It is now day two of the Cell Adore Film Festival and Saturday’s lineup may even be stronger than Friday’s one was. The team at JumpCut Online have put together an incredible short film festival and there are another five films here to discuss today. Here are my mini-reviews of the short films showcased in Saturday’s lineup of the Cell Adore Film Festival.
Directed by Ronald J. Wright
Description: On the eve of the end of the world, a grieving father takes his family out for one last, fateful journey, in this dark, moving apocalyptic horror film written by bestselling author Michael Bray.
This is a hard watch to begin the festival but it is worth it completely to be captivated in this dark and terrifying story. This is a fantastic story and one that feels completely different to many “end of the world” stories, with this one feeling more emotional and connected to the characters rather than the situation. For a small budget film, this is excellently shot and created, truly making the end of the world come to life effectively.
Directed by Micky Wozny
Description: Revisiting the memories of a childhood pet through the medium of sand.
From the same creator of yesterday’s short film Let It Rip, Micky Wozny shows here that not only is she able to have fun with different sort of medium to create different visual styles, she is also able to experiment with bringing different stories to life. The use of sand to retell a story of a childhood pet who is no longer here is brilliant, both in its simplistic art form and also the symbolism of the grains representing a life no longer here. Simple, effective and stunning.
Directed by Harry Tye
Description: In the near future, large corporations have the power selling medication at extortionate prices that only the 1% can afford. The rest don’t qualify and are left to fend for themselves. Oscar works for one of these companies. His mother is dying but despite his best efforts, he is unable to retrieve a vile from the labs to cure his mother.
Through his tests and research, he believes he has an affordable solution to the cure. He is just missing one ingredient: Astragulus. He must battle the elements and survive in the wild to attempt to find and deliver the cure.
Focusing on our lead character and his narrative, changing timelines between him at the hospital and his journey to find an affordable cure for his mother, the writing is clever in getting us to care about him (matched with an incredible performance by Adan Osborne) and his family before we find out why he is going through the struggle. With many of us right now caring so much about being able to access healthcare easily and affordably, it is a subject matter that is relevant and important and it is well done in this beautifully shot short film.
Directed by Emma Robson
Description: This romantic comedy follows Gary who, after several months of talking online with Helen, finally gets to meet her face to face. The night, however, isn’t exactly what Gary expected.
This is one of the few comedy short films in the Cell Adore Film Festival and the light break that is needed in this particular lineup. Many of us have experienced online dating, so we can easily place ourselves in Gary’s shoes and cringe at the situation he has been placed in. The story works incredibly well for the subject matter, and the writing really makes you connect to Gary and wants him to have the best whilst also seeing the desperation he is going through. Humourous throughout, this is definitely a short film that was needed in the lineup for sure.
Directed by Anthony Hett
Description: The tale of Salif, a middle-aged laundrette owner and his fear that any day now, his sole employee, 77-year-old Mary, will stop showing up.
The Saturday lineup closes with what is so far my favourite film of the festival. Anthony Hett effectively uses the entire runtime to not only tell a simple yet beautiful story but also create real characters, talk about real struggles in issues such as dementia and also turn the narrative around to leave the audience shocked. The performances are wonderful, the dialogue is so well written and realised and this is a film that is surprisingly cheerful and heartfelt even if the subject matter is haunting and dark. This is a must-watch for everyone.
To watch all of Saturday’s lineup, as well as get more information on the entire festival, check out their website here and make sure to support JumpCut Online and the team who put this together.