Ugli Presents...A Short Film Showcase

Ugli Presents...A Short Film Showcase

The scene was set - the lights were dimmed, the audience were seated and the technical difficulties were eventually overcome (thanks to  Dave from N3RD for your technical expertise aka hitting a button). The second Ugli Presents... was officially ready to roll.

We always expected the quality of shorts to be high but nothing prepared us for the sheer excellence that was presented by five very talented filmmakers. The future of British filmmaking is in safe hands if these guys and girls continue to make such stunning films.

First up was Sophie Venner with 'Room 8'. This film was part of the Bombay Sapphire Imagination Series so we were expecting big things and boy did she deliver. High production values combined with first-class acting mixed with a truly original script got the evening off to a flyer. Imagine if The Shawshank Redemption incorporated elements of Inception and you're half-way there.

Next up was 'Anon' from Ugli member, Mario Gough. After the first film, you'd think it would have been a hard act to follow, but Mario's psychological thriller oozed every bit of class as the first and was equally as unnerving in its content. The film was essentially shot in a bedroom and required some truly inventive camerawork to create such a claustrophobic atmosphere. One underwater shot stood out in particular and it was fascinating to hear how Mario managed to capture it in the Q&A session which followed.

Frank Morris of Positive Tea Productions (love the name) was making his debut at Ugli Presents... and after two rather unsettling shorts, it came as somewhat of a relief that Frank's 'Look Up' lightened the mood with its cute take on our obsession with electronic gadgets, at the expense of any potential romantic encounters. Thankfully, Frank's film finished with a happy ending, leaving everyone in the room with big, beaming smiles.

After a short interval we were ready to crack on with Molly Brown's horror themed "Haunted Hospital'. Classic horror has always had elements of comedy thrown in for good measure and Molly captured the fine line between funny and frightening perfectly. This could easily have been an episode of Garth Merenghi's 'Dark Place', with its ironic hospital setting. What was most surprising, however, was the fact that the whole film was shot solely on Molly's iPhone....in her living room!!! With the help of some CGI effects she managed to create a truly DIY short that had all the charm and humour of film made by someone with a real passion for the genre.

Last, but in no way least, was ex Ugli member Rainer Niermann with 'Enchanting Rupert'. At 25 minutes in length it was much longer than the previous efforts, however it was such a captivating, beautiful, modern day fairy tale, that the time flew by. By the end there were big smiles all around as the night ended on a real high. Rainer also invited a couple of the actors along to add a bit of glam to the night and it was really interesting to hear about their experience shooting this magical film.

As well as these amazing films, what really stood out were the Q&A sessions at the end of each short, hosted superbly by Ugli Content Creator, James. All those years as a teacher obviously paid off. A career in presenting is yours if you want it, kid! The Q&A sessions really added value to the night, allowing the filmmakers and audience to quiz each other about their respective films. It was fascinating to find out what inspired the directors, in addition to discussing topics such as how to promote their films more effectively. Getting your short film seen is not always easy but it genuinely felt like some great ideas were being shared.

Business cards were swapped, stories were shared and networking was very much happening. A 9.30pm finish might seem quite late but it honestly whizzed by. A big thanks to the Ugli Team, the filmmakers and all who attended for making it such a lovely night. Roll on the next one...

Thank you to Rainer Niermann for these kind words:

"Many thanks for putting the evening together - I have to say, I've been to a great number of events like this but this was by far the one I enjoyed most. Our little intimate group really was a joy to be part of"

"Thank you again & Look forward to more events"