Thousands of filmmakers from around the world took up the challenge of telling a story in 60 seconds. The 25 that have been shortlisted can best be described as bite-sized, yet gourmet
A minute to win it � no more, no less. That's what the Filminute Festival is all about, challenging filmmakers, writers, animators, artists to create an impact through one minute films submitted online.
Scenes from The Fallen by Bauke Brouwer
The sixth edition of the International festival features 25 finalists from 18 countries across six continents. And now it's down to you, short-film-lover, to decide which filmmaker takes home the prestigious people's choice award.
We had half an hour to spare and decided to sit down and watch all 25 films back to back. However, some of the entries were too overwhelming and at times shocking, for us to be able to finish watching them all in 25 minutes.
The subjects of the films vary greatly, from hungry vampires and garbage dumps to mugs and mugs of coffee, making it a truly remarkable collection. Almost all the films are well thought out and involve great cinematic technique, but with much difficulty we selected a few that compelled us to go back and watch them again, at times over and over again.
A common misconception about short films is that visuals dominate dialogue since there's no scope for punchy lines. Piet Sonck from Belgium does not agree and his film breaks this myth. The film is a common conversation between two similar looking young women on an escalator. The film is one minute of thoroughly exceptional dialogue and a smart comment on the popular perception of shock fashion (dyeing hair red, blue, pink etc ) being sexually attractive.
For most filmmakers, a minute to make an impact can be very limiting, but Loop by Aritz Moreno from Spain overcomes this but repeating the one big impact of the film over and over in a minute. The film is true genius.
The other gem in the collection is The Fallen by Bauke Brouwer from South Africa. The frames are tight, the shots are simple and the emotions true.
The film, that commemorates the 12,000 South African soldiers who sacrificed their lives during the Second World War has a clear beginning, middle and the end. It film doesn't put across just an idea. It tells the story of thousands of families from the beginning to the end, all in a minute, much like a full-length feature film.
There are a few other films worth a mention. Intelligent and crisp, these films are brilliantly executed concepts that just need a brand and a tag line to make them worthy of Cannes Lions International award. The first in line is the film Reverie by Jaro Minne from Belgium. It's the story of an eight-year old modern princess. She is too comfortable in life; she craves for something more adventurous than applying rosy nail paint and dreams of living it up in the wild with a dangerous vagabond.
Naufrago (castaway) by Spanish director Javier Meler Gutierrez is another beauty that surprises you with its ending, which you nevertheless half-expect. The stereotype says that a castaway stuck on an uninhabited island would want to be rescued and a bottle of wine that the waves bring ashore would be used to send out an SOS message. But the castaway in the film is Spanish, is a sommelier, who enjoys his bottle of wine and sends out a message appreciating it. You can't help but smile.
You might think the marathon session of watching 25 films with different concepts would leave your mind saturated, it wouldn't. These films are addictive; you may just end up watching shortlisted films of the previous years (available on the filminute website) just like we did.
Watch and vote for your favourite film on http://www.filminute.com/2011/screeningroom/