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SHORT to the Point – December 2021 Award Winners


BEST FILM

BALLOON | United States | 2019 | 17’  

Director: Jeremy Merrifield        

Writers: Jeremy Merrifield, Dave Testa  

Producers: Kate Chamuris, Christina Cha

Cast: Paul Scheer, Jonah Beres, Jaylin Ogle, Carson Severson       

Synopsis: Exploring gender through the lens of the superhero myth, BALLOON questions how we raise boys when our concept of masculinity has become narrow.  For fourteen-year-old Sam, surviving junior high means staying below radar. But that becomes impossible after he becomes the target of the school’s next viral video. He’s pressured to “hit back,” but Sam isn’t so sure—even if he does have super powers.


BEST DIRECTOR

Songlines | France | 2021 |19’  

Director: Elise McLeod  

Writer: Elise McLeod     

Producer: Amélie Quéret (Respiro Productions)                

Synopsis: After a car accident, JFC, rock singer of Algerian origin, wakes up, lost in the French countryside with no one around to help him; he has lost his memory and doesn’t know who he is anymore. Yet in the village everyone seems to know him …


BEST SCREENPLAY

Songlines | France | 2021 |19’  

Director: Elise McLeod  

Writer: Elise McLeod     

Producer: Amélie Quéret (Respiro Productions)                

Synopsis: After a car accident, JFC, rock singer of Algerian origin, wakes up, lost in the French countryside with no one around to help him; he has lost his memory and doesn’t know who he is anymore. Yet in the village everyone seems to know him …


BEST LEADING ACTRESS

Love hurts | France | 2020 | 30’               

Actress: Noe Abita

Director: Elsa Rysto        

Writer: Elsa Rysto           

Producer: Pierre-Yves Jourdain (Yggdrasil Pictures)          

Cast: NOE ABITA, ANDRANIC MANET      

Synopsis: Sam is a mysterious and shy teenager girl. She meets Troy, an ultra-violent boy who does not feel pain and fear. She’ll enter into his world… a world filles of love, punches and Grunge music.


BEST LEADING ACTOR

BALLOON | United States | 2019 | 17’  

Actor: Jonah Beres

Director: Jeremy Merrifield        

Writers: Jeremy Merrifield, Dave Testa  

Producers: Kate Chamuris, Christina Cha

Cast: Paul Scheer, Jonah Beres, Jaylin Ogle, Carson Severson       

Synopsis: Exploring gender through the lens of the superhero myth, BALLOON questions how we raise boys when our concept of masculinity has become narrow.  For fourteen-year-old Sam, surviving junior high means staying below radar. But that becomes impossible after he becomes the target of the school’s next viral video. He’s pressured to “hit back,” but Sam isn’t so sure—even if he does have super powers.


BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

BALLOON | United States | 2019 | 17’  

Cinematographer: Frances Kroon

Director: Jeremy Merrifield        

Writers: Jeremy Merrifield, Dave Testa  

Producers: Kate Chamuris, Christina Cha

Cast: Paul Scheer, Jonah Beres, Jaylin Ogle, Carson Severson       

Synopsis: Exploring gender through the lens of the superhero myth, BALLOON questions how we raise boys when our concept of masculinity has become narrow.  For fourteen-year-old Sam, surviving junior high means staying below radar. But that becomes impossible after he becomes the target of the school’s next viral video. He’s pressured to “hit back,” but Sam isn’t so sure—even if he does have super powers.


BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

Wait for the Dog | United States | 2021 | 27’    

Production designers: Ian Rowe, Dillon Petrillo   

Directors: Ian Rowe, Dillon Petrillo                           

Producers: Ian Rowe, Dillon Petrillo, Brit Freece

Cast: Ian Rowe, Leon Jacobs, Emily Eichman, Carrie Drovdlic, Jason Joyce, Dillon Petrillo, Holly Seeley, Nick Seeley, Holden Temple, Micah Temple, Laurence Ferdi, Jake Staley, Breon Jenay, Mothica, Lola Blanc, Tessa Nesis, Valencia Stallings, Matt Baker, Kirah H., Jesse Harley, Hayley Seat

Synopsis: In this surreal, dark comedy, a misguided loner named Quincy is forced to abandon the comforts of his daily routine and re-examine his life after his elderly upstairs neighbor spontaneously combusts.  “Wait for the Dog” explores grief, depression, and perseverance of the human spirit, as we try to triumph over those pesky voices that bring us down.


