[IMAGE: Brian McIntyre]
The phrase ‘a hidden gem’ is somewhat flawed – in order to know it’s there, you have to uncover it. Short Com at the Frog and Bucket is a new night with a twist: screening short comedy films from filmmakers across the world as well as the latest celluloid (read: Canon 5D Mk II) from the locals in Greater Manchester.
“This one’s unpretentious – cheap as chips – and of course, there’s free popcorn,” says Ross McCall, compere for the evening. The audience is niche, although it’s early days yet – and it keeps growing. Over the course of the night, it becomes clear that Chris, who runs Short Com, has carefully curated the films in order to create such a filling two-parter of an evening.
First up was a film called’ Toothless’: a mockumentary by Steve Dorrington. It’s a clever, dark… at times very, very close to the bone – but ultimately heartwarming tale about a Tooth Fairy who’s been screwed over by bureaucracy and so finds it increasingly difficult to be a public health service provider (ooooh, sounds familiar?). Alongside teeth, Dorrington’s smartly shot film manages to involve a shed, a beach, a Santa lawsuit and copious amounts of booze. It’s brilliant stuff.
This was followed by an oscilating range of films – including three zombie flicks (always a plus. And even more of a plus given that next year’s silver-screen trends will find themselves framed by nothing but mythical tales, horror and steampunk)…
…incredible animation by way of Tea & Cheese (one to watch. Google him. Now!), a Portuguese comedy-slasher called ‘O Risco’ (The Line) by Jose Pedro Lopes, plus a whole bunch of fantastic clips from both the fledgling and more established indie filmmakers.
I ask Chris about the future of Short Com. It’s something that fits rather neatly with the Manchester scene – yet it deserves a far wider reach. “It’s a good turnout – I’m hoping it will get more popular over time,” he says during the intermission. So far, the audiences have been overwhelmingly positive, with many people chatting about wanting to create their own film and wondering Why-On-Earth there haven’t been more nights like this before.
“And £2 is really cheap, I think, for a night out?”
For a decent laugh which goes towards supporting more nights encouraging independent film? Well, hellsyeah!
Short Com, The Frog and Bucket, Oldham Road, Manchester. Tickets £2. Doors 7pm.