From memories of wartorn Iran in the 80s to the first love in the Swinging London, history is revised and revisited with women center-stage.These are ambitious period films, set in different moments of history, deal with the enduring impact of memories and overcoming of fears.
The film reflects on the nature of time and memory and is based on the true story of Katia’s family escaping the build up to what became known as “The Slansky Trials”: the first explicitly anti-Semitic show trial in Eastern Europe. The film is constructed on Katia’s mother’s memories of escaping Czechoslovakia in 1951 at the age of four with her parents through the woods at night.
Composing Award – Anna Bauer
LA LA MEANS I LOVE YOU
London, March 1968. Lois is young and in love. In the morning she’s going on tour with her new squeeze and his wild band. But as the departure looms, cracks appear in their relationship and Lois faces up to the reality of the groupie lifestyle.
Nominated for: U25 Directing Award – Margarita Milne
Helen Keller, an avid civil rights activist known for being deaf and blind, faces prejudice from the public, her family, and even herself.
Nominated for: Production Design Award – Freya Dolby
In 1917, Austrian artist Oskar Kokoschka was in hospital, injured and shell-shocked from World War I, and heartbroken from the end of his famous love affair with Alma Mahler.
Nominated for: Animator Award – Elizabeth Hobbs
Amidst the horror and chaos of war, two enemies are forced into an unlikely alliance in the battle for survival.
Cinematography Award – Tania Freimuth
RED DRESS. NO STRAPS.
1985. Tehran. Iran-Iraq war. An ordinary evening at the grandparents’. ‘Marmar’ still remembers the ‘death to America’ chants from the other day at school; the head teacher was telling them to say it. She is listening to grandad’s favourite radio program; The voice of America. She’s also eagerly waiting for granny to make her a dress exactly the same as one worn by the American Popstar; bright red, no straps.
Animator Award – Maryam Mohajer
WOLF AMONG SHEEP
In 19th century England, sisters Cara and Caitlin run their late mother’s isolated farm alone. But when their father unexpectedly returns from sea during a harsh winter, the land becomes unsettled. Cara, struggling with her family’s past, fights for control and must protect her younger sister against an unknown danger.
Production Design Award – Clare Conway
Winter, 1962. MICHAEL and PATRICIA MELLOR, a young Yorkshire couple on a weekend break, are eating lunch in a quiet seaside café. Patricia, pregnant, is downcast and Michael does his best to cheer her up by reheating a handful of old jokes; it doesn’t work and Patricia announces she wants to go home. When a Waitress comes over, she points to Patricia’s pregnant belly and asks if she’s expecting her first. Patricia says she isn’t; they have a two-year old son. However, when she goes to produce a picture of the boy, Michael stops her in her tracks; abruptly telling the Waitress they don’t have a photo. An argument breaks out between them and finally Patricia snaps and produces the photo of their son James, who was born with deformed limbs, as a result of the Thalidomide drug. Accusing Michael of being ashamed of him, she storms out and he follows. Outside, an upset Patricia tells Michael that she fears her unborn child will also inherit James’ condition. Deciding to help the only way he knows, Michael tells Patricia another joke; it works and she laughs but she also realises that Michael is far away from being able to express his own emotions. Disappointed, she stares out to sea with Michael, as life goes on around them.
Screenwriting Award – Katie Wimpenny
Sunday 18 November | 1:00pm
Running time | 76 minutes, followed by a filmmaker Q&A
Venue | The Castle Cinema, First Floor, 64 – 66 Brooksby’s Walk, London E9 6DA
Tickets | £10 / £8 concessions