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SHORT to the Point – May & June 2024 Nominees

Animation Short – Official Selection – June 2024

Father’s Mountains | China | 2023 | 12’
Director: XiaoJun Tan
Synopsis: This is a poignant tale about home as belonging, which explores the profound metaphorical significance of father and mountain. A father and his son reside in the mountains, where the father works as a stonemason, shouldering the weight of their family’s needs through arduous labor. Intrigued by what lies beyond the mountain, the son incessantly queries his father. Each time, the father’s response is the same, “Beyond the mountains, lies another mountain.” As the son matures, he ventures away from his father and their home, seeking his own path in a distant city beyond the mountain’s grasp, unraveling life’s meaning. After years of relentless pursuit and self-discovery, the son gains deeper insight into his father’s life and comprehends the significance of mountains to him. Filled with newfound certainty, the son returns to the mountains, where he answers his father, “Beyond the mountains is another mountain!”

Le Charad | United States | 2024 | 04’
Director: Erika Totoro
Writer: Erika Totoro
Producer: Erika Totoro
Synopsis: A psychological comedy set in a run-down 1950s diner. Le Charade follows the final performance of a lonely mime and the psychotic episode that ensues after his imaginary friend breaks up with him and he is forced to re-enter society.

Smile | China | 2023 | 14’
Director: Yuan YUAN
Writer: Yuan YUAN
Producer: Changkai YANG
Synopsis: For losing the love of his life, the once champion boxer, A-ren, sank into a deep depression. Three years later, in order to regain his family and to prove himself, he steps into the ring with a smile on his face ……

THE MENG POOL | China | 2023 | 08’
Director: Wei BI
Writer: Wei BI
Producer: Cheng Fang
Synopsis: Uncle Duizi, a small clerk in a northeastern town, falls intothe fantastic world of Grandma’s disintegrating memories, a bathhouse owner who opposes the demolition of the bathhouse, and undergoes a fantastical adventure to find himself. Understanding that memory may fade, but love does not.

Sprout |Germany | 2023 | 05’
Director: Florian Maubach
Synopsis: Emerging excitement, a dancing body, and the sensual awakening of sexuality turn this experimental animation film by Florian Maubach into the nucleus of a transformation process. SPROUT is a stimulating short film that pushes boundaries but doesn’t solely focus on the pleasure event. It’s a metaphorically charged short film that allows an important look behind the curtain of male sexuality and relationships.

Check | United Kingdom | 2024 | 02’
Director: Anita Gill
Synopsis: A short film about OCD checking and the anxious inner struggle that can often be invisible to others. The aim of ‘Check’ is to convey this feeling of anxiety, urgency and frustration through beautiful, abstract visuals and looping, chaotic sounds.

Commedy Short – Official Selection – June 2024

Podcasters | Australia | 12’
Director: Grace Wriggles
Writer: Grace Wriggles
Producers: Grace Wriggles, Brittany Grey
Cast: Grace Wriggles, Brittany Grey, Christian McCarty
Synopsis: When two highly-uneducated-yet-enthusiastic sisters set out to start a podcast, their big dreams take a turn when they accidentally kill the first guest.

Report Null: Inside Metal | Germany | 2024 | 13’
Directors: Philine Reimer, Jon Grandpierre
Writers: Philine Reimer, Jon Grandpierre
Cast: Philine Reimer, Jon Grandpierre
Synopsis: The town of Ruhlkirchen in central Hessen. A thrash metal band and their hardcore fan. A trip to the ultimate First Row Experience in the provinces – and: a search for truth and love. Investigative journalist Didana-Sara-A accompanies Sören-Santiago Zümmler, a 27-year-old metal fan who lives in his mother’s Skoda Citygo, on his way to the long-awaited concert of his favorite metal band Skyrmisher. But the village of 576 inhabitants is not only known as the home of the legendary Skyrmishers. Ruhlkirchen is excess, tragedy and, for metalhead Sören, ultimately also a hope for a future in the music scene of Central Hessen, Vogelberg district.

