Shorts on Tap is a monthly short film night in London. But when London hosts so many, what makes this one truly unique to its competitors? Well for starters, the amount of events they do is quite prolific. Shorts on Tap don’t just host a standard one a month deal. Instead, on average, Shorts on Tap hold two short film screening events a month all with unique themes. They couple this with a monthly networking night for filmmakers and actors; one where each can see what each other is working on and perhaps even blossom a sprig of an idea into something beautiful (before kicking out time) that can be put in motion to create a superstar filmmaking team.
In fact as proof of the good work they do, this May there will be three Shorts on Tap screening events, including one which will be held at the prestigious BFI Southbank – “Voices of Africa”. This particular free event is part of Africa Day 2016, a celebration of African culture in London through a programme of stunning works depicting, exploring, deciphering Africa and African culture through the eye of its filmmaking talent. This will be Shorts on Tap’s fifth event of their ROAD MAP series of screenings focusing on foreign culture.
We met up with the co-founder, and two of their recent performers, to get the low down on all things Shorts on Tap.
FILIPPO POLESEL (co-founder): I started Shorts On Tap in late 2013, as I wanted to screen a self-produced short film and wanted to find a venue for it. I got in touch with a small venue in Shoreditch called Juno and arranged a date for the screening. Then, I thought it’d be a bit off to call all my friends from all over London to only watch a 7-minute short, so I started looking for more films to screen alongside mine. Then, I decided to leave mine out of the programme altogether as I thought it wasn’t good enough to stand alongside the other shorts, and SOT was born. I have enjoyed it more and more ever since and I do it purely for the love of short filmmaking. I am a producer and constantly looking for new projects to join, so SOT is the ultimate networking tool for me too.
CASTING NETWORKS: As well as screening short films, Shorts on Tap also introduced “Act One” at the start of this year – a live performance prelude in keeping with the night’s theme to introduce the on screen festivities, and Casting Networks is proud to be associated with this endeavor.
FP: So far acts have included Laura Lamn, a poet and songwriter who performed four original poems for the event Reality Check, singer/songwriter Markus Michelucci, performed before the Americana event, and actors Covadonga Camblor and Victoria Lynn performed a skit by Elinor Cook called ‘The Girl’s Guide to Saving the World’ at the January 7 ‘Women in Revolt’ event.
LANA MACIVER (singer/songwriter/actress): I heard about Short’s on Tap through my good friend and fellow filmmaker back in 2014 when it was being run at Juno Bar in Shoreditch. I went to one of their events and really enjoyed myself and the quality of films I was seeing. Then I saw a casting call through Casting Networks and applied to be one of their live acts. I got a response from Filippo immediately and was thrilled when he told me I would open up the night for ‘Women in Revolt’. I had a fantastic time and I thought the night was strong and important for female filmmakers.
ASH REDDINGTON (actress/poet): It was Valentine’s day this year, screaming babies strewn everywhere and clutching my first coffee of the day I eventually found my friend Lara Celenza chatting away to Filippo Polesel in their native Italian; the National Theatre can be a lively place on a Sunday morning.
This is where I got to learn about Shorts on Tap. Filippo had accomplished so much already with SOT and he was working on expanding his vision to Berlin. Having already worked with Lara on several projects; the sense of working synchronicity transcended with Filippo and an unexpected ping pong of ideas ensued about the possibilities of creating live improvisations / scenes at the next screenings of Shorts on Tap. An actor’s dream, my imagination ran wild – I could be anyone I wanted, even Philip Seymour Hoffman, wearing prosthetics of course and so long as it was in line with the theme of the night. The liberation of the creativity and the seriousness of it all was just too good.
As it came to be, I performed at the Shorts on Tap ‘Next of Kin’ family themed event. I thought I would try out something new given the platform. The idea of a comedy sketch/reading etched away fairly fast as I identified with my subject matter ‘Kanye West’ indefinitely and found a place of admiration for his honesty – the joke was on me. I connected with that and performed ‘Family Business’ with a vulnerability channelled and love of words and rhyme that propelled me to ‘Keep my nose out the sky, keep my heart to God. And keep my face to the risin’ sun’
CNI: Sounds like quite an experience!
AR: The atmosphere was intensely supportive and humbling due to the quality of the films being screened and the faces peering back at me. I got to see Tim Porters film ‘Haven’ for the second time, edited to perfection and massive thanks to Tim’s actor in Haven Kadeem Boyce for improving my game by sharing his rapping ingenuity with me just before I went on. ‘Marigolds’ by Stephanie Zari was another film that left an impact. Award winning films; taking the banal compressing it into beautiful and poignant. A reflection of the hand picked quality screened by Shorts on Tap.
The curiosity was planted and I want to experience all thatShorts on Tap has to offer. The question is what will the innovative Filippo and his talented team do next?