Charlotte Hadfield

Indie Flicks Film Festival: A Review

By Fiorella A. Velasco

Indie Flicks Film Festival has been brought to Liverpool for the first time since it started. Founded in Manchester about a year ago, Indie Flicks once a month brings together local and international filmmakers who produce captivating high quality short films. These are independent filmmakers, but make no mistake the end products are far from amateur. Ryan Garry, one of the individuals who will be in charge of running the event in Liverpool moving forward, said they wanted the festival to be international to raise the standards so that they can give the audience the opportunity to see truly well-made short films.

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The event was held at the Liverpool Small Cinema which helped give the night a very intimate and friendly atmosphere. This is especially ideal for young filmmakers who perhaps would be intimidated by larger venues and bigger audiences. The layout of this small cinema with its comfy couches, big armchairs, and wooden tables was inviting for all to grab a cup of tea or a beer, a bit of popcorn and just talk about their love of film.

Four shorts were screened for this event, each lasting about 10 – 15 minutes. After those the “Feature Short” was screened which gets special recognition by receiving the Director’s Choice Award. Each film was unique in its own way, with different ways of telling a story. I’ll give a brief description of each film below but won’t give specific details as they are worth a watch.

  1. Lost in Spring, Country of Origin: UK – Rosie, a timid 7 year old girl, discovers what she wants to be when she grows up but has to prove to the world that she has to courage to do it. Her journey is endearing and uplifting, and leaves you with a smile on your face.
  2. My Father Says the Stupidest Things, Country of Origin: Iran – A young cashier at a supermarket observes the variety of customers before him, most of them lovers. Some fight, some stare adoringly into each other’s eyes, but he is mainly focused on a beautiful brunette standing at the end of the line. What enfolds is both romantic and effortlessly comedic.
  3. Dearly Beloved, Country of Origin: UK – The most intense of the 5 short films, Dearly Beloved shows our main character dealing with a web of lies on his wedding day.
  4. Star People, Country of Origin: Italy – An anorexic couple refusing to eat but also refusing to acknowledge their sickness. They believe that their love for each other is all they need to survive.
  5. 5. Infinite (the feature short), Country of Origin: UK – Dealing with a terminal illness and the last months of his life, a young man asks his four closest friends to make his existence infinite by each obtaining an object that represents the most important aspects about him.

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All 5 films were beautifully shot with high quality cameras and unique cinematography that enhanced the story telling. My favourite of the shorts was My Father Says the Stupidest Things which was also seemed to be the favourite amongst the audience members. At the end of the screenings we got to vote for the People’s Choice Award and it won. Such a simple story line, but told in such an amusing format. The foreign language did not interfere with the comedy in anyway and the actors did a wonderful job at executing the cleverness of the script.

After the films were screened we got the opportunity to discuss the feature short Infinite with the producer/sound designer Jamie Gamache and the writer/actor Connor O’Hara. The most enlightening moment of the discussion was realizing that these young filmmakers didn’t have a magic formula for making a movie. They didn’t have any industry connections whatsoever or experience in the filmmaking world, they were simply two very passionate individuals who worked hard at their talent. A valuable practical point to take away from the discussion as well was that contingency plans are key to a successful shoot. Jamie Gamache stressed how important it is to set a date for yourself as a goal to work towards. The date will be your target and it will keep you from backing down or putting off the film shoot.

As someone who has been to quite a few student film festivals and independent film festivals, I was thoroughly impressed by not only the work being showcased but also the stimulating conversation that encompassed the event that night. I highly recommend Indie Flicks to anyone who is passionate or simply curious about the art of filmmaking. The monthly festival allows all filmmakers to submit their projects however submissions are kept low to only showcase the best. The next event will be December 7th, I encourage you to have a look for yourself and network with like-minded people. The price of the ticket was £6 but the insight a young filmmaker could get is worth a lot more.

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