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SHORT to the Point – December 2023 Nominees

Animation Short – Official Selection – December 2023

Love bubbles | Switzerland | 2023 | 08’
Director: Marcel Hobi
Writer: Marcel Hobi
Producer: Marcel Hobi
Synopsis: Floating on a pink cloud as a couple is easy. It is much more difficult to cope with everyday life and the future together – an amusing relationship drama.

Tom Thumb | Russian Federation | 2023 | 26’
Directors: Nikolay Lichtenfeld, Ivan Kostiurin
Writers: Nikolay Lichtenfeld, Ivan Kostiurin
Synopsis: Tom is gathering bits of glass in a ditch among burdocks and grass. Tom is looking through a bit of glass at insects buzzing all around him. No, it’s not that. Tom got lost in a forest. Tom came to the house where a cannibal Ogre lives. Tom is about to be eaten up for dinner. But no. Tom has managed to escape. He is running away through forests and fields. The Ogre in a long black coat is after him. Or rather the whole Small World, in which he is running, is trying to catch him. The Small World fits easily inside the belly of the mantis at which Tom is looking through a bit of green glass, the bit of green glass he has found in the ditch near his house among burdocks and grass.

Juze | Brazil | 2023 | 13’
Director: Raquel Garcia
Writer: Claudio Martins Martins
Producer: Claudio Martins
Synopsis: After days of drifting in the ocean, a deaf child can hear for the first time. Surprised and intrigued about the sound comes from the deep ocean, Juzé desperate to find out what happened.

Am I a painter?/ Czy jestem malarzem? | Poland | 2023 | 06’
Director: Michał Kucharski
Writer: Michał Kucharski
Producer: Michał Kucharski
Synopsis: A plasticine character named Grey Clay lives in a painter’s studio, hiding in a drawer. Once upon a time he watches the painter’s work with great interest as he creates one painting after another. One day he is left alone in the studio and decides to try to paint a picture himself. Despite his inexperience, will he manage to overcome adversity and create his own painting? Plastelinowa postać imieniem Szarek mieszka w pracowni malarskiej, ukrywając się w szufladzie. Pewnego razu z ogromnym zainteresowaniem obserwuje pracę malarza podczas tworzenia kolejnych obrazów. Pewnego dnia gdy zostaje sam w pracowni postanawia spróbować samodzielnie namalować obraz. Czy mimo braku doświadczenia uda mu się pokonać przeciwności losu i stworzyć własny obraz?

Documentary Short – Official Selection – December 2023

Between the others | Belgium | 24’
Director: Marie Alice Falys
Writer: Marie Alice Falys
Producer: Bénédicte Lescalier
Synopsis: The film takes place a few days before the start of the new school year after the vacations. Adèle, aged 12, doesn’t want to go back to school. It’s an environment where she doesn’t feel well, and where she has difficulty making contact with others. The place where Adèle really feels good is on her skateboard, a symbol of total freedom. Through the camera, Adèle shares her anxieties about the start of the new school year and the idea of growing up. Often surrounded by boys, she’d like to be with more girls, so Adèle questions the kind of woman she wants to become.

The Hatmaker | Finland | 2023 | 12’
Directors: Mari Koppanen, Katri Ilona Koppanen, Kari Ahotupa
Producer: Mari Koppanen
Synopsis: The morning rises in a small Transylvanian village. One of the oldest amadou artisans in the village, Imre, sets out to the mountains with his apprentice to harvest tinder mushrooms. Imre has dedicated his entire life to practicing the rare amadou craft, which is now at risk of disappearing because there aren’t enough tinder mushroom artisans to continue the tradition.

