It’s been four years since a community of short filmmakers first gathered in LA for the Zero Film Festival, celebrating the best in self-funded, independent movie making. Its success has spread across the Atlantic to London, where audiences gathered this week in an intimate corner of the Hoxton Hotel to watch an array of short films, covering everything from autism to nightmares to fantasies.
The 60 minute programme that premiered on Monday was thoughtfully chosen with a variety of tones and themes, some first efforts from filmmakers and some long term accomplishments. A family and friend heavy audience made sure that things were kept lively, with whoops and applause breaking up the entries. Highlights included Bolt, a bittersweet look into a mother juggling a first date with her autistic son’s condition, and a story about a burka clad runaway that sneaks into Glastonbury festival as a promise to her comatose brother.
With micro budgets to stick to, the festival highlighted the resourcefulness of its contributors. Sets were limited to theatres, derelict rooms or the front seat of a convertible, but inventive concepts and cutting scripts surpassed the lack of funds.
In a Q&A later in the evening, which coincidentally consisted solely of female film makers, they spoke about their passion for putting their ideas onto the big screen. Crowd funding and calling in favours were common sources of help, but there’s no denying that the filmmakers, who mostly wrote, directed, and starred in their creations, worked tirelessly to get their films made.
Zero Film Festival runs for just two days this year, but as a global entity it’s a great platform to showcase the work of dedicated and varied filmmakers worldwide.