Future Shorts Latest Winter Season

The latest season of Future Shorts is looking really awesome, I can hardly wait to put it on in Taipei for all of us to see. Here’s the trailer:

Screening: February 23, Saturday evening. To join the event and have the latest info, can RSVP on these pages:

Facebook events: https://www.facebook.com/events/122950084548349/
Google+ events: https://plus.google.com/events/cldvfa1a3hfb0b3p58qha7denq4

The Films

Fishing Without Nets

Fishing Without Nets

Fishing Without Nets

Dir: Cutter Hodierne
Kenya – 2010
A story of pirates in Somalia told from the perspective of the Somalis.
Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at 2012 Sundance Film Festival.

導演: Cutter Hodierne
肯亞 – 2010
一個用索馬利亞人的角度,述說有關索馬利亞(東非國家)海盜的故事。
本片榮獲 << 2012日舞影展 評審團大獎 得主>>

Marcel, King of Tervuren

Marcel, King of Tervuren

Marcel, King of Tervuren

Dir: Tom Schroeder
United States – 2012
The rooster Marcel survives the bird flu, alcohol, sleeping pills and his son Max.
Though blinded in one eye, he remains the King of Tervuren. Greek tragedy as acted out by Belgian roosters. Marcel, King of Tervuren is in competition at Sundance 2013.

導演: Tom Schroeder
美國- 2012
一隻叫Marcel的公雞一個公雞在歷經禽流感、酒精、安眠藥、最後是他自己的兒子等各種事件,後活了下來;即使瞎了一隻眼, 它仍舊維持它的王位。 改編自希臘著名悲劇伊底帕斯王的故事,由比利時公雞主演。
本片榮獲 << 2013日舞影展 參賽作品>>
更多資訊及本片預告:
http://www.studio2talks.com/archives/4772

We're Leaving

We’re Leaving

We’re Leaving

Dir: Zachary Treitz
United States – 2011
Rusty and Veronica have to move out their home and try to find a new place to live with their teenage alligator, Chopper.
We’re Leaving is a tender glimpse at one couple’s quest for small triumphs in an uncaring world.
Jury prize winner at Woodstock Film Festival and receiver of an Honorable Mention at Philadelphia Film Festival.

導演: Zachary Treitz
美國 – 2011
Rusty 和 Veronica 將要般離他們的家,並試著找一個新的地方,好跟他們十幾歲的鱷魚, Chopper 一起住。
本片帶觀眾溫柔一瞥這一對伴侶在這冷漠的世界中追求他們小小的勝利。
本片榮獲 << Woodstock電影節 評審團獎>>
以及 << 費城電影節 榮譽獎 >>

The S From Hell

The S From Hell

The S From Hell

Dir: Rodney Ascher
United States – 2010
Short documentary-cum-horror film about the scariest corporate symbol in history – The 1964 Screen Gems logo, aka ‘The S From Hell.’ Built around interviews with survivors still traumatized from their childhood exposure to the logo after shows like Bewitched or The Monkees, the film brings their stories to life with animation, found footage and dramatic reenactments.

導演: Rodney Ascher
美國 – 2010
一部紀錄片暨諷刺恐怖片, 講述企業界史上最可怕的符號— 1964年Screen Gems 製片公司 的Logo, 通稱『從地獄來的S』,講述Screen Gems公司給一整代人帶來的童年惡夢。
訪問倖存者仍舊有著童年時期暴露在S logo下的的精神創傷,例如《摩登原始人》、《家有仙妻》等,本片將他們的故事用節目片段,動畫等等呈現。

Candy Girl

Candy Girl

Candy Girl

Dir: Lucy Luscombe
United Kingdom – 2012
A surreal coming-of-age short in which a young gymnast in competition begins to see the world differently.
Candy Girl explores the transition we make from idealistic childhood through the somewhat more murky world of the adolescent. Underwire Festival Winner of the Outstanding work by female practitioner aged 15 – 25, supported by BFI Future Film.