The Sowing | Poland | 2023 |29’
Director: Jacek Redźko
Writer: Jacek Redźko
Producer: One Man Films
Synopsis: “The Sowing” tells the story of one of the oldest continuously operating garden farms in Warsaw. It is also a film about a multi-generational family that owns this farm. We observe the lives of the family members and their work. From a modern perspective, the events in the film seem to unfold somewhat slowly, and the farm itself resembles a fairy-tale enclave. Beneath this charming and unhurried layer, we seek answers to many questions, including whether it is enjoyable to be a gardener today and whether it was enjoyable to be one many years ago.

Experimental Short – Official Selection – December 2023

Save me, as if we’d already met | Italy | 2023 | 06’
Directors: Matteo Tranquilli, Eugenio Saravo
Writers: Matteo Tranquilli, Gabriele Tiddi, Eugenio Saravo, Giorgia Grassi
Producers: Matteo Tranquilli, Gabriele Tiddi, Eugenio Saravo
Cast: Alice Lamanna
Synopsis: Seeing each other, fearfully they held hands, relying on each other. Immersed in the embarrassment of knowing each other.

By the time I came looking you were already gone | United Kingdom | 2023 | 09’
Director: Inti Rowland
Writer: Inti Rowland
Producer: Inti Rowland
Synopsis: A young man goes on a journey to a far away country, searching for the father he has never known.

Top View of my Brain as a Crime Scene | Austria | 2022 | 13’
Director: Luzia Vita Johow
Writer: Zorah Berghammer
Producer: Flora Martina Mair
Cast: Aila Franken, Michael Masula
Synopsis: Dream. A woman is sitting in a forest clearing. Did something horrible happen? Children are dead or gone. Anonymous authorities, allies and a professor scurry around the accused, who is treated like a witness, victim and suspect all at the same time. Slowly she realizes that she might be to blame. Even after her acquittal she remains alone with a feeling of guilt.

Mini Short – Official Selection – December 2023

Operation 4 | Croatia | 2023 | 04’
Director: Danijel Bolić
Writer: Srđan Laterza, Danijel Bolić
Producer: Petra Bartulović
Cast: Sara Zeljko, Nik Puhan, Ivana Giove Župa, Boris Mimica
Synopsis: “Operation 4” is a gripping tale that takes us through the narrow alleys and picturesque beaches of the small Dalmatian town of Omis. The main characters are two children, the playful Mate and the charming Mila, who live their everyday lives in this tranquil place. One day, a famous footballer, originally from Omis, unexpectedly appears in the town. Time stands still for this small community, and the entire town buzzes with excitement about the arrival of their famous fellow citizen. Baba Marta is the first to notice the famous footballer and immediately informs Mate and Mila. Filled with excitement, the boy and girl embark on an exciting quest to find him. Working together, they explore every corner of the town, checking every alley, tower, and beach, hoping for a chance to see their football hero. After a series of futile attempts, exhausted but not disheartened, Mate and Mila sit on the steps below the Mirabela tower. However, their sadness is interrupted by an unexpected encounter—none other than Ivan Perišić. The joy radiating from their eyes as they meet him is indescribable. Touched by their passion and enthusiasm, Ivan invites them to join him in a game of football at the nearby playground. They all spend an unforgettable time together, playing, talking, and sharing laughter. In the end, Ivan takes selfies with Mate and Mila, leaving them with unforgettable memories that they will cherish for a lifetime. The short film “Operation 4″ is not just a story of the search for a famous footballer but also a tale of unity, the enchanting beauty of a small town, and the innocence of childhood dreams coming true. The film reminds us that great dreams can emerge from small places, and fame can blossom from the simplicity of life. This heartwarming story also highlights the beauty of the Dalmatian town of Omis, enticing visitors to discover this magical corner of the Adriatic coast.”

The Dancing Bees | United Kingdom | 2023 | 03’
Director: Gwilym Evans
Writer: Gwilym Evans
Producer: Gwilym Evans
Cast: Jo Widdicombe
Synopsis: A visual poem woven from a man’s love of beekeeping. Cornish beekeeper Jo Widdicombe has been keeping bees for 50 years. Through a chance experience, Jo discovered the thought-extinct European Dark Honey Bee (Apis mellifera mellifera), and recultivated it back into its native Cornwall. Through these experiences, Jo came to the conclusion that society must “work with nature and not against it”. We take a snapshot into Jo’s thoughts and observations, highlighting issues such as the decline of pollinators, unsustainable environmental practices, and the passing down of his extensive knowledge of sustainable beekeeping to a new generation of Beekeepers.

