Sex, Violence and Comedy: the BAFTA-nominated Shorts Have It All (And They Even Have Michael Fassbender!)

3 Animations and 5 Live Actions Nominated for a BAFTA in 2012

3 Animations and 5 Live Actions Nominated for a BAFTA in 2012

Yours truly had the absolute delight to be invited along to a screening of all the BAFTA-nominated short films who are in the running this year. HOW EXCITING!

As I entered BAFTA I didn’t know what to expect, but I must say I was absolutely delighted with what I saw. Each film was completely unique and made me proud to be British.

The astounding quality of the shorts made me feel proud to be British!

The astounding quality of the shorts made me feel proud to be British!

For your reading pleasure and as this is a category whose films rarely get seen beyond the festival circuit, here’s a breakdown of what’s on offer this year.

ANIMATION: 3 Films In Competition

Abuelas was the first film in the category to be shown.

Abuelas was the first film in the category to be shown.

Title

Abuelas

Summary

In a small apartment in Buenos Aires, an old woman eagerly awaits the birth of her grandchild. However, horrific circumstances means she will be forced to wait over 30 years.

The Team

Director / Animator / Co-Writer: Afarin Eghbal

Producer: Kasia Malipan

Co-Writer: Francesca Gardiner

Afarin Eghbal the Director of Abuelas

Afarin Eghbal the Director of Abuelas

Derek’s Verdict

A thoroughly engaging short film which captured the essence of the era, and chillingly effective at portraying the loss and suffering experienced by countless Argentinians during dictatorial rule.

Official Links

IMDB 

Bobby Yeah was the second short to be screened.

Bobby Yeah was the second short to be screened.

Title

Bobby Yeah

Summary

Bobby Yeah is a petty thug who lightens his miserable existence by brawling and stealing stuff. One day he steals the favourite pet of some extremely dangerous individuals, and finds himself in deep trouble.

The Team

Director / Writer / Producer: Robert Morgan

Robert Morgan...the director with the insane imagination....!

Robert Morgan...the director with the insane imagination....!

Derek’s Verdict

To be honest, whilst watching this film I couldn’t make heads or tails of anything that was happening. There were moments when I genuinely couldn’t figure out what was going on and didn’t know whether to laugh or recoil in horror.

Thankfully the Q&A managed to clear the air and one thing is clear: Robert Morgan is a hilarious genius. In his own words he “had no idea what I was doing.” The whole film took 3 years to complete and was originally going to be 2 mns long but Robert continuously got distracted and added scene after scene. The Chair of the Q&A Will Massa (British Council), compared the film to David Lynch’s Eraserhead which Robert gleefully accepted as a lovely compliment. Yet as Morgan himself explained, not even he “had any idea what the film is about.”

One thing is clear though: it is a brilliant filmmaking masterpiece, but be prepared to be sucked into the mad and unusual world of Robert Morgan’s imagination.

Official Links

Facebook

A Morning Stroll is also nominated for an Oscar...!

A Morning Stroll is also nominated for an Oscar...!

Title

A Morning Stroll

Summary

When a New Yorker walks past a chicken on his morning stroll, we’re left to wonder which one is the real city slicker.

The Team

Director / Writer: Grant Orchard

Producer: Sue Goffe

Sue Goffe (Producer) and Grant Orchard (Director) are headed to Hollywood with their Oscar-nominated short A Morning Stroll.

Sue Goffe (Producer) and Grant Orchard (Director) are headed to Hollywood with their Oscar-nominated short A Morning Stroll.

Derek’s Verdict

A simple and delightful film apparently based on a true story that appeared in the New Yorker.

Official Links

IMDB

The Directors of the BAFTA-nominated Animated Short Films (left to right: Robert Morgan, Grant Orchard, Afarin Eghbal and Chair Will Massa)

The Directors of the BAFTA-nominated Animated Short Films (left to right: Robert Morgan, Grant Orchard, Afarin Eghbal and Chair Will Massa)

LIVE ACTION: 5 Films in Competition

Chalk was the first film to be screened in the live action category.

Chalk was the first film to be screened in the live action category.

Title

Chalk

Summary

When a gymnast is selected for the National training camp she discovers something new about bodies, boys and friendship.

