Film Review: UK Dramatic Shorts – MANIFF 2015

Doc Shorts MANIFF

UK Dramatic Shorts at MANIFF 2015

Vikki Rutter reviews five UK dramatic shorts that made the official short film selection at the 2015 Manchester Film Festival


English Premiere
Director: Greg Hemphill

The premiere screening outside of its Native Scotland, Gasping follows a man (Frankie Boyle) who after a life of drinking and partying, is presented with an ultimatum. One that it was obvious he would fail despite every effort to succeeded.

The short did get a few chuckles but was unconvincing. It seemed as though the concept was more about who was cast as the lead and the fact they didn’t speak. Than it was about the issue and the comedy.

Gasping is not “gasping”-ly great.

2 out of 5 stars


Into The Surf

UK Premiere
Director: Tom Evans

So this is a film about surfing right?


Oh so what’s it like?

You have to watch it and see.

This is what the director said when asked about the film. And he’s right you should watch it and see.

Into The Surf is a strong short that leaves you to fill in the gaps of the story yourself. Leaving each viewer with their own interpretation and their own feelings about the subject matter.

Greg Austin (Mr Selfridge) and Adam Rojko both give a convincing performance in this story of two brothers, and how one persons actions affects all those around you.

Anyone watching will have been effected by the issues raised in this short at some point in their lives and so will have their own thoughts on how it makes you feel.

Into The Surf is a must see although the foley sound was a bit out of kilter with the footage shown, it is emotionally dark.

4 out of 5 stars

The Hook

Director: Nick Flügge

Ed Caruana (The Search for Sunshine) and Christopher Sciueref (Exodus, Skyfall) star together in this quirky comedy short.

After booking a one-to-one boxing lesson online Ed has one hour to get to know his teacher. Moments of comedy add to the heartwarming story about two people who learn something new in that one hour, that changes both their lives forever.

The Hook is an easy watch that raises a smile

3 out of 5 stars


Director: Alexander Thomas

For a short Beverley goes on for a very long time. And at the end of it you really don’t feel like you got to the bottom of it.

The concept is an interesting one, how does a mixed race girl (Layla Lewis) fit into a world that seems so black and white. It explores the sub cultures of rude girls and ska music of the 1980s and the move from poverty to suburbia. How does she identify herself and overcome adversity?

Beverley seems too big for a short yet is a story that should be explored, maybe as a full length film, in order for you to really get to grips with the characters and the subject matter.

3 out of 5 stars


Director: Nida Manzoor

Not sure what it really is, 7.2 is a cross between a karate kid Bruce lee type film and a mid afternoon children’s TV show.

Cheryl Burniston plays the lead character but the whole thing leaves you with no emotion about it. You feel no empathy with the characters or happiness at the resolve.

7.2 is a neither here or there, a short that could easily entertain your child at 4pm after their homework was complete.

2 out of 5 stars