Dalian Adofo Reviews BUFF 2016’s Monday Night Short Film Screenings

buff1Celebrating 11 years of showcasing London’s creative talent, the British Urban Film Festival (BUFF) promised an evening of short ‘buffness’, and that it did. A very diverse range of films were showcased at the Monday Shorts Night on September 19 at the Odeon cinema in Swiss Cottage.

Starting off the evening was Three Minute Warning directed by Iqbal Mohammed is a film about ‘roof knocking’ a technique the Israeli Defence Force use in bombing civilian areas where militants are thought to be hiding. Residents are given a 3 minute warning before their homes are bombed. In the film, a young Palestinian girl tries to get her disabled mother out of her apartment block after receiving such a warning. A futile attempt, as it is impossible to achieve this in the time span provided. A very touching and moving piece that ultimately poses the question, how can the IDF claim it to be a fair technique that minimises civilian casualties?

Gun in a Trainer Box directed by Wayne Louis explores the emotions, thoughts and reflection of a mother who discovers a gun in her son’s trainer box underneath his bed. Set against spoken word poetry, it is a poignant reminder of the realities that families have to deal with concerning the youth and gun-related violence plaguing the streets of London and other cities in the UK.

Hysteria directed by Nicole Bowers Wallace looks at the effects of post war trauma and how it impacts individuals. An ex-marine, now turned teacher, must resolve an issue of a drawing by a student who is a refugee. They depict killings and raise an alarm for possible radicalisation or a plot to murder fellow students. The resulting meeting between teacher and students brings forth memories of both of their experiences in conflict and highlights how each have different ways of dealing with their trauma.

Hush is a quasi-comedy piece dealing with cultural issues within a Nigerian family in the UK from the point of view of a daughter with mental health issues. A mother with an irrational belief in Christianity as the answer to all issues, siblings struggling with weight and identity issues and a father dealing with societal issues of racism at work. It provides an excellent insight into the issues immigrant families have to contend with in their new land of abode and the comedic aspects helps to digest the serious themes explored with some ease.

Child in Their Eyes directed by Ivan Madeira introduces the audience to a session in a recording studio where the lead singer is resolute in her determination that the recording has not gone quite right as expected, much to the chagrin of the studio manager and other band members. Her stance is acknowledged the next day whilst she is at home working on more music and juggling with other work related duties. It provides an important reminder of sticking to your position even when others cannot comprehend one’s vision and reminds us of the importance of believing in our convictions, especially when we know ourselves to be right.

Ghosts in Time directed by Jimmy Nsubuga is a sci-fi piece about a young girl who can travel back in time using a liquid drug. She travels back to the moment of her parent’s murder in an attempt to change the past. It covers many themes including learning to live with regrets as well as what our choices would be if we knew we could change the past or how we would behave differently if we were provided with a second chance to resolve a situation.

The Fighting Irish directed by Alex Shipman tells the story of a young girl who starts training at the gym her dad used to train at, even using his gloves. The coach recognises who she is and as a result pushes her rather hard in an attempt to motivation her and perhaps realise her full potential. It is a story of trying to live up to other’s expectations and is also ultimately about identity- in how we see ourselves and the factors that contribute to this, but also how other’s consequently perceive us.

5 Minutes directed by David Innes Edwards looks at the last 5 minutes of a woman involved in a car accident with 5 minutes left to live. It explores her relationship with her mother, boyfriend and ex and all the conversations that could have been had and all the things that have remained unsaid. Reminds us of the value of life and showing appreciation for those we cherish and love, and seizing those moments to fully express ourselves, rather than being reminded of what could have been said or done only in the moments of demise.

Lifeline directed by Sam Jones is set in a dystopic era of existence where food and money is scarce. A mother journeys out to find money to get food to feed her sick son. A journey that ultimately does not up well in a ‘dog eat dog’ world where all must do what is necessary to survive and the vulnerable are powerless to the will of the strong and dominant, and ethics or morals are totally eroded.

To find out more about The British Urban Film Festival go to – http://www.britishurbanfilmfestival.co.uk/

 

 

Review Written For The British Blacklist by Dalian Adofo / @AncestralVoices