The Short Com Film Festival selects and showcases the funniest short films from around the country.
With the submission window for the 2019 festival set to close soon, we asked founder Chris Aitken to select some highlights from previous years to give us a flavour of the kind of content that works well at the festival.
Here's Chris's selections, and his comments about each:
Hot Gulp - Seabastards
Hot Gulp are a three man sketch outfit based in the North East. They've produced some of the finest sketch shorts from the past decade.
They went pretty viral with their spoof of the Sainsbury's Christmas advert a few years back, but Seabastards I have to say was their pinnacle piece. It's a pilot mockumentary about several kooky natives of a harbour town, including my favourite: Crab Shack owner Barry Grunt; "I make them with my hands" always brings tears of joy to me.
Tea&Cheese - Homosexual Activity
Jamie Stanton and Liam Tate made waves with their 8-Bit animation shorts, including the monolithic Isac & Quincy 13 minute pilot that took a year for them to make. But their live action sketches always raised the roof at Short Com screenings, particularly spoof horror trailer Homosexual Activity that was originally commissioned by Channel 4, but they found it to edgy... so that says a lot about the film.
Connor Finegan - Fear of Flying
Not laugh out loud funny per se, but universally adored. This animation is gorgeous with lots of wit and oozing with charm.
Ben Mallaby - Milk
Ben Mallaby was already making waves with his BAFTA nominated short Island Queen and BFI funded Battle Cocks, but this short film written and starring Paul F Taylor and Toby Williams is widely regarded as a masterpiece. The closest thing I've seen to a modern Bottom; it is tragic that it didn't get picked up and made into something bigger.
Turtle Canyon Comedy - Seacrow
There probably has not been a more prolific outfit than Turtle Canyon Comedy for making sketches, pilots and web series. They pretty much give free reign to comedians to have their ideas brought to screen, but I've always found their best stuff to be written by one of the Turtles, Stuart Laws. This silly concept is just perfectly performed by the cast, with great dialogue. So simple, yet leaves a big impression.
Joeseph Nicolosi - Hell No
Another spoof trailer lampooning ubiquitous horror trailers. People marvel at how polished it is and think that it was made for a large budget, but you'd in fact be surprised to hear it was fairly low.
Big Red Button - This Is Why Gerald Should Be Supervised
A short by directing duo Johnny Burns and Pier Van Tijn, whom - like Ben Mallaby - have a great skill for making very polished pieces of work but also explosively funny shorts, particularly this that swept up some of our awards years ago.