BEST EDITING

Young Love In a Dirty Place | Latvia | 2021 | 04’              

Editor: Reinis Spaile        

Director: Reinis Spaile   

Writer: Reinis Spaile       

Producer: Helvijs Finkis 

Cast: Nikola Abola, Tomass Piternieks    

Synopsis: A girl explores multiple ways of closing the door to save their first relationship crisis.   A youthful love story in depressing surroundings depicts how it was when the first love blurs everything around you. Film captures the contrast between colorful highlights of the young couple and grim post-soviet environment that reminds about the dirty dumpster called routine.


BEST NARRATIVE

Stains | Spain | 2020 | 05’         

Director: Roger Villarroya            

Writer: Roger Villarroya

Producers: Roger VIllarorya, Irene Alfambra, Mario Rico 

Cast: Edward J. Bentley

Synopsis: A man washes his hands.


BEST DRAMA

The Masterpiece | United States | 10’                                  

Producers: Ben Richardson, Andrew Smith, Arianna Myzia            

Cast: Cristian Fredrick, McKenna Musich, Bailey Rayne   

Synopsis: The cinematic, dramatized, but true story of Cristian Fredrick — from a terminal diagnosis at age 15, to alive and thriving as an artist and therapeutic painter.


BEST COMEDY

The Swap | France | 2021 |  11’               

Directors: Chloé Dumond, Ananda Henry-Biabaud            

Writers: Chloé Dumond, Ananda Henry-Biabaud

Producers: Chloé Dumond, Ananda Henry-Biabaud          

Cast: Frédérique Dufour, Sébastien Corona, Chloé Dumond, Matthieu Penchinat

Synopsis: Sonia, 40 years old, single, decides to exchange sperme for a thesis correction in order to have a child.


BEST HORROR

The Last Christmas | Canada | 2021 | 12’            

Director: Ryan Port         

Writer: Ryan Port            

Producer: Ryan Port, Moe Rai, Mafalda Gugliuzzi              

Cast: Madison Cheeatow, Miley Haik, AC Peterson           

Synopsis: LOGLINE A mischievous 8-year-old girl unleashes a twisted Christmas nightmare, when her plans to capture Santa Claus go horribly wrong.  SYNOPSIS ‘Tis the night before Christmas and all is peaceful. That is until High School Cheerleader, Kirsten, is awoken in the middle of the night by her mischievous 8-year-old sister, Alice. Teased at school for still believing in Santa, Alice’s plan to capture the mythical gift giver and prove his existence has gone horribly wrong. The living room is trashed and Santa lie dead amidst a gruesome Christmas crime scene!  The girls argue over their predicament, but Alice has a plan and convinces her older sister they must work together to get rid of the evidence and bury the body before anyone finds out they killed Christmas!  As the girls struggle to drag Saint Nick’s carcass across the back yard, they are pleasantly surprised to find he is still alive! But just as things are starting to look up for the trouble-making sisters, they soon discover that Santa Claus isn’t quite the beloved character we’ve all grown up to believe.


BEST THRILLER/MYSTERY

The Disappearance of Janusz Klarner | Poland | 2021 | 12’         

Director: Franciszek Berbeka      

Writer: Franciszek Berbeka                                         

Synopsis: In 1939 Janusz Klarner reaches the Nanda Devi East peak in the Himalayas. Everything that happened later seems to be a consequence of this act. The avalanche of events comes back in the memories of hero like a terrible dream. Broken taboo cannot be forgotten in a country that is reborn in the new communist order.


BEST ROMANCE

Le Tournesol | France | 2021 |19’           

Directors: Arnaud MIZZON, Anais AIDOUD           

Writer: Anais AIDOUD   

Producer: ARNAUD MIZZON      

Cast: JoeyStarr, Danielle GRAULE, Anais AIDOUD

Synopsis: Voulzy, a 30 years old single woman without kids decides to give up everything to go on a misssion in the Antarctic. After months of exams and tests, an encounter is going to turn her project upside down


BEST DANCE/MUSICAL

Who am i? Who i am. | Estonia | 2021 | 06’       

Director: Sofia Kruusamägi          

Writer: Sofia Kruusamägi             

Producer: Sofia Kruusamägi        

Cast: Anna-Maria Laius, Kertu-Liis Rannik, Anastasia Masalova, Sofia Kruusamägi

Synopsis: In the game of life no player have an advantage, everybody have  a chance to win, regardless of the role the player chooses. If it is a battle between two people, the winner might seem to be obvious. But if there are more participants, the game becomes even more complicated.