Cold Light of Day | United States | 2023 | 03’
Director: Evan Webster Wiley
Writer: Evan Webster Wiley
Cast: Karen Gonzalez, DeEtta Jain, Sam Terry, Isabella Uhl, Andre Jones Jr.
Synopsis: A young artist is initiated into an exclusive underground art club.

Narrative Short – Official Selection – December 2023

How I Learned To Hang Laundry | Slovenia | 2023 | 23’
Director: Barbara Zemljič
Writer: Špela Murenc
Producer: Klemen Dvornik
Cast: Tamara Avguštin, Domen Novak, Lucija Harum
Synopsis: After a chance encounter, Oli and Miha become friends, or something more. Or less.

Bang Bang | Canada | 2023 | 13’
Director: Piotr Skowronski
Producer: Piotr Skowronski, Zara Jestadt, Alino Giraldi, Andrea Novoa
Cast: Zara Jestadt, Alino Giraldi
Synopsis: Passion, jealousy and betrayal. Bang Bang, is a head on tour-de-force of love and hate. Two romantics tangled up in a torrid relationship plot murder against each other.

Music Short – Official Selection – December 2023

Gift of Life | United Kingdom | 2023 | 06’
Director: John Bradburn
Cast: Jenny Runacre
Synopsis: Music Video For The Infinity Ring starring Jenny Runacre (who worked with Passolini in Canterbury Tales, Antonioni in The Passenger and Jarman in Jubilee). The world is out of order and a mysterious figure creates two opposing forces to return it to unity.

ANGELICA LEVOISIER – SHE WALKS IN BEAUTY | Russian Federation | 2023 | 04’
Director: Egor Gavrilin
Writer: Egor Gavrilin
Preoducer: Sergey Butysin
Synopsis: A burlesque performance between night and day, the moon and the sun, darkness and light. A music video about female beauty that exists in a multitude of forms and as a union of contrasts.

November | 2023 | 04’
Synopsis: Official music video for “November,” from Lyndsay Stone’s album A Couple Seeds!

Anund Payl (Marine Manasian) | Russian Federation | 2022 | 04’
Director: Anna Golikova
Writer: Anna Golikova
Producers: Anna Golikova, Ekaterina Korobeynikova
Cast: Lidia Gurianova, Alexsandr Mickevich
Synopsis: Man and woman don’t communicate. They could meet each other with love only in his dream. But that’s not enought.

Krug (The Circle) | Croatia | 2023 | 05’
Director: Ivana Radić
Writer: Ivana Radić
Synopsis: The video and the song share some kind of idea of insecurity, loneliness and wandering, that is, searching for security, finding faith in oneself and others. The whole song is quite melancholic, wistful and I wanted to explore that theme (that’s why the action is on the open sea, where there is no one anywhere). The repeating motif of the boat symbolizes turning in a circle, returning again to some uncomfortable period in life, when it seems that everything around you is completely foreign, you have no one and you need to get out of it, you need to find at least a small glimmer of hope that this time all will not be the same again and you will not return to that situation. Sometimes, of course, it happens that someone offers that glimmer of hope unprovoked, and then you have to learn to accept it, because that’s what overcomes everything for good. Ivana Radić, director

Short Comedy – Official Selection – December 2023

Everything Looks Simple from a Distance | Ireland | 13’
Director: Conor Toner
Writer: Conor Toner
Producer: Aíne Donnelly
Cast: Cailum Carragher, Rían Early
Synopsis: It’s 1969. The American’s have not landed on the moon yet and in Northern Ireland, political tensions are mounting. Noah, an idealistic inventor, has a unique yet naive idea. He believes it will unite the country’s battling factions in a shared dream of progress, putting an end to the growing violence. His plan is to convince politicians, money men, religious figureheads and paramilitaries to help him get Northern Ireland to the moon.

