MINI MUFF is a short film program spanning several nights at this year's festival, covering 6 sessions at two venues. With 70 films on offer the program boasts an eclectic selection of stories from home and abroad and showcases the work of dozens of emerging film makers. We put some questions to the two curators and picked their brains for the deets...
What can you tell us about the process of programming the shorts for Mini-Muff?
Hussein: The first thing is we have to at least like the short, If we dont like it then there really is not point in showing it. Then we focus on things like acting and story, which are two of the most important things then its seeing if it will feel with the who concept of what MUFF is all about then we decide if it should be part of the festival or not.
Reilly, how did you become involved with MUFF this year?
Reilly: I was the Director’s Assistant for Monster Festival 2014 when I met Hussein who was also helping out with the festival. We bonded over love for horror films and our mutual weirdness. A few months later he gave me a call to help out with curating the films for MINI MUFF and I couldn’t have been more excited to be involved.
Hussein, how has Reilly's involvement helped shape the program?
Hussein: It helped so much. Usually when I like a film I just put it in without thinking twice but having Reilly on board has made me think twice about what I playing. Having Reilly this year really made this is the strongest Mini MUFF in years.
How many films did you watch in total?
Hussein: We had around 280-300 short films to watch and it was such a hard task going through them all.
What can you tell us about your selection criteria?
Reilly: Despite our interest in horror, Hussein and I have a very different taste in films. Our goal was to select films that appealed to a variety of festival goers. We individually watched over 200 short films and narrowed them down to a “yes, no and maybe” list based on quality, style, entertainment value and duration. We then met up and discussed which films had a place in the festival and why.
What were you looking for in this year’s selection?
Hussein: Since I do attend other film festivals and short film nights I like to be entertained when at them, I just look for stuff that I know an audience is going to like watching.
Were they any standout films for you?
Reilly: Each film touched me in some way or another. Many made me think more critically about filmmaking and about life as a whole. There were too many favourites to list but the films that stood out to me the most were generally very short and captured the essence of the film quickly.
Hussein: There were quite a few that I really loved. 8 Spiders, To Have and Withhold, The Ashes of Isadora Ivan, Wasteworld, The Actor, Oren and Granny Smith are all short that I loved so much I rewatched them even after they were accepted. I really can wait for everyone to see the amazing shorts we are showing this year.
What can audiences expect at this year’s MINI MUFF?
Reilly: A rollercoaster! MINI MUFF will have you laughing one minute, and crying the next. Each film has something to say, and we want you to hear it.