Short & Sweet in 3D


Written by Caroline Doyle
26 Monday 26th July 2010

Since May 2006, Short & Sweet has been screening short films for free to a discerning crowd in East London, entertaining and inspiring the attendees with a plethora of the finest shorts from new and old directors alike. Last week however Short & Sweet took a leap into the unknown by screening the first ever Short and Sweet 3D festival at the Barbican.  

Don’t Panic spoke to Julia Stephenson, founder and director of Short &Sweet about the weekly film nights, testing taboos and the controversy surrounding 3D cinema.
What's the ethos of Short & Sweet?
Short & Sweet is about bringing people together through the powerful medium that is short film and thereby inspiring them to awaken their own creative talent. When we feel powerful and good about ourselves we are able to conquer the world and make all our dreams come true. Short & Sweet is dedicated to the exhibition of short film as a critical art form in its own right.
You've been running since 2006, why do you think you've managed such longevity?
The films selected are guaranteed to take you on a journey every week that leads you to question personal beliefs and habits. Audiences typically find themselves awestruck and inspired by the films, which come from a wide range of genres: taboos are tested, perceptions rattled, and senses explored. Each week I ask the audience to make a new friend and I hope that at least one film touches their hearts and awakens their own creativity. We make it our mission to personally know each and every filmmaker or producer whose film is chosen to screen at Short & Sweet. This personal touch is important to us and I hope this is what makes people come back.
Is it a popular night?
Yes, I think so. There are over 200 people coming each week for the past four years... and it's free to attend!
Is there a particular kind of Short and Sweet person?
Short film is for everyone. There are all sorts of different people that attend Short & Sweet each week – people from all walks of life and professions... Short & Sweet is one big family, so as soon as you walk in the door you become part of this network of people.
On Friday you hosted the first ever Short and Sweet 3D how did it go?
It was a huge success. All the tickets sold out a couple of weeks before the festival. I think that we have given people a different way of looking at 3D. We have shown them that it is possible to do it yourself as long as you still have a good idea / story. We have started a new wave and I hope this festival encourages more people to experiment with this exciting medium.
Mark Kermode wrote in the Guardian that 3D was just a gimmick, but as you have a whole night dedicated to it so I guess you don't agree?
Mark Kermode and plenty of other critics seem to think 3D is a passing fad, and only time will tell whether or not this is true. Screen depth is just another tool in a filmmaker's storytelling arsenal – it can be used well and it can be used badly. Even many of the films sent to us for Short & Sweet 3D should really only qualify as camera tests. Luckily, there are some filmmakers out there that are experimenting and trying to figure out what can be done better in the medium.
Do you think 3D will one day replace traditional filmmaking entirely?
I don't think it will ever replace it entirely, in the same way that new black and white films are made every year. However, if audiences latch on to it in the long term, we will start to see less and less 2D films made. It's true that we've had 3D film fads come and go before, but the difference now is that the technology as advanced to the point where it is cheaper, more reliable and more accessible to filmmakers. Who knows? In the future, there may not be a need for a solely 3D film festival in the same way there isn't a San Diego Talking Picture Festival.
Is 3D Short and Sweet going to become a regular occurrence?
Yes, this is only the beginning. We've already had offers to take it to Sheffield, Encounters Festival, Manchester, Copenhagen and Korea!!!!!!


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