Shorts On Tap Shows Us Their True Colours!

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Given the buzz they create now, it’s hard to believe that Shorts on Tap’s screenings taking place every month all around London started as tiny screenings in the spare rooms of cafes. Word of mouth was quick to spread the news; the low entry fees (usually around £3 –£5) helped, as did the quality of the work shown. Now, if you rock up to a Shorts on Tap event you are guaranteed to be met with great films but also a wonderful atmosphere created by film enthusiasts, filmmakers and industry professionals mingling, talking, discussing and, all told, making for a truly extraordinary night out. Every event has a different theme and on the 19th of March, 93 Feet in Shoreditch played host to the True Colours event, a screening dedicated to LGBT films.

The best part of the Shorts on Tap screenings is possibly the inclusiveness of it all. The term “networking” often comes with a inherent sense of awkwardness, especially if you are starting out in the industry. However, during the True Colours event, industry professionals, short film directors, the Shorts on Tap founders and film enthusiasts of every ilk were milling around, pints in hand, definitely not standing on ceremony and just enjoying “being interested in films” together. After about an hour of pints and networking, the screening begins. Punctuated with Q&A sessions with the filmmakers and discussions whenever possible, you settle down to enjoy some of the hottest new fare on the short film scene.

Gabriel (directed by Benjamin Chimoy)  Our teenage years, learning about ourselves, the birds and the bees, our first crushes… In this short we shift back and forward between Gabriel’s present life and his teenage years when he and his family had to come to terms with his sexuality.

The Hidden Cameras – Carpe Jugular / Golden  (directed by Kai Staenicke)   Two short films by director Kai Staenicke were on show. Both are quite short (5 minutes and 3 minutes respectively) and are intense, emotional and highly visual explorations of how it is to feel different in a crowd and how these negative feelings can be healed…

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The Swimming Trunks (directed by Mathilde Baye) We are with 10 year old Remy at holiday camp with his family.  Nobody thinks it’s particularly strange when he makes friends with a little girl his age called Lea. Remy however, has a hidden agenda – he is not interested in Lea but her handsome father, Stephane… This is a completely new, yet irresistible feeling for Remy and no one, including himself, is sure which way it is going to take him next…

Blowing Dandelions (directed by Nathan Theys) Lily who is in mourning and trying to come back to terms with life, has a chance encounter with an old school friend. This is the beginning of an evening filled with high emotions, alcohol and infatuation. Will it be the wind Lily needs under her wings, or will it actually lead to further tears and tragedy?

On a side note Nathan was the only director to come on stage and do a Q&A. Openly admitting to his film being slightly “unfinished” – and indeed, Blowing Dandelions is more of a lyrical exploration than a story with a completely fixed beginning middle and end. He described the film as largely experimental, with a lot of improvisation thrown in and shot over a total of 3 days… All I can say is, if this is “just” an experiment, I can’t wait to see his finished products!

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Blood, Rice and Tears (directed by Johannes Rosenstein)  Blood, Rice and Tears is an exploration of conflicting emotions and responsibilities. Tim is a taxi driver who divides what is left over from his irregular hours between caring for his elderly father who suffers from Alzheimer and his boyfriend, Han. Tim has things under control, in his own way, however his quiet world is about to crumble. On one hand Han is getting more and more sick of playing second fiddle to Tim’s father, on the other, Tim’s father’s health means that he might be better off in a home. However, is Tim ready to embrace a new life and move on? This sensitive and striking film captures the dilemmas of being a carer and how hard it can be to move out of old habits and into a new life, as uncomfortable as the old habits may be…

Not Funny (directed by Katharina Woll)  Homophobia is no laughing matter. In this short, director Katharina Woll explores an alternative method of responding to it…

Again the wide-arching and inclusive feel of  Shorts  on Tap is obvious throughout the selection, the films ranged from the very short (Not Funny which is 47 seconds long) to the “quite long for a short film” (Blood, Rice and Tears, the longest of the selection at 30 minutes), from the experimental to the classic narrative with a beginning, middle and end. As for the sheer range of stories told, well, it is nothing short of bewildering. But one thing is for certain, they will all make you stop and think again.

And if all that sounds like your cup of tea, why not head over to the Shorts on Tap website and see what’s going down next…and while you’re there, you can check out some of the films from previous events as well!

A native of Istanbul, Turkey, Sedef moved to London three years ago to get her MA in Film Studies and never quite got round to going back home. As she once worked in a DVD company and watched films for a living, she started a personal blog (essiespeaks.blogspot.com) as a short answer to being constantly asked “watched anything interesting recently?” and loved blogging so much she just kept typing . She is the biggest Tarantino fan she knows and would be unable to choose a single film of his as a favourite.

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