Beat ’em up | 16’
Director: Egor Soldatenkov
Writer: Egor Soldatenkov
Producers: Lisa Basin, Egor Soldatenkov, Evgeny Vershinin, Nikita Zadykhin
Cast: Kristina Yakimenko, Vlad Terskikh, Elena Lebedeva, Nikita Khrushchev, Alexey Desyatov, Pavel Sklyar, Ekaterina Finevich, Alina Tsibizova
Synopsis: Nastya is a video games fan and also a victim of abusive relationship. Her boyfriend-tyrant is beating her up while his friends only jibe at that. But one day she decides to stand up to him. She is sick and tired of being a victim and now she longs for vengeance!

Masterpiece | Serbia | 2023 | 11’
Director: Valentin Sun
Writer: Valentin Sun
Producers: Valentin Sun, Alex Knyazev
Cast: Nikola Drozdovsky, Olga Sakhanova
Synopsis: A special exhibit appears at the Museum of Modern Art. Yes, ordinary people may not understand it. Critics may misinterpret it. But if authoritative people are sure that this is a masterpiece, then so would be. And it doesn’t matter at all how this item got here.

Short Drama – Official Selection – December 2023

S.O.S. | Portugal | 2022 | 27’
Director: Bruno Soares
Writer: Bruno Soares
Producer: José Mazeda
Cast: Joel Branco, Carmen Santos, Marco Costa
Synopsis: NOTE: This link is a work in progress (VFX and sound mix in progress) In the midst of robbing a house in Lisbon, Jaime is caught by the owner Alberto, who mistakes him for his son. As Alberto and his wife Madalena take him in, Jaime gradually forgets about the robbery.

Empty Heights, Moonlit Night | China | 2023 | 21’
Director: Canghai Lu
Writers: Wen Lei, Canghai Lu, Long Jin, Wenbo Li
Producer: Luke
Cast: Bin Li, Long Jin, Le Sun, Zhong Yu, Yuxuan Li, Gang Cao, Lijuan Zhu
Synopsis: It has been two years since the children last visited home. Living alone, Old Yu, in a fit of anger, takes his children to court, hoping to see them. However, they don’t appear in court. Deeply disappointed, Old Yu pleads with the judge to inform his children to meet him on June 28th at Dome(Qiongding) Mountain for a “final closure.” On that day, Old Yu sets out early in the morning. He carries his old camera, takes along an old photo album, and rides the bicycle he had during his marriage, slowly heading towards Dome(Qiongding) Mountain which is dozens of miles away…

In Her Corner | United Kingdom | 2023 | 11’
Director: Emma Ramsay
Writer: Mikey Burnett
Producers: Laura McBride, Reece Cargan
Cast: Silvie Furneaux, Grant O’Rouke, Christie Russell-Brown, Poppy Hope Smith
Synopsis: In Pilton, Edinburgh – a teenage girl has to choose between her family and her boxing career in order to escape a life of violent crime.

LOVE SIGN | Bulgaria | 2023 | 08’
Director: Georgi Kosev Yovchev
Writer: Georgi Kosev Yovchew
Producer: Vanya Neykova
Synopsis: Martin and Joanna have been getting to know each other recently in social network. She is looking forward to their actual meeting, but he avoids it. Soon she will find out the reason!

The End of Something | Russian Federation | 2023 | 18’
Director: Orkhan Abulov
Writers: Elena Butenko-Raykina, Orkhan Abulov
Producer: Elena Butenko-Raykina
Cast: Daniil Pugaev, Sofia Shcherbakova
Synopsis: A man and a woman are fishing on a remote lake, unaware of how their fishing trip will end. When the sun sets, the inevitable will happen.