The Team

Director / Co-Writer: Martina Amati

Producers: Gavin Emerson, James Bolton

Writer: Ilaria Bernardini

Martina Amati with her first BAFTA back in 2010

Martina Amati with her first BAFTA back in 2010

Derek’s Verdict

No stranger to the awards season, Martina Amati has already won a BAFTA for her short film “I Do Air” back in 2010. Her follow up Chalk which is in the running this year, is again a perfect example of a director perfectly in control, who’s able to tell a story the way she sees it. Another strong contender and one to watch.

Official Links

British Council

Mwansa The Great was made through Focus Features' Africa First Programme

Mwansa The Great was made through Focus Features' Africa First Programme

Title

Mwansa The Great

Summary

An eight-year-old boy who aspires to be a hero embarks upon a journey to prove his greatness, with unexpected consequences.

The Team

Director / Writer / Producer: Rungano Nyoni

Co-Writer / Co-Producer: Gabriel Gauchet

Rungano Nyoni already won BAFTA Cymru Award in 2009

Rungano Nyoni already won BAFTA Cymru Award in 2009

Derek’s Verdict

A fantastic and uplifting piece of filmmaking. A truly refreshing, moving and funny short that is deservedly in the running for a BAFTA. It’s also a brilliant testament to Focus Features for funding a programme of African films. It was brilliant.

Official Links

Official Website

Only Sound Remains is set in Iran but was filmed entirely in London

Only Sound Remains is set in Iran but was filmed entirely in London

Title

Only Sound Remains

Summary

In the wake of the violent post-election protests in Iran, a man and his wife, Babak and Nahid, try to hide the devastating news from Babak’s grandmother that his brother is missing.

The Team

Director / Writer: Arash Ashtiani

Producer: Anshu Poddar

Arash Ashtiani is one to watch!

Arash Ashtiani is one to watch!

Derek’s Verdict

Gripping, fascinating and brilliantly made. As Arah was explaining in the Q&A, the film is set in Iran but was shot entirely in London. In order to maintain the film’s authenticity though he asked a friend in Tehran to record the sounds of everyday life over there and send them over to him in London to use in the film. This is a perfect example of a great story told with micro-budget means.

Official Links

IMDB

Michael Fassbender and Liam Cunningham star in Pitch Black Heist: a hilarious black comedy.

Michael Fassbender and Liam Cunningham star in Pitch Black Heist: a hilarious black comedy.

Title

Pitch Black Heist

Summary

Liam (Liam Cunningham) and Michael (Michael Fassbender) are professional safe crackers who meet on a simple job to relieve an office safe from its contents. The catch is a light-activated alarm system.

The Team

Director: John Maclean

Producer: Gerardine O’Flynn

Director John Maclean's Pitch Black Heist is the second project with Michael Fassbender.

Director John Maclean's Pitch Black Heist is the second project with Michael Fassbender.

Derek’s Verdict

Yours truly was pleased to see a genuine comedy make the nominations for this year’s BAFTA awards. Considering Michael Fassbender can be seen in Hollywood blockbusters like X-Men and Inglorious Basterds, I especially loved the fact that he took time to star and help write this brilliant short comedy.

According to its director John McLean, the script took 9 months to perfect, and Michael had a truly active involvement throughout the process. Love it. Kudos to Fassbender, you’re a legend!

Official Links

Facebook

Two and Two was directed by Babak Anvari

Two and Two was directed by Babak Anvari

Title

Two and Two

Summary

In a school governed by a strict regime, the pupils are informed that what they had always been taught as fact is no longer true. But when the incredulous students speak out, they are forced to question how far they will go to stand up for their beliefs.

The Team

Director / Writer / Producer: Babak Anvari

Co-Producer: Kit Fraser

Co-Writer: Gavin Cullen

Babak Anvari on the set of Two and Two

Babak Anvari on the set of Two and Two

Derek’s Verdict

A beautiful and thought-provoking short film. The power of this film will shock and inspire all audiences. Babak I hope you continue making such great films.

Official Links

Official Website

The directors of the BAFTA-nominated short films (from left to right): Babak Anvari, John MacLean, Arash Ashtiani, Rungano Nyoni, Martina Amati

The directors of the BAFTA-nominated short films (from left to right): Babak Anvari, John MacLean, Arash Ashtiani, Rungano Nyoni, Martina Amati

Enjoy Ladies and Gentlemen!

Hugs and Kisses

Derek x

derek@ineligibleforgreatness.com

twitter.com/ineligiblederek

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