Valentine’s Open Screening Review

Filmonik’s Open Screening and Valentine’s Challenge has been ticked off the list. The blind bow-boy has packed up his quiver and gone home. But not before punching holes in a few hearts, and inspiring some sweet movies.

Being both an Open Screening and a Challenge, the challenge was for anyone who wanted to spend three days making something especially for the open screening. This time there was only one proviso: To make a film about love - love, we decided, was challenge enough in itself:

Matt Spencer offered BUTTERFLIES, an uproarious black comedy of just how badly wrong a marriage proposal can go. Joe Simmons brought us A GHOST WITHIN THE MACHINE, an elegant and eloquent meditation on the meaning(s) of love, delivered by Joe Stacey and Pete Garvey. Pete directed and starred in AGONY & EXTACY, an unsettling depiction of violence, and the dark mood continued with WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN – Jenny Longworth and Joe Stacey’s visceral and disturbing reworking of an old Steve Balshaw script. COLD COMFORT, Steve’s second offering of the night, depicted a particularly cruel insight into passive-aggressive emotional entrapment.

Lightening the mood (a little), Kenneth James’ MY LOVE – a touching story of love, death, and all the bits inbetween – left nary a dry eye in the house. Kino-style “quickie” films came in the form of Chris Asteriou’s LOVERMAN, featuring Miroslav Andjelkovic’s post-Avengers cupid, while Andrew Cullimore’s forfeit film documented the reincarnated human-form of Rudolf the red-nosed reindeer…

Filmonik’s first open-mic screening at Filmonik HQ yielded some top local talent, and some from abroad to boot. Chris Cronin put every corner of the colour-wheel onscreen with the elegant dance-romance MOMENTS, providing a suitably joyful opener to the night’s proceedings. Aiden Belizaire brought along LATE BLOOMER a droll and delightful romantic comedy about a timid man trying to win the attention of the girl of his dreams, featuring comedic scene-stealer Pete Garvey. Natalie Kennedy introduced us to Doris, an elderly widow coping with bereavement, a neglectful son, and a lonely life, juxtaposed by a charming animated fable from Tommy Cowell, and an elegant music video from Chris Croft. Finally, Tim Limon spoke live(ish) from Korea to introduce an ever so sweet, 8mm-esque music-video of his own.

All in all, a night filled with love and laughter, hearts and flowers, romance and rotting corpses was had by all. Filmonik HQ’s screening events are running at full speed, with plenty more track to go. Next on the agenda: The Easter Kabaret. Watch this space for more details very soon.

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