Eleanor McSherry goes back to college for the Student Tales – Shorts Programme at the Kerry Film Festival.
Student Tales are selected from the short films that were sent in by students. There was a very international flavour to this screening and it was well attended. It was screened in the smaller of the two cinemas on offer. Student films are always a mixed bag and you are never certain what you are going to get. There seems to be a need though to mention, if any students are reading this, that there needs to be more effort put into sound and lighting in many of the short films. It mightn’t show up on the smaller screen but at a festival on the big screen with surround sound believe me your flaws are blatantly obvious. I have watched so many films over the years and this is something that never changes. If you want to make your mark, these areas need serious attention. I’m delighted to say that at this particular screening most of the films did not have these problems.
There were eight short films selected for this screening, covering a very diverse set of themes from Sci-Fi, dysfunctional family relationships, first impressions, aging, family movies and growing up.
Three of the films deserve special mention: Impression (UK), Sophie (Irl) and Three Red Sweaters (USA).
Impression – Directed By Joseph Simmons
Impression is a comedy/heist film that centres around the character of Reza, a Middle-Eastern entrepreneu trying to get a large-scale business off the ground without financial support. He works at a car wash to make ends meet, but has plans for a different life. For Reza to be successful he must con high-class executives into thinking he is a legitimate businessman. Reza looks to have the expensive car, the sharp suit and the backing of a professional company, but in fact has none of those things. Instead, Reza must convince potential investors to believe in his idea, through a smokescreen of favours and bribes, in order to become who he pretends to be.
At first, I wasn’t really sure what to make of this film. The set-up was a bit confusing and I didn’t know where the story was going. I soon realised, however, what was really going on, the main character was a man leading a double life, a man working in a car wash, who looked like a bum and also trying to be an international business man, while faking the trappings of wealth to get this goal. It was a great way to illustrate the dilemma facing many immigrants into Europe who have to take menial jobs but yet are extremely qualified people. It is a very cleverly put together film.
For more details at impressionshortfilm/
Sophie – Directed by Philip Ledingham (IADT, Dun Laoghaire)
Sophie is a short science fiction film, focusing on Archer, a time-travel dealer, who is plagued by a traumatic event of his past.
This compelling film takes the viewer on a fantastic journey with lead actor Graham Molloy in terrific form with a stellar performance. Sophie is a fascinating film, boasting a concept that should be further developed into a feature story.
More details at sophiefilm2017
Three Red Sweaters – Directed and Edited by Martha Gregory
A filmmaker explores memory and the way that we use technology to record our lives — sometimes at the expense of being present for them — through her grandfather’s Colville-esque 16mm home videos.
This was a lovely nostalgic documentary that documents not only a wonderful family relationship but also the art of home movies. It uses the home movies and stills with a voice-over of interviews carried out with the grandfather of the director. You could tell the love and care that went into the film by the carefully chosen pieces that wove together with the audio of the interviews to tell the story of an avid amateur cinematographer and photographer. It is not surprising that it has previously won Best Documentary at the 2017 Aspen Shortsfest and I’m sure it will not be the last award it receives.
Further details at marthagregory.com/three-red-sweaters
Student Tales Short Films took place on Friday, 20th October 2017 at Cinema Killarney as part of the Kerry Film Festival (19 – 22 October 2017)
1. More Than This (IRL)
An unexpected discovery. A series of revelations. One worker questions his fate.
2. Las Cenizas [The Ashes] (US/CUBA)
In the wake of a domestic tragedy, a turbulent pair of siblings travel to Cuba.
3. Impression (UK)
A man tries to get his business launched whilst working at a carwash to survive.
4. La Douleur Exquise (IRL)
On the brink of his 50th birthday Michael begins to reflect upon his past decisions.
5. Sophie (IRL)
A time machine operator is plagued by an event in his past, for which he feels responsible, but believes he can reverse.
6. Three Red Sweaters (USA)
A filmmaker explores memory and the way that we use technology to record our lives, through her grandfather’s 16mm home videos.
7. Faith (RUSSIA)
An old widower, a former radio operator, perceives the flashing bulb as his late wife’s messages.
8. Too Old To Grow Up (IRL)
A portrayal of three women as revealed through their enduring bond with their childhood teddy bears.