, The film cost 3,000 euros to make and the money was raised by crowd funding – it’s definitely worth seeing.

Ian’s rating: ★★★★

The fourth film in this screening was the longest at just under 27 minutes, which was a shame because I won’t get that time back. Welcome and… our Condolences by Leon Prudovsky is a daft movie about a dead auntie and being stuck in an immigration centre in Israel. Not funny. OK – I smiled once.

Ian’s rating: ★

asff-loot

Last was Loot by Greg Rom, a South African comic drama about an unarmed man conducting a bank robbery with a twist. It’s a great story that manages to blur reality and fantasy together in a very inventive way.

Ian’s rating: ★★★★

Meet The Filmmakers

After spending the afternoon out of town I managed to get back for the Meet The Filmmakers event at The Yorkshire Museum – only after parking in the Marygate car park to the rear of Museum Gardens I found the gates locked. By the time I walked round to the front I was very late.

Once I arrived at the main entrance to the Gardens I was accosted by a very jobs-worth night watchman type who informed me that the park was closed and seemed reluctant to let me in so I could attend the event.

God know what this says to the visitors who come from all over the world to attend ASFF (nice one York council).

We had five films to view. The first was Anniversary by Curt Apduhan. This is a fantastic movie about a married couple who plan to spice up their 10th anniversary by hiring an exotic dancer to perform for them. It took Curt eight years to develop and it shows. It’s made with a love of love and care. Curt has spent decades working in Hollywood as a cinematographer and came across in the panel discussion as a lovely guy and for his directorial debut it’s brilliant.

Ian’s rating: ★★★★

asff-konnichiwa-brick-lane

The second film was Konnnichiwa Brick Lane by Saera Jin and is described as a romantic comedy about a Japanese girl losing love and finding a new love in a day, all happening on a multicultural urban London street, Brick Lane. The main actress Yurriri Naka is fantastic but all of the men lack direction and seem like caricatures which is a shame.

Ian’s rating: ★★

Next was a very surreal film from Prano Bailey-Bond, Man Vs Sand. Now I love challenging surreal art but I didn’t get this at all, it seemed to me to be a cross between Kafka and David Lynch but lacking something that just left me confused.

Ian’s rating: ★

Next was the best film I’d seen so far at the festival: Fifty People One Question by Kamil Krolak. A brilliant documentary that I’m not going to spoil by telling you what the question is. See this film, as it must be a contender for best film of the festival.

Ian’s rating: ★★★★★

Last up was Fran Petersson’s pop video for Laura Jean – Mechanical Friends. I don’t really know why this is here. Fran does a good job but it’s a pop video for a very average song. Fran was very engaging in the panel discussion and I’d like to see some of her other work because she is clearly passionate about filmmaking and I think she’s better than this offering.

Ian’s rating: ★★

The panel discussion was very entertaining and gave real insight into how these filmmakers went about their craft. My only niggle was that the Yorkshire Museum was absolutely freezing and most of us sat there with coats on – maybe this was connected to the park being closed…