Past weekend, the Super Shorts London Film Festival hosted its latest edition at Close-Up Cinema in Shoreditch. With last year's event cancelled due to Covid-19, this edition was a double one, showing a total of over a hundred wonderful short films hailing from around the globe. We were grateful to be able to organise a live event once again and show the films as they were meant to be seen, on the silver screen. The ongoing pandemic's influence was still felt however, with a number of guests unfortunately having to stay home and quarantine. We wish them all a speedy recovery. Covid-19 and tube strikes notwithstanding, the festival was pleased to welcome a smaller number of guests for a weekend full of independent film gems.
The festival screened both last year's selection of films (take a look back at the 2020 award winners on the website: www.supershorts.org/london-2020), and another fresh new batch of shorts for 2021, carefully selected out of over a 1600 local and international submissions. With the jury members having cast their votes, we are pleased to announce to you today the 2021 Super Shorts London award winners:
Best Narrative Film: DOGWATCH (Austria) by Albin Wildner. “This is a cinematically-shot, well-paced and emotionally-engaging bittersweet story. The protagonist was sympathetic and his turmoil was convincing,” stated one jury member. “Solid acting, an immersive buildup, underlining the bureaucratic anomalies and ironies of a greedy Kafkian society, but nicely wrapped in a glimpse of hope,” commented another. “This film was incredibly touching in so many different ways, evoking feelings of loss on so many levels and leaving a very profound sense of lack and 'dizziness' after itself.”
Best Documentary Film: PRISONER NO. I (U.K.) by Daniel Watt. “A troubling story which left me wanting more,” comments one jury member.
Best Experimental Film: SPONTANEOUS (U.S.) by Lori Felker. The jury found Felker's short about miscarriage to be an “impactful story that sticks with you.”
Best Animated Film: SAVE RALPH (U.S.) by Spencer Susser. Our jury members thought this stop-motion animation to be one of the most powerful shorts they'd seen, and one of the very best of the festival. “A both funny and heartbreaking depiction of the reality of the vivisection industry and it's impact on the trillions of innocent victims. An intelligent and compassionate film that can't fail to impact audience's consciences, with some nuanced vocal performances from some big names at its core,” according to the jury. “Brilliantly made, profoundly moving, and will certainly make the world a better place.”
Best Underground Film: BEFORE WE COLLIDE (U.K.) by Guy Gooch, Gregor Petrikovic. The jury praised the great cinematography and loved the characters in particular.
Best Music Video: ATLAS (France) by Jim Vieille. “An entire experience, holding the eyes on the screen with fantastic editing and cinematography,” according to our jury panel.
Best Super Short Film: SLURP (France) by Jules Jolly. The jury “loved the tunneling out of the head” of this super-short film in particular.
Best UK Film: EAST OF LONDON (U.K.) by Giovanni Montalvo. The jury found it to be a “very stylistically appealing and compelling story, with stunning cinematography, splendid close-ups and camera angles, beautiful grading and very good performances. Convincingly gritty and authentic, the film ends on a thought-provoking note.”
A big thank you to this year's panel of jury members: Simon Alexander, Oli Greck, Flavia Casella, Matt Brothers, Tania Khan, Sam Skempton, Isabella Bazoni, Manuela Batas, Mark Brown, Desiree Faust, Tony Hickson and Monica Scanlan.
With annual film festivals in London, New York, and Los Angeles, Super Shorts Film Festival highlights independent short film talent from around the globe. Talent Circle in London founded the Super Shorts International Film Festival in 2003, to focus explicitly on short films in all its forms and shapes. In its original incarnation, the festival came to an end in 2014. Inspired by that original movement, the Super Shorts Film Festival London was revived in 2018 at the Stephen Street location of the British Film Institute, and continued to emphasize lesser known, vanguard cinematic works and further its tradition of galvanizing budding talent. This year, under the wings of Cinematory LLC, Super Shorts Film Festival brought to life two new festivals at new exciting locations in New York and Los Angeles.
Super Shorts Film Festival creates an intimate atmosphere and space for unique visionaries and voices. True to their history, the different festivals screen films of both novices and veterans—with medium and low budgets—from all over the globe. Super Shorts Film Festival's goal is to create a warm, open atmosphere in which filmmakers, fans, critics, and producers can watch the films of emerging talents, explore new cinematic techniques and styles, and award cinematic excellence.