Mar 4, 2016

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A Celebration of Independent And Short Films by Evelyn Pearce

A Celebration of Independent And Short Films by Evelyn Pearce

We’ve been lucky enough to share some of the world’s best independent and short films as part of the West Chester Film Festival. As we gear up towards the exciting 2016 festival, we thought we’d take a look at some of the best examples of independent and short films cinema can offer, as well as offer an insight into why these types of films are so successful.

What’s So Good About Them?

Our mission is to ‘Entertain, Enlighten, and Educate’ the public through film, and we also think that’s a pretty good description of what independent and short films do too. They exist to keep us entertained, to shed some light on a subject that we may know nothing about – or don’t understand – and offer an insight into the way of the world that is hard to come across in everyday life. They can tell us something about ourselves and those around us that we had never thought before. They’re so much more than light entertainment – they can change the world.

And what’s even more special is that they’re nearly always the result of joint efforts by just a small band of filmmakers, often working on a small – or even non-existent – budget. That they can discuss with us the daily problems we rarely have time to think about, like the quest to be good, the hardships of love, or the eternal battle for us to overcome hardships, is all the more impressive. Certainly, stories bring us together and and reveal facets of our ways to ourselves. More than the big budget movies from Hollywood, independent and short films deliver heart-wrenching and inspiring stories that can change the way we think.

We’re looking forward to seeing next year’s crop of excellent films at the 2016 West Chester Film Festival. In the meantime, here’s some of the very best independent and short films you can watch to get you excited for our festival. Who knows, perhaps the film we see next April will appear on one of these lists in the future.

Short Film: J’attendrai le suivant

This film, which translates as I’ll Wait for the Next One, takes place entirely on the Paris metro, and features a man making an impassioned plea for love. It’s only four minutes long, but you’ll be surprised at how well it portrays just how tough love can be on those looking for it.

Independent Film: Reservoir Dogs

It’s easy to think, what with Tarantino’s post Reservoir Dogs career, that this was anything other than a low budget indie flick. It wasn’t. Written in a matter of weeks while Tarantino was working in a video store, the limited release would have been faded into obscurity until word of mouth got around that it was a cinematic masterpiece.

Short Film: 10 Minutes

This film only goes on for 10 minutes (the clue is in the title), but is engaging, shocking, and thought-provoking. Directed by Ahmed Imamović, the story deals with two very different ten minutes – one in sunny Rome, the other in war torn Bosnia – and begs us to ask: how much do we care for things beyond our own lives?

Independent Film: Mean Streets

Like Tarantino, it’s tempting to think that everything Martin Scorsese makes has had a big budget. That is not the case. He has the big budgets because he made films like Mean Streets, a low budget gangster flick based on events Scorsese saw as he grew up in New York’s Little Italy. With a stellar cast featuring a young Robert De Niro and Harvey Keital, the film would go on to be considered one of the best American films ever made.

Short Film: I Love Sarah Jane

We’ve been all there. Young, awkward, new to the agonising pitfalls of being in love, living in a zombie world. OK, perhaps we haven’t all been there. This 2014 Australian short film, directed by Spencer Susser, runs just 14 minutes but takes us on a journey that all know and don’t know.

Independent Film: Roger and Me

Before Michael Moore took on the White House and just about everything else, he made a small-budget film about the closure of a plant in Flint, Michigan, where he was born and raised. Poignant and inflammatory, it was the first in a long career of documentary making and shows us just how persuasive filmmaking can be.

by Evelyn Pearce

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