Great films don’t need to be shot on a huge budget. Sometimes the pressures of a low budget can force a director to be more creative, seek innovations and the result is often breathtakingly different. These two films – Little Feet and The Strange Little Cat – screened at Birmingham’s 2014 Flatpack Festival are a case in point. Little Feet cost just $11,000 to make, while experimental film The Strange Little Cat was made on just 12,000 Euros.

© 2014 LITTLE FEET

© 2014 LITTLE FEET

Little Feet

Alexandre Rockwell’s latest 60 minute feature film about the resilience of children, Little Feet, saw its UK premiere at Flatpack. Shot on a micro budget, the independent director of In The Soup (starring Steve Buscemi) recently turned to crowd funding to raise extra cash for the film’s finishing touches. Achieving his target and more, the film is now in the final stages of development needed to take it to wider audiences.

Little Feet is a black and white wonder, co-written with Rockwell’s eight year old daughter Lana who also stars. It’s a magical piece of cinema that takes viewers back to the freedoms of childhood as Lana and her brother Nico embark on a journey to release their goldfish into the sea following the death of their mother. Shot on Rockwell’s Bolex camera converted to Super 16, the cinematography infuses Little Feet with melancholy without ever overshadowing the children’s sense of adventure. You can check out the trailer above and read my full review of the film over at Gorilla Film Magazine.

The Strange Little Cat

The Strange Little Cat is an unusual German film frequently shot at the mid close up range as if through the eyes of a child. The world through these eyes is strange, often alien and frequently jarring. Set almost entirely in the confines of a small apartment, family members discuss recent day to day events, highlighting the world’s simplest and most complex puzzles. Why does dropped orange peel always land white side up? And how can we be lonely when we’re surrounded by people?

Director Ramon Zürcher uses surprising camera angles and domestic sounds to create a sense of unease and describes his experimental film as ‘horror without any horror’. Take a look at the trailer below. You can read my full review of this special little film over at Gorilla Film Magazine.

The Strange Little Cat: SFIFF 56 Trailer from San Francisco Film Society on Vimeo.

Both of these low budget feature films are exceptional viewing, packed with cinematic joys, innovation and creativity. With its beautiful soundtrack, Little Feet even sits in my top five films of this year. The Strange Little Cat is more challenging in its unusual style but is thought provoking cinema, offering plenty of ideas to mull over after the credits roll.

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