Edinburgh Short Film Festival
Short film’s reputation has continued to grow over the last decade: the form is no longer relegated to “arty- farty indulgence”, but a viable and vibrant medium in an otherwise blockbuster- driven, reboot-riddled industry, serving an audience hungry for authentic, quick- to-consume stories. The ninth edition of ESFF continues to deliver as one of the UK’s strongest short film festivals, screening 36 UK premieres, including Guy Nattiv’s 2019 Oscar-winning Skin, and 27 international film festival award-winners alongside a range of Scotland’s own talent. Taking place over three consecutive weekends, there’s an eclectic mix of flicks to feast your eyes on, from Taiwanese animation to Croatian comedy.
After some pre-launch networking with Cinetopia at Brewdog from 6pm, nine shorts are programmed for opening night at the Filmhouse from 8:40pm, under the theme Out of Frame. Exploring how the filmmaker chooses the audience viewpoint, this selection questions the motivations and reasons behind our actions. The line-up includes the UK premieres of Genoa Film Festival 2018 Best Short Film Moths to Flame and Jelena Sinik’s 2018 ATOM Awards winner On, alongside the Cannes 2019 Best Short and the BAFTA Scotland 2018 winner.
Summerhall plays host to Love Be Damned, which screens eight UK premieres exploring the darker side of love through the lens. Featuring Sarah Tafel’s Fantastic Plastic which was nominated for the Shocking Short Award 2019, expect gothic folklore, zombies, surreal animation from Brazil and Spain, and Indian rom-
The top picks and the faces behind them will be on display in a one-off event sure to have short-film enthusiasts excited. Best Films Night at the Filmhouse will be Edinburgh’s joint first ever (possibly…) post-Brexit European arts event as seven directors show and tell their award-winners.
Modern living can be tough in an age where anxiety is on the rise. Coping Mechanisms will showcase nine stories of overcoming whatever life may bring. Strong Scottish talents including Scottish Ballet are joined by award-winning offerings from Finland, Turkey, New Zealand and Australia. Further voices are represented at In ? We Trust as faith in the modern age is represented by tensions between religious and LGBT protagonists, from a young girl battling Catholicism’s innate patriarchy to a Croatian priest and his sacrilegious ice-cream aspirations.
The final evening’s theme of Conventionality Isn’t Me is the perfect summary of this modest and quirky festival, with twelve films that should uplift and inspire. From a surrealist feminist global sisterhood, a resourceful young Tennessee woman utilising junkyards, to the football team shunning traditional identity.
Then schmooze the night away and find out who will be crowned Best Film, Best Animation and Best Scottish Film at the Awards Ceremony, followed by the Awards Night Party with music from Brimstone & Blake.
ESFF runs from Thursday 24th October till Sunday 10th November at The Filmhouse, Summerhall and Edinburgh College of Art.