On Tuesday I took a day off from University life and went into London to have a bit of a tourist day and to see the BAFTA Shorts at the ICA.
I’ve not really watched a lot of short films before, so seeing eight very different films back to back was a new and interesting experience.
A lot of them made me laugh, and to get someone to laugh (perhaps more than once) in 30 minutes or less is an achievement since actual full length comedy films struggle to do that sometimes.
My favourites were Island Queen and Keeping Up with the Joneses. Island Queen is about Miriam, a woman who has never left the island that is her home and never really grew up. So to remedy this she decides to have a baby, but it doesn’t quite go to plan. I found Island Queen hilarious; it is full of dry wit and black comedy that I love. I loved Miriam and her best friend Danny, I would quite happily watch a full-length film of them bickering and hugging and travelling the world together.
Keeping Up with the Joneses is about Celia, the wife of an MP, who is has to confront the imprisoned reality of her life after being taken hostage by two of her husband’s business associates aka gangsters. This one also made me laugh, mostly because of the actors deadpan delivery, but it also managed to make me really feel for Celia as she realises that her life is a gilded cage, and perhaps meeting these “business associates” of her husband was the best thing that could have happened to her.
I think it’s no surprise that my two favourites had wonderful, flawed yet amazing women as leads.
Sleeping with the Fishes won Best British Short Animation at the BAFTAS in February and I’m not that surprised after seeing it. It was my favourite animation out of the three, funny but rather weird.
Room 8 won Best British Short Film and it was a very deserving winner. It was the shortest live action short at only 7 minutes but still made a very clever and unique story. The visuals were great for such a short piece that is contained to just one prison cell. Still, it would’ve been nice if Island Queen or Keeping Up with the Joneses had won.
I really enjoyed watching all the shorts and definitely will go see them again next year if BAFTA decides to screen them.
The BAFTA Shorts are currently touring around the UK, being shown as a feature length package in cinemas across the country. To find out where you can see the shorts go to the BAFTA website. They are also going to be shown internationally as well.