London Short Film Festival: Midnight Shorts
Staging a late-night takeover at Dalston’s iconic Rio Cinema, the London Short Film Festival will be revisiting the seedy world of fleapit late-shows for Land Of Kings. Drawing from the 2015 instalment of the Film Festival, there will be a genre-spanning selection on offer, taking in horror, comedy, action, trash, and a fair old slice of the utterly surreal.
The unique window short films offer into their directors’ minds can be a source for joy, fear, and sometimes total bewilderment. Below we present a brief insight into each of the brilliant shorts that will be aired from midnight at the Rio.
ROOM 55 (Rose Glass, 21 mins)
Room 55 follows the journey of Alice Lawson as she spends an unplanned night alone at the mysterious Clove Hotel. Over the course of her stay, Alice gradually realises that beneath the refined appearance of her new surroundings lies something darker and more seductive… What are those strange noises coming from the neighbouring room? And what is happening in room 55?
LOVE ME TINDER (Sami Abusamra, 11 mins)
An older woman and a younger man spend an awkward evening together after meeting on a dating app. A dark comedy about an encounter between two lonely strangers.
METAPHORS FOR OUR LOVE (Scott Coello, 2 mins)
“I am sex on legs; you are the car accident that leaves me wheelchair bound.” Metaphors For Our Love is a misanthropic love poem about the worst woman who ever lived, as told by her aggrieved ex. Stacking metaphor on hilarious metaphor, it charts the disastrous relationship with a charming animation style that belies its dark content.
FLABZILLA (Kayleigh O’Keefe & Bill Rodgers, 3 mins)
A morbidly obese behemoth rises from the sea and uses her body mass to attack the city of London, subverting the concept of the monstrous fatty and challenging common perceptions of an ‘othered’ physique. Shot in Super 8, an ethereal underwater sequence and intricate cardboard city set the scene for artist Kayleigh O’Keefe’s continued experimentation with exposure and embodiment.
7.2 (Nida Manzoor, 15 mins)
7.2 is an action-drama that follows Cleo, a schoolgirl, who regains consciousness to find herself lying on the ground with no memory of who she is, only to be confronted by Daisy, the school bully, who issues a cryptic ultimatum. Will Cleo get to the library to avoid disembowelment?
HALF WET (Sophie Koko Gate, 7 mins)
We are all born as wet as a banana. 75% water. By the time we reach adulthood, that amount decreases to 54%. Ageing is death by evaporation, thinks Gus. Gus is seeking solitude on a deserted beach, when he is interrupted by Tiny Eyes at dusk, on the eve of his 25th birthday.
CAKE LOONY (Magnus Irvin, 3 mins)
A short film exploring one man’s difficult relationship with cake.
GERRY’S GARDEN (Jobie Nam, 4 mins)
Gerry wakes up alone in his kitchen. How he got there or why he is on the floor is a mystery. Discovering that he is locked inside, he notices a bizarre trespasser in his garden practicing interpretive dance. After exhausting all his efforts to get rid of him, Gerry can only be sure of one thing: the trespasser is not leaving without a fight…
MILK! (Ben Mallaby, 10 mins)
Raymond and Timothy have run out of milk. A minor inconvenience to most but a catastrophe to those who have no intention of leaving the house. The day is ruined without their morning cuppa so they conceive of a plan genius in its simplicity. They’ll make their own milk! But how do you make milk?
THE KING & QUEEN OF HALLOWEEN (Anna Maguire & Stuart Spears, 6 mins)
Halloween is a magical time for everyone, old and young alike. But when two teenage boys destroy a strange older man’s meticulous pumpkin display, he decides to play the long game and get his revenge, in the most seasonal way imaginable.
GET SOME (The Horton Brothers, 15 mins)
After a viral pandemic takes its grip on the planet turning humans into flesh-craving mutants, TV adventurer Hunter Smith (Warren Brown) fights back by presenting Get Some, a reality show in which he tracks and kills the infected for the entertainment of the surviving population.
FESTEVIL (Paul Taylor, 16 mins)
At a vibrant music festival, a young couple’s hedonistic weekend turns into a brutal fight for survival as they’re terrorized by a gang of masked festival-goers.