The 2018 Adelaide Film Festival is providing a smorgasbord of short films this year that will satisfy a multitude of tastes. These are short films that have toured film festivals around the world, from the sunny beaches of Cannes to the cultural hubbub of Berlin and the chilly backdrop of Sundance, delighting audiences worldwide.
The package opens with Three Centimetres, a graduate short film from Canadian/Lebanese director, Lara Zeidman. It premiered at the Berlinale 2018, where it won the Teddy Award for Best Short Film and it’s easy to see why as the film cleverly captures a scene in the life of a queer teenager coming out to her friends in Beirut, Lebanon. The script, actors and cinematography work in complete harmony to create a documentary-like effect, placing the audience into an intimate relationship with the group of girls.
New Zealand director and writer, Phil Brough, brings audiences Fire in Cardboard City, which at first appears as though it is aimed at kids with its high-tech graphics creating a detailed, cardboard city. The film, however, provides sophisticated absurd humour, such as cardboard water catching on fire, and in a way challenges other over-the-top, end of the world films with its satiric spin.
Swiss film, Dressed for Pleasure, by French director Marie De Maricourt, provides a unique twist to the World Shorts Package, as the film touches on the delicate subjects of sexuality and disabilities. Sarah, a disabled young woman, is smothered sexually by both her traditional, tightly-wound mother and her inability to walk, but, with the help of her transgender cleaner, the possibility of her sexual awakening becomes more imaginable. With Sarah’s wicked sense of humour and interesting sexual choices set against the snobbish backdrop of a wealthy family and posh home, Dressed for Pleasure is a burst of unique sexual indulgence within this year’s short film choices.
This package also sees the premiere of Hollywood film star (and Adelaide-adoptee), Dev Patel’s short film, Home Shopper. This gem proves that not only can Patel wow audiences with his on-screen presence, but he is also a master behind the lens, creating a humorous observation on our obsession with consumption, the emotional voids we attempt to fill with it and the imperfections of middle-class America. This is a definite must-see at this year’s film festival, breaking up the array of emotional short films with a spectacularly gruesome and uniquely dark piece of cinema that will be enjoyed by all.
American short film, Hair Wolf, is another not-to-be-missed short at this year’s Adelaide Film Festival, bringing an imaginatively hilarious take on cultural appropriation to the big screen. It’s white girl magic versus black girl magic as a black hairdressing salon in Brooklyn, New York faces the zombie-like plague of white ‘Instagram-hoes’ who want to steal as much as they can from black culture. Following in a similar vein to that of Get Out, this hilarious satire provides a colourful look at #blacklivesmatter pitted against #alllivesmatter, and black women taking back their power from genius director, Mariama Diallo.
Featured in the package were three Australian films; A Low Hum, All These Creatures and South Australian-made, They Sleep Inside. A Low Hum provides a mildly-terrifying portrayal of what our future may look like if social media and its control over society continues to grow from Australian director, Scott Otto Anderson.
The latter two films touch on mental illness and its projected consequences leaving the audience reeling from the emotional devastation of the films’ protagonists. Awarded the Palm d’Or for short films at Cannes this year, All These Creatures documents an adolescent boys struggle with his father’s rapidly unravelling mental health. Claiming the cicadas in the backyard are a plague of warning and then disappearing for days on end, he appears to be losing the plot right in front of his family which leads to scarring consequences. The film is beautifully narrated by the teenage son, drawing the audience into his world of uncertainty and instability with director, Charles Williams, attending to the topic delicately.
They Sleep Inside, directed by South Australian Tamara Hardman, presents a story all too familiar to almost everyone. It channels the feeling of losing stability and finding yourself lost within the world, making it easy to withdraw as it all becomes too much. This is exactly what the protagonist, Mae, finds herself doing as she leans on her dreams for comfort until even they can’t seem to fix the void inside.
It is definitely worthwhile digging into the buffet of world-class short films gracing our screens at this year’s Adelaide Film Festival; there is something here for everyone!
The Adelaide Film Festival runs until the 21st of October. Click here for further information.