導演: Lucy Luscombe
英國 – 2012
一個關於「轉大人」的短片,描述一位在競賽中的年輕的體操選手開始用不同的角度看世界。
Candy Girl 探索在我們從過度理想主義的童年轉變到某種程度上陰暗的多的青少年期。
由15 – 25歲的傑出女學員演出, 本片榮獲 << Underwire Festval>>選出,由 BFI Future Film 贊助。

Lovebirds

Lovebirds

Lovebirds

Dir: Brian Lye
Czech Republic – 2010
Love Birds is a short film that sees humans acting as birds. A male and a female bird meet and fall in love. An egg is produced and all is happy in the nest until their love is tested and fate comes knocking.
A humorous love story that reflects the similarities between avian and human life.
Best Film at Primavera Film Festival, Leichhardt (Sydney) Australia.

導演: Brian Lye
捷克共和國 – 2010
Love Birds 是一部將人類型為看做鳥類的短片。
一隻雄鳥和一隻雌鳥相遇並墜入愛河,一顆蛋的誕生讓他們的鳥巢充滿了愛,直到他們之間的愛受到了考驗,而命運在此時來敲門…
一部描述人類和鳥類微妙相似的幽默愛情故事。
本片為 << Primavera Film Festival, 澳洲雪梨(小義大利區) >> 最佳影片

Seeds of the Fall

Seeds of the Fall

Seeds of the Fall

Dir: Patrik Eklund
Sweden – 2009
Middle-aged couple Rolf and Eva live in a passionless relationship. They wear and tear at each other and Eva begins to feel sexually frustrated. One night she tries to seduce Rolf. He dismisses her but then something happens that will change their relationship forever.
Special Jury Mention and the Audience Award at the 2010 Prague Short Film Festival from the Oscar nominated director Patrik Eklund.

導演: Patrik Eklund
瑞典 – 2009
中年夫婦Rolf 和 Eva 過著沒有熱情的生活。 他們的關係逐漸磨損,而Eva開始對他們的性關係感到挫折。有天晚上,她試圖勾引Ralph, 但後來發生的事,將永遠改變他們的關係。
本片榮獲以及 << 2010 布拉格短片節 評審特別獎、最受觀眾歡迎獎 >> 由奧斯卡提名導演 Patrik Eklund 執導。

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The first year

Now that I think of it, it feels much longer than just a single year, the 4 seasons we had here at Future Shorts Taipei. On the other hand, indeed it was just a year and a few days ago, that the idea came to bring this global pop-up film festival to Taipei as well.

It was a crazy year, two dozen great films, fun audience, and a lot of learning.

I got to meet a lot of local film makers, I’m the most surprised how natural it is to talk to them about movies. I go to cinema a lot, and having a peek on the other side of the camera is always fascinating. Probably that’s the biggest gain of the entire experience. There should be a gain, because being an organizer, I got to experience the programme in a very different way – it’s not movie going, it’s event organizing. The two don’t mix well. Still, it’s good enough, that when the projector is up and running, the sound is good, the airconditioning is working, and the audience is there, then I can relax and enjoy the show (as long as my computer doesn’t crash…)

View of the audience for the autumn screening

Future Shorts Taipei autumn screening

In this one year, we have tried a few different ideas, small screening, big screening, first screening, reprise screening… Some worked better than other, and in the end, probably will just take it easy, and continue with the shows in the cafe where we had most of our events so far. It’s easier that way, and then we can concentrate on making the event better.

And better we have to do. The Chinese/English subtitles are a big issue. First there were no subtitles, then we could convince the HQ to add the English ones, by the end of the year, they had Chinese as well. If we can keep that up, we have a much better experience for the organization and the audience’s point of view too.

It would be great to make a little money with this that I enjoy doing, though so far it is mostly avoiding losing some. In the summer with our large screening, that was the biggest audience so far, I have lost a small fortune, because I haven’t planned well. Subsequently it was good enough to break even, and pay for our own drink at the cafe that night. It’s good enough for me, and not planning to raise the ticket prices, I want people to come first and foremost. If we could negotiate smaller license fees with the HQ, that would be the best way ahead.

Today is the last day of the Autumn season, and 2012 as well. The new season is just a few hours away, really looking forward what is going to be on the menu, and will be very happy to bring it here. Future Shorts is more labour than I expected, but it is truly a labour of love.

