We Are One Film Festival Short Reviews: Bird Karma, Bilby And Marooned


Currently we’re in the middle of the We Are One Film Festival, a free ten-day online festival that’s running exclusively on YouTube. The festival is running till the 7th June (started on the 29th May) and currently has a load of features, shorts and Q&A’s for people to watch that is co-curated by over twenty film festivals (including BFI London Film Festival and Tribeca Film Festival as examples) and even if you miss the premiere screenings, the films will remain on the page duration the festival’s run for free in order to raise funds that will benefit COVID-19 relief funds. So I’ve spent the last hour watching a few of the short films that’s available at the moment and put my reviews for them below.

 

BIRD KARMA

DIRECTED BY: William Salazar

 

SYNOPSIS

A crafty, long-legged bird chases a mesmerising fish through a foggy pond.

 

Bird Karma is an DreamWorks Animation short written and directed by William Salazar in which we witness a long-legged heron bouncing chaotically through a swamp, catching its prey until it’s completely mesmerised by a mystical glowing red fish. The animation artwork is beautiful to look at here, particularly with its water effects and it’s colourful here, especially when the glowing red fish appears. The musical element is beautifully orchestrated by Nora Kroll-Rosenbaum and at just under five minutes long, it’s a good short to check out.

 

VERDICT

Solid direction and wonderful animation with a lovely score, Bird Karma is well put together. 

 

BILBY

DIRECTED BY: Liron Topaz, Pierre Perifel and JP Sans

 

SYNOPSIS

Bilby follows a desert-dwelling marsupial Perry through the trials and tribulations of “parenthood” after he saves a defenceless chick from predators and inadvertently becomes her protector.

 

Another short from DreamWorks Animation, this time taking us to somewhere in the Australian outback where we follow a marsupial being hunted after gathering food but he manages a quick escape. As he sets out to enjoy his food, he comes across a defenceless chick and from there, we follow him trying to keep the chick alive from all the dangers and predators of the outback. The animation is beautiful, the characterisations of the marsupial and the chick are cute, and I will admit that I got emotionally caught up towards the end of this eight-minute short in terms of caring what happens to the both of them. The highlight for me is the way that the film is edited by C.K Horness and Michelle Mendenhall, especially when it comes to the montage of the marsupial trying to the chick alive from various predators. The direction by Topaz, Perifel and Sans is great and I enjoyed how the short concluded.

 

VERDICT

A cute DreamWorks Animation short by Liron Topaz, Pierre Perifel and JP Sans that’s bursting with colour and character. 

★★

 

MAROONED

DIRECTED BY: Andrew Erekson

 

SYNOPSIS

Stranded on the Moon and thought to be alone, a determined robot finds an eager helper to assist him in repairing a rocket to take him back home to Earth.

 

Another DreamWorks Animation short being shown at We Are One Film Festival and one that will draw obvious parallels with Wall-E. Directed by Andrew Erekson, his directorial debut after being a storyboard artist for various animation features (including Hotel Transylvania, Home and the animated short above Bilby) and I thought his direction was solid here and I like the concept of the story of how it’s treated as a parent looking after a child and the both of them yearn to go to Earth. At over seven minutes long, the short is heartfelt and complimented by the musical score by Amie Doherty.

 

VERDICT

DreamWorks bring their own touch of Wall-E elements here focusing on a robot trying to get back to Earth from the Moon. Cute animation and a style that’s bursting with charm. 

½

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