Screening in competition at the Festival are a series of professionally made short films from around the world designed to entrance, enthral and entertain in equal measure.
Villa Antropoff, Vladimir Leschiov and Kaspar Jancis
Villa Antropoff by Vladimir Leschiov and Kaspar Jancis tells two parallel stories: the wedding of a cocaine sniffing bureaucrat; and an African peasant attempting to travel across the sea in a wooden crate to find the owner of a discarded prophylactic washed up on the beach of his home town.
With its tongue very firmly in its cheek, Villa Antropoff makes fun of the European middle class from its drug indulging aristocrats, their buxom trophy wives and their lecherous clergymen while also making fun of a few national stereotypes (the stuffy and self-conscious Brits; the rigidly organised Germans) and the damage they inflict on other nations.
Junkyard, Hisko Hulsing
Hisko Hulsing’s Junkyard is a bruising and unflinching portrayal of drug-addiction and urban decay set to a cel shaded pallet of muted reds and oranges. In his dying moments as the result of a knife attack, Paul recollects his childhood friendship with a boy named Anthony.
From forays into the neighbourhood junkyard, their friendship is strained when Anthony falls into a life of heroin use and petty crime culminating in a shocking act that threatens to ruin both their lives. A powerful depiction of the consequences of substance abuse.
Oh Willy, Emma de Swaef and Marc James Roels
Emma de Swaef and Marc James Roels’ Oh Willy is a charming, moving and side-splittingly funny stop-motion animation made entirely with knitted sets and characters.
The film’s protagonist finds himself returning to the naturist compound where he grew to attend his mother’s funeral. When a broken toilet and a fit of modesty forces him into the woods, Willy is forced to return to the roots that he once turned his back on and finds love in the woolly arms of a roving Sasquatch. Heart-warming, lovingly made and just a little bit bonkers, this is an extraordinarily likeable film.
Who Lasts Longest, Gregorio Muro
Who Lasts Longest, directed by Gregorio Muro, is a gut-wrenching account of the consequences of childhood follies.
When a young boy is hit by a train while playing a game of Chicken with his friends, his parents are devastated when they learn he has developed permanent brain damage. As he grows older and the couple face the difficulties in helping him, one of the boy’s friends is forced to live the cost of his mistake.
The award for the Professional category will be announced tonight at the BAF 2012 Awards Ceremony.
This post was written by Chris Shackleton, who writes about film over at filmcraicwithchrisshack.