Kinofilm 97

Manchester International Short Film & Video Festival

"Jeremy Beadle's been such an inspiration for first-time film-makers," insists festival director John S Wojowski. Eisenstein, Tarantino ... Beadle. Hmm. "So many people have watched You've Been Framed and thought they can do better."

In fact, such has been the explosion in underground film-making that the third Manchester International Short Film and Video Festival has had to stagger its schedule. Between today and 10 November, bills itself as "animation, experimental and digifest", moving on to US underground later this month and an international shorts season in December before stretching its "97" tag to the limit with next February's climax, the British Shorts Filmfest.

From tomorrow, "Leftfield Media Focus" (Blackwells, Oxford Rd, Manchester) plays host to around 200 animations and experimental films, dedicating three screens to such oddities as German pixillation films and a five- second short. At the refurbished Cornerhouse complex, a little more stamina is required for the programme dedicated to "One Minute Cinema".

The editor of Sight & Sound, Nick James, thinks British film-makers are on a roll. "There's not necessarily any more talent around, but with the new Government, lottery funding and tax breaks, there's a huge sense of confidence." As digital cameras become cheaper and more accessible, James adds that amateur film-makers can overcome the technical requirements of TV and professional film. "The BBC's 10x10, Channel 4's Short and Curlies, the BFI scheme; there are so many places in which to draw attention to yourself."

Festival-goers ought to take a break from previewing cinema's bright future, however, and take up Dennis Nyback's invitation to catch a glimpse of its murkier past. In Disney gets Dizzed, the Seattle-based film archivist will give audiences the opportunity to view highly controversial and rarely seen US animation of the 1930s and 1940s. Such was Uncle Walt's early success that his work drew the ultimate compliment - the subversive attention of his rivals, whose parodies and rip-offs feature in Fuck Mickey Mouse. Less palatable, though no less fascinating, The Bad Bugs Bunny Show unearths racist, sexist and chauvinist animation, commonplace before the war, but unlikely to feature on kids' TV these days.

To 10 Nov at selected Manchester venues (0161-288 2494).

Comments