Thanks for all of you guys who came to any of the screenings this year, you make this all happen.

Happy New Year and have an awesome night tonight!

Fifty Shades of Future Shorts

This is a review of the latest Future Shorts season by Alexander Flenniken, filmmaker from Seattle, co-founder of Cracked Aperture Video Productions, now working on his feature film, Fall Tiger.

I had the chance to see the Autumn season of Future Shorts in the basement of Insomnia cafe in the university district of Taipei, where thirty or so of us sat among mismatched chairs and couches, watching the festival and discussing the films after. There’s very little else like it in Taipei, and it’s always fun to talk movies and meet new film lovers. Also as always, the films compelled me to think about film art and filmmaking, and I was struck that these films, as superficially different as they are, seem to express a similar gritty realism – and, likewise, a similar empty competence.

Even though these films are dissimilar, dealing with everything from sex and love to voyeurism and violence, short film festivals like Future Shorts are particularly interesting because it’s impossible to see the films completely separately from each other. The films, watched in sequence, bleeding into each other, give a feeling that is sometimes completely separate from any one film taken by itself.

Squished together, the films present a reality that is shadowy and ambivalent, where a father can simultaneously assault a bystander in the bathroom of a sports bar and gracefully accept his son’s homosexuality; where a humble security guard can fall in love with a woman – as he watches her over a bookstore’s CCTV. The Autumn Season of Future Shorts was about the everyman – the balding, unhappy and increasingly desperate man trying to make his way in the universe. Overweight, with deep bags under his eyes, he struggles to manage his powerful emotions and survive in a society that is leaving him behind. I remember the most striking imagery – a son trying to escape his father by crossing an empty freeway overpass, a black balloon emerging from a dump, covered in dirt and refuse, a security guard hunched over in a dark booth, watching security cameras. These are dark images.

Optimism and beauty, while present in these films, is reflected out of messy, dirty life, beautiful moments shrouded in sadness and guilt. These are what you might call “gritty,” a popular tone found these days in everything from comedies (like Funny People), to science fiction (like Prometheus), to action movies and comic book movies (The Bourne movies and The Amazing Spider Man).

These films were well-made, and each was effective at telling its own story, to be sure, but I’m simply a little tired of grittiness. I ask myself, why not make a beautiful film? Why not make an adventure? Why not make something pure?

Take for comparison a film like Spirited Away, so colorful and lush, with the deep blue of the sky, the green of the trees, and the deep Chinese red of the buildings, with dragons, stink spirits, a giant baby and a hideous crone. Or take a film like the Chinatown, where Jack Nicholson plays a detective who is intelligent and driven; his nose slit by gangsters, he continues to investigate, undeterred. Films can create amazing worlds, can give us characters with powerful personalities. Films can show us any reality.

I want to watch a film like that!

The ambivalence that is characteristic of gritty films can be a weakening force. For example, look at Coffee Regular, Cairo, one of the standout films of the evening. In no more than four setups and almost no cuts, a woman and her boyfriend discussing sex is completely transfixing. Paraphrasing slightly, the woman tells her boyfriend, “I heard some foreigners speaking frankly on the train about sex, and I’ve decided that we should make love.” She lays down her requirements – that she wear her headscarf, that he buy roses to scatter over the bed (“Aren’t you worried about the thorns!” he retorts). They discuss it, and she convinces her boyfriend to sleep with her. But then, in the end, she loses her nerve and changes her mind.

Cafe Regular, Cairo film still

Cafe Regular, Cairo

The film, perhaps, is arguing that no respectable, conservative Egyptian woman would stick to such a plan for more than a couple of hours. So the film ends, nothing different, enjoyable and funny but not particularly challenging. The film could easily be called “realistic.”

But imagine, what if the ending were different? What if the couple left the cafe, planning to make love that coming Friday? The film would be much more provocative, and, I would argue, stronger.
The films fall into another common trap of gritty realism, in that they are overly male-oriented. The masculine focus of the films is clear from a quick application of the Bechdel test. To pass the Bechdel test, a film must:

  1. Include at least two women
  2. Who talk to each other
  3. About something other than a man

All five of the short films failed this test. To be fair, a huge portion of modern cinema somehow manages to fail it as well, but it’s sad that our industry continues to neglect half of the stories out there.

