BAFTA short animated shortlisted 2020

I must say, I was quite disappointed by the list this year. There’s not a lot I would personally recommend not anything I thought would be worth any award to be honest, so for me this time it’ll be more a question of which one is the least offending short.

Bench (⭐️⭐️)

A super-short stop motion animation with a funny final twist by Bafta award winner Rich Webber (who worked for Aardman on things like Shaun the Sheep). I’m not sure whether this one is Award winning material, but hey… I laughed out-loud…. which is probably more than I can say about any of the others. You can watch it here. At least it’s very short.

Cha (⭐️⭐️)

I was only able to understand the full meaning of this piece once the final caption with the end credits came up and I read that the story is based on the memories of 2 women who survived the Sikh Massacre in Delhi of 1984 (where more than 8000 people died in 3 days). Despite the strong story and some interesting visual (though not very warm, nor overwhelming), I thought the film itself was a bit too confused to carry the emotional resonance it actually needed. Unfortunately I was never quite on board with it. Here’s the trailer.

Chado (⭐️)

With a combination of digital animation and risograph printing the film tells a very weird story (though I am told it’s supposed to be coming of age tale… go figure) populated by even weirder characters. There are some interesting visuals here and there not enough for me to recommend it. Also I couldn’t quite understand what the two different styles were meant to diabolise and I was more confused by what the hell was going on than intrigued.

The Fire Next Time (⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Visually this was one of the most interesting of the lot, blending of hand-drawn and stop motion animation, with beautiful contrasts of colours against the gray bag rounds. It surely meant to represent an allegory for social inequality but I have to say, style aside it all felt a bit flat for me and when it finished I was left with more questions than answers and a feeling of “meh”. A pity because it had lots of potential. Here’s the trailer

The Owl and the Pussycat (⭐️⭐️)

An illustration of the 1871 poem by Edward Lear, which however charming doesn’t quite feel award material, but more like something you’d find on YouTube when looking at something for your young child to behave. Also I thought the voice for the narration was miscast and didn’t seem to fit the warmth of the rest of the film.

The Song of A Lost Boy (⭐️⭐️⭐️)

It is the story of a young choir boy whose voice breaks in the middle of singing in a church and runs away in shame.This short is beautifully photographed (the lighting in general is exceptional) but I must say I wasn’t too keen on the way the characters themselves were depicted.The story is meant represent a sort of crisis of faith and a journey to self- discovery. Probably the best of the lot, but that doesn’t say a lot .

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