In Humans We Trust at Cineworld Haymarket
Recently I was invited along to a private screening of three short films at Cineworld Haymarket. There’s a lovely screen room downstairs that was packed with industry guests who were there to see an exciting selection of shorts from well established directors.
Going to short film festivals and celebrating new scripts and fresh talent is something I have always relished. As both an actor and a writer the level of learning that can be gained from short films has no end. They represent the root and very core of the film industry, if you like, whilst Hollywood gets the glory of being the proudly showing branches. The reason why short films are so powerful in their impact is because they carry a huge responsibility to convey a clear and succinct message within much tighter time constraints than features. Most importantly they challenge the conventions of mainstream film and test the boundaries of how we receive film. The films I watched at the screening are a shiny example of that.
In Humans We Trust, directed by Tim Kent, follows the unlikely friendship between three refugees and an old English couple whooffer them a safe place to hide from the authorities. The comedy of the piece is wonderfully paced which reminds us that whilst there is humour is the culture clash and situation all five characters find themselves in, it is still a dark reminder that the refugee crisis is real and more bleak than ever. The film cleverly makes us question the very nature of our societies views on charity and makes us ask ourselves at what point do we stop caring when our own lives become inconvenienced by our charity.
The Prowler, also directed by Tim Kent, won the Best British award at the Internationale Film Festival. The short tells the story of a recently divorced couple where the bitter ex-wife is pulling on the guilt ridden ex-husband’s heart strings to get him to return home to fix their marriage. The wife has fears there has been someone prowling outside at night and calls the ex-husband to come and check it out. With their 6 year old daughter around it is impossible not to step up to this fatherly duty to protect the family. The locations were beautiful and acting extremely subtle which made the unfolding of the story all the more gripping and intense. The marital dynamic was plaid out with naturalism and tenderness. A wonderfully crafted short that shows horror at its best.
The third and final film of the night was Testing Greta directed by Abbie Lucas. Opening with a brilliant comic scene where a slightly unhinged and extremely wealthy house wife finds herself at the mercy of a concerned private healthcare nurse. The comedy of the film turns dark when we realise that this is a woman who is pretending that her and her husband’s wild sex life is pleasurable and consensual when in fact she is crying out for help. A clear message than on the surface people’s lives and the image they project into the world of themselves is never what it seems. A fascinating insight into the lifestyle of the mega wealthy and the scary reality of how money can give people power to use against the vulnerable.
The screening was a thoroughly enjoyable evening that gave voice to some interesting and relevant topics effecting the lives of many people today. A wonderful example of how short films can be effective and powerful vehicles for learning and change.
Written by Rebecca Ward – Writer & Actress