Virtue of Ignorance | United Kingdom | 2024 | 08’
Director: Lucas Pelizaro
Writer: Lucas Pelizaro
Cast: Jake Waring
Synopsis: A Mockumentary about a self-proclaimed entrepreneur and social influencer on his journey to success.

Chairs | United Kingdom | 2023 | 20’
Director: James Hughes
Writer: James Hughes
Producer: James Hughes
Cast: Georgina Campbell, Akemnji Ndifornyen, Brittany Ashworth
Synopsis: A man regales his peculiar obsession with chairs to his new psychiatrist. BAFTA Winners Georgina Campbell (Barbarian) Akemnji Ndifornyen (The Queen’s Gambit) The first short film to star two BAFTA winning leads.

Dance/Musical Short – Official Selection – June 2024

Spellbound Netherlands 2023-12-21 00:11:24
Director: Nicola Hepp
Producers: Niekie Khaled, Nicola Hepp
Cast: Célinne Bodinger
Synopsis: A woman walks slowly through a dark, untouched forest. She is following someone in the distance, someone she can’t quite make out. Or is the other actually following her? Too late, the woman regrets a desperate attempt to escape her pursuer. As she starts to understand and approaches the point of no return, she is lured into making a dire decision.

Murmurs | United States | 2023 | 07’
Directors: Raquel Salvatella de Prada, Linda Belans, Shirin Maleki
Cast: Linda Belans
Synopsis: A meditation on memory – real, imagined, assumed – and the power and the weight of what is passed down to us by our forebears.

ENTITY | Germany | 2023 | 08’
Director: George Steffens
Cast: Juan Kruz Diaz de Garaio Esnaola, Ada Sablova
Synopsis: “Entity” is a visually striking exploration of the human experience, captured in the timeless allure of black and white cinematography. Against the backdrop of Iceland’s awe-inspiring landscapes, the film invites the audience to witness the evocative journey of two isolated souls, as they discover the boundless energy within and ultimately evolve into a unified, expressive whole.

Kiku | Australia | 2023 | 15’
Director: Natsuko Yonezawa
Producer: Itazura Company
Cast: Sue Andrews, Vilaisan Campbell, Anne Embry, Jane Ingall, Julie Rickwood, Suzannah Salojarvi, Rebecca Hilliard
Synopsis: ‘Kiku’, is an intergenerational short dance film directed by Natsuko Yonezawa. This collaboration brings together six remarkable women over 50, who express their individual journeys of ageing through movement. The film is accompanied by an original choral soundtrack by composer Rebecca Hilliard, sung by the members of the ANU Chamber Choir and the Luminescence Children’s Choir. This film invites the audience to approach the topic of ageing with an open heart and mind. ‘Kiku’ was proudly supported by artsACT, QL2 Dance, the National Film and Sound Archive, Lorna Sim Photography, and the ANU School of Music.

Documentary Short – Official Selection – June 2024

Bubbles | Sweden | 2023 | 09’
Director:Jonathan Lomar
Producer: Jonathan Lomar
Synopsis: Jonas, a glassblower, is about to confront his biggest challenge so far, the wine glass. A challenge that gives both the observer and himself a jaw-dropping experience.

Unique Pieces – Cometa Woodworkers Academy | Italy | 2023 | 17’
Directors: Paolo Ceretto, Paolo Menegotto
Producer:Paolo Menegotto
Synopsis: The story of how Erasmo Figini created a community that helps disadvantaged children integrate into a community to call home.

Pastrana | Brazil | 2023 | 15’
Directors: Melissa Brogni, Gabriel Motta
Writers: Melissa Brogni, Gabriel Motta, Júlia Cazarré
Producer: Aletéia Selonk
Cast: Allysson Pastrana
Synopsis: While reliving memories, images, and conversations, downhill skateboarder Melissa endeavors to create a tribute to her friend Pastrana. As she retrieves the past, with the assistance of her friends and family, Pastrana’s inherent presence helps her fill the silence left behind and gain a deeper understanding of time.

