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Film of the Week: Backseat Driver

Backseat Driver by Rich Peppiatt (2018) (UK) (8m)

Winner of the BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY AWARD, Backseat Driver is a very well-made short that takes place over the course of an early morning drive into the City of London. But the chauffeur does not intend to drive the banker to his work place quietly. Instead, the banker becomes the target of the chauffer's fury. It seems the increasingly angry chauffer is keen to vent his rage over how the bankers live in a vacuous, gilded tower. But there seems to be something a little odd about their relationship.


Speed Dating by Isaac Feder (2007) (USA) (8m)

A look back at a previous competition winner. Speed Dating is a brilliant romantic comedy about Greg, who has recently broken up with his girlfriend, trying out speed dating. He is confronted with a series of comically incompatible women until he meets one woman who is different from the rest and keen to have an honest conversation with him. Is this the girl for which Greg is waiting? With a great script and wonderful acting, short films don't come much better than Speed Dating.

Lunch Time by Alizera Ghasemi (2017) (Iran) (16m)

Lunch Time was in competition at Cannes. It tells the story of a 15-year-old girl who has been sent to identify her mother's body in the hospital morgue, but discovers that she has to be accompanied by a guardian in order to do so. She claims that, with her father in rehab, there is no-one else in her family who could identify the body but the hospital staff are suspicious of where she got her black eye. Will they let her in and is she telling the whole truth?

Small Deaths

Mother's Call by Mayank Satapathy (2018) (India) (6m)

Mother's Call won the BEST INDIAN SHORT FILM AWARD in the 14th FILMSshort Competition. In this Hindi thriller short, a doctor is threatening to expose the politicians that caused the death of numerous children in a hospital, so the politicians order a 17-year-old boy to assassinate the doctor’s sister as a warning. But the boy is not a cold-blooded killer and it is his mother who must help him escape his situation.

Small Deaths

The Last Supper by Alicia MacDonald (2017) (UK) (3m)

It is 33 AD and Jesus Christ has just eaten the Last Supper with his twelve disciples. Knowing that Jesus is going to be crucified the next day, two of these disciples grab the chance to pitch some PR ideas to "J-Dog" before it's too late. Very modern materialists, they see marketing opporutnities where others might see the death of the Messiah. Alicia MacDonald went on to direct three episodes of the comedy Pure for Channel 4.


Balcony by Toby Fell-Holden (2015) (USA) (17m)

It was supported by Film London's London Calling Plus scheme for BAME filmmakers, and tells the story of Tina, a teenage girl growing up in a deprived neighbourhood rife with racial tension. Tina falls for a recent immigrant girl but, although the girl - who is a victim of prejudice and shame within the community - welcomes Tina's friendship, she may not be interested in a relationship. What will happen when Tina tries to kiss her and is Tina a reliable narrator?

Winter Hill by Lee Gray (2018) (UK) (15m)

Having fallen ill with ME/CFS when she was only 13-years-old, Melanie missed out on all the normal rights-of-passage, such as boyfriends and school exams. Instead, she grew up in an isolated world where she was often judged by a lack of an obvious illness: her diagnosis of ME/CFS was misunderstood time and time again. "People are visual beasts..." as she says in her honest narration about a disease that challenges sufferers both physically and emotionally.


Comeback Kid by Ian Robertson (2017) (UK) (17m)

Comeback Kid is a black comedy in which a man dies shortly after discovering his wife is cheating on him with a friend. Having been reincarnated, he finds himself dating his own teenage daughter some sixteen years later. However, he is unaware of his previous life and is thus confused by his attraction for his girlfriend's mother and dislike for his her step-father (the man who betrayed him). How will he react when he is reminded of when he found his wife bent over the dining table?


The Moon Fall Unconscious by Nico Scheepers (2017) (SA) (23m)

The Moon Falls Unconscious (Die Maan Val Bewusteloos) is a beautifully made fantasy short film from South Africa. Made in Afrikaans (a language derived from Dutch), it tells the story of the young Mia, who lives with her caring but ageing grandparents and wants to learn where she came from. All she knows are the fairytales that her grandparents have told her. But what really happened to the rest of her family?


Legal Smuggling with Christine Choy by Lewie Kloster (2016) (USA) (4m)

Legal Smuggling With Christine Choy, directed by Lewie Kloster, was in competition at Sundance in 2017. This is perhaps due to the fact that Christine Choy has previously been nominated as a documentary filmmaker at Sundance. It tells the short story of Christine's penchant for Benson & Hedges' cigarettes, and how she discovered the cheapest way of feeding her habit was to buy a cheap flight to Toronto and buy the cigarettes in a Duty Free shop. However, she discovered a problem in Canada

I Am An Actress

The Day I Got Lost by Ali Hazmati (2018) (Iran) (6m)

The Day I Got Lost follows the travails of famous actress Mozhdeh Gilani (Hengameh Qaziyani) as she wraps up a television interview to discover her husband has called her mother-in-law while involved in a brawl. Mozhdeh is unable to get through to her husband and, with a conspiracy apparently taking place, she is in a rush to get home to discover what has happened. She is in for a shock.

Hedgehog's Home'

Slapper by Luci Schroder (2017) (Australia) (15m)

Slapper was in competition at Sundance and won several awards in Australia. With lots of mature content, it follows the story of Taylah, a rebellious (pain-in-the-ass) and broke teen from a rural Australian suburb populated by dropouts. After having sex without protection - which she blames on the man - Taylah must find the money for the morning-after pill to avoid a pregnancy. However, as she tries to get money out of her various sexual partners, she is also having to babysit a five-year-old girl.


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