A short film festival called On the Boil will be hosted at the Fugard on Wednesday.

The six films will be introduced by the filmmakers themselves and festival organiser Garrreth Bird says one of the reasons to do this festival is to encourage the industry.

“Without people being interested in short film, we can never really hope to achieve an industry we’re proud of. The industry seems permanently on the cusp of break-ing out, but that’s only going to happen if there’s a vibrant short film industry, both of films being made and enjoyed.”

All the films are self-funded, “yet few of them are celebrated”, said Bird.

He does not discount turning this into a regular event.

“I’m passionate about local films. If you want to build a brand people can trust, you have to have good films to show, but there aren’t that many short films being made, so it’s a balancing act.

“The lack of exposure also means it has still got this under-ground feel to it.”

Though he hasn’t set an entrance fee, he’s calling on potential patrons to donate what they think the admission is worth.

“People are so used to pirating, but if you want to grow a local industry it’s not going to happen if everything is done for free.

“If people see some films that they like, what’s it worth to them? If they want a local industry they should put their money where their mouth is,” said Bird.

The films range from four minutes to 27 minutes and three of them have never been screened locally before. The films which will be screened are:

Hive: This rhythmic visual poem floats somewhere between metaphor and historical fact, asking the question: if human nature was more hive-like, what would be our equivalent of the queen bee?

Filmmaker Bird’s first short film, Face Value, was named the Best South African Short Film at the Apollo Film Festival in 2006. He continues to make short films while plotting how to bring big ones to life and this is the first time he’s screening Hive.

“Is an injury to one an injury to all?” is the question he tries to answer.

Control: This music video for Spoek Mathambo’s darkwave township house cover of Joy Division’s classic, She’s Lost Control, is set in Langa. The cast is mainly made up of neighbourhood kids who run their own dance troupe, Happy Feet.

With this music video, renowned stills photographer Pieter Hugo breaks into the film world. He co-directed with cinematographer Michael Cleary, who took a break from working on commercials to collaborate with Hugo.

Witness, Surfer, Dreamer and the Taliban from Afghanistan: Filmmaker Dale Yudelman has just been awarded the 2011 Ernest Cole Award for documentary photo-grapher. With Witness he examines the ambivalent nature of peronal truth and shared reality by looking more closely at the ironies of daily life.

Inspired by the mystery of a burnt-out car, abandoned off Long Street in the heart of Cape Town, the short allowed passers-by to mediate the spaces between fact and fiction.

First Anatoemy: Karlind Govender’s first film is an oddball/absurdist caper which allows us to walk with Klara Ankleton as she is guided towards liberating her mind and body. Sometimes, something’s afoot…

Jornada del Muerto: This dark tale about a man in a coma who is summoned by his lover explores the relationship between love and death.

This is the first screening for this work from Thomas Dorman and Ronnie Belcher under the Blackmilk Productions label.

Sweetheart: A young 1950s housewife finds herself navigating a series of strange encounters after her family disappears and she has to force herself out of her aimless routine to figure out what has happened.

lDoors open at 7.30pm, films start at 8.15pm. Music in the bar area before and after screenings. Info: www.thefugard.com