Anna Reeves surreal film, Warbling Matilda was inspired by a chance encounter with a 90-year-old man with perfect pitch, who can impersonate 80 Australian bird calls.
Shot in black and white, the film is based on his memories as a boy. When his father was posted to the front, he sent a telegram from his top secret destination to his son, coding his destination in a series of notation bird calls.
The non-dialogue film is a tribute to the silent films of early German Expressionism, influenced by 'The Cabinet of Dr Caligari' as well as Fritz Lang's'Metropolis'.It took four to five days to make the film, shot in a virtually perfect square framing-the traditional filming technique and it cost Reeves less that £7,000 for the entire production.
Reeves has also made two funded short for the New Zealand Film Commission which won her a gold plaque at the Chicago Film Festival.A graduate from film school in Sydney, Reeves moved to Paris, where she studied French cinema. Now London based, Reeves says that "she collects people", the main source of inspiration for her films.
A graduate of English and Film Studies, Traill started out as the director on the Big Breakfast before writing and directing his own treatments.
Determined to prove himself creatively, Traill broke away from mainstream TV directing to make short films. Flipped,also short-listed for this year's Rushes Soho Shorts competition, is a bizarre tale of a man who wakes up one morning to discover that his entire world has been turned upside down.
The result is a hilarious series of shots that follows the antics of the downtrodden hero(played by Jason Flemyng, from Snatch)and his attempts to defeat gravity upside down. The seven minute film was shot at Pinewood Studios next to the James Bond set and remarkably, an entire house was built upside down including bedrooms and a staircase. Although Traill has had more experience directing short films and writing features, he's keen to work on more commercials and is most comfortable with comic material.
He has directed an ad for the Royal British Legion through Partizan. Traill is currently working on a screenplay based on a book by Ben Rice which will be directed by Full Monty director Peter Cattaneo.
German-born Marc Lutz has, like most new directors, been jack-of-all-trades on his film projects. For his first film, "Es geschah an einem Montag' (It Happened on a Monday) he was director, director of photography and editor.
The experience has paid off with Lutz demonstrating immense versatility for a newcomer. His promo "Beide Armen nach Oben", (Both Arms Up), shown here, is an innovative piece based around old Seventies footage. Lutz had access to two minutes of 1970s propaganda stock from the 'Fiesta del Deporte', East Europe's Olympics. (Competing in the real Olympics was forbidden.)
Lutz has worked brilliantly within the tight restrictions, producing a visual sequence which fuses perfectly with the toe-tapping beat. Once again, Lutz multi-tasked on the job, producing, directing and editing. The video, for the band Gym Nastix, won Best German Video at Germany's International Short film Festival.
Lutz has also recently completed his first commercial, its sumptuous visuals forming a stark contrast to his grainy promo. The ad 'First Love' was originally a spec spot for Coca-Cola but the client is now considering airing it.
We also feature another new commercial here - a brillaintly risque spot for Hennes & Mauritz.
Lutz, who is in his penultimate year at the Film Academy in his native country, seems to have a bright future ahead of him.