Some of you might remember that last week, I shared with you my impressions of True Colours, an event organised by Shorts on Tap (if you don’t, check it out HERE). As I mentioned there, there was quite a buzz throughout the evening, established filmmakers mingling with novices, sharing ideas and discussing films…but if you thought that the guys from Shorts on Tap were content to hang back throughout all of this and play host, well you have another thing coming. The crew had several exciting announcements to make – so we decided to catch up with them and discuss where they are now and what their plans for the future are.
Shorts on Tap was initially established as a showcase for short films, mixing works from both up and coming directors and established filmmakers. There are generally around 3 events a month in venues around London, often featuring panels and discussions with the filmmakers themselves. Word of mouth about the events grew very quickly and now the events are often sell-outs, pushing the gang to a quest for ever larger venues. When asked what their secret is, co-founder Filippo Polesel muses “We’re positively surprised about the results. We think there’s no real secret, it’s all about the vibe we create perhaps and certainly the quality of the films we screen: we try to keep the bar as high as possible at each screening and our audience is taking notice. Also, word of mouth is extremely effective and certainly played a role in our steep growth.”
Indeed, the vibe at the screening events is a very important part as it brings forth an extraordinary mix of points of view and ideas. This is even more obvious when you look at the number of projects Shorts on Tap are planning to develop this year. At the True Colors event, Shorts on Tap made an announcement concerning two projects they are currently supporting, Wonderkid a short film that is currently in the production stage and Credence, a feature film that is being introduced to the world with a gala opening on the 17th of May – the International Day Against Homophobia – at the Prince Charles Cinema. And it is interesting to note that these projects were both introduced to the Shorts on Tap crew during one of their own screenings – a LGBT themed fundraising event that took place last year entitled Looking for Changes. When asked about how they chose the projects to screen, Filippo puts the accent on intuition, but also the wish to be part of something bigger – “Some projects go beyond the actual short film, they may carry a great social value: collaborating in the production of a film that resonates for its social impact is an immense honour for us and we’re always ready to support such ideas. The film itself sometimes is just the tip of the iceberg, a means to carry a far more important message.”
The first of the projects to be introduced was Wonderkid, a film for which Shorts on Tap screened the trailer and contributed to the fundraising campaign. This is a 20 minute short about a young, unnamed gay footballer trying to come to terms with his own identity, alcohol problems and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Described as a film about “wanting to be happy with who you are”, the film clearly discusses themes we can all relate to, even though discussions related to football and homophobia take the foreground. Director Rhys Chapman was clearly excited to be able to start filming after recently being crowdfunded and attracting the attention of big name supporters such as Sir Ian McKellen, The Kevin Spacey Foundation, The Telegraph and Galop. The film is now successfully funded and aims to premiere later on this year.
Another project the Shorts on Tap team were excited to announce was the world premiere of a project they themselves were backing, Credence, a sci-fi film by award-winning director Mike Buonaiuto. It tells the story of a post-apocalyptic world where a family, a gay couple and their young daughter, may have to risk being torn apart in order to survive. According to the guys, what attracted them to the project was the “incredible opportunity to raise awareness about the unfair, wrong portrayal of LGBT people on film,” And the rest of the world seems to agree as Credence is another success story courtesy of crowdfunding. When starting the crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo, the team went down the road of filming the trailer and then asking for the funds to actually make the film from those who enjoyed it. As Filippo puts it, “Nothing is more powerful than idea whose time has come” The project is now 370% funded, the campaign recently qualified for Indiegogo’s prestigious In Demand program which means you can actually go online, get involved and support the project…
So lastly, what is next for Shorts on Tap? Filippo underlines the fact that they like to keep their doors open to all possible initiatives before continuing “We’re aiming at creating our own short film festival here in London and spreading our brand abroad. We recently hosted our first screening outside of the UK, in a very cool cinema called Uplink X in the heart of Tokyo and we’re certainly aiming at having more shows in different countries.” World domination it is then! We wish the Shorts on Tap crew all the best with their plans and look forward to catching up with them again soon!