No/Gloss Film Festival: A Preview

Taking place in Leeds for its first year is the No/Gloss Film Festival. The fest will run over two days  – the 8th and 9th of September – at Wharf Chambers, and from what was on preview at the launch party it’s safe to say this one isn’t to be missed.

The aim of No/Gloss is simply to give short films and their makers a platform on which to stand, a boost to artists who for whatever reason haven’t got the support from larger institutions. With over 70 films to be screened, each looking to offer something distinctive, from the selection screened at the launch party the talent on display is as inspired as it is varied.

From the animated quirkiness of The Rest Is Science – a poke at mankind’s need to constantly advance, to the social grit of Clench – a piece from Manchester tackling prejudice; there is literally a cut of everything on offer here. Others that resonated long after viewing was the shades of Cronenbergian horror present in The Virgin Herod, a surrealist take on the effect of love and lust on the mind and body. The seemingly sweet tale of boy meets girl in Mantis is also one to look out for, as well as the cringe inducing footage of Line Of Sight – a documentary on the extreme world of Alley Cat Racing which takes the viewer all over the world.

As socially aware and witty as The Rest Is Science truly is, it’s hard to forgive the film’s outlook when so much of today’s young filmmakers have such incredible opportunities at their disposal due to technological advances. Some of the shorts on show have been shot entirely on mobile phones. These advances have helped make funding less of a concern for young aspiring artists, freeing them up to all manner of paths deemed impossible until now.

Like the globally thorough footage of Line Of Sight, the festival is also equally diverse. With selections of shorts from as near as Bradford and Manchester, to far out as the US, Canada, and Italy, this is a great opportunity to harness the true power of film; a medium that lends us an eye to the world and infinite (if vicarious) experiences.

Visit the website for more information.

Joseph McDonagh

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