Geek About Town: Science Fiction + Fantasy Short Film Festival
From the desktop of Adrienne, GeekGirlCon Copywriter:
EMP Museum and SIFF hosted the 7th annual Science Fiction and Fantasy Short Film Festival (SFFSFF) on February 4th. SFFSFF accepts and solicits film submissions from around the globe. Since 2005, the SFFSFF has showcased a wide variety of films and filmmakers that range from the humorous to the awe-inspiring. And there were quite a few female directors this year. You can see the director bios on the EMP Museum’s website.
The 2012 SFFSFF showed 21 short films from the United States, Spain, Bangladesh, United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia that included a mix of animation, special effects, and live-action films. SFFSFF is a juried festival, and this year’s winners were:
Grand Prize: The Hunter and the Swam Discuss Their Meeting, Emily Carmichael, USA
Second Prize: Time Freak, Andrew Bowler, USA
Third Prize: Terminus, Trevor Cawood, Canada
Audience Favorite: Time Freak, Andrew Bowler, USA
Douglas Trumbull Award for Best Special Effects: Terminus, Trevor Cawood, Canada
I won’t spoil any of the films in this post. But, I’ll give you some of my impressions and some links to find out more below.
The Audience Favorite winner, Time Freak, is also nominated for an Oscar this year. It is funny look at the discovery of time travel and the little things you can accomplish with it. For any Seinfeld fans, it is as if George Costanza figured out time travel.
The Grand Prize Winner, The Hunter and the Swan Discuss Their Meeting, also takes a humorous approach to its fantasy theme. This film presents us with very, very awkward dinner conversation. Who knew fantasy couples had these types of moments?
Terminus won for best special effects and placed third in festival. In this film, a man is stalked by a concrete megalith to an unfortunate end. The film has a very 1970s feel adding a stark atmosphere to the short. The megalith is a mix of effects including motion capture and prosthetics and creates an eerily realistic creature.
All the films were really strong, as usual. A few of my personal favorites were Decapoda Shock by Javier Chillon (Spain), Carta a Julia by David González Rúdiez (Spain), The Captivus by Casey Tebo (USA), and Madame Perrault’s Bluebeard by A.J. Bond (Canada). My picks are all over the place as far as themes and tastes.
Decapoda Shock is about a man who returns to earth from a space mission half-man and half-crab. When the hombre-cangrejo discovers that his fate was part of a sinister plot, he seeks revenge. Mayhem ensures as he seeks to foil the plot of those that caused his transformation and stole his family. Chillon taps into revenge flicks, spaghetti westerns, and exploitation films with some screaming guitar to make a very memorable short.
Carta a Julia is a humorous look at an older couple who trade the hustle and bustle of city life for the serene Spanish countryside. As the narrator writers a letter to Julia, she recounts Paco’s encounters with some aliens that he says want to destroy the Earth. Rúdiez gives the audience an alternate look at impending alien invasion, one without panic and massive explosions.
The Captivus is about two men working in isolation for six years on a rescue spaceship with only each other for company. For one of them, the mission is over and he is scheduled to return to civilization. It may not be a welcome change. Tebo uses audio effects on the character voices to demonstrate they are speaking in binary. This proved to be a cool effect that worked well pull you into the environment.
When Madame Perrault discovers the manuscript of Bluebeard in her husband’s desk, she is transported into a fantasy world where she experiences the fates of all those missing wives, perhaps revealing her own doubts about her own marital safety. Madame Perrault’s Bluebeard is visually rich and wonderfully dark as created by cinematographer Amy Belling and director A.J. Bond.
Complete SFFSFF 2012 List
Time Freak, Andrew Bowler (USA)
Decapoda Shock, Javier Chillon (Spain)
Chorebot, Gary Omelchuck (USA)
Attack of the Killer Mutant Chicken, (Murgi Keno Mutant), Nayeen Mahbub (Bangladesh)
Dolls Factory, (Fábrica de Muñecas), Ainhoa Menédez (Spain)
Matter Fisher, David Prosser (UK)
The Comet Chronicles, Wade Chitwood (USA)
Terminus, Trevor Cawood (Canada)
Oliver Bump’s Birthday, Jordan Canning (Canada)
Dead Happy, Nicky Lianos (UK)
Mahahula the Giant Rodent of Happiness, Nomint Motion Design (UK)
The Dungeon Master, Rider & Shiloh Strong (USA)
Birdboy, Pedro Rivero & Alberto Vasquez (Spain)
The Epiphany, SJ Chiro (USA)
The Captivus, Casey Tebo (USA)
Crystal Jam, Leonie Savvides (Australia)
Protoparticulas, Chema Garcia Ibarra (Spain)
The Sierra Project, Gabriel de Urioste (USA)
Carta a Julia, David González Rúdiez (Spain)
Madame Perrault’s Bluebeard, A.J. Bond (Canada)
The Hunter and the Swan Discuss Their Meeting, Emily Carmichael (USA)
With each year, SFFSFF gains in popularity. The show sells out. Sometimes there are encore showings. And the films get better and better. Keep your eyes out for 2013! You won’t want to miss it.