Located in the edgiest industrial corner of the impressive Tetley building, a showing of 9 short films showcasing the talent (and especially diversity) of northern England took place. As is usually the case with short films, there isn’t a conventional format to be seen, but each short offers limitless creativity. Niloufar Zabihi’s touching and original piece follows three individuals in the capital of Tehran recounting bitter and sweet childhood memories. With a similar sense of nostalgia, Nick Jordan and Jacob Cartwright transport us to the remote and scattered seaside settlement near Barrow-in-Furness. This proved to be an intriguing look at the lifestyle, combining the idyllic English seaside with the freedom of remote basic living, with a great soundtrack to boot.
‘As is usually the case with short films, there isn’t a conventional format to be seen, but each short offers limitless creativity’
Less peaceful however, is Ann-Marie Creamer’s bizarre horror spin on the decline of Italian train keepers in Puglia. A gloomy Italian narration plays over dark shots of a derelict train station, as unsettling music underscores these opening moments. All of this pushes the short to the verge of being comical, but its impressive aesthetic redeems it. Double Dapple from Mary Stark and David Chatton Barker is however, pushed over the verge. With no clear form or direction, Double Dapple plays more like a moving artwork. Despite its distinct visual intrigue, as the director chooses to overlap old black and white film, Double Dapple becomes repetitive and results in a short which would need to squeeze through even the most open of minds.
‘Double Dapple becomes repetitive and results in a short which would need to squeeze through even the most open of minds’
The most impressive dimension of the whole evening however, was the incredible diversity. No shorts were alike and a huge range of cultures, themes, interests, and styles come through. In the space of 30 minutes we are transported from Alan Turn’s psychedelic office, to modern day Oldham, and each location is a treat.
(Image courtesy of David Lindsey)