Billie Walker

IndieFlicks Take Two!

Situated in Fact’s comfiest theatre, it is filled with sofas and insulated with burgundy ceiling to floor curtains, IndieFlicks has returned to our city, offering a bountiful season of independent, international cinematography. Once a month IndieFlicks presents its audience with a selection of “Short shorts” (each up to 15 minutes long), filling the first half of the evening as the People’s choice awards, with the second half being the Director’s choice, one film between 15-45 minutes long chosen by the judging panel.

Whether you are a film fanatic or not, this is an entertaining way to spend your evening. It gave me a chance to play what I like to call the Black Mirror game, in which you try to guess the concept of each piece. The shorts chosen are not only diverse in their origin – Germany, New Zealand, Italy to name a few – but also thematically. Some focusing on the heavy hitters life, death, racism, whilst others take a blackly comedic tone to tackle love, friendship and organised crime. All being beautifully styled, and professionally put together. This is not amateur hour.

The winner of the People’s Choice award was the short originating from New Zealand: Ur Dead to Me. It is a darkly hilarious short, in which two women have an occupation of delivering dead flowers to the sender’s ex. The phrase don’t shoot the messenger comes to mind every time the woman bearing flower corpses begins to read the insulting hurtful messages on each person’s doorsteps. Whilst it seems cruel I found myself wishing such a delivery service existed. It’s a simple concept which is brilliantly executed, as the subtle palette and endearing aesthetic is sharply contrasted with the cutting insults delivered to the unfortunate receiver – leaving you laughing at that relatable pain of heartbreak.

A personal favourite of mine was the shortest short of the bunch. The German film, Die Freundin (The Homegirl), beginning and ending with montage shots mimicking those often used to portray sex workers. It is an abrupt bittersweet piece, a snippet into the life of a professional friend. Die Freundin proves the old adage quality over quantity.

Some shorts such as Ur Dead to Me and Die Freundin, I have remembered fondly for their use of comedy and aesthetics. Others such as Night, resonate for their poignant messages. Night follows the events of a girl’s night out in which the Black characters are treated favourably, whilst their White friends feel as if the treatment of them at the night club is prejudiced. By subverting racial issues it shines a light on the white privilege many of us are often guilty of being ignorant of. Night was the most topical and revelatory piece on show.

IndieFlicks brings unique concepts and transcending human experience from all corners of the world to your local cinema. Cinema can become such a passive experience, but in the snug confines and jovial atmosphere created by it’s creators, you are encouraged to discuss and share your opinions on pieces presented to you. The variety in the shorts makes Indieflicks a great night for all, as everyone’s tastes are often met. Whether you are on a date, with family or friends or just want to get a glimpse of the world of film beyond Hollywood this monthly event is the one for you! IndieFlicks returns to FACT on the 12th February featuring films from the USA, Italy, Germany and the UK!

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