Submission Countdown: Drama

From award-winning filmmaker Tom Noakes, Nursery Rhyme is a slowburn, deeply surprising short film that plays on preconceptions to deliver a sharp, stylishly executed turn of events.

Beginning with a haunting rendition of Old MacDonald from a scantily-clad, visibly shaken metalhead, this compact film packs a wealth of story into just a few short frames, using a glacial, smooth camera to piece together the initially bizarre juxtaposition of the rhyme and the events happening around it. 

With crisp cinematography capturing the events that unspool against a looming thunderstorm, Noakes achieves a truly epic scale in such a short amount of time, without ever distracting too much from what you’re seeing onscreen (although you’ll want to watch the film a second time to make sure that you haven’t missed anything). Complimenting the story even further, Noakes summons striking imagery with biblical connotations to bring an otherworldly quality to the drama building throughout the film’s fleeting lifespan.

Noakes is an innovative fictional and commercial filmmaker, who has directed content for mammoth brands such as Coca Cola, Nike and Reebok and brings an occasionally comedic, often surreal touch to his narrative filmmaking. 

Nursery Rhyme played in Aesthetica Short Film Festival’s drama programme, a strand that through a melange of different voices spans cultures and decades, pushing the world around us to its limits while heightening the every day while still feeling resonant. 

Submissions are now open for the 10th edition of the Aesthetica Short Film Festival.

BAFTA-qualifying ASFF 2020 takes place from 4 – 8 November with an unrivalled programme of short films and immersive media showcases, networking opportunities, career development initiatives and interactive talks, Q&As and workshops. Submit your work here.