When I put out a call to Twitter asking if any film festivals were needing coverage over this period, I was welcomed with a request from the team at JumpCut Online, asking me to cover the first ever Cell Adore Film Festival. I gladly agreed, and over the next three days you will see me highlight the short films that they have selected with a short review of each one. On day one, the team behind Cell Adore selected five very different short films:


Let Her Rip
Directed by Micky Wozny

Description: What happens when you just can't hold it in any longer? This playful, little animation is the perfect way to start the weekend, combining stop-motion and digital illustration to great comedic effect.

When taking on the challenge of making a one-minute short film, there is a lot that has to be done to convey an entire story in a short amount of time. Micky Wozny is clever in the writing, leaving it all to the actions and the visual to tell the story in a humourous manner, and the art style with this helps add to the tone of the short film. This is a fantastic opening to the festival and I would love to see what Micky Wozny does in the future.


Bill
Directed by Dan Gitsham and Sophie Mair

Description: Inject a little fear into your Friday night, with this gruesome tale of the dark arts. When a widow conducts a séance to reconnect with her late husband, she gets a little more than she bargained for.

This dark tale throws you straight into the story, with no background needed as the clever use of music and cinematography immediately tell you what is about to happen. The performances here are great and I love how bold the narrative was for a film less than four minutes long. Completely different in style or tone from any other film in the Friday lineup, but inventive and a strong watch regardless.


The Drive
Directed by Adam Thomas Wright

Description: Prepare for an emotional journey, as we explore dementia and the effect this has on a father-son relationship. A beautifully shot film, which plays out like a photo album of memories.

What starts out as seeming to be a regular story of family turns into much more and Adam Thomas Wright instead tells a powerful story about something that is rarely mentioned in a visual format. Both performances here are superb as the story starts to disconnect, leading to a powerful reveal of dementia that hits you hard. Technically, this is a superb film and it will leave you wanting more from this story, feeling so connected to the characters and their emotions.


Only Looking Forward
Directed by Shaun Stone-Riley

Description: A comedic whirlwind in the style of Edgar Wright; with fast-paced action, sharp editing and hilarious gags. All of this works particularly well thanks to a sterling lead performance from Adam Osborne.

This short film may be the most divisive of the lot, due to the extremely dark humour and jarring style used, but that just made it my favourite of the Friday list. Not only do I love the humour, matching so well with the story-telling narrative and the overall pace of the film adding so much personality to our lead character, I am a sucker for stories from Scotland. It is so rare to find a film that flaunts how loud and stylised it is for a Scottish audience, and I am not used to hearing the word "fanny" used on the big screen but I loved it nonetheless. Excellently shot and extremely dark and hilarious, it is definitely worth checking out.


Clementines
Directed by Laurie Barraclough

Description: Finish the night in style with this sumptuous exploration of family, sexuality and secrets, which utilises stunning cinematography and incredible performances to tell a powerful story.

The longest short film of the lot, clocking in at 18 minutes, there is so much going on in this short film without it feeling overwhelming. In fact, it is presented so clearly and simply that it does not feel like a lot if going on, which is a credit that so much history and story was told in the format of a short film. The two leading performances here are superb and I adore the production value, with the locations so beautifully shot. What a fantastic way to end today's listing.

Want to check out these short films, as well as the rest of the festival's lineup over this weekend? Go to the official website here and give the team some love for the work they have done.

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