Short Fantasy/Sci-Fi – Official Selection – December 2023

FOREIGNER | United States | 2023 | 17’
Director: Giovanni A Lodigiani
Writer: Giovanni A Lodigiani
Producer: Giovanni A Lodigiani
Cast: Annie Einan, LINDA LODIGIANI
Synopsis: An alien looking for life on other planets arrive on earth now made of wastelands. He descends into a large cave in the underworld. He discovers prehistoric animals brought back to life thanks to genetic experiments of a now extinct human civilization. He discovers a laboratory where the last humans had holed up to defend themselves from animal attacks. There are no survivors but only digital messages left by the last humans who knew they were close to death. The alien doesn’t understand human language and take a fertilized animal egg to examine it on the mother ship. He doesn’t know yet that an even greater danger was described in the messages.

Lost in the Sky | Sweden | 2023 | 13’
Director: Simon Öster
Writer: Kevin Gullberg
Producer: Kevin Gullberg
Synopsis: In this live-action space adventure made entirely with practical effects, a rescue robot is searching for survivors in a strange galaxy when he makes a dark discovery, leaving him with a devastating choice. Six years in the making, this is Simon Öster’s directorial debut. Winner of Méliès d’argent for Best European Fantastic Short Film 2023.

Stop-Motion\Time-Lapse – Official Selection – December 2023

The Alpinist | Mexico | 2022 | 04’
Director: Karla Verónica Grijalva de la Cruz
Producer: Mónica Daniela Aceves Arias
Cast: Mario Alvarez
Synopsis: After going through the loss of his father, The Alpinist will have to deal with letting go of what he has been carrying emotionally, during his climb up the mountain.

The Magic Violet Rabbit | Japan | 2023 | 14’
Director: Kotoko Nakamura
Writer: Kotoko Nakamura
Producer: Kotoko Nakamura
Synopsis: To escape from his dull life, a man wishes to become a wizard. He wants to be a “real” wizard, not a “fake” one.

Student Short – Official Selection – December 2023

Passengers | Turkey | 2023 | 15’
Director: Buğra Mert Alkayalar
Writer: Buğra Mert Alkayalar
Producer: Buğra Mert Alkayalar
Cast: İpek Sobutay, Ümit Erlim
Synopsis: Every life is a journey with intersections at certain stops. One autumn night, a group of people awaits a train at a station, one of these stops. However, they’ve all forgotten one truth. When a young man delves into the eerie night to find his fiancée, he will remember and remind the others.

Elf Ring | Finland | 2023 | 13’
Director: Nellie Nathalie Rajala
Writer: Nellie Nathalie Rajala
Producer: Maciej Slesicki
Cast: Eedla Höglund, Kari Parkkinen, Sanna Maksimainen
Synopsis: Imaginative Lycke, 8 years old, sees her grandad, Fafa, fall ill after stepping into an elf ring (a ring of mushrooms). She believes she can keep Fafa away from the hospital by finding a magical cure from the dark and scary Finnish forest.

LOVE SINK IN TIDE | China | 2023 | 25’
Director: Pengyu Yan, Hongdi Xiao
Writer: Yi Tian
Producer: Mengze Xia
Cast: Yi Xing, Yuan Cheng
Synopsis: Luo Min’s husband Wu Zheng passed away in a car accident, making it difficult to sustain the clothing store they jointly operate. After his divorce, Zhou Yong, who is responsible for clothing sales, returned to his hometown to relax and want to keep Luo Min’s shop and maintain his job. The two of them went down to the seaside at Zhao Yuqin’s request to scatter Wu Zheng’s ashes into the sea, fulfilling Wu Zheng’s last wish. Luo Min thought that she could gain a new life after her husband’s death, but found herself forgetting that although her husband died, she was still bound by morality and unable to embrace the true love of Zhou Yong in the past before her. Zhou Yong loved the woman in front of him, but he also loved his daughter and eventually returned to the big city.