Water is Coming | United Kingdom | 2024 | 17’
Director: Aśka Faron
Writer: Aśka Faron
Cast: Deben Munda
Synopsis: The Sundarbans region in South Bangladesh is one of the most climate-vulnerable places in the world. Frequent cyclones destroy people’s livelihoods and contaminate clean water sources, which are already in short supply there. This affects millions of people, including the often marginalised Munda community – an ethnic minority group with Indian origins, who migrated there over two centuries ago. Deben Munda, a descendent of those early settlers, has lived in the Sundarbans all his life – a life marked by hardship, hard work, and the forest itself, at once a source of livelihood and terrible danger. Now, as a reliable supply of clean water is about to be brought to Bhetkhali for the first time, he reflects back on his experiences, his struggles, and his hopes for the future – painting a portrait of an extraordinary life on the frontlines of the climate crisis, and the courageous community who call this land their home.

Debut Short – Official Selection – June 2024

The Guardian | China | 2024 | 07’
Director: Xiaojie Shen
Writer: Cheng Shu
Producer: Yushan Han
Cast: Minjiang Xu
Synopsis: A superstitious old fish farmer disrupts the surveillance near his struggling fish pond to “change his luck”, just to find that this action unexpectedly brings him significant misfortune.

The Daughter | China | 2024 | 09’
Director: WENXIN SHI
Writer: WENXIN SHI
Producer: HONGYE SU
Cast: YITAN GAO, XIURONG WU
Synopsis: In the woods, a woman casts off her years and finds her perpetual youth as a daughter.

The dead eurasian blackbird | Sweden | 2024 | 10’
Director: Arpen Sargsyan
Writer: Arpen Sargsyan
Producer: Arpen Sargsyan
Synopsis: Emil Hernried, Rasmus Wessman, Sophie Tunklev
Cast: Yan’s encounter with a couple at the local park evolves dramatically, taking unexpected twists that lead to a complex entanglement of realisations, ultimately challenging how they perceive one another.

Anyway | France | 2024 | 10’
Director: Nicolas Maurin
Writer: Nicolas Maurin
Producer: Nicolas Maurin
Cast: Zacharie Bordier, Elsa Michanol
Synopsis: Leo has just turned 18, and must now leave the children’s home where he grew up. With no housing solution, he experiences his first day living in the street. ** English and Spanish subtitles available (must be turned on in the viewer) **

Fantasy / Sci-Fi Short – Official Selection – June 2024

Heart-Ware | Japan | 2024 | 33
Director: Jii Zhang
Writer: Jii Zhang
Producer: Jii Zhang
Cast: Reiji Kurosawa
Synopsis: In 20XX, where Artificial Intelligence replaces many human jobs, Keisuke Sanada (31), a once-renowned game director, works as the only human employee remaining in a company. Teaming up with AI, he is developing an innovative “new perspective game.” However, he struggles to find a creative breakthrough. One day, an unexpected visitor arrives at Sanada’s company. Learning about the unique circumstances, Sanada discovers the inspiration he had been seeking…

The Abyss | Argentina | 2024 | 10’
Director: Andres Aloi
Writer: Andres Aloi
Producer: Pablo Finkelstein
Cast: Victoria Paz
Synopsis: Iris, a wheelchair-bound young woman, is recruited into testing a cutting-edge device that hijacks the mind and induces vivid dreams. As she assesses a prototype that is as dangerous as it is revolutionary, Iris struggles to accept her physical reality.

Rocket Girl | United Kingdom | 2024 | 14’
Director: Anna Cottrill
Writer: Anna Cottrill
Producers: Anna Cottrill, Joe Andrews
Cast: Sienna Sayer
Synopsis: Olivia (9 and three quarters) comes home with another bad grade on her homework. This time enough is enough! She needs to prove to everyone how smart she really is… Luckily her latest invention is nearly finished. Wait until everyone sees the rocket she has been building in her bedroom, then they’ll all be jealous! Entering the rocket we see the world through her imagination. Inviting us to re-visit play through a child’s eyes. Through play, Olivia is a rocket-building genius with no limitations and uses her imaginary world to process the real world.

