1. A newcomer, especially one who is unfamiliar with the ways of a place or group
2. An inexperienced person, esp one who is extremely gullible
It's a nice way to introduce the festival, but don't let this lead you into thinking for a second that short film festivals are celebrations of sub-standard or amateur work. Steven Spielberg started out with shorts when he wrote and directed Amblin' back in 1968.
We Need to Talk About Kevin (2011) director Lynne Ramsey started out making incredibly powerful short films in the UK before making her first feature Ratcatcher in 1999. What short films do brilliantly is capture small but life-changing moments of the characters they portray. Ramsey's short film Gasman (1998) is the perfect example of great British short film making and if you want to know what Inception (2010) and Dark Knight Rises (2012) director was up to before he got his break into the feature industry, check out his 3-minute short film Doodlebug from 1997.
The short film audience differ in many ways to the general public who frequent the Vue or Odeon multiplexes. Short films simply don't make money but instead they are made with the knowledge that their films are going to be watched and judged by a film panel that will be ruthlessly pulling the film apart at the seams and gazing unapologetically at its very anatomy.
They'll judge its narrative, the quality of the directing and acting, the cinematography, editing, sound design and many other things with their specialised opinions and senses. Ultimately, the panel are looking for objectively good filmmaking and the reason they do this is to exalt the truly masterful films and award its makers publicly.
From there, the craftsmen and the pioneers are pushed to the top of the struggling heap and are visible to larger studios and larger projects. Because of this process, the films are of a very high quality and, though the current feature film industry doesn't reflect these standards, the standards are there and there are ways to objectively judge how effective a film can be.
Mike Leigh has joined the judging panel for Greenhorn
Another bonus of watching short films is not only the cost (the Greenhorn screening will cost you £3), but the mix of genres and styles. You may get a dark thriller, gripping you for 15-minutes followed by a 3-minute light comedy. You also can't rule out an animation or a documentary being shown back to back. To get a feel for the short form, watch some of the films already mentioned or check some out online.
Greenhorn Short Film Festival takes place on 16th September 2012 at the New Diorama Theatre on Triton Street. The screening starts at 6.00pm and costs £3. There are also workshops and discussions throughout the day and Mike Leigh, director of Secrets & Lies (1996) will be on the judging panel.