Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Call for Cornwall Film Festival 2009 Entries

The Cornish Film Festival - Goel Fylm
The eighth Cornwall Film Festival will take place Thursday 12th to 15th November 2009 in Falmouth, Cornwall, an annual celebration of Cornish and international filmmaking.

The Festival offers local and national premieres, professional development workshops, lectures and parties providing the opportunity to network with the UK’s leading industry professionals.

Mark Kermode
Film Critic Mark Kermode at the 2008 Cornwall Film Festival

AWARDS

This year the Festival introduces two new Jury Awards for Cornish short films which will replace the audience awards for Best Film of the Festival and Best Student Film of the Festival. Jury members will include leading UK media industry professionals.

The Another Country International Short Film Award celebrates films of all genres made in towns, villages and rural communities across the world. There is a cash prize of £1,000 for the winning film from award sponsors University College Falmouth.

Board Shorts awards and prizes will also be presented to the best international surf/skate/snowboarding short films.

CATEGORIES

Cornish Shorts / Features
We take pride in the thriving Cornish film industry, and a key aim of the Festival is showcasing films where at least one of the creative team (writer, director, producer) is resident in Cornwall. We accept films of all genres. Films under 20 minutes will be eligible for the Best Film of the Festival Jury Award

Cornish Student Films
These films will be eligible for the Best Student Film of the Festival Jury Award

Board Shorts
The Festival's popular screening event which showcases new talent in surf/snow/skateboard filmmaking and photography. Films in this category are eligible for prizes and awards.

ANOTHER COUNTRY International Short Film Award.
The Another Country International Short Film Award showcases films of all genres made in towns, villages and rural communities across the world. There is a cash prize of £1000 for the winning film from award sponsors University College Falmouth.

Screen Actions
Screen Actions is the Film Festival run by young people for young people. If you're aged 8-18 and you've made a short film submit it to Screen Actions. We accept films of all genres.

For more details go to the submissions page of the Cornwall Film Festival site.

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Friday, 6 March 2009

Razorback

Judy Morris and the Razorback
PLOT

An environmentally concerned American journalist (Judy Morris) heads to the Australian outback and proceeds to disappear after observing a sinister, pet food factory. Her husband (Gregory Harrison) follows the trail to where the eponymous, giant wild pig, dominates the life of a hunter (Bill Kerr), who has a long standing grudge with it.

REVIEW

I will start with a serving suggestion: This film is best served with a group a lads who have just returned from the pub, and cannot quite tell what is stuffed pork, and what is just plain cheese.

The best creature feature movies are the ones that shroud the beast in mystery and shadows, as that is where these paranoid delusions dwell in our individual psyches - left over from childhood nightmares. Fog and darkness also have the useful side affect of hiding much of the poorer quality areas of the puppets as well, but rarely has it been as essential as in this film.

The Razorback Puppet
Choosing such a cinema-unfriendly villain was never a good starting point anyhow. Pigs are highly dangerous, but somehow not terrifying on screen, and this specimen resembles not a great deal more than a botched attempt at taxidermy; and about as mobile. The only times it carries any menace are when it is off screen, and even the lighting techniques cannot imbue it with any life.

Those lighting effects are impressive though. You can tell that Russell Mulcahy, the director, has a background in music videos, specifically Duran Duran. He cuts the picture like the best of the early eighties boom in pop video, using his keen eye to create vignettes within the film, allowing Australia's unique landscape to do what his puppet cannot.

Razorback Scenery
Sound is also used to great effect. Each geographic location having its own signature, and most of them eerie and chilling. He creates a remarkable claustrophobia in the massively open expanses.

The plot could have been written on a beer mat, containing no surprises, and its characters are unable to carry the story, outshone by the peripheral locals. The style of the two pet food factory villains, is very derivative of Mad Max, coming only a few years after that genre defining film, and the setting and composition of the finale is echoed in his later later work, Highlander.

I would refer to Razorback as a B-Movie, but for its comparatively large budget, and so we are left with a film that thinks it is more than it is. The sub-genre of gigantic killer animals, or revenge of nature pictures, has many more watch-able entries. But, providing you follow the serving suggestion, this is a passable effort.

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