Fresh Film Festival meets the Film Forum
Monday, 28th March: Limerick Film Forum
8pm – 9.30pm Belltable Arts Centre
Fresh Film Festival celebrated 15 years of screening young people’s films this year and this year they sreened a selection of films that stood out over this period of time. They decided to have a themed evening at the Limerick Film Forum which was named: Films dealing with political and economic change by filmmakers under the age of 18 years.
This theme was appropriate considering the hard times we now find ourselves in. Ciarda Tobin introduced the films ‘over the past number of years young filmmakers from Ireland and abroad have dealt with the effects of unemployment, emigration, higher taxes, increase in classroom sizes etc in their films. The fear and uncertainty that young people currently feel is apparent in the selection of films Fresh have put together for this Film Forum. This screening is a reminder to anyone working with youth or have children of their own, that young people have a political voice, they want to be heard! They are our future.’
There were seven films in all. First up was:
Competitor: Mike Murphy, Going Solo Productions, 07:51mins, Cork.
Tagline: A political documentary-styled satire of a fictional Irish Government with some issues…
This film has a mockumentary style, which was fast paced, well written and extremely funny! It gives a damning account of politics and especially the last government. All of the characters were stereotypical and ridiculous. It was completely politically incorrect. It reminded this reporter of Scrap Saturday, back in the good auld days of decent political satire!
Accounting of Life
Competitor: Camera Zizanio, 04:57mins, Greece.
Tagline: At a time when everything is about numbers this accountant thinks about the value of his life.
This was a poignant black and white short with no dialogue. It contains many messages about politics, life, protest and most of all freedom. The parallel between the accountant and his caged bird was both enlightening and sad!
Sending Yantha back
Competitors: St Aidan’s Film Club, 05:54mins, Dublin.
Tagline: A young girl and her family face deportation from Ireland.
This documentary is exactly as it states it on the tin. It is the documenting of a true story of a young girl, Yantha, who is to be deported back to the Congo from Ireland.
This short was filmed in a typical documentary style with sound bytes, voice-overs, interviews with Yantha, her mother and a Green Party campaigner. It gave factual information with the emotional story of Yantha’s plight told in her own voice. It was effectively executed and well made.
Competitor: Megan Devaney, 04:05mins, Leitrim.
Tagline: One phone call reveals shocking truths to Anna.
This short film tells of how a young girl finds out her family’s financial strife, when she receives a phone call that the electricity will be cut off. She confronts her mother and they have a fight. In the end she gets a job.
There is always a tendency with short stories, especially in Ireland, to use dialogue or to over-pad a story to get the message across. This young filmmaker used her images cleverly, thus keeping the dialogue to a minimum. Overall it was story well told!
Competitor: Gemma Clarke, Futureversity, 06:00mins, UK.
Tagline: Two young people have to made choices about who they will become, a decision made more difficult by the downturn in the economy.
This was a short story in a quasi-documentary style. It shows two different perspectives of what it is like being caught in the ‘poverty trap’. It introduces the characters in the beginning of the film in a park and later it ends there. Then through the use of voice-over, some cleverly edited scenes, and monologues, the film gives an account of each characters current situation. Then it tells the paths that both characters eventually choose.
There are two main characters; a male and a female. The male character chooses to accept reality and not follow his dream of becoming a soccer player. Instead he gets a job to help himself and his mother. The girl on the other hand ignores reality and follows her dream of becoming an actress. She ends up with her father getting a call from the repo-men.
Interview in progress
Competitor: Roland Osimore, Tallaght Young Filmmakers, 02:19mins, Dublin.
Tagline: Meet the strange selection of candidates for the most important job in the country.
This comedy film was a montage of images of the mad array of characters that are being interviewed for the job in the Dáil. It is a fast-paced, hilariously funny and down-right mad film. In the end a cross-dresser gets the job, but of course he would sure isn’t the interviewer one too!
Competitor: Sean Conroy, 15:00mins, Dublin.
Tagline: When a dictatorship emerges it’s left to the young people to defend freedom for all.
This is a film that Quentin Tarantino would have been proud of! It illustrates through the art of film how a morally corrupt politician drags a free-falling recession-riddled Ireland into a violent dictatorship. With a kidnapping, murder, a car crash, lots of news casts, bankers, violent gardas, corrupt politicians, yachts, rebel school kids and balaclavas! This film has it all!
This clever film uses news reports to show the passage of time, night shots to give it that sinister look and iconic imagery around Dublin (like the RDS, the Dáil etc) to give it authenticity. Even though this film was only fifteen minutes long the writer manages to get in much more than this short time allows. It was a great film to end the night on.
There was a wonderfully animated discussion afterwards that was even more enjoyable than watching the films.
Overall the short films varied in length, quality and approach, but the themes were similar. It was great to see so much talent. These young people are not afraid of taking on challenging themes or of finding innovative ways of telling their stories. If you think of it, three of the people who received Oscars this year started filming when they were this young! Now that is something to definitely think about.
I for one can’t wait for the competition viewings on Wednesday and Thursday!