Tears at Hellfire

If we could describe the evening as a physical object it would be the comedy/tragedy greek theatre masks as both laughter and tears were in full flow at tonight’s Hellfire Short Film Festival.

Much like last month’s festival of film two countries dominated the proceedings. Selected were five films from the USA, three from the UK and an entry from the Netherlands.

The following short films were screened at the Hellfire Short Film Festival 8th Round:
(in screening order)

‘Dark Light’ by Nick Busch (Iowa, USA)
‘Ice Cream for Breakfast’ by Geena Matuson (Massachusetts, USA)
‘Under The Apple Tree’ by Erik van Schaaik (Arnhem, Netherlands)
‘Hair of the Dog’ by Kyle A. Smith (New York, USA)
‘Rambling On’ by Nicole Pott (Derbyshire, UK)
‘Synesthesia’ by Alison Kohlhardt (California, USA)
‘Annie Waits’ by Marnie Paxton-Harris (London, UK)
‘Fireplace’ by Muhammad Bayazid & Samah Safi Bayazid (Virginia, USA)
‘The Elephant in the Room’ by Mark Singer & Jamie Terry (Kent, UK)

After each short film was screened the audience voted on six categories, Director, Acting, Editing, Story/Script, Visuals and Soundtrack. Each category was to be given a score out of five with the totals added up to give the overall score out of 30.

And the winner, with the highest score ever received (27 out of 30) and going through to the Grand Final, is:

by Muhammad Bayazid & Samah Safi Bayazid
(Virginia, USA)

Inspired by a true event Fireplace is the story of a young boy trapped in his bombed home following an air raid in Syria. Never in all of the events we’ve held so far (seventeen) has our audience been affected in such a profound way as to reduce some to tears and for the end of the film to be met with a stunned silence. In the theatre of war the human element is often overlooked when watching the events unfolding in the media. Fireplace brings the realities to the forefront, in every war there is always an innocent victim. Not only was the storyline a hard-hitting masterpiece but it was also shot and edited beautifully. Easily a deserving winner and the way it affected the audience reflected in their scoring.

The runners up who both join our Wildcard table are:
‘Under the Apple Tree’ by Erik van Schaaik (Arnhem, Netherlands)
‘Annie Waits’ by Marnie Paxton-Harris (London, UK)

Congratulations to Muhammad and Samah Safi Bayazid and their cast and crew, we hope to see you at the Grand Final later this year (date TBA). And congratulations also go to Erik van Schaaik and Marnie Paxton-Harris and their respective cast and crew.



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