See the short films that perfectly embodied the oddities/ambivalence of the lockdown, and managed to forge some creative hope out of 2020.
The last six months have been one heck of an absolute emotional roller coaster. No matter how wild your bingo card of predictions for the new decade was, 2020 definitely came out of the blocks faster, harder and much crazier than any of us could have ever predicted.So if 2020 has left you wanting to perpetually shout, “Thanks, I hate it!” at the top of your lungs, and you could do with knowing you aren’t alone in feeling that way, these are the shorts for you. We’ve teamed up with Margate Film Festival and invite you to treat yourself to an hour of shorts that will remind you that, together, we can get through this!Check out Margate Film Festival Programme 27th Nov – 29th Nov. MORE ABOUT THE SHORTSEvading Stagnation – Shannon TarbetUK, 2020, 2min20Actress Shannon Tarbet (Killing Eve) made short film EVADING STAGNATION as “an artistic guide to evading stagnation” during self-isolation. Shannon insightfully offers tips to stay creative and focused during these uncertain times, delving into her own coping mechanisms.”She made the short on a whim, a cathartic reaction to her dread of social isolation. She passed it to approving friends and found the courage to enter it into the [competition]” – DeadlineShannon won the first edition of Bertha DocHouse’s short doc competition – Creative Responses to Self-Isolation. Self-Isolation – MordecaiUK, 2020, 6min 44“This is the effect that self-isolation has on the mind, from the perspective of a 12-year-old.” Described as “the new Alain De Botton” by some of DocHouse’s followers, Mordecai takes us on a journey through the first days of lockdown when schools were closed and he finds himself with much more time on his hands. What to do with all this time? Well, how about turning your house into a film set?Mordecai’s film was part of Bertha DocHouse’s short doc competition asking for Creative Responses to Self-Isolation, and he has submitted brilliant, humorous entries to each of our competitions since. Box of Strawberries – Marina Shupac UK, 2020, 2min48Whilst the Prime Minister urged the public to stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives, charter flights were being rapidly organised to fly in fruit and vegetable pickers from Eastern European countries. Film student Marina inventively explores the connections (and hypocrisies) that were keeping the UK running at that time – all via a box of strawberries.Marina’s film won Bertha DocHouse’s 2nd edition of their Short-doc competition Creative Responses to SelfIsolation: Inventive Connections. Let me stay Blue – Behzad ZeinaliUK, 2020, 5min39This expertly crafted doc is a powerful visual poem that creatively uses archive material. Woven together by a great soundscape, the archive images in this short link two big issues: the ongoing pandemic isolation and the climate crisis. Behzad Zeinali is the winner of the 3rd edition of Bertha DocHouse’s competition Creative Responses to Self-Isolation, this time all about using archive footage. Two Nations – Kunyalala NdlovuUK, 2020, 5min45Atlas Rixon stitches together this perfectly judged response to the Black Lives Matter protests that were sparked in response to the killing of George Floyd in the midst of the pandemic.Splitting his screen into two separate frames, Rixon juxtaposes the discontent taking place in the streets of the US with the ostentacious symbols and voices of America today, and plays contemporary footage against powerful archive footage of the African American experience during the Jim Crow and Civil Rights Era.Lifting Lockdown – Hector ZiegelUK, 2020, 7min39Aged just eighteen, Hector Ziegel won our first student competition strand with his London-based documentary that explored the capital’s gradual transition to “unlocking lockdown.”Getting out on the city’s streets, he speaks to a variety of Londoners of all ages and walks of life, and asks them how the experiences of lockdown had been for them, and how they were coping with adjusting to the summer’s “new normal.”September’s Children – Roberta Chiroli UK, 2020, 6min03Whilst mainstream media stresses the importance of school and education from an institutional perspective, this short film explores the experience of two 8 year old twins facing a new normality due to the global pandemic. Roberta won a Special Mention in Bertha DocHouse’s 4th Short-Doc competition.The Year Of Lost Music – Joe LeeUK, 2020, 10min03The music industry has been hit hard by the pandemic. The Year of Lost Music explores the effects from different people involved in live music and looks at the re-emergence of the live music industry into a dramatically changed world. Here from bands like The Tiger Moths and Wild Violets, as well as music venues like Brighton’s Hope and Ruin, as they discuss the challenges and the opportunities faced. Unlocking Hunger in Lockdown – Anton CalifanoUK, 2020, 9min42This moving doc collects the stories of the volunteers and community organisations in Woolwich, south east London, as they came together during the Covid-19 lockdown to make sure that local people in need don’t go without food.Through a well-organised cooking and delivery scheme carried out by volunteers and furloughed workers, food parcels have been delivered throughout the borough to local people from the start of lockdown and beyond.