Last Wednesday night saw the first ever screening of Three-Legged Horses, a short film shot and made in Edinburgh.
Written, starring and directed by Edinburgh resident Felipe Bustos Sierra, it is based on his experiences working as a rickshaw driver in the capital. In it we see him deal with situations like getting his bike stolen, and being challenged to cycle all the way to the top of the castle by three drunk, crass lager louts.
Getting the film to this stage has been a challenge. For the climax to the film to work, Bustos Sierra knew he would need the rights to the Rocky theme. However, when he asked those in charge how much it would cost, they initially gave him a six figure sum. Knowing he could never afford such a high price, he eventually negotiated them down to £3000.
The next challenge was raising said money. Bustos Sierra and his production team had the idea of using a crowd funding campaign, where lots of people pledged to give as little as a few pounds to help get the film made. Thanks to the support of ordinary people Three Legged Horses reached its target in January.
For the first screening, the filmmakers had the creative idea of using the rickshaw lockup as their venue. This meant audience members got to sit in the “Three-Legged Horses” after which the film was named for the duration of the screening:
The film itself uses its setting of Edinburgh by night excellently. In particular, the backdrop of the castle during the final scene gives it an almost fantastical quality, which the music and special effects add to beautifully.
Three-Legged Horses conveys both the isolation and adventure of being a pedicabber. It recreates situations which are funny, tiring, stressful and invigorating; asking the question of why anyone would choose such a gruelling job with such poor hours, and such potentially abusive customers.
The final scene gives us a potential answer, as the night offers the opportunity for they type of unique and adventurous situations the day can never afford. Especially when the Rocky theme is involved.
Three-Legged Horses is a fun, bold portrayal of Edinburgh by night. If all goes according to plan, it’ll be coming to a film festival near you very soon.