Cult short film festival comes to Torquay
Did you know that Torquay is one of only 3 places in the UK taking part in the Manhattan Short Film Festival? Nope... neither did we! We headed to the Blue Walnut Cafe AND Cinema for the inside track.
From humble beginnings 20 years ago, the Manhattan Short Film Festival has become something of a global phenomenon, with over 100,000 people now gathering in over six continents in cinemas, universities and museums each year. Their purpose? To view and vote on ten Short Films which are Finalists in the Festival.
The Blue Walnut Cafe and Cinema has been screening the Festival since 2002; a tradition the relatively new owners have been keen to continue, with audiences from all walks of life attending from Torbay, Exeter, Plymouth, and even tourists from America, Canada and Norway. Dave from the Blue Walnut explains;
'For a film to qualify, it has to be no longer than 18 minutes. And each film will be screened over 1000 times around the world; we're the only cinema in the UK that screens it more than one time. There are certainly people that the only time we see them come through the door, is for this the festival. They don't go to the cinema throughout the year, but they attend the festival. It is a special event for them.
On the evening, you're given a voting card when you arrive, which lists the ten films. At the end of the evening, you get to choose who you think is the best actor and film. After the screening, I gather all the results and then send a result sheet through to Nick in New York. Then he collates all the votes from across the world to produce a winner.'
The ten shorts are screened simultaneously across the world from the 29 September to 7 October. This years shortlist includes comedy, drama, horror, scifi, animation and even martial arts with representation from 8 countries.
'None of them are amateurish. All of them have a great amount of production put into them... a lot of people work on these films. Last year, there were some recognisable acts from the TV and mainstream actors.
Credit: Images kindly provided by Manhattan Short Film Festival