Dark Tastes [Dan Couto, Canada, 2020]

Pitch dark both visually and tonally, steeped in mystery and intrigue, this ultra stylistic short piece is unparalleled in its ability to unsettle and unnerve. As a proof-of-concept for a future full-length feature, Dark Tastes riffs off surrealist science fiction and fantasy, creating a dizzyingly ambitious and highly original aesthetic, albeit not always fully realised. We open on a fully darkened screen, the first 90 seconds introducing us to the world of the Dark Tastes Restaurant, a visually restricted environment operating in complete darkness by visually impaired hosts. Hidden behind a veil, we wait and listen as ex-mercenaries, Bron and Simmons, discuss a potential deal, their anonym

Take 3 [Alex Igbanoi, UK, 2020]

Suicide is a heavy subject. One common critique of many short films is that they try to squeeze too much emotional heft into too small a space. Take 3, however, is an example of when this is done well. Thanks to an effective build up to the issue and some excellent acting, this film triumphs where others fail. Michael (played by Jonathan Jules) returns home late from his secret acting classes to have what seems like one of many arguments with his grief stricken adoptive mother (Tsitsi Gombera). As he writes a monologue about the loss of his brother, Michael is torn between loyalty to his mother and his dream to become an actor. Director, writer and producer Alexander Igbanoi lays the foundat

Foley [Ryan Wilson, USA, 2020]

Home alone in the dead of night, you hear a noise in the garden. Dogs barking, torch brandished, you rush to confront an unknown nemesis but no one is there. It’s a familiar scene from many a horror film. Director Ryan Wilson gives a modern spin to this classic horror trope in Foley, as one man and his sound recorder star in what seems to be at once a thriller and an homage to the joys of filmmaking. Foley work, protagonist Kelly explains, is "sound shit", that is, "getting audio sound effects for recorded video". Dedicated to his art form, he spends the night collecting nocturnal ambience rather than attending his friend’s party and, predictably, he gets more than he bargained for. One thin

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