The BFI London Film Festival - Short Film Competition One

The BFI London Film Festival - Short Film Competition One

At the weekend, we attended the BFI London Film Festival, to see the Short Film Award Programme 1.

We saw a collection of 6 short films that had been nominated. They were all remarkably different, and covered important topics, such as race, emotion, sexuality and war.

‘The Trembling Giant’ directed by Patrick Tarrant was particularly interesting, a documentary of some of America’s oldest trees. The film was cleverly shot through a moving 16mm take-up reel. The film was bizarrely intense, and uncomfortable to watch at times - it certainly captured the attention of the audience. Why it was so captivating, even we can’t explain.

The winning film, was exceptional. ‘9 Days - From My Window in Aleppo’, directed by Issa Touma, Thomas Vroege and Floor van der Meulen. During 2012, Syrian photographer Issa Touma noticed from his window, that young men were making a barricade from sandbags in his street. This marked the start of the civil war in Aleppo.

For the following 9 days, Touma stayed indoors, and filmed the unraveling situation from his bedroom window. He did not know whether he would even be alive to finish filming.This short film provides an unbiased angle, and harrowing glimpse into the start of the conflict in Syria which has since continued for several years. The film is powerful, and makes those of us who are more fortunate, consider the freedom that we take for granted.

The Short Film Award takes place in order to recognise short work with a unique voice, and film that is confident in being able to handle the chosen theme and content. We’re thrilled to have had the opportunity to see Competition One!