It is the final day of the Cell Adore Film Festival and I would like to use this introduction to thank the team at JumpCut Online and everyone who helped put this festival together. In a time where we have so much freedom to explore now and independent stories, this festival highlighted fifteen short films (all of which add up to the runtime of one single feature-length movie) with completely different stories and themes which were all so well done. As per usual, I have five short films to once again highlight so here are my mini-reviews:
Directed by Jonathan Hawes
Description: Kick off the final day of our festival with a few laughs as you watch a couple dealing with the loss of their pet. Now, you’re probably thinking that doesn’t sound funny? Just wait and see.
Going into this short film, I had no idea what to expect when I saw that description. However, this short film is very clever in how it handles the balance of tones that it is dealt with, creating a big reveal at the end of it all. I adored how the opening title was shot and the performances are fantastic, especially handling the emotional moments. What I thought would be another emotional start to the lineup turned out to be a comedic relief that I needed.
Out on a Limb
Directed by James Joel Dann
Description: Out on a Limb follows Geoff, Dan and Isaac, three wheelchair users who embark on a mission to conquer the Swiss Alps and prove that having a disability won’t tame their sense of adventure.
I was glad to see that a documentary had made it into the festival, as they are a fantastic visual medium and worthy of much more attention than they perhaps get at times. This documentary explores a subject matter that I have never properly seen represented in this way, and presents a real humanity to it in comparison to them being seen as “heroes”. Exploring the people behind this scenario and the reasons for them taking on a sport like this is completely fascinating and sheds a little light on a subject that deserves more recognition.
When We Were Foxes
Directed by Anthony Hett
Description: A short film poem based on a poem exploring themes of love, heartbreak and acceptance through the analogy of two lame foxes.
This may be the most unique film of the festival because of how it uses the medium of a short film to capture emotion and a narrative. Instead of telling a structured story with dialogue and actions, Anthony instead uses the visuals to enhance the words said, focusing on the precise word choice to truly capture the emotion. This only works because of the incredible use of cinematography and visual representation of the fox, which can be seen both in the foreground and the background making it prominent throughout.
See You Again
Directed by Jayne Slater
Description: Rachel has to keep putting off spending time with her daughter, Elle, because of overtime. Tonight, she tries to make this right, as it may be her last chance to see Elle.
Out of the Sunday lineup for this festival, this is my favourite of the five. So effortlessly and beautifully told, the emotion is truly real as the narrative tells the story of a mother who sees her daughter for what could be the final time. The performances from everyone is outstanding, truly feeling connected to the characters before we get to realise what happened. Talking about a subject matter that is quite real, the idea that parents put their work before their own children, is a sad one but one that needs to be told more often. I completely fell in love with this short film.
Directed by Lewis Coates
Description: Leo undergoes a modern form of therapy that allows patients to visually recall their memories in order to overcome underlying trauma. As his therapist guides him through forgotten moments from his past, Leo begins to question whether the process can be trusted.
This feels like the perfect film to close off the festival, highlighting all of the strengths that every film here has to offer. I adore the visuals of this film, with everywhere looking so real and well created, particularly the therapy scene right at the start. I love how creative not only the narrative was, but how it was told through the use of the cinematography and editing to bring it to life. There was a balance of emotion, drama and tension throughout, making the story not only hard to predict but easy to fall into. Overall a fantastic short film and a great way to conclude a fantastic film festival.
If you want to check out any of these short films or the entire festival, you can do so by going to the Cell Adore Film Festival website here