Shorts

Enjoy a mix of short films from the archives or specially made through
outreach collaborations. You will also find audioclips in search of a film or
animation - get in touch if you would like to illustrate one of the stories.

Growing Pains: the life and times of Victoria cruziana

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Discover the sex change and beetle-kidnapping antics of one of the most captivating and challenging plants we grow at the Garden, the Santa Cruz waterlily, in this new film from Ryd Cook and animator, Lizzy Hobbs at Spellbound.
  • Copyright Cambridge University Botanic Garden

Stress Re-Leaf

Picturehouse Slideshow 1960s-70s

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Setting the Lake on Fire: Steve Hickman, horticultural student, remembers opportunities for mischief when clearing the Lake of overgrown waterlilies during the drought of 1976. Prams, pets and toboggans: the daughters of Garden Director, John Gilmour and his wife, Molly, recall some of the perks and pranks of growing up at the Garden Cornets and Christmas: Steve Hickman remembers the magic of Christmas carolling

Picturehouse slideshow 1940s-1950s

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It wants a bit more clappy: Mike Pollock, horticultural student in 1959, recalls finishing the Rock Garden under the supervision of Sid Boggis, and his love of labels. Ron Rule's practical jokes: today one of the world’s leading plantsmen, Roy Lancaster came to the Botanic Garden as a horticultural student in 1960. He remembers Ron Rule, the athletic Systematics Supervisor. War-time exercises and excursions: Meryl Moore reads from her father's diaries, recalling Humphrey Gilbert Carter, Director of the Cambridge University Botanic Garden from 1921-1950.

Infestations

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For Voicing the Garden, members of the Cambridge Super8 Club came to shoot new ‘old’ cinefilm at the Garden, blending nostalgia and harder-edged imagery in this almost abstract interpretation.  The accompanying  words of Mick Verlander recall how pest management in the Glasshouse Range has changed since he trained at the Garden in the 1950s.  PS. You’ll be relieved to know not many of the insects featured reside in the Glasshouse Range!
  • Copyright James Murray-White

Thinking Inside the Box

Bench Life

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The Cambridge University Moving Image Studio, originally part of the Department of Architecture, was incorporated into the Digital Studio (DIGIS) for Research in Design, Visualisation and Communication in 2005. In its time CUMIS produced around 900 short movies documenting various aspects of University life (now accessible on a cinematic map of Cambridge at expressivespace.org).  This film wonders about what dramas and intrigues the Garden’s benches may have witnessed and played a part in, using the Garden’s tree collections and vistas to frame the romance.

Botanic Baby

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The Cambridge University Moving Image Studio, originally part of the Department of Architecture, was incorporated into the Digital Studio (DIGIS) for Research in Design, Visualisation and Communication in 2005. In its time CUMIS produced around 900 short movies documenting various aspects of University life (now accessible on a cinematic map of Cambridge at expressivespace.org). This short film made in the early noughties combines creative use of the Garden’s spaces, avenues, nooks and crannies to create a palpable narrative excitement.
  • Interview Date 18.12.13

A Man and A Dog

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As part of Voicing the Garden, Nikki Driscoll of the Anglia Ruskin School of Art has beautifully animated the memories of Tiny French, horticultural trainee at the Garden from 1970-71, who recalls the poodle that pushed Alpine Supervisor, Harold Langford too far.

Forgotten

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A forgotten coat leads to an unsettling encounter in this short film written and filmed as part of the BFI's Jump Cuts programme for young film-makers, delivered locally by the Cambridgeshire Film Consortium

Memory

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Flashbacks make a meet-up at the Garden an upsetting experience in this short film written and filmed at the Botanic Garden by young film-makers on the BFI's Jump Cuts programme, delivered locally by the Cambridgeshire Film Consortium.

The Man who Tamed Robins

Roll up! Roll up! For the Grasshopper’s Green Herbarian Band

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Students at the Red Balloon Centre in Cambridge were inspired to make a music video at the Garden by the bench  situated around the Fountain dedicated by his friends to legendary musician and one-time Pink Floyd member, Syd Barrett.  They chose Barrett's solo work, Octopus, as the soundtrack, intrigued by mention of the grasshopper's green herbarian band. The insect Circus provided invaluable support, inspiration, props and costumes.

The titan arum flowers

The Garden Party, 1953

Bioblitz 2011

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A beautiful film made by BlueSci duo Nick Crumpton and Alexandra Fragniere of the 24-hour Bioblitz in June 2011, when staff and visitors joined forces to find, identify and record the animal and wild plant life of the Botanic Garden.
  • Copyright BlueSci Films