SHORT FILM REVIEW: FALSIFIED

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Writer/Producer: Ashley Tabatabai | Director(s): Stefan Fairlamb, Ashley Tabatabai |Cinematographer: by Adam Lyons | Cast: Ashley Tabatabai, Mitchell Mullen, Julia Leyland, Mike Archer

A man whose son was stolen at birth is convinced that he has found his long lost child. Inspired by Spain’s stolen babies scandal, Los Niños Robados.

An abhorable and largely unmentioned stain in Spanish and European history, the effects of ‘Los Niños Robados’ also known as ‘The Lost Children of Francoism’ – during which an estimated 300,000 children were reported stolen from their parents between the 1930s and 1980’s – are still being uncovered today.

In Ashley Tabatabai’s (a triple threat here as writer, producer and star) grave and pensive short film Falsified, we meet Henry, 30 years into his search for the child he lost during the regime. More tragically Henry’s wife, Maria, has since passed away – spurring his determination to to deliver on the promise he made to her before she died –  to find their stolen son.

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SHORT FILM REVIEW: THE FARE (2016)

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Producer: Ken Morris | DOP: Rasa Partin | Cast: Johnny Ortiz, Eduardo Roman, Noemi Pedraza

A young Ecuadorian kid, driving for a human trafficking gang, confronts his past when he’s asked to transport a 14 year-old girl from his hometown to a sex trafficking organization.

Emerging award-winning filmmaker, Santiago Paladines’s The Fare is a sobering snapshot of a much horrific and sometimes incomprehensible truth. This particular story takes place in outskirts of Los Angeles, where we’re thrust into the all too familiar sphere of the human trafficking trade. Though it’s never intimated that anyone in this day and age is naive as to believe a promise land really exists anymore, or ever did, the obvious eagerness to get to the ‘other place’ is still an attractive positive to many desperate immigrants.

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SHORT FILM REVIEW: FOREVER NOW (2017)

Director: Kristian Håskjold| Writer(s): Kristian Håskjold, Trille Cecilie Uldall-Spanner| DOP:Christian Houge Laursen |Producer: Siri Bøge Dynesen| Cast: Ferdinand Falsen Hiis, Frederikke Dahl Hansen, Henning Valin
After several years together, William and Cecilie break up. The same night, to treat the sorrow with love, they decide to do the drug MDMA together. For better or worse, this results in an emotional rollercoaster ride over a whole weekend as the two are isolated together in their apartment.
Forever Now (2017) is a love story. It’s an observation into the visceral, complex and confrontational connections between two people who love one another. However these two are breaking up, and it’s this particular catalyst that really aims to examine and evoke what love is. Does it really mean ‘forever’ – some unseen untouchable future? Or is it the now, the tangible present and the selective past. 

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SHORT FILM REVIEW: GRIDLOCK

Writer/Director: Ian Hunt Duff  | Producer: Simon Doyle | Cast: Moe Dunford, Peter Coonan, Steve Wall and Amy de Bhrun. 

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During a traffic jam on a narrow country road. When Eoin’s young daughter Emma goes missing from their car, he forms a desperate search party to find her. But as panic takes hold among the other drivers, the search for a missing girl quickly descends into a frenzied witch-hunt, where no one is above suspicion.

Gridlock is a thrilling ride.  

Indeed,  despite its title and baseline premise, Gridlock moves at a pace that’s consistently engaging and packed with plenty of questions of who, how and why. It has all the machinations of CLUE? without any of the superfluous character breakdown, making which is both intriguing and chilling.  

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PRESS RELEASE: ‘GRIDLOCK’ @ the 2017 JAPAN SHORT SHORTS FILM FESTIVAL

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Award winning film Gridlock selected for Oscar qualifying film festival Short Shorts Film Festival

Director Ian Hunt Duffy and producer Simon Doyle’s unnerving thriller Gridlockhas been selected to screen at the prestigious Short Shorts Film Festival in Japan on the 7th of June and stars Moe Dunford (Vikings), Peter Coonan (Love/Hate), Steve Wall (Dominion Creek) and Amy de Bhrun (Jason Bourne). The Short Shorts FilmFestival is the biggest short film festival in Asia.

Gridlock is an Irish spin on an American style thriller, set during a traffic jam on a narrow country road. When Eoin’s young daughter Emma goes missing from their car, he forms a desperate search party to find her. But as panic takes hold among the other drivers, the search for a missing girl quickly descends into a frenzied witch-hunt, where no one is above suspicion.

Director Ian Hunt Duffy graduated from the National Film School in Ireland with a BA in Film and Television Production and upong graduating set up his own production company in Dublin called Fail Safe Films, alongside Simon Doyle. Ian has produced and directed numerous award-winning short films, including the IFTA Nominated and Academy Award® long listed Love is a Sting and the Filmbase/RTÉ time-travel comedy Small Time. Producer Simon Doyle has also produced numerous award-winning short films, screening all over the world. His first feature film In View was written and directed with long-time collaborator Ciaran Creagh. Simon has a slate of three additional features that he is developing with some of Ireland’s most exciting talent.

In the role of Emma’a father Eoin is Moe Dunford, known from his work in the hit TV series Vikings for which he was awarded an IFTA for Best Supporting Actor. Steve Wall, playing Liam, is known for his work on Sam Steele, in two seasons of An Klondike for TG4 and now on Netflix as Dominion Creek.

Peter Coonan and Amy de Bhrun are starring as Rory and Catherine. Peter stared in the feature Get Up and Go alongside Killian Scott, and is best known for his regular and extremely popular role on the critically acclaimed RTÉ drama Love/Hate. Whereas Amy is well known for her work on The Crown and the Dragon and can be seen in Paul Greengrass’ latest movie Jason Bourne.

Gridlock has already won a number of high profile awards, including Academy Qualifying Awards Best Irish Short at the Foyle Film Festival and the Grand Prix Irish Short at Cork FilmFestival. This exciting film has also won five more prestigious awards and has been selected for almost 20 film festivals. 

Gridlock will be screening at the Japan Short Shorts Film Festival on June 7th 

Short film Review: LEGAL SMUGGLING with CHRISTINE CHOY

Legal Smuggling

Creators: Noah and Lewie KlosterContributor: Christine Choy

Aesthetically the Sundance 2017 nominated film, Legal Smuggling, composed almost entirely of cut and paste illustrations, looks innocent enough. However all of this dissipates within seconds when the film’s subject and glorious narrator, Christine Choy, begins to regale the story of her relationship with cigarettes and her determination to sustain her love for smoking by doing the extreme – flying a few thousand miles to get them cheaper.  I’m loathe to use the term addiction (though, yes this is what this is) because the way Choy talks about her beloved twenty-pack of Benson & Hedges is a poetic, unashamed and unapologetic confession. 

With Choy’s unique gravelly voice and the Kloster brothers’ perfectly imperfect visuals, the audience is  guided through a succinct story that really kicks off during Choy’s teen years; from leaving the ‘Orient’ to ending up in an all girls’ Catholic school in North America. Choy does what any teenager does to adapt in new surroundings, follow the trend but for an all East Asian girl living in a time where all-white Hollywood stars are idolised and smoking is in vogue, a young Choy is limited in the ways in which she can adapt. It’s a humorous retelling, fast-forward to a trip to Canada, the charismatic and sharp narrator points to this as one of the only downsides to her escapade (there’s nothing to do in Canada… bleurgh!)

We’re treated then to a tense climax in Choy’s story, when her seemingly seamless plan faces one glaring obstacle, airport customs and security. And without giving the ending away, one thing is certain, this final act is a worthy wrap to a consistently thrilling production. 

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