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A Tale of TWO Dramas

By Diogo Brüggemann

No need to cry, our newest episode of Make It Short is finally here! But maybe you will cry anyway, because today we are bringing drama to the table! As usual, in this episode we are going to bring together critics, experts, and filmmakers to discuss independent short films and give constructive feedback to new directors and writers in this very competitive business! 

And for this episode we have selected two dramatic films, one very different to the other, but both equally endearing and worth watching. And joining me to comment on them, we have CenterFrame co-founder and filmmaker Bernhard Pucher and our special guest, back for one more time, British filmmaker and lecturer Toby Fell-Holden. So hold back your tears and come with us!

We all know that drama is one of the favourite genres of movie fans all over the world and the one often taken the most seriously by this crazy film industry. So it can be easily said that, in order to be a real contender at well-established film festivals and awards ceremonies, filmmakers should consider dramatic stories - unless we are talking about genre festivals and ceremonies, of course. Not that we share this perception that drama is a superior genre, of course, but we cannot ignore the context. And this reality makes drama as a genre a double-edged sword, as your film will probably be taken more seriously out there, but you also may encounter harder competition and even harder critiques.



But let’s talk about the most important thing here: the short films themselves! And today we start with the adorable Birdy, a dramatic comedy by filmmaker Cristina Ballesteros. It features a sole character, the titular Birdy, as she watches birds flying nearby. As difficult as it is to tell a story with only one character, even if for 8 minutes, the film uses interesting editing techniques that make a difference. It takes a while until we are able to dive into Birdy’s psychological state and understand what the story is really about, but overall, it is a solid attempt at character development that could have gone even further. We all loved the editing and the animation included in between the scenes, and I was really curious about the genre Cristina considers her short film to be. You can discover her answer by watching our conversation!



And now we move on to Daughter, written and directed by Markus Hoeckner. The film is more of a traditional drama and it focuses on a young Hmong woman living in the United States and caught between taking care of her mother and moving out to start a new life with her boyfriend. With great direction and beautiful camera work, Daughter also surprises us with amazing performances by the entire cast - who, we found out through Markus himself, were not professional actors! We can easily identify with the main character as she navigates life and understands her responsibilities growing up. We all agreed it is a remarkable film that feels very professional from start to finish. We were lucky enough to have a lengthy conversation with Markus about the production of the film, the importance of sound, and the process it took to make it a reality.

Now it is down to you, so make sure to hit play and take a deeper look at our discussion to find out more about two very distinct and original short films, even if they make you contemplate the world in unique ways. Both films were submitted to us, which is amazing, and I am sure you will learn a lot about filmmaking with us. I myself learnt a lot by examining these short films and getting to know their creators and their journeys. And remember, if you are a filmmaker and have directed any kind of short film, be like Cristina and Markus! Make sure to send it to us and have a chance to feature your work in one of the next episodes of Make It Short. Also, please share this message with other writers and directors you may know and help create a sharing community! See you next time! 

How about sending us your Short film?

You can submit shorts from anywhere. Please make sure English subtitles are available if that's not the original language of your production.

We'll try to feature as many shorts as possible in the upcoming episodes of the show, but please be aware that it might not be possible to do so if we receive an overwhelming number of films.