Sunday, 16 February 2014


At the very moment, they are announced, The VileArts is proud to report on the short film festival winners. I am the fastest. Press release follows - I barely have time to make sardonic comments.

The 2014 Glasgow Short Film Festival is delighted to announce the four award winners in the 2014 international and Scottish competitions, and the winner of GSFF’s Euroshort nomination.

GSFF has enjoyed a record year, with a wide-reaching programme themed around the relationship between music and film. The Festival opened with the world premiere of PULSE, a collaboration between Grammy-winning classical composer Dobrinka Tabakova and Scottish filmmaker Ruth Paxton, a Royal Philharmonic Society commission. This was followed by a series of memorable performances from Alex Neilson (Trembling Bells), Michelle Hannah, Zoviet France and audio-visual artist Kon-Om-Pax. A public discussion on the potential impact of independence on the Scottish film & TV industry... and I was trying to get into The CCA, and can tell you, it was packed.

The Bill Douglas Award for International Short Film 2014
Named in honour of the great Scottish filmmaker Bill Douglas, the international short film award was created with the intention that the winning film reflect the values and qualities found in Douglas’ work: honesty, innovation and the supremacy of image and sound in cinematic storytelling. This year 35 films competed for a prize of £1000.

WINNER: The Questioning by Zhu Rikun
This short documentary traces the filmmaker’s own experience of an encounter with police while visiting human rights activist friends in China. He turned on the camera when the police knocked on the door of his hotel room.
 Jury Citation: ‘In limited space we witness a dense confrontation building to an almost unbearable point. In observing a specific event, this work questions the universal power of authorities.’
SPECIAL MENTION: How to Abandon Ship by Robin McKay
 Jury Citation: ‘Telling the story of a relationship using an unique animation technique, the filmmaker creates a compelling and entertaining balance between absurdly funny and real-life experiences.’
International Audience Award WINNER: Yak Butter Lamp, by Hu Wei
A young photographer and his assistant photograph a group of Tibetan nomads. As families appear to the photographer, he weaves unique links with each of the villagers. Voted for by the audience attending the festival.

Euroshort Nomination WINNER: Pandas by Matus Vizar
Glasgow Film Festival is delighted to be participating in the Euroshort network of film festivals. The work of a European filmmaker under 29 years old has been selected by the international jury for promotion by the international jury for promotion by the network. The five participating festivals will create a DVD compilation of selected films for circulation at international festivals and
The Scottish Short Film Award winners over.

GSFF Director Matt Lloyd said: 
“At a time when Scottish film producers are forecasting an extremely bleak future for indigenous production, we can at least demonstrate that there is no shortage of emerging talent. We couldn't contain our selection within the usual four programmes - this year a mighty thirty two films screened across five programmes of new Scottish work.”

WINNER, Scottish Short Film Award 2014: Getting On by Ewan Stewart
Another day unfolds in an anonymous woman’s life, as she cooks and cleans for her uncommunicative husband and sullen grown-up children.
Jury citation: ‘Getting On blends the mundane and the unexpected with humour, sensitivity and a sophisticated, minimalist visual style. The filmmaker creates a balanced piece where the real and the implausible effortlessly and convincingly come together to recount a day in the life of a woman whose routines are gently interrupted by a rather extraordinary visitor.’

SPECIAL MENTION: No Hope For Men Below by Adam Stafford
A stark, minimalist retelling of the Redding Pit Disaster which claimed the lives of 40 men near Falkirk in 1923. Filmmaker and musician Stafford collaborated with Falkirk writer Janet Paisley on the film.
Jury citation: ‘No Hope For Men Below uses extraordinary sound design, stark imagery, and poetry to create a unique cinematic experience. This lyrical, expressionist retelling of the Redding Pit disaster of 1923 not only captures the poignancy of the literal event, but explores a multitude of wounds deep within the national psyche

He used to be in the first band I ever reviewed live for The Skinny. I play his music quite a bit on the Radio Hour, too.

The jury also agreed that in a year when Glasgow Short Film Festival is celebrating the importance of music in film, they would like to applaud Fraya Thomsen for her sublime score to Sam Firth’s film Stay the Same.

Scottish Audience Award WINNER: Exchange & Mart by Cara Connolly & Martin Clark
Starring Ewan Bremner, and fresh from its world premiere at Sundance Film Festival, Exchange & Mart follows Reg, a lonely schoolgirl at a remote Scottish boarding school, who discovers she must fight, in the local woods. Voted for by the audience attending the festival.

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