Échappé | United Kingdom | 2023 | 15’
Director: Megan McRitchie
Writer: Megan McRitchie
Producers: Megan McRitchie, Abbie Maclaughlan
Cast: Isla (Tobi) Roebig, Imani Preyor, Louise Rankin, Matthew Barningham
In returning to their old ballet school burnt-out dancer – Sylvie – explores their past in order to decide what to do with their future.

Four women | Russian Federation | 2023 | 09’
Director: Anastasia Pastory
Writer: Anastasia Pastory
Producer: Ekaterina Ushakova
Cast: Elena Ponomareva, Anna Astashkina, Olga Borisevich, Nastasia Smirnova, Sergey Vlasenkov
Synopsis: Four women — a wife, a mistress, a mother-in-law and a colleague met to decide who would kill the man who had annoyed everyone. But just as they could not share it during their lifetime, so now no one is ready to give up the right to commit retribution. However, new circumstances can reveal their true desires.

The Music Of True Men | Russian Federation | 2023 | 28’
Director: Phillip Lars
Writer: Anna Bronnikova
Producer: Manana Krasnoperets
Cast: Artyom Gagarinov, Gena Fokin
Synopsis: Sergey, a young and successful classical music conductor is suddenly visited by Nikita, his younger brother from a far away russian region, who wants to become a famous rapper thanks to the fame of his older brother, whom he has not seen in ten years. But Nikita has yet to find out that Sergey is not as successful as he always told his family, and Sergey needs to learn how to get along with his brother.

Alain | Russian Federation | 14’
Director: Viktoria Grudskaia
Writer: Viktoria Grudskaia
Producer: Viktoria Grudskaia
Cast: Alain Rouvez, Svetlana Tammor
Synopsis: This is a story about language about a big distance in time^ cultural differences and codes. We would like to destroy this wall of misunderstanding and go deeper to save something but as much we try as much we go to to the darkness through which the foreboding of love pulsates.

Tantrum | Canada | 2023 | 15’
Director: Soomin Choi
Writer: Soomin Choi
Producer: Renee Foy
Cast: Olivia Yang Avis, Siena Heesoo Jang, Sekyoung Lee
Synopsis: When her Mother forgets about her upcoming choir competition, 7-year-old Moa resorts to desperate measures to gain her attention and secure her attendance.

A Letter To Lanka | Norway | 2023 | 28’
Director: Ilakkiya Mariya Simon
Writer: Ilakkiya Mariya Simon
Producers: Ilakkiya Mariya Simon, University of Tromsø
Synopsis: A Letter To Lanka moves between memories of the civil war to the present political turmoil. Told through a poetic and personal journey of the filmmaker`s reconnection to land, soil and people, it invites the audiences into existential questions of belonging in a chaotic world. What does it mean to be at home in the world? What binds people together, and what can break them apart?

Top View of my Brain as a Crime Scene | Austria | 2022 | 13’
Director: Luzia Vita Johow
Writer: Zorah Berghammer
Producer: Flora Martina Mair
Cast: Aila Franken, Michael Masula
Synopsis: A Dream. A woman is sitting in a forest clearing. Did something horrible happen? Children are dead or gone. Anonymous authorities, allies and a professor scurry around the accused, who is treated like a witness, victim and suspect all at the same time. Slowly she realizes that she might be to blame. Even after her acquittal she remains alone with a feeling of guilt.

A Love Code | Estonia | 2023 | 10’
Director: Akseli Lauri Aulis Leppänen
Writer: Hugo Soosaar
Producer: Can Erman
Cast: Hugo Soosaar
Synopsis: In a post-apocalyptic world, in an abandoned overgrown bunker a robot lives a lonely life. One day a mysterious hole appears, from which a cockroach crawls through. The robot ends up making friends with the bug, but all changes when the bug leaves, sending the robot into hopeless despair.