The selection of Yorkshire shorts at this year’s Leeds International Film Festival is a diverse one, featuring documentaries, narrative fiction, and one piece described as a ‘spoken word/documentary hybrid.’ Two explore local efforts to help others through lockdown, and two particularly eye-catching pieces display unique and quirky approaches to animation.
Media Intrusion is a two-minute non-narrative stop-motion following a plush VHS tape on an outside adventure through Knotts Wood, Todmorden. No dialogue, no story, and yet somehow this simple work is consistently engaging throughout its (admittedly short) runtime. The use of a real environment lends the film some of the reality of a live-action film, which is offset by the ever-so-slightly jerky movement of stop-motion, giving the piece a feel of heightened reality.
Human Cockleshells uses a rough white-on-black style to illustrate the lyrics to the song of the same name by music collective Elephantstopper. The images give the audience snapshots of the lives of a lighthouse keeper and the variety of creatures who live alongside him, and the hand-drawn animation has a macabre style that enhances the film’s dark humour. Just watch out for the crab, it’ll have your eyes out.
Yorkshire Short Film Competition can be viewed on Leeds Film Player until 19th November 2020.