In some respects, there’s a feeling that these films aren’t exactly as groundbreaking as they seem to position themselves as; primarily, I was reminded of Channel 4’s excellent anthology series Banana, which you could argue shares the same general intent as this project, but was able to realise it much more effectively. Really, when watching five by five you wish that there had been a little more to it; each instalment feels almost like a tease, more of a pitch towards what could have been than necessarily satisfying in their own right.
And yet by the same token that feels like an entirely unfair way to categorise these short films, because at the end of the day, what they’ve achieved is manifestly more important than what they actually are. A showcase for up and coming young voices, they’re going to prove meaningful starting points for the actors and writers involved in the series – an attempt to address the paucity of diverse voices, for lack of a better word, in the production of television, if not so much in terms of telling those stories. It’s in this way that five by five makes its real steps towards exploring identity – by introducing us to these new talents.
I wrote a little bit about five by five, BBC Three’s new series of short films. I think I might write about them a little more, because I do still have some thoughts on them.