Local Shorts Focus: Brisbane Review @ Brisbane International Film Festival

Local Shorts Focus: Brisbane
Lloyd Marken likes to believe everyone has a story and one of the great privileges of his life has been in recent years to tell stories as a freelance writer. He has proudly contributed to scenestr magazine since 2017 and hopes to continue long into the future.

Audiences and filmmakers alike attended the premiere of locally-produced short films at New Farm Cinemas on Saturday night (23 October) as part of the Brisbane International Film Festival.

The eight chosen films certainly evoked a wide of variety of moods from the sentimental to the thought-provoking to the humorous. Appropriate then that the ultimate of winner of the Brisbane Shorts was a film that combined all three.

‘Our Greatest Escape’ featured at its centre two wonderful performances that Director Loani Arman never failed to highlight in her direction of a woman dealing with her mother suffering from dementia.

Stephen Lance effectively created suspense and unease over a son’s weekend stay with his father that gradually reveals more and more pain in one of the stronger offerings ‘Torch Song’.

‘Delta Of Venus’ by Nancy Cao, making its world premiere, certainly swung for the fences. Shooting on location to create stylised specific settings and aiming to raise eyebrows, certain parts may have gone on too long and certain messages may have proven too indecipherable to care about, but Nancy’s ambition is commendable. Broken up into three parts, the third made for the most evocative visuals and closed the short film on a high note.

‘Thoughts On The Purpose Of Friendship’ was very Buddhist in its approach, taking in individual moments shared between two friends just hanging out, doing everyday activities. The cinema lit up with laughter and smiles seeing the two enjoy a meal they had just cooked. A clear example of how Director Charlie Hillhouse succeeds in capturing the way a passing comment or a nod can communicate so much between two men. However, some segments go on a bit too long, which is kind of the point, but a little trimming would have been to the benefit of the short.

Brodie Rocca’s ‘Perfect Park’ is a simple concept perfectly executed in the telling of a couple trying to parallel park a moving truck into a tight space creating several giggles.

James Latter’s ‘Home’ is similarly effective but has hidden depths, as slowly items in a 30-something’s house keep going missing, rendering his single and unemployed existence even more helpless. The subtext is brimming to the surface here, giving the funny piece an acute pathos and marking it out too as one of the stronger offerings.

‘Metropius’ directed by Dan Macarthur was a great looking animation short, probably intended to create interest in funding a further series or feature. Set in a futuristic noir world, the animation was a visual feast, even if some of the character facial expressions remained minimal.

‘Jarli’ a fellow animated piece from Chantelle Murray and Simon Rippingale fared better with the character animation but had no lesser ambitions in terms of scale. A short, concise, eight-minute tale about a girl in Outback Australia pursuing her dreams to take flight higher and higher.

With a winking nod at youth as well as a sincere love letter to the sheer optimism of their dreams, this simple tale told well ultimately won the night, but as it turns out everybody won in a way, by getting to see the work of all our talented local filmmakers.

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