This year’s fresh crop of BAFTA shorts feature some outstanding productions in both live action and animation, with some exceeding all expectation in both direction, acting and producing stakes. Offering a mixture of live action and animated productions, BAFTA has surpassed itself once again with a shortlist which is worthy of admiration and praise. Here are just a few of the best and most notable nominees.
Barnaby Blackburn’s Wale (★★★★) presents an exhilarating crime thriller starring Raphel Famotibe and Jamie Sives. The film tells the story of 18-year-old Wale (Famotibe), a reformed young criminal turned mechanic trying to get his life back on track. Things take a dark turn when Wale finds himself implicated in a serious crime after a chance meeting with a smooth talking businessman (Sives).
One of the stand-out shorts this year is a slow-burning and deeply moving documentary about a beef farmer struggling with his conscience after having somewhat of an epiphany about his profession. Directed by Alex Lockwood, 73 Cows (★★★★) follows Jay Wilde and his wife Katja as they make moves to turn their farm into a Vegan farm after realising that they can no longer stand to send their animals to slaughter for money. The film presents a brilliant study in human thought-process and the continued development of our relationship with the meat industry in a world where Veganism is gaining ground daily.
Elsewhere Angela Clarke’s Bachelor, 38 (made for BBC TWO – ★★★★) offers a touching portrait and an in-depth interview with Bryan Bale, an ageing out gay man as he shares heartening anecdotes and experiences of love, loss and gay rights at the time where homosexuality was still an illegal act in Britain.
While Jonathan Hodgson’s Roughhouse (★★★★) offers a darkly comedic look at a group of rowdy students sharing a house in Birmingham during the 70s in this astounding, and beautifully executed Franco-British animated production.
The Shorts are available to watch via Curzon Home Cinema from Friday 8 February, and there will be a limited theatrical release from February 7th. Find out more here.