As a filmmaker and a amateur critic, these films entertained me and made me think, offering high production values, top-quality acting, drama and humor. Still, I find myself thinking of the stories that art film continues to miss out on. Women interacting with each other, adventure and joy, unconditional love, science fiction, optimism, beauty. Where is the fun? Where is the adventure? Is life really so dark? But then, I remind myself of my eternal recourse: if you’re not satisfied with the films out there, make a film yourself!

A few hours until curtain call

Only a few hours left till we have this Autumn’s screening tonight – here are the Facebook and Google+ event pages.

Subtitled scene from the short On the Line

Subtitles for Autumn Season (from On the Line)

 

I feel that in some way there are more work gone into this than any of the last 3 seasons, but actually every season was somewhat experimental:

The last winter season was the first time we have ever put on such event, even such kind of event, thus it was all new, everything had to be seen for the first time. And it was the first time Future Shorts blown my mind with their film selection.

The spring season was going to be bigger, we had a premiere and a grande screening. The grande needed much more arrangement, huge auditorium (well, for us, 220 people), our biggest audience to date, online ticket sales, and the fact that the film selection was 18+, which surprised me. And it was amazing again, edgy, clever, pushing the boundaries.

The summer season was a bit more laid back, just a simple screening, kinda run out of time to do much more, even if there were plans. It was one great time, and finally the first screening on which we haven’t lost money. :)

For the autumn season, the one premiering tonight, we tried to get Chinese subtitles, so we can extend our audience a bit more, out from the English speaking community in Taiwan. Some amazing volunteers worked with us, and the global organizers had finally some Chinese translations, which altogether makes a better experience. Let’s see how it worked out. The process need some fine-tuning, but things should definitely work smoother this time than before, from the technical point of view.

It’s time to set up our venue. Looking forward to seeing you tonight. :)

Get your sweaters, Autumn season

It has been a long summer, even if vacation-wise it cannot ever be long enough. Now that days are getting shorter, the kids are back to school, the typhoons are gone, and the moon-cakes are all eaten, it’s time for the Future Shorts Autumn Season.

On the programme we have 5 short films from 4 different countries. It’s definitely on the cutting edge, since 3 of them debuted this year, and we are among the first people to get to see them.


Cafe Regular, Cairo

Coffee Regular, Cairo

Egypt, 2012, 11 minutes

A young couple find themselves speaking about things they have never spoken about before. In a city where the old and new meet, with the potential for anything to happen, they try to find their own place in a changing and uncertain world. Winner of Special Jury Mention at Tribeca Film Festival.

A Brief History of John Baldessari

A Brief History of John Baldessari

USA, 2012, 6 minutes

From the directors of CATFISH and PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 3, A Brief History of John Baldessari tells us everything we do and don’t need to know about this American conceptual artist. Many know Baldessari as “the guy who puts dots on people’s faces.” But did you know that he is 6’7″ and that his wifi password is 123456789B?  An epic career is crammed into 5 and a half frenzied minutes. Narrated by Tom Waits.

Rite

Rite

UK, 2010, 14 minutes

Mike visits his estranged son on his birthday, wanting to take him out and rebuild a damaged relationship. But drink and the simmering violence from match day in London taints the occasion, resulting in a strained afternoon for both father and son. Pearce has been named one of the  ‘Stars of Tomorrow’ by Screen International, and Rite was nominated for Best Short Film at BAFTA Scotland.

The Black Balloon

The Black Balloon

USA, 2012, 18 minutes

Winner of Sundance’s Short Filmmaking Award, the Safdie brothers bring a film intended for children, morphed into a sci-fi urban fable. Black Balloon explores New York and the complicated lives of individuals and their daily experiences from the heights of a stray balloon.

On The Line

On the Line

Germany, 2007, 30 minutes

A story about love, voyeurism and guilt. A department store security guard watches a clerk in the store’s bookshop on CCTV and falls for her. After  he witnesses, and ignores, a supposed love rival being attacked on a train, guilt begins to destroy his once ordered life. On the Line has won over 50 International awards.


