The Smalls Film Festival is an annual celebration of short films. It serves as a platform where all filmmakers can submit their short films, for an opportunity to be selected and screened or even win awards.
The Smalls Film Festival APAC 2017 was held on 11 February 2017 at The Projector in Singapore. Seven short films were showcased, featuring a mix of past winners of the festival and acclaimed short films by Singapore filmmakers.
Here are our thoughts on the films:
Fulfilament (by Rhiannon Evans)
Winner of Best Animation – The Smalls Film Festival 2016
This is an endearing and innovative stop-motion animation. The film happens inside a brain where thoughts are represented by moving lightbulbs. We follow one lightbulb who struggles to find his place there. The animations are fluid and beautiful while the story is impressively affective. This is no mean feat as there are no spoken words in the film and the lightbulbs can only emote with their eyes and posture.
The Drum (by Ler Jiyuan)
Official Selection – Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival 2017
This local drama focuses on Kang, a retiree who is on a journey of exploration to figure out himself after his retirement. In its 26-minute duration, the short film manages to convincingly portray his changing relationships with the people in his life, including his wife, his son, his tenant, and a taxi driver. The film sometimes seem as if it is about to go to a melodramatic route, but luckily does not. It manages to stay grounded and ends on an optimistic note without forcing itself to resolve all the conflicts.
The Shining Star of Losers Everywhere (by Mickey Duzyj)
Winner of Best Documentary – The Smalls Film Festival 2016
This unique documentary is about Haru Urara, a racehorse in Japan who became a national sensation due to its losing streak. The film expertly combines animations in between footages and interviews, adding visual flair and iconic style to the film. The story is compelling and comprehensive, adding contexts about Japanese culture and situation at that time to make sense of this stranger-than-fiction story.
Hero (by Jonathan Choo)
Nominee for National Youth Film Awards 2015 (Best Picture, Best Direction, Best Screenplay, Best Editing, Best Production Design)
Another local drama, this film is about a boy who grows up knowing his father is a masked vigilante in Singapore. After his death, he decides to follow his father’s footsteps. The plot is unique, if rather fantastical, but it has a moral message that is important to young people who are finding their place in society. It is a touching, well-acted film that explores what it means to be a hero.
The Wonderful Flight (by Ian Allardyce & Bat-Amgalan Lkhagvajav)
Winner of Best Drama – The Smalls Film Festival 2016
Shortlisted for London Short Film Festival 2015
This Mongolian drama is sweet and funny at first. When a boy lost his hearing, his brother and friends try to restore his hearing through a variety of ways to no avail. He can only be cured in a developed country like America, so they try to find a way to go there. Things seem to end up well until it becomes heart wrenching. The film truly captures the essence of brotherhood and childhood innocence.
Eclipse (by Jerrold Chong)
Shortlisted for Singapore Panorama – Singapore International Film Festival 2016
This local stop-motion animation is about a son who is visiting his sick father. Strange things happen during the eclipse. The level of details in this film is impeccable, especially the train and forest. It looks rather otherworldly during the eclipse but the story of father-son relationship is meaningful and touching.
Night Stalker (by New Media Ltd)
Shortlisted for Music Video – The Smalls Film Festival 2016
This short film is technically a music video for two Fort Lean songs: Cut To The Chase and Might’ve Misheard. The story is quite bizarre. A girl and her boyfriend were sucked into a stop-motion universe by evil Chinese takeouts. She needs to save him and herself from a monster. Its combination of live-action and animation is rather refreshing and the film has a good use colourful lighting to create eerie atmospheres. The experience of watching this film is rather psychedelic.
Your short film can be part of the festival too. Submit your creation here!