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The BBC's Virginia Eastman
"One thing it is not short on is talent"
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The Man With The Beautiful Eyes
Director Jonathan Hodgson
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Director Sara Dunlop
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Friday, 4 August, 2000, 12:12 GMT 13:12 UK
Short is sweet at London festival
Blur's Coffee  & TV vVdeo
Blur's Coffee & TV Video won the festival's music award
London has this week played host to the Rushes Soho Short Film Festival, culminating in a glitzy awards ceremony in London's Leicester Square. The BBC's Virginia Eastman looks back at the four-day event and reports on the five triumphant winners.

They say size doesn't matter but to be in the short film festival you can't be more than 10 minutes long.

Shorts used to be what came before the main feature at the cinema. But this festival, run by the post-production company Rushes, is promoting their revival.

The internet is turbo-charging the event as most of the entrants, having been turfed out of the cinemas, are now exhibiting their talent on internet sites.

The Man With The Beautiful Eye
The Man With The Beautiful Eyes won best animation

People have flocked in their lunch hours to see the films in wine bars and coffee houses.

Mark Hewitt, MD of Rushes says that the secret to the success of the small film-maker lies in his or her passion.

They frequently go into debt in order to make the film, but they're driven by their passion. He stresses the importance of the short film - as it provides the breeding ground for the stars of tomorrow.

The festival had five categories: short film, newcomer, music video, animation and titles and idents. Over 700 entries were received at Rushes and the festival is only in its second year.

Four days of short spotting by film-goers culminated in Thursday's award ceremony in Leicester Square.

Back to basics

One of the entrants in the animation category Short Spin Fling tells the romantic tale of a woman who believes she can't find love because of her frumpy knickers.

Another, Emma 18, sees Sam Morrison challenge the view that old is senile in a film about a grandma who has a part-time job giving husky-voiced titillation down the phone to punters of a chatline.

Aardman's Angry Kid
Aardman's Angry Kid was a runner-up in the animation category

Angry Kid "Bone" - from Chicken Run creators Aardman Animations - is an anarchic miniature short about a young kid who falls off a bike and then nearly loses his broken arm to a dog who mistakes it for his bone.

But it was The Man With The Beautiful Eyes that won best animation on the night, directed by Jonathan Hodgson and produced by Jonathan Bairstow for Sherbet.

The film's designer Johnny Hannah said: "For me it's a bit of a triumph because it was made from paper and computers had no part of it. So it was all about getting back to basics."

Other winners include: Sara Dunlop from Brave Films who won the short film award for her short Big - a parody of the recent Barclays Bank advertisements.

The twist in Sara's film is that the man is homeless so everything "big" in his world is a "big" problem. Ironically, Barclays sponsors the festival.

Big parodies the ads from Barclays Bank

Best newcomer went to Susie Roberson for her film Party People. She made the film she said because at a certain point it "became impossible not to do it".

Best ident was won by Ole Sanders at Partizan Midi Minuit for an MTV film about three tubby brothers - one of whom invariably ends up being spanked for not being cool.

Finally, the music award went to Blur's Coffee & TV video directed by Garth Jennings and produced by Nick Goldsmith at Hammer and Tongs.

If you see these films, watch out for the names on the credits - they won't be short for long.

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07 May 00 | Entertainment
Angry Kid nets viewers
16 Sep 99 | Entertainment
Stars glitter in film shorts
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