We are looking forward to arrange the autumn screening, and will let you know about them soon! In the meantime you can let us know your thoughts in the comments or on Facebook/G+/Twitter.

find me on google plusGergely Imreh

Need your help: subtitling project

Movies are best enjoyed when you know what’s going on. Duh! One cannot speak all possible languages on Earth, that’s even bigger issue with Future Shorts, where in one sitting, withing the course of one-and-a-half hours you can watch 7 movies from 5 different countries. Also, the same films are shown in dozens of countries around the world. That’s why we have to rely on subtitles to get our message to the local audience.

Screenshot from Tumult

Tumult (UK, 2011, by John Barrington)

For Future Shorts Taipei we made it a priority to get some kind of subtitles for every film we show, and as the first stage of the project, we had English subtitles for our Spring and Summer programme already. But that’s not enough. Taiwan is a special place, and we have lots of local and international friends here. Not everyone speaks English, and not everyone can read Chinese. Thus we want to be able to prepare double-subtitles for all our films: both English and Chinese (just like those fun movies on the HK movie channels I’m quite fond of :)

For that we need your help: we have the English subtitle files – could you help us translate it to Chinese? If you can please get in touch with at fstaipei@gmail.com, or in the comments below. Then we’ll be able to get you some sample of what does need to be done. Don’t worry, not too much text.

We are planning some more screening of the summer programme before the end of September, and this would be a great help. Thanks in advance!

find me on google plusGergely Imreh

Introducing the Summer Programme

Now that the summer has arrived, here’s the lineup for the latest movies at Future Shorts. 7 award winning short films from 5 different countries, many different styles and visuals. This time all family-safe, though it looks like they will again rock your world.


A Morning Stroll

A Morning Stroll by Grant Orchard

United Kingdom – 2012 – 7mins

Created by Studio AKA, the multi-BAFTA winning company behind Future Shorts favourite Jojo in the Stars, Grant Orchard’s A Morning Stroll is the story of an encounter between a New Yorker and a chicken. Told over three acts spanning over 100 years, this incredibly successful animated short has already won a BAFTA and a Jury Award at Sundance and was nominated for a Short Animated Film Oscar. Click here to see the trailer.

Guest

Guest by Ga Eun-Yoon

South Korea – 2011 – 20mins

A teenager angry at her father’s affair barges into his mistress’ house to find her two little kids. Winner of the 2012 International Grand Prix at Clermont-Ferrand, Guest is a beautifully acted coming-of-age portrayal of emotions from Korean National University of Arts’ film program.

Notes on Biology

Notes on Biology by Will Madden

United States – 2011 – 6mins

A stop motion animation, Notes on Biology was the winner of Best Short at SXSW. This very clever short film brought to us by Ornana Films follows a student’s imagination during a Biology class.

We’ll Become Oil

We’ll Become Oil by Mihai Grecu

Romania – 2011 – 6mins

A winner at Tampere Film Festival, this experimental documentary inspired by the Golf of Mexico oil spill describes the effect of conflict in geographical spaces. Click here to watch the trailer.

Street Vendor Cinema

Street Vendor Cinema by Clarissa Knoll

Brazil – 2011 – 15mins

A short film producer sells filmmaking on demand in the busiest shopping street of Brazil. The outcome is an extraordinary mix of genres, from a samurai epic to a family melodrama, all born out of popular fantasy shaped amid the market’s chaos.

Tumult

Tumult by John Barrington

United Kingdom – 2011 – 13 min

A tribe of norse warriors traipses across a barren land after battle. Their dying chief is about to hand over power to his son when an army of a completely different kind descends upon them. Click here to watch the trailer.

Fireworks

Fireworks by Victor Hugo Duran

United States – 2011 – 11mins

Growing up in Los Angeles, the fourth of July was always about fireworks. Against the holiday backdrop in South L.A., Fireworks is a coming-of-age story of two adolescent boys on a quest to impress a group of girls. Click here to watch the trailer.


We are just setting up the screenings in and around Taipei for these films, and we’ll let you know as soon as they are arranged. Should be very soon, can’t wait to see these!

find me on google plusGergely Imreh