Apart from the Short Competition, in SFF-rated ATHENS we screen almost as many shorts in Thematic Groups (without counting the Wednesday shorts which play a special role as enhancers of the festival’s final day).
For 2011 the Thematic Groups were 5 : Latino Lovers, Creatures, Apocalypse Yesterday!, Dream Makers and Animation (Wednesday) -with a total of 24 Shorts.
Let’s see which shorts were most popular according to the Audience questionnaires (for the first four groups).
Latino Lovers and Creatures were the two groups most hailed by the Greek Audience.
And the most popular of all shorts in Thematic Groups was
The Furred Man, dir. Paul Williams (United Kingdom)
a short with excellent british humour and acting.
From Creatures, the Audience singled out also funny United Monster Talent Agency (USA, from Special Effects Oscar Winner Greg Nicotero) and “De Schaduw Van Bonifatius (Τhe Shadow of Bonifatius)” dir. Thijs Schreuder (Netherlands), an impressive short narrative on the painful passage from the old gods to Christianity.
Second in the Audience preferences among all Thematic Shorts was a movie from Latino Lovers group,
LAST RAIN, dir. Τony Lopez & David Sanz (Spain)
-a movie where for some magical reason, soap opera was actually sweet and melodic, rather than melassa.
From latino Lovers, the Audience also really liked Sombras Nada Mas(Nothing But Shadows), dir. Max Valverde, from newcomer country Costa Rica, a clever and sensitive movie where people’s shadows take on the role of subconscious (to good effect), but also Quedate Conmigo (Stay with Me), dir. Zoe Berriatúa (Spain), where the metaphorical expression “our relationship is dead” takes on a very tangible meaning.
From Apocalypse Yesterday!, “Earthship” dir. David Wilson (USA) was the undisputable Audience Darling, while from Dream Makers group the people chose “La Toma” (The Take) dir. Alfonso Lourido, from Uruguay, also a newcomer country in SFF-rated ATHENS.