I love short film.  There’s something spectacular about watching a narrative brought to life within a very short time period.  It’s like a coffee break for the imagination, and I find that I’m often more intensely affected by something screened within a brief time span than a 2 1/2 hour opus on film.

That’s why I like the projects that Ridley Scott Associates (RSA) put together from time to time, like the Parallel Lines films that the team did Philips Electronics. These are all gorgeous films inspired by the same 6 lines of dialogue, each with a unique vision and sensibility.

Yes, you can be cynical and grouse about art being used to to promote consumer goods, but wouldn’t it be nice if all advertising were this gorgeous and thought provoking?

At any rate, the best one of the bunch is The Gift by Carl Erik Rinsch who has been tapped by Universal to direct both 47 Ronin and The Creature from the Black Lagoon.  If The Gift is anything to go by, those films are going to be amazing.

While The Gift is an beautiful piece of cinema, my personal favorite is El Secreto de Mateo by Greg Fay.  I just love the tenderness between the brother and sister.

I haven’t found much information about Fay aside from his affiliation with RSA, but I’ll be keeping an ear open for any projects he’s attached to.

If you know an up and coming film maker, there is a contest affiliated with the project. Entrants have to create a short film using the same brief as the other Parallel Lines directors. The winner will be chosen by Ridley Scott and will receive a Phillips home cinema system and the chance to work at one of the RSA film offices for a week as well as some other amazing prizes (as is working for Ridley Scott isn’t amazing enough).

And this seems like a great excuse to post my favorite RSA US shorts, The Drive, Episode 7 – Ticker with Clive Owen.

Without this series of films we might not have had The Guild or Doctor Horrible.