BEST STUDENT

First One Away | United Kingdom |  2021 | 08’

Director: Zak Harney      

Writer: Billy Reed            

Producer: Daniel Panyko              

Cast: Dan Skinner, Angus Imrie  

Synopsis: Paul (Dan Renton Skinner) desperately tries to get away from a lads night out. But in order to do so, he must play by the ‘rules’ and tell the group a story. Paul decides to tell the group a morbid story of an abandoned grave that he decides to tend, and the unexpected journey this took him on. Through a series of zany flashbacks we see a young Paul’s (Angus Imrie) plight to form a relationship with his deceased father’s cemetery plot neighbour.


BEST YOUNG DIRECTOR

Out of Play | Israel | 2021 | 20’

Director: Romi Menachem          

Writer: Romi Menachem             

Producers: Amit Gur, Gal Sharabi             

Cast: Talma Tal, Netanel Bondi, Ori Sardam         

Synopsis: Bar (12), a longtime member of the boys’ group and the class’s soccer team, dominates the field more than ever and scores the winning goal at her school’s semi-final soccer tournament. So when the team’s captain announces opening the fixed line-up for voting, she isn’t worried.  Following their first sex education class, Bar senses a change in the group and feels the need to ensure her getting enough votes until the end of the school day.   While going from one friend to another, having a hard time getting what she wishes for, she starts to realize that a deeper issue is at stake.


BEST ANIMATION

Out Of Touch | Canada | 2021 | 04’       

Director: Yuhan (Henry) he                                                         

Synopsis: After falling from the sky, our character relives his early childhood memories with his grandparents – except, they aren’t his grandparents, and he’s not in his regular body.  Out of Touch is a 2D animation short film created by Henry He.


BEST DOCUMENTARY

Hill 314 | Israel | 2020 | 28’      

Director: Omrie Levy                     

Producer: Omrie Levy                   

Synopsis: My childhood’s view – Latrun’s hills. “Oasis of Peace”, A settlement set on hill 314, has founded on coexistence between Arabs and Jews. Ibrahim, a herder Bedouin, lives there with his family for 51 years. Since 1999 the settlement and Silence Monastery, the landowners, has made an agreement therefore Ibrahim has been threatened to be deported.


BEST EXPERIMENTAL

Estella Cancels Cancer | Russian Federation | 2021 |  08’             

Director: Kadriia Tuktamysheva                

Producers: Ilya Grizenko, Kadriia Tuktamysheva, Dmitry Fadeev 

Cast: Estella Shilnikova  

Synopsis: The true story of a young lady. Once Estella found out she had stage 4 cancer. So she is learning how to live with it. Her life is very ordinary, but she is special, she is bright, stylish and open minded. And we can see how she gets through the challenges and what she feels about it.


BEST MUSIC VIDEO

Amour  | United States | 2021 | 05’       

Director: Andres Soler                   

Producers: Andres Soler, John Allen Stephens                    

Synopsis: Two astropilots travel through space and time.


BEST MINI SHORT

Minha Mãe Fazia | Brazil | 2021 | 03’   

Director: Andrei Smoler                

Producer: Andrei Smoler              

Cast: Arlete Julio, Giovanna Chagas, Marina Ambrósio, Nina Coelho          

Synopsis: A short documentary film about Arlete Julio, a black business owner, and cook, reminiscing on her biggest influence, the inspiration behind her personal and professional success: her mother.


BEST MOBILE PHONE

Carmen | Paraguay | 2021 | 07’               

Director: Daniel Gómez

Writer: Daniel Gómez   

Producer: Daniel Gómez              

Cast: Jazmín Romero, Alejandro Ramírez, Joaquín Bejarano, Cecilia Rojas, Magaly Fernández, Karina Sánchez

Synopsis: In 2004, Carmen meets Martín through a blind date. What seems like a chance encounter between strangers ends up being an unprecedented family reunion.


BEST LOW/NO BUDGET

A very good impression | 2021 | 05’      

Directors: David Nguyen, Safran Lecuivre             

Writer: David Nguyen                   

Cast: David Nguyen        

Synopsis: A young and clumsy boy learns dancing to impress his crush.


BEST DEBUT

Minha Mãe Fazia | Brazil | 2021 | 03’   

Director: Andrei Smoler                

Producer: Andrei Smoler              

Cast: Arlete Julio, Giovanna Chagas, Marina Ambrósio, Nina Coelho          

Synopsis: A short documentary film about Arlete Julio, a black business owner, and cook, reminiscing on her biggest influence, the inspiration behind her personal and professional success: her mother.


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