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FFF DELTA AWARDS & THE NORMAN J. WARREN TROPHY

We are seeking short film submissions in three categories: Science Fiction, Horror, and Fantasy.

We are delighted to announce the finalists for our DELTA INTERNATIONAL SHORT FILM AWARDS 2022 to be screened at the festival. Amazingly, we received more than 1,000 entries from all over the world covering horror, science fiction and fantasy  – so many and such high quality, in fact, that we’re also programming a runners-up short film programme. Big thanks to our competition co-ordinator, Darrell Buxton.

The overall best-in-festival winner will receive the inaugural NORMAN J. WARREN TROPHY.

DELTA AWARD: FANTASY

HEART OF GOLD (Simon Filliot, France)

Stunning. A twist on Frankensteinian themes, evoking a sense of melancholy and futility. The film’s world is beautifully staged – from the semi-gothic trappings to the concept that the young mother’s house ‘rebuilds’ itself via her payments – and even the fact that the animated models are made of clay is worked into the mechanics of the story. A very affecting fantasy.


ABANDONMENT (Marcos Bulhoes & Seo Cruz, Brazil)

This may not be to all tastes, but is one of the the best-looking films submitted for our competition. A non-narrative performance piece, but clearly qualifying as a ‘fantasy’ film, not dissimilar to Jean Rollin’s languid beach-set vampire films of the 70s.


I AM GHOST (Izzy Turner, Australia)

Lovely. This has been entered in our horror and fantasy categories but the latter is by far the more applicable. Gentle little story which doesn’t go where you initially expect it to, has likeable characters and winning performances and actor chemistry, proper development and dramatic peaks, and one or two quietly stunning moments.


ALEX & FRIENDS (Jeffrey Ashkin, USA)

A gem. Such a clever initial idea, but then manages to build on this and introduce gradual shifts and surprises, all the while retaining its own internal logic (with wonderful odd unexplained moments, sometimes right in the midst of traumatic scenes). Pitch perfect vocal performances too.


DELTA AWARD: HORROR

TZITHU (Oscar Ortega Navoa, Mexico)

Excellent – beautifully structured, a simple story but told in an attention-holding way. The stop motion section comes as a complete surprise and yet manages to fit in with the overall tone, and the ending is left hanging intriguingly with the suggestion that this is far from over. A one-man acting show needs a compelling central performance, and we get that too here.


PETER THE PENGUIN (Andrew Rutter, UK)

Already an award-winner at Paracinema Festival in Derby and a big hit at this year’s Horror-on-Sea festival in Southend. The horror scene in Kidderminster is thriving at the moment via directors like Bazz Hancher, James Taylor, Tom Lee Rutter etc, and Andrew Rutter’s films are a big contribution to the local output. This is beautifully structured, starting out in brightly-lit normality and ending up in a place where the audience won’t want to go. Beyond mere ‘black comedy’ into a truly disturbing realm, and yet all taking place amid familiar settings and situations.


THE PHANTOM LIMB (Daniel Fowlie, UK)

A love story. Intense, claustrophobic, a truly original and personal vision. Not for everybody, but if you connect with this or have your own interpretation of its events and visuals, it is really something special. Directed by a festival regular, Dan Fowlie, who has made a number of excellent shorts – this one deservedly won first prize in Mark Kermode’s BBC short films competition a few months ago.


THE TERMINUS (Paul Weston, Australia)

Intriguing set-up, and once it gets started it doesn’t stop, with a parade of varied and effective horrors assailing the (deserving but somehow likeable) target. I particularly loved a couple of shots where apparitions appeared at angles to the surfaces they emerged from, very imaginative. Relentless, like a little mini Evil Dead.


DELTA AWARD: SCIENCE FICTION

DEEP LEARNING DEATH (Thorsten Fleisch, Germany)

Excellent low-tech techno thriller. Unlike many of our entrants this is the work of industry professionals, but the editing and pace and design are breathtaking. Really solid performances help it along too, and if it works towards an inevitable ending, then it is no less powerful for that.


THE CALL (Khuruts Begona, Spain)

There’s a real emotional heft and weight to this one, perhaps not surprising given its Bradbury origins but well-captured by the filmmakers. Has something of The Martian about it and is particularly reminiscent of Saul Bass’ Phase IV, though without the ants! Really convinces with its view of an alien world, with well-chosen locations and an excellent central performance, and the camerawork and choice of varied shots and angles is splendid.


REVOLTED TOYS FROM PLUTO THAT IS NO LONGER A PLANET (Jonathan Rodrigues, Brazil)

A real no-budget, home-made winner. This will certainly not appeal to everybody but it turns its cheapness into a virtue. From the title on, it has an irreverent sense of fun and playfulness to it, and if it is forced to use visible strings and cheapo computerised gore every so often, it manages to make that all part of the proceedings. Some excellent animal acting too (stick with the bloopers at the end for evidence on how difficult that must have been) and even a quick shot of Jose Mojica Marins on a TV screen. All this and a really effective surprise ending too. Exactly the sort of film that should be celebrated in the ‘everyone’s a filmmaker’ 21st century.


Z PROJECT (Nima Ghazanfari, Iran)

Excellent eco fantasy, very vivid and creative in building its distinctive world and giving a bit of personality to every single character you see on screen. There’s a real sense of community conveyed, these green-shooted creatures striving to help one another and defend what is theirs. It all develops effectively and keeps you hooked. From sentimentality to violence and everything in between, it bursts with colour and activity.


RUNNERS-UP SHOW

DEMON HOUSE (Aysabar Gürel, Turkey)

THE WISH (Silvia Knödlstorfer, Austria)

MIRAGE (Hsiao-Anne Liao, Taiwan)

STRANGERS IN THE NIGHT (Daryl Schmidt, USA)

ROTTON FAITH (Flávio Carnielli, Brazil)

MOM (Oleh Sokolovsky Sergeevich, Ukraine)

A CHANGE IN TIME (Pat Knight, UK)

TAKE CARE (Tommy Cavanagh, USA)

SLOW DEATH (Amen Sahraei, Iran)

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