Best short films at Heart of Gold 2017
I recently had the pleasure of attending the Heart of Gold Film Festival, taking place deep in the heart of rural Queensland in the historic town of Gympie! James Vinson and I were there to represent Passage of Flick as part of the festival line-up (and you can check out the Q&A we gave at the festival here). During our 4 days at the festival, we saw over 60 short films - some award winners, and some on their way to becoming just that. Below are some of my personal highlights - these are definitely films you need to keep an eye out for and check out if you ever get the chance!
The Burden (Min Börda) - Niki Lindroth von Bahr
A super weird and yet incredibly enchanting stop motion Swedish musical. It focuses on menial jobs and is sung by grotesque animals in a weird claymation-Bojack Horseman way. This was seriously one of the highlights of the festival for me.
Afternoon Class - Seoro Oh [FULL FILM BELOW]
Only 4 minutes long, yet it somehow captures the experience of fighting with yourself to stay awake. It's well-animated and a bit funny.
Catherine - Britt Raes
This is the story of a cute little girl who grows up to be a crazy cat lady. Don't let the film's appearance deceive you - there's a slightly morbid twist to it all!
Catastrophe - Jamille Van Wijngaarden
Clocking in at just 2 minutes, this is one of the quickest and most rapid-fire comedies in the festival. A cat, with one simple wrong motion, turns an entire apartment into a disaster zone.
The Eleven O'Clock - Derin Seale
This quick-witted and twisty comedy pits a psychologist against his patient, though one thinks he's the other. There's a lot here you'll catch only on second watch, and it's well worth it!
Edmund The Magnificent - Ben Ockrent
This is as about as British as it possibly gets. A small town fairy tale? Check. The voice of Sir Ian McKellen guiding you through the whole journey? Check. Argus Filch from Harry Potter (David Bradley) as the lead? You got it. Let the trailer below speak for itself.
My Best Friend is Stuck on the Ceiling - Matt Vesely
I swear that everything that comes out of Adelaide is just the funniest thing, and this continues this tradition! The "guy and girl on a date" trope plays out in the best way possible, as a guy uses a mythical space rock to impress his best friend. Some seamless SFX really make the joke land here!
Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow - Sunday Emerson Gullifer
A VCA grad film, T+T+T looks at the cruel realities of the theatre world through the lens of an aspirational actress playing Lady MacBeth. It's a bit Black Swan, it's a bit Whiplash, it's all a claustrophobic descent into the mind of someone with passion in a vitriolic environment.
Bon Voyage - Marc Wilkins
This tense journey left me wanting more, and I seriously hope a feature film comes out of this story. A couple on a private ship are sailing in the Mediterranean Sea when they encounter a sinking refugee ship. After some hesitation, they go to search for any survivors, but what happens next pits their morals against them. Complete Captain Phillips vibes from this, but I would definitely sit through 70 more minutes of this!
Have You Tried, Maybe, Not Worrying? - Rachel Ross
This one is personally striking to me, as it's one of the most vivid and realistic portrayals of anxiety I've seen on screen - something that's impacted my life for years. I've not had the cinematic language to communicate what it feels like until I saw this. Brought to life with a stunning performance from Florence Noble, it portrays a simple moment which says no more than it has to.
Hold On (Houvast) - Charlotte Scott-Wilson [FULL FILM BELOW]
This Dutch film is truly an adventure - following a professional cellist as she recovers from the anxiety of a performance gone wrong. It's a journey that takes place entirely from her point of view, and you come out 22 minutes later having been trapped in an anxious headspace. There's a beautiful single take during the climax of the film which should really be applauded (these people can PLAY).
The Dam - Brendon McDonall
With word that his health might be in danger, a long lost friend pays a long overdue visit. The two elderly gentlemen reconnect, with the knowing that the other was always the "one that got away". There's something tragic to be said about two people in their golden years faced with a lifetime of regret, and this film really took me by surprise!
Sing - Kristof Deák
I mean, yeah? What else can you say about the 2017 Oscar winner of Best Action Live Short? It's incredibly well-deserved! Amazing performances from the child actors, an adorable story about kids banding together against the system, and a story that's a bit School of Rock and a bit Matilda! I loved this so much.