A REVIEW OF THE BAOBAB SHORTS

It’s so clever how you can cram the full gist of a story into a 10 minute film. The Baobab Shorts squeezes the best part of a plot into these emotional, funny and refreshing mini films that each tell their own sharp little story.

Actually in just under 10 minutes my favourite in the Baobab Shorts series, Lazy Susan, gives you several clear and hilarious reasons why we should be tipping our waiters the next time we eat out. The filming style sits the audience at the same table as Susan’s customers where we can see what kind of nonsense people in the service industry have to deal with. The style of shooting is brilliant and so is the acting, especially from lead character, Susan- despite the fact we don’t see her face for almost the entire film.

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I Still Do is another one of the shorts that creatively uses camera angles to tell the story. This one is slightly longer and focuses mainly on a conversation (or argument) between a husband and wife. as the film goes on, the couple reveal more reasons behind the issues in their relationship. The film gradually develops the narrative of the characters through their conversation but also allows the audience to consider whether the wider issues of gender, race and pregnancy in a relationship.

With a wealth of World Film Festival and International Film Festival nominees and winners, these mini films depict a mixture of life experiences. Wintry Spring with a very simple plot, shows us a common issue for teen girls coming into adulthood. Female puberty, together with dealing with family loss can be difficult to explore in a film of this length. However, Wintry Spring uses clever story telling and script writing meaning the main characters having to actually mention what the issues are.

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As well as the more emotional films in the series, the Baobab shorts also has its share of comedies. Love, Hate & Ketchup, one of the shorter films, is about a husband returning home to his wife after he has lost his job. This film is very unexpected violent-comedy, with the wife putting her husband down for losing his jobs so often (and being bad in bed). The husband then gets his own back at her for her comments… or so he thinks.

With a mixture of film styles, the Baobab Shorts explores new ideas in film-making that are emotional, funny and clever. Definitely worth their place at the Film Africa Festival and worth a watch.

 

Writing mainly on topics surrounding race and gender, recent graduate, Hannah McKellar-Ricketts has had pieces published for Vice, ITN and LIVE Magazine. She is a keen traveller with an interest in discussions on non-western media and how it affects the culture.