White Awake has won the best BAME Short Film in the 12th FILMSshort competition. White Awake - which is a great title! - tells the story of Joshua, a successful black man, who is having therapy to overcome his current problems. During today's therapy session he is recalling his somewhat unusual childhood in the 1980s as the black son of a white couple with marital problems. The look of the 1980s scenes is very evocative and the overall quality of the film and acting is very high.
This Oscar-nominated documentary, made for the New York Times, is a compelling film with no voiceover and no interviewer. It simply shows the efforts of a Greek coast guard boat, stationed on the small island of Lesbos, as it is constantly attempting to rescue refugees stranded on overcrowded boats in the Aegean Sea. The refugees, crammed onto the boats by dispassionate people smugglers, are trying to make it from Turkey to Greece, a crossing of 4.1 miles.
Apparently taking inspiration from the collapse of global bee colonies, but laden with philosophical ideas, HIVE follows the last few survivors of a dying world as they search for meaning in their final hours. It can be hard for non-animators to appreciate the amount of time and effort that goes into making a stop motion film, but this is very well done, with smooth moving shots giving it a great cinematic feel.
The beautiful Every Second tells the story of Honza, who, after suffering an accident that makes him realise he could die any day, decides to follow the girl he adores to Berlin. He believes he loves Midla, but when he arrives in Germany he meets Esta. He decides to live in the moment and spend his time with Esta and a romance forms between them. So is Esta now the love of his life?
A competition finalist, The Naughty List reminds us that Santa Claus will visit all the world's children on Christmas Eve, even if the child in question - Vince - is an adult mobster hiding out with his partner-in-crime in a secluded cabin. The problem is that Vince's partner does not believe in Santa Claus and, fearing the stranger could be a hitman, is tempted to put a slug in him. For his part, Santa Claus is no saint, but how will this unusual situation end, and will the rest of the world's children get their presents tonight?