At best, short films are often underappreciated by the film-going public. At worst, they’re completely ignored. However, many popular feature films started life in a curtailed format. This is especially the case with horror and science fiction films. They allow a director, writers, cinematographers, editors and producers to showcase ideas and source funding for future projects. The Bafta Shorts 2017 will be screening in several locations around the UK this month. They feature some great British talent. One of the highlights is Andrea Harkin’s The Party.

It’s 1972 in Belfast at the height of The Troubles. Mickey (Anthony Boyle) is on the run. He’s hiding from the RUC (Royal Ulster Constabulary) and the UDF (Ulster Defence Force). When his cousin Laurence (Niall McNamee) hosts a party, he disguises himself so he can join in on the fun. With a group of young friends and relatives, they manage to forget about politics and experience life like any other teenagers. However, the past and sectarianism is never far away.

The Party is a brilliant short film. Mickey’s story is one of tragedy and lost childhood. It’s a snapshot of adolescent life in the Northern Irish capital, which fits perfect into this format. It’s technically superb and the acting is top draw. The Party highlights a loss of innocence and the inability to escape a situation which isn’t of their making. It’s a strong contender to win the BAFTA and bodes well for the futures of everyone involved.

The other BAFTA nominees screening as part of this feature presentation are:

A Love Story
Mouth of Hell
Standby
Tough
Consumed
The Alan Dimension
Home

You can catch The Party and other BAFTA nominees at various cinemas over the next few weeks.