Rain trickles down. It is a turbulent evening. A young gentleman hands me a hard drive with about 70 short films. Here you go, he says. We’d be grateful if you make a 60-minute programme. I stare at the drive. I hope I can make an interesting programme. Without knowing exactly what I’ve been given, it is impossible to have prior judgements or to make a plan. Let’s see. 

I sit down comfortably and wear headphones so I can appreciate the play between sound and image. Sound design for me is one of the most important qualities of a film. As a film director myself, I know the pleasure of seeing how sound animates your edit. A good sound designer is able to colour an image and to direct the eye. 

I watch the films one by one. Arranged by director name, alphabetical order. Serious issues are tackled, problems that deserve an audience, but I reject the film. It is difficult to let people down, especially when their film was made with passion. I want to be pulled into a cinematic experience. I want to be intrigued, surprised, overwhelmed, moved, challenged, anything that in one way or another triggers my attention. You will see in the programme that this does not mean that the film has to be ‘spectacular’. I appreciate integrity. I want to see the filmmaker in the film. I am looking for authorship.  

After much pondering I am left with 12 films. How on earth will I bring the selection down to 60 minutes? I regularly visit film festivals and particularly enjoyed a short film programme at Festival du Nouveau Cinéma in Montréal a few years ago, because it showed a diverse range of films. It was an eclectic mix of animation, documentary, slow cinema, fast-paced action, and highly experimental pieces. I look at my selection of shortlisted films and see that I am doing the same. Some are selected for the harmony between sound and image; the opening film is truly hypnotising. The film selected to close the night can only comfortably sit at the end. There is nothing else I could possibly show after presenting that story from 1989. Other films have an engaging and funny dialogue, display a new technique, or show inventiveness in editing. I have to scrap more films to make it to 60 minutes. I remind myself that I praise cinema. I reject the films that seem to have been made for the web. A contentious decision. 

My final selection for Liverpool Film Night journeys from open landscapes and mountains ranges to the inner psyche, imaginary places, foreign countries, and back to the heart of Liverpool.

Tickets for Liverpool Film Night are already avaliable and can be bought here.

Each ticket comes with a free glass of prosecco or soft drink on arrival.

Meet this year's shortlist:

Train to Yulichka by Lars Koens

Train To Yulichka

Recorded between Liverpool and Edinburgh, Train to Yulichka captures the emotional state of being in limbo on long train journeys.

Hum by Stefano Nurra

Hum (1)

Tormented by a mysterious sound, a grieving plumber seeks help from a disgraced quantum physics professor to reveal a door to a deeper dimension.

Uncanny Field by Hu Ching-Chuan

Uncanny Field

Increasingly we rely on the internet to keep in touch, meaning sentiments and memories become fragmented - as explored in this experimental film.

Five Minutes by Dan Sloan

Five Minutes

Whilst sitting in a bar, a bored couple decide to experiment with their relationship by being brutally honest with each other. As you’d expect, chaos ensues.

The Desolate One by Daniel Boocock

The Desolate One

An elusive and enigmatic figure is hunted by an enemy, deep into the heart of the wilderness in this thrilling drama.

Storyline by Alzbeta Kovandova

Storyline

Shot on 35mm film, the narrative of Storyline adheres to the classic rules of drama. With each new shot, artistic visuals suggest the direction the story will take next.

Saturday by Mike 

Saturday

15 April 1989. One game of football is about to affect Liam, and the whole city of Liverpool forever.

Tickets for Liverpool Film Night are already avaliable and can be bought here.

Each ticket comes with a free glass of prosecco or soft drink on arrival.

Meet this year's shortlist:

Train to Yulichka by Lars Koens

Train To Yulichka

Recorded between Liverpool and Edinburgh, Train to Yulichka captures the emotional state of being in limbo on long train journeys.

Hum by Stefano Nurra

Hum (1)

Tormented by a mysterious sound, a grieving plumber seeks help from a disgraced quantum physics professor to reveal a door to a deeper dimension.

Uncanny Field by Hu Ching-Chuan

Uncanny Field

Increasingly we rely on the internet to keep in touch, meaning sentiments and memories become fragmented - as explored in this experimental film.

Five Minutes by Dan Sloan

Five Minutes

Whilst sitting in a bar, a bored couple decide to experiment with their relationship by being brutally honest with each other. As you’d expect, chaos ensues.

The Desolate One by Daniel Boocock

The Desolate One

An elusive and enigmatic figure is hunted by an enemy, deep into the heart of the wilderness in this thrilling drama.

Storyline by Alzbeta Kovandova

Storyline

Shot on 35mm film, the narrative of Storyline adheres to the classic rules of drama. With each new shot, artistic visuals suggest the direction the story will take next.

Saturday by Mike 

Saturday

15 April 1989. One game of football is about to affect Liam, and the whole city of Liverpool forever.