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
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>>

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
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。




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。
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。


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.



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

4/5 of Summer

In both China and Taiwan, we have “ The 24 Solar Terms

and there we past, “the Beginning of Autumn”  (13th solar term)Aug.7,8 or 9

couple days ago.

Autumn has come? It feels like summer when you walking down the street, covered by sweat.


Future Shorts Summer Festival 2012So we had our Summer Future Shorts Festival on July 14,2012.

I was amazed by the films this time, probable the best list so far to me.

Many films this time are (at least to me) more into the core of many problems that start to getting serious for the last couple decades. For example,  out of balanced parenting,  pollution problems, (they never gone far)  multi-backgrounded neighbor…etc, and some other films are more about how time changes.

It was a tough choice for me to choose from “Guest”, “Street Vendor Cinema” and “Fireworks”.

One huge reason makes me vote  ” Street Vendor Cinema ” at last, is the grandma in the film.

She asked the team to film a sad family story from her childhood. Despite she is moving between actors and tell them to cry harder or so, it makes me sad to think about she gone through all the stories.  How will you dealing with a sad memory deep inside your heart?  Even tried to bury it, it usually shows up when you least want it to. The grandma make it a film, maybe to memorize it forever, maybe is another way to let the pain out from her heart, release those memories and via sharing the story, she might felt something else instead of the original emotions.

“Street Vendor Cinema” is more like a documentary film, or a home-vid film. No fancy equipment, no expensive lights or microphones, but  I like to see every films they made for the crowd, represent of some people’s dream, maybe that’s your dream  too.

find me on google plusEmily Wu

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 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 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 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

Past the Spring Season

We have just wrapped up our Spring Season. We had a great Premiere and also a Grande screening. The films themselves were exquisite, and I had a great time organizing it as well. Here’s some results of the votes for the Grande screening:

The voting results of the screening, winner is The Man Without a Head with 20 votes.

And the winner is….

I cannot say the top position is really unexpected, though I’m glad that all films had votes cast to them. The global winner of the festival will be announced some time today, I’m curious which one, whether the taste of the Taipei audience coincides with the global taste.

In the meantime we have some more photos in our album here from our weekend screening, thanks to BigYo (the “normal” photos are by me, the good ones are by him:).

The Man Without a Head

While waiting for the Summer Programme to kick off, here’s one film from the Spring Season if you haven’t seen it yet.

Also, if you have been to one of the screenings, we’d be really happy to hear your thoughts on how to get better, either leave a comment below, post it on our Facebook page, or send an email to fstaipei@gmail.com, thanks!

Extreme Shorts – a review of Future Shorts 2012 Spring

This is a guest column reviewing our 2012 Spring programme by Alexander Flenniken. He is a filmmaker living in Taipei, a founder of “Cracked Aperture,” a video production house, and is currently in preproduction for a feature film titled “Fall Tiger,” slated to begin filming in September.

Film still from The Bear

The Bear by Nash Edgerton

The thing about short films is that they’re extreme. The Spring 2012 selection of Future Shorts, which I saw in Taipei this week, was generally a good example of this, featuring stories about terrible accidents, love, and probably the most sexually explicit claymation ever made. But the thing is, although these films are shocking and sometimes quite moving, it’s subtlety and realism that are ultimately the most memorable.

What I call the “short film car rule,” held true here–whenever characters are driving a car in a short film, the car inevitably crashes–but it was bicycling that was the most dangerous, with two impressively violent bike accidents across the eight films. The first film, “Bear,” featured a sequence of mistakes and misunderstandings leading to the surreal death of one of the main characters, keeling over in a gigantic bear suit. I found both that film and “The Arm,” this second film with a bike accident, to be so manipulative that the manipulation became evident. I react strongly against violence like this, which punishes the audience for liking the characters or engaging with the story.

My favorite film, ultimately, was the second, “Quadrangle,” a documentary about the strange linking between the parents of two families in the late sixties, as the fathers switched houses as soon as the children fell asleep, and returned home before they woke up. There’s something fascinating about hearing these parents, now with grey hair and wrinkles, telling the story of how they took the first steps of this double affair as they were stuck on a sandbar during a boat trip. One of the funniest moments in the festival was a mother describing in detail her sexual relationship with her friends’ husband, only to stop to bat angrily at a passing fly. Ultimately, things fell apart, but one of the fathers told of how he remembered that time as being a happy one, and contented one.

The organizers, who are friends of mine, asked me to write a blog post to share my perspective on these films as a filmmaker. I’m not sure if my perspective is any clearer or my taste is any more sophisticated, but I am drawn to a thought I’ve found interesting as I dig deeper and deeper into film. Cinematographers are said to have shifting tastes in color and shadow, and as they become more and more experienced, their visceral interest in saturated colors, complementary colors, low key lighting, fast cuts and dramatic moves is replaced by a more refined interest in complex colors, subtle graduations across a face, and compositions and moves that feel like reality. Maybe we have two species of short films here, a style for the masses, a popcorn style, exemplified in “Bear”, and a fine wine style, exemplified in “Quadrangle.”

In any case, I’m looking forward to Summer’s selection!