Shortlisted BAFTA Short Films (Part 2)

Lucky Break ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Director: John Addis. Cast: Jessye Romeo, Steve Oram, Diana Weston

A comedy about a girl who works in a remote service station and is bored out of her mind when a suspicious stranger enters the station, things start to get interesting… This is definitely a silly one, but nonetheless pretty enjoyable. It does however feel a bit more like a well made student film that anything of weight worth of a Bafta awards.

Lizard ⭐️⭐️

Director: Akinola Davies. Cast: Pamilerin Ayodeji, Osayi Uzamere, Charles Etubiebi

I really had no idea what was going on here. I watched it for all its 18 minutes hoping that everything would become clear… but all of a sudden the credits started rolling and surprise surprise… I was really lost: a young girl expelled from a Sunday service, an armed attack in the streets of Laos… a giant lizard! It’s moody, well shot and given the short length it sucks you in… but by the time it all ends you feel like it was a wasted 18 minutes as it was just too impenetrable. I really had no clue what was happening. Here’s the trailer

Miss Curvy ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Director: Ghada Eldemellawy

A short documentary about a beauty contest for “curvy girls” in Uganda and all the controversy around it (does it challenge the stereotypical idea that only slim girls can take place in beauty pageants or does this sort of things dehumanises and humiliates women?)The film follows a mother as she chases her dream to be named the country’s first Miss Curvy. It is personal and yet universal, charming and dark at the same time. The film would actually deserves more time to develop the characters as the beauty contest gets closer and closer. As it is it’s just a little bit tantalising, but in the end slightly fluffy and a bit superficial. Here’s the trailer:

My Brother’s Keeper ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Director: Laurence Topham. Cast: Mohamedou Ould Salahi, Steve Wood

After seeing the “Mauritanian” with Jodie Foster just a few days ago, this short documentary about what happened next feels like a gift. A little post-scriptum to the story of Mohamedou Ould Salah who spent 14 years in Guantánamo prison for being a suspect behind the 9/11 attack, but who never actually got charged. Of his time there he remembers very few good moments, but one of them is the relationship with his American guard, one of the few people who treated him as a human and who he felt safe with. Years later Mohamedou is going to him again. It’s an interesting coda to a story which I am now familiar with, but I wonder I would feel if I had not seen the Mauritanian first.Also I though it was all a bit too tame and didn’t quite go deep enough in exploring the relationship between captor and prisoner. You can watch this here:

The Present. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Director: Farah Nabulsi. Cast: Saleh Bakri, Mariam Kanj, Mariam Basha

A short story about Yusef, a Palestinian man who set out with his young daughter in the West Bank to go shopping for some groceries and to buy his wife a new fridge for his wedding anniversary. Clearly not as easy as it sounds as going through checkpoints (both ways, in and out) is never a walk in the park. The film feels so real and immediate that after a while you might think you’re watching a documentary. Everything is seeing through the eyes of the young daughter which makes it all even more powerful, a real achievement considering the very condensed time. This has also being shortlisted for the Oscar. Here’s a trailer for it.

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