Interview: Edinburgh Short Film Festival
May 8, 2017
Dedicated and passionate about short film, The Edinburgh Short Film Festival brings the best contemporary Scottish, UK and international short film to the city each year. This year they’re curating three nights in the Hidden Door Cinema space.
Can you tell us about the creative motivation behind ESFF?
ESFF aims to bring the best contemporary Scottish, UK and International short films to local and international audiences. They encourage short film-making in Edinburgh with a view to creating new partnerships. ESFF have hosted Caribbean short film from Trinidad & Tobago and Japanese shorts from Tokyo, exchanging Scottish & UK shorts in return.
What do you love about short film as a medium?
It’s all about the director’s idea and vision and not about the profits or box office returns. A short film-maker has space to make the film they want to make and has complete freedom to express themselves creatively.
What memorable responses have you had to your work?
Somebody once posted us a couple of sticks of Blackpool rock for screening their film! As a film-maker, I was also just a bit chuffed to have made Mark Kermode’s favourite zombie puppet short.
Which films/directors are you most proud of showcasing?
All of them! They have all achieved great things without corporate sponsors, huge budgets, star names, or advertising revenue, and frequently without government funding either! They have some amazing ideas and total dedication, making huge sacrifices to get their ideas on screen. They are all brilliant and we’re glad we could screen all of them!
How and why did you begin your involvement with the film industry?
I started off writing prose short stories and eventually, I got a bit fed up that no-one could be bothered to read them – not even my mum! – So I studied film-making with the idea of making one of them into a short film. Needless to say the film never got made either, but some others did and some time later here I am!
What excites you about the Scottish film scene?
What I really like about the Scottish film scene is the way everyone collaborates and helps each other out. It’s quite a small, vulnerable and undervalued world. I think that brings out the best in people. It makes us more likely to lend a hand.
Can you say a few words on what Hidden Door is about for you?
Hidden Door is a conglomeration of the brilliant and the bizarre seen through a colourful kaleidoscope of off-kilter imaginations! What can I say! I love it!
Every year has its own unique story, from our event assistant being spooked out by a weird apparition in the cinema vault in Market Street, to me introducing astonished Swiss puppeteers to macaroni pies in the Street Lighting Depot!
God only knows what awaits at the Leith Theatre – no more ghosts, please! – but we’re looking forward to finding out!
ESFF have three programmes this year at Hidden Door, taking place on 27th, 30th May, and 3rd June. Find out more about what they have planned here.