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Rushes Soho Shorts 2010: preview

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It's Rushes Soho Shorts time again and the summer's premier short film festival returns, offering those based near London to catch up on an array of short films, networking events and discussions.

Nick Moran's The Kid opens the festival on Wednesday 21st, fresh from its well received premiere at Edinburgh Film Festival. It's apparently a nicely judged film about child abuse, and offers further evidence of the continuing success of talent associated with Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, following Matthew Vaughan's Kick-Ass.

Ioan Gruffudd and Rupert Friend in The Kid

Ioan Gruffudd and Rupert Friend in The Kid

The shorts are divided into eight main categories, and first up we should mention that the Long Form programme and main Shorts categories both contain films produced by Film Network in association with Lighthouse Arts & Training.

Wish 143 stars Jim Carter and Jodie Whitaker and concerns a cancer-afflicted boy's attempts to achieve his dying wish (it's also much funnier than it sounds); look out for it in the Long Form programme. While Conversation Piece sets a domestic drama between John Henshaw and Celia Imrie to the music of jazz trumpeter Rex Stewart. This totally barmy and brilliant short plays in the Short Films category. If you enjoy these two gems, look out for them on Film Network at some point in the next few months.

John Henshaw in Joe Tumner's Conversation Piece

John Henshaw in Joe Tumner's Conversation Piece

Also in the Short Film screening are films by talented directors such as Jonathan Hopkins, Iona Ramsay and Julius Amedume. Deborah Haywood always provides something caustic, so I expect her new film Sis (pictured at the top) will be worth a look, while Colin Kennedy's I Love Luci has also played a few festivals recently.

The Animation category features some very strong works, including Emma Lazenby's ubiquitous Bafta-winner Mother of Many, and another festival favourite in Joseph Pierce's Family Portrait. Kris Hoffman's Breakfast can be caught on Film Network here, among new works from directors such as Max Hattler, Kirk Hendry and Graham Young.

Emma Lazenby's Mother of Many

Emma Lazenby's Mother of Many

The Music Video screenings are likely to be popular, because the featured music artists can also be an audience draw even if the filmmakers themselves aren't widely known. This is an international category, but Alasdair Brotherston and Jock Mooney's Bottom of the River - available on Film Network - is a British highlight and the two Partizan productions for Plan B and Rex the Dog are great fun.

Similarly the Documentary strand contains films from all over the world and promises to offer an intriguing range of viewpoints from countries as far-flung as Ivory Coast and the Bahamas.

The Broadcast Design programme category is also an interesting selection because it offers a chance to see content that isn't covered by the major film festivals. Seeing as much of the work and funding available over the next few years is likely to originate from the commercial sector, aspiring filmmakers should show a keen interest in this showcase of promotional work from the likes of Nexus, Slinky and Squint/Opera.

Another highlight for film students should be the Guest Screenings, which are all free except the hugely popular Straight8 screenings. This is a great chance to catch up on the latest films from the likes of Dazzle, Virgin Media Shorts, Renderyard and many more.

Alongside the films, there are also a host of networking events, panel discussions, seminars and lectures available and we highly recommend these sessions for anyone wanting to know more about the UK film industry.

Click for details of the Weekday and Weekend events.

Rushes Soho Shorts runs from Weds 21st until Friday 30th July and there are numerous instances of most of the screenings, so make sure you check out some of the great work currently being produced in the UK short film scene.

More details are available on the Rushes Soho Shorts website.

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