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Film of the Week: Conrad & The Steamplant

Conrad And The Steamplant by Dustin Cohen (2013) (USA) (8m)

The winnner of the 9th FILMSshort competition, Conrad And The Steamplant by Dustin Cohen proves that a short documentary can be just as engaging as fiction film. Conrad & The Steamplant tells the story of Conrad Milster, who has worked in a New York college's power plant most of his life. Starting as a mechanic in 1958, he became one of only four chief engineers in the plant’s 127-year history, taking over in 1965. He’s been there ever since. Cohen's film provides a beautiful and intimate insight into the man and his world.

Connect by Samuel Abrahams (2010) (UK) (5m) *

Connect, written and directed by Samuel Abrahams, was nominated for a BAFTA in 2011. With moments of magic realism, it tells the story of a woman (a young Tuppence Middleton) on a London bus who is drawn to the man standing beside her and tries to form a connection with him. But will her advances be recipricoated? It is a subtle story of passing love, a litte reminiscent of Strangers.

Goodbye by Tyler Russo (2015) (USA) (7m)

A finalist in a previous FILMSshort festival, Goodbye could be classed as a horror, but is more disturbing than horrific. Having been killed in a road accident, a man finds himself bodiless and faced with a group of gatekeepers, who were once human but are now something else. It is the job of the gatekeepers to interview the man and decide upon a suitable vocation for eternity; and should surely try to avoid becoming a gatekeeper.


Foxed! by James Stewart (2013) (Canada) (4m)

A chance to look back at one of the most successful films to have won the Grand Prize in the FILMSshort competition. Made as a proof-of-concept for a feature film, Foxed! has been viewed nearly 200,000 times on the YouTube channel. It tells the story of Emily, a little girl who has been kidnapped by evil foxes and forced to work in an underground mine. When she sees a chance to escape, she makes a run for it. But what await her when she reaches home?

House on Little Cubes

Standby by Charlotte Regan (2016) (UK) (6m)

Standby was nominated for a BAFTA in 2017. Set entirely in a cramped police car, we follow a new police partnership: Gary and Jenny. Jenny is the rookie. Their relationship evolves over the coming months in a series of short scenes with extra comedy coming from the various criminals handcuffed in the backseat. There is definitely something of Peter Kay's Car Share in this BAFTA-nominated short film.

Argentine Tango

Waves 98 by Ely Hagder (2015) (Lebanon) (15m)

Waves 98 won the Palm d'Or in 2015 and was in competition at Sundance in 2016. It tells the story of a depressed young man in post-war Beirut, Lebanon. He is lured into the city centre by a strange golden glow. But what will he find there? A big golden metaphor. Visually immersive, the pacing is a little slow to begin with but improves after five minutes. In a way it reminds me of the wonderful short film, Goodbye, by American Tyler Russo.


Lucia, Before And After by Anu Valia (2016) (USA) (13m)

A winner at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival, the film opens with a Michael Haneke inspired scene (a one-shot wide), and tells the story of a highschool girl who travels on her own to an abortion clinic hundreds of miles away from her home. She is surprised to learn that she will have to wait a further 24-hours after the initial consultation before she can have the procedure. With no money and nowhere to stay, how will Lucia spend the intervening time, and how will she change after the wait is over?

The Shore

Films marked * contain no dialogue. Search the entire website below.

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