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Review: Short & Sweet Film Festival

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Short & SweetThe Short & Sweet film festival has returned to Cape Town for its fourth season, and whether you’re a short-film fundi or just keen to see some great work and be generally entertained, Short & Sweet ticks a lot of boxes.

The venue, set up at the German Club in Gardens, has a vintage-meets-classic-moving-picture feel, with eclectic and well-thought out decor, popcorn to gobble, interesting artworks to peruse, a place to have your photograph taken along with delightful props (think parasols and top hats), two bars for the thirsty, and tantalising smells wafting in from the food truck just outside.

There’s a great ambience that gives life to the three hundred year old venue before the show starts, and this feeling of excitement was compounded on the opening night of the season by a great turnout, there being so many people as to make the relatively big space start to feel a little claustrophobic.

Proceedings were a little delayed due to some apparent teething problems, but after 25 minutes the shuffling of restless bodies was soon stilled as the lights dimmed and some really amazing talent was shown. Loot by Greg Rom and Trespass by Paul Wenninger stood out as absolute works of art in a series of short films and animations that took the audience from hysterics to disturbed silence to pure awe.

For the most part the content was well chosen and was compiled in the best order possible. While Short & Sweet would certainly benefit from a real MC – the introductions to each film were clumsy and somewhat random – this aspect detracted little from the fantastic content and atmosphere of the place.

Short & Sweet is undoubtedly worth the night out, and a wonderful, social platform for local filmmakers to get their work seen. And if you’re still unconvinced, there’s the “loom room” into which audience members are invited to literally paint with light – an oddly gratifying experience that has to be seen to be believed.

Rory Appleton

The Short & Sweet Film Festival continues at the German Club every Tuesday until 28 October 2014.

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