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Caught Short

Written by Jules Bibley-Hall on September 17, 2008

Caught Short is one of Sydney’s premier short film events and last week it celebrated its 4th birthday. Occurring on a monthly basis (taking place on the first Thursday of every month), Caught Short is a showcase for short films in a non-competitive context. This non-competitive atmosphere is the key to the events ongoing success says founder and chief organiser Sarah Lancaster. In her introduction to the evening, Sarah explains that the purpose of Caught Short is to foster filmmaker-audience interaction, as opposed to most short film events which are about competition and prize-receiving. This supportive atmosphere is evident throughout the evening, after each film. the filmmaker (if they are present) gets up before the audience and answers any questions the crowd might have. This dialogue is a fantastic idea, as not only does it allow for feedback and discussion it generates a warm sense of community in the room. I’ve never been to a short film event that has felt so relaxed, friendly and intimate.

The films shown at the birthday bash were all Australian productions (though Caught Short does also screen foreign shorts) and they were all great films. In particular I enjoyed ‘Len’s Love Story’ and ‘The Goat That Ate Time’. It was a real pleasure to see the directors of these two films speaking candidly about the filmmaking process, the struggles and joys of production and their future ambitions.

‘The Goat That Ate Time’ is a beautiful animated film created by Lucinda Schreiber and narrated by Aden Young. The film was initially made as part of Lucinda’s ‘Masters in Animation’ at UTS but it has gone on to become an IF Award-winning short and deservedly so. The film tells the story of a goat with an insatiable appetite, who after eating all the material items it can find, moves on to devouring time. Lucinda told us in her feedback session after her screening that it was a parable for our modern society’s unending quest to consume. While the film was apparently made using digital media, the animation has a beautiful textured appearance and looks like it has been made using cut and paste techniques. It was an absolute delight to watch.

The other highlight of the evening, ‘Len’s Love Story’ is of a completely different ilk. A contemplative and engrossing exploration of Aspergers Syndrome, the film traces a young man’s life after his mother’s death. Actor Damon Herriman gives a fantastically detailed and delicate performance as Len, bringing real honesty and terrific skill to his performance. The other star of the film is the cinematography. Shot on film, the visuals are powerful and poetic. We are lead into Len’s world as much by Herriman’s performance as by the film’s composition.

Caught Short is an absolute gem of an event and I can’t believe I’d never heard about it until recently. Next month there is going to be a showcase of horror/gory/dark/twisted films so if you’re into the dark underbelly of the human condition – that could be the night for you. Though any of these monthly events, would be worth more than the pittance they charge for entry. If you love film and you want to help grow our film community in Sydney get down to Tap Gallery and check it out.

Tap Gallery
Level 1/278 Palmer St
Darlinghurst

For more info visit: http://www.tapgallery.org.au

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