Friday, July 6, 2012

The Guy Who Paints With his head & Other Films: KOTE Short Film Fest

The rain toyed with the venue all eveningut before the downpour came near the end of the presentation, film aficionados were served with more than enough reasons to beleive in a bright future a night of local film.

The assurance came via a joint venture between the Kingston on the Edge (KOTE) team and David Morrisonight movie presentations at Red Bones are a staple among cognoscenti. The roster featured featuring films by Peter Dean Rickards and others; including the award winning film Red Amber and Green by Christopher Byfield, Morrison himself and Storm Saulter.

The latter, fresh off a visit to the annual film megafest at Cannes, presented two shorts - the first an appropriately seductive shoot for the neer Lubica. The second was an entirely different, and more uplifting affair (notwithstanding that the model shoot was done in the elevations of Strawberry Hill): Saulter's brother, who goes by the name Astro, is confined to a wheelchair but still manages to produce some arresting art and graphic images, using a special set-up in the back of his wheelchair, which he manipulates by moving his head. Simply amazing - and the fruit of his special labour will be presented to John Q Public at an exhibition in November at Downtown Kingston's Studio 174.

Other than that, the "shortfest" served up political rhetoric, the revenge a woman extracts on her cheating boyfriend, and - in the case of "Prisoner 52" the tragically futile efforts of a convict to escape his confinement and return to his loved ones.

The highlight for this writer came near the end with "Red Amber Green" which had previously scored highly at the Reggae Film Festival. It tells the story of three "street youths" who between vending snacks and charming motorists in Half Way Tree (and sleeping in a graveyard in one case), find time and spirit to extend material kindness to those even less fortunate than themselves. Also worthy was a documentary examining the plight of fisherfolk struggling to eke out a living in the vastly polluted waters in the vicinity of Port Henderson.

All told, a good night for cinephiles - whose appetities have been whetted for extended visual storytelling. 

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