4 items from 2017
Keep up with the always-hopping film festival world with our weekly Film Festival Roundup column. Check out last week’s Roundup right here.
– Cardiff Animation Nights will be returning to run a dedicated animation strand at Cardiff Independent Film Festival (C.I.F.F.) for a second year this May. This year’s animation strand at C.I.F.F. will comprise three programs of animated short films in competition for the Best Animation Award, as well as an Animated Family Shorts program curated by renowned Cardiff-based studio Cloth Cat Animation, networking events, and an Animation Quiz run by the team at Skwigly Animation Magazine.
The competition program features animated short films from across Europe, Asia, North America, South America and Australia, including Mikey Hill’s The Orchestra, Anete Melece’s Analysis Paralysis, Chris Shepherd’s Johnno’s Dead, Ross Hogg’s Life Cycles and Alois Di Leo’s Way of Giants. »
- Kate Erbland
A short, stressful, and utterly spellbinding debut that transforms the immigrant experience into the stuff of an early Polanski psychodrama, “Most Beautiful Island” was a worthy winner of the SXSW Grand Jury Prize for best narrative feature, and might prove to be a breakthrough moment for a major new talent: Spanish actress Ana Asensio not only wrote, directed, and produced this fraught metropolitan thriller, she also appears in just about every frame.
It would be criminal to reveal too much about what happens to her character, a Manhattan immigrant who’s struggling to make a life for herself in the big city and in for the longest night of her life, but it’s thrilling to watch the anxiety of neo-realism as it slowly bleeds into something that resembles the suspense of the orgy sequence from “Eyes Wide Shut.” Creating a lucid sense of reality only so »
- Chris O'Falt, David Ehrlich, Eric Kohn, Kate Erbland and Steve Greene
You’ve seen this all before, and that’s the cheery joke driving C.A. Gabriel and Renee Felice Smith’s amusing feature directorial debut, “The Relationtrip.” Clearly a passion project for the real-life couple, the pair wrote, directed, and produced the film, with Smith also stepping in front of the camera for one of the film’s lead roles. (Gabriel also composed music for the feature.) A wicked spin on the often played-out world of indie romantic comedies, “The Relationtrip” packs every conceivable genre trope into a neat 90 minutes, and then happily upends them.
Beck (Smith) and Liam (Matt Bush) are typical La hipsters — he does something with video games, she works in a cafe, they meet at a “salon de music” held in someone’s living room. After their awkward meet-cute, Liam and Beck take to a taco truck to get to know each other better, and while alternately »
- Kate Erbland
The new SXSW narrative offering, “The Relationtrip,” directed by Renée Felice Smith and C.A. Gabriel, touches on the struggles of twentysomethings everywhere. Basically, what do you do when everyone around you is settling down, getting married, and having kids? Road trip!
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Per its official synopsis: “At an age when everyone around them is settling down and finding love, Beck (Renée Felice Smith) and Liam (Matt Bush) are self proclaimed loners, emotionally hibernating through adulthood. After bonding over their mutual disinterest in relationships, they decide to go away together on a ‘friend’ trip. And that’s when things get weird. Really, really weird.”
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The film is Smith and Gabriel’s directorial debut. Together, the pair wrote, produced, and directed the film. »
- Kerry Levielle
4 items from 2017
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