Jameson Dublin International Film Festival
Other Presentations: JDIFF Shorts
Friday, 24th February, 6:30pm, Light House Cinema
The fabulous final JDIFF weekend got off to a top-notch start with a fantastic feast of fresh films – of the short variety, of course. These six hand-picked gems showcase the crème de la crème of Ireland’s talent, all the while making the audience laugh, tugging on our heartstrings and documenting some amazing characters.
First up was another excellent short, shot by the talented crew over at IADT. The Centre of the Universe tells the story of a young airhostess with the power to save the universe. This quirky sci-fi is written and directed by Brian Dunster and stars Michelle Beamish, Rosemary Henderson, Sophie Peacock and the fantastically funny David Michael Scott.
Following this was Frontiersman, which provided quite a contrast. This documentary follows the incredible stories of rugged individualists, sole traders, and entrepreneurs from Donegal; Arsene, Paddy Toye, Liam Grier, Alphie McCollum, Pat Gillespie, Eamon Friel and James McDaid. Heartfelt, eccentric and truly inspiring, this (quite long) short was created for the Sharing Stories project by director Derek O’Connor.
The tone got a bit heavier next with Thomas Hefferon’s Switch. This Galway Film Centre/RTÉ funded short tells the tragic tale of a man trying to atone for hit and run, where he fled the scene two years earlier, leaving a man dead and his daughter seriously injured. This piece is put together well, but the performances from Barry Barnes, Lesley Conroy and Jane McGrath are simply amazing.
This was succeeded by a rom-com to lighten the mood. Directed by Shimmy Marcus and supported by the Goethe Institute, Rhinos is absolutely gorgeous romance that is certainly not lost in translation. Escaping her tumultuous relationship, the vivacious Ingrid spends a day with quiet, reserved Thomas. He takes her sightseeing around Dublin for where they share a deep understanding ¬– despite their fundamental language barrier. * I’m sorry other shorts, you were really very good, but this was without doubt my undisputed favorite. Perhaps ever.
Up next was Still Films’ observational documentary Rats Island. This quiet, original piece showed a day in the life of Eddie, a man who was unemployed and homeless until he moved to a small island in a river estuary with his son, Andrew. Directed by Mike Hannon, this film subtlety emphasises the hardship of daily life for this odd charismatic character.
And the final film of the evening was Pairs and Spares, a light comedy about feuding bowlers in a strike-fuelled showdown. Philip Kelly directs a fun Warrior films’ short featuring Rachel-Mae Brady, Paul Halpin and Jack Hickey.
A lovely balance of drama, romance and comedy, these shorts really hit the spot and made me forget about the many longs I had left to watch.