European short film festival begins
KARACHI: A four-day short film festival showcasing films shown by Eurochannel, an international TV network dedicated to promoting European culture, began at the Alliance Francaise Karachi on Thursday evening.
The first day of the festival was divided into two sections: Life is a Dream and Smile, Camera, Action.
The festival kicked off with a three-minute project from Switzerland titled ‘ALPtraum’ directed by This Luscher. It was a light-hearted attempt at pointing out life’s uncertainties. A man living up in the mountains is watching a football match in which his national side is competing for a prestigious title. Suddenly the TV goes blank. The man steps out of the house and finds a football stuck in the satellite dish. When he tries to take the ball out things go topsy-turvy. He kicks the football in desperation and at that moment the signals come back and his team scores a goal.
The second film ‘Clown Heart’ was an Italian project directed by J Viana. It tells the tale of a clown who is unable to make people laugh, save for his beloved Gioia, but she’s about to get married to her cruel boss. When the clown gathers courage to get back his girl from the mean person he laughs so hard that he dies, creating the irony that when the clown for once became serious he made someone laugh.
This was followed by ‘Edina’ from Bosnia-Herzegovina and the Irish short film Ring Theory. Edina directed by Nora Lakos is an intriguing tale of a writer’s imagination who in his story wants to have a one-night stand with a character, a girl by the name of Edina. However, much to his confusion the character gets out of his grasp.
‘Ring Theory’ helmed by Joseph Campo is about an under-confident teacher named Annie Bailey who one day finds a ring at a pub and feels herself transformed into a super confident woman ready to win over the man she loves. The fact that it’s all because of the ring weighs on her mind and she seduces another man but the experience goes horribly wrong. She returns the ring and also gets back the love of her life.
Norway’s ‘Water Lilies in Bloom’, directed by Stang Lund, was next. It’s about a man, a swimmer par excellence, who trains obese women to swim, nay fly, to prove scientist Isaac Newton wrong.
The next set of films began with Portugal’s ‘The Baby’, directed by Mohammed Reza Hajipour. It’s an interesting take on how the process of filmmaking can itself become the subject of art. A film unit is making a movie called The Baby in which the child is required to cry. But the baby doesn’t cry and wastes the crew’s time creating tensions between the producer and the director. Therefore, the entire team working on the project forgets everything else and tries to make the baby cry.
Italian director Nicola Martini’s ‘Barracuda’ revolved around two brothers who are preparing a deceased man for burial and find a lottery ticket from his pocket.
Perhaps the most interesting film of the day was from the Netherlands. Director Daan Bakker’s ‘Bukowski’ pivots around writer Charles Bukowski who is at a luxurious hotel with his sister and wants to hit it off with the staff there. The catch is that the character of Bukowski is a 12-year-old boy, not the real man, who has assumed the writer’s character and makes everyone believe that he is the famous writer.
Director Ismet Ergun’s Turkish film It’s My Turn pivots on a bunch of young buys who take turns, because they don’t have enough money, to go to the cinema and watch a movie. Whoever goes, returns and tells the story of the film. One day all of them get a chance to see a movie together and when they come back they develop differences over the storyline.
Croatian film ‘Farewell 2’ helmed by Irena Skoric is a commentary on the making of film sequels as a father-son duo is headed to the film set where the filming of a sequel to a film is about to start.
More than a dozen films are lined up for Friday at the festival.