Nisi Masa 2014

It was once again time for the Nisi Masa short film pitches, once again set within Luxembourg's Discovery Film Festival. This meant we had the additional pleasure of watching Spike Jonze's HER and listening to Luc Dardenne in interview talking about how he (& his absent brother) write and rewrite their films.

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Out of an exciting clutch of short film projects, three clear winners emerged (as they must!): From the UK was Benjamin Bee with his coming of age comedy project "Wheels", Vilja Autiokyro from Finland with her quirky scandi-sexy comedy "Motor Oil" and Daina Oniunas-Pusic with her horror-western project "Beast Of Burden" about an old lady and her even older mother.

It was also great getting a chance to watch an ex Nisi Masa alumni's film. We were shown The Queen Of England Stole My Parents which was one of the projects from last year which had an amazing Kickstarter campaign, unearthing a rich and generous Sheik donor (our dream come true). It was a modern allegorical fairy tale made by a Lithuanian team: director Ernestas Jankauskas and producers Justinas Pocius, Jurga Jutaite and Monika Sakalauskaite from a production company called Dansu. We also got a chance to watch Nisi Masa's own Jérôme Nunes's pacy psychological drama short film Relapse in which we were all delighted to see he also makes an appearance. We are now really looking forward to next year when we get to watch three more completed shorts from last year & the year before: Una Gunjak's The Chicken - whose pitch made Emily Kyriakides & me cry, Eicke Bettinge's Chain (from Maribor pitch 2012) and Mike Forshaw's Saturday (from Luxembourg 2013) who also made his film thanks to a kickass Kickstarter campaign. Can't wait.

Otherwise it was great getting a chance to meet & hang out with the filmmakers, the Nisi Masa team and the European producers. The weekend ended with festivities at a little Luxembourg club called the dungeon or the crypt or something like that - perfect spot for a power nap.

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