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Friday, January 28, 2011

What makes a short film worthy of a BAFTA? Part 3

The third film in the BAFTA nomination list is "Rite".


The film's creators describe it thusly...

"Mick takes his estranged son out for his birthday; a man desperate to prove he's changed. But drink and the simmering violence of match day in London brings out the worst in him over a long, difficult afternoon for father and son."

I would describe it as a coming-of-age film, with the 'twist' being that it is the father that must grow and develop at the end, and does so in a delicate and poignant fashion.

It was excellently shot, acted and edited and the sound mix with minimal music lifted the whole piece up into 'cinema' and away from 'TV'.

This film features a standard, linear narrative, is set in an urban environment, hasslightly gritty issues, features a son who turns out to be gay (complete non-spoiler I'm sure) with a working class dad. It would be easy therefore to dismiss this short as coming out of the stock Film Council / Film London factory. In many ways it conforms to that formula.

For me, however, it was the fact the film ended with a conclusion that went against the grain that broke it away from that mould. For this to have worked shows that the writing of the characters was insightful and the plot well crafted. Well done to Michael Pearce in pulling it off.

I would say that this film has been nominated because it takes the standard "British Short Film", gives it a twist and does so excellently.

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