Fashion Short – Official Selection – June 2024

Ogūn – Brandfilm | Germany | 2024 | 02’
Director: Franziska Heinemann
Producer: Alexander Draheim
Synopsis: Please find attached our film as ode to mother nature, a down-to-earth approach to present and discover Ogun’s Men SS 2024 collection. The Capetown based fashion brand is deeply connected with Africa and its people. As the namegiver, Ogun stands for craft and strong roots in the mother continent. The brand is also shipping worldwide, representing a strong bond between nature and humans through the fabrics. The two models were chosen by Fashion Designer James Berlein. Ostap originally from Ukraine, was forced leaving friends and his home due to Russia’s aggressive war. In these times there is something timeless also speaking of and showing elements of earth that connect us humans. Nature doesn’t judge, it is just there, uncompromising, deadly and beautiful. All the adjectives that came in our mind when describing Ogun’s pieces also had a hang towards nature – timeless, modest, minimalistic, simple, pristine, pure, kind of earthy in the tones. We thought a lot about how Africa as the mother continent has shaped us, as the cradle of humankind. How people move within the land and feel connected as well as inspired in their aesthetics. How wind is the wave, how our souls are similar to water, how our destiny is like the wind. The soul and heart of every individual is connected within the bigger picture / our planet / nature / universe & surroundings. So we build a three-act structure, consisting of /imagine, /dream and /experience – the writing remembers us of prompts we would type in AIs like MidJourney nowadays. But we play with it and go back to our route as humans, our imagination and senses. So firstly we get the viewer in our world with the simple request /imagine… then we invite him or her to /dream … in the meantime the film develops a humble poem to mother nature and in passing, associates the shapes and colors of the models surroundings with their clothes. In the third act, there is a the call to action /experience where the viewer can find their very personal connection.

Something Outta Nothing | Italy | 2024 | 03’
Director: Michelangelo Carliez
Cast: Giovanni Franzoni, Mohsen Najari, Michele Giordano, Ginevra Battaglia, Alessia Sardone, Taraneh Ahmadi, Lorenzo Da Rold
Synopsis: Exploring the magical world of iiWii Hub, an experienced Tailor uses his powers to create new and wild clothes. Where other people see garbage, iiWii hub finds a rare opportunity: “Flaw” is just a cruel way to say uniqueness.

Mini Short – Official Selection – June 2024

What A Catch | United Kingdom | 2024 | 05’
Director: Thomas Pickering
Writer: Thomas Pickering
Producer: Thomas Pickering
Cast: Nathan Geering
Synopsis: On a late night trip to the lake, a victorian fisherman’s evening takes a sinister turn.

Behind Closed Drawers | United States | 2023 | 03’
Director: Deena Beydoun
Writer: Deena Beydoun
Producer: Deena Beydoun
Cast: Malia Bazzy
Synopsis: What happens when you place flowers in a hostile environment? Behind Closed Drawers is a stop-motion animated short that follows a child trying to cope with domestic violence through art. The stigma surrounding domestic violence often leads victims to keep things swept under the rug and tucked away into corners, further perpetuating harmful cycles. Along with children’s drawings, I believe that drawers are an important source of household information; A place where things are hidden, cherished, or casually tossed. In this short, I take inspiration from both the nature of drawers and the coded languages found in children’s artwork to tell the story of a child who uses their drawings in an attempt to understand and “fix” their home.

Where Love Blossomed | Australia | 2023 | 02’
Directors: Brandon Pen, Francynne De Guzman, Katherine Le, William Ng
Synopsis: Based on the poem ‘Where Love Blossomed’ by Sachém Parkin-Owens, a couple navigates through various adversities in their relationship proving that no matter the foundation, love can blossom.

Punch | United Kingdom | 2023 | 04’
Director: Ross Scott
Writer: Ross Scott
Producers: Ross Scott, Charmaine Stewart
Cast: Ben Allen, Ryan Marinello, Emily Morus-Jones
Synopsis: A mountain biker discovers an ancient puppet theatre deep within the forest, and he’s just in time for the show.

Artist Undefined | United Kingdom | 2024 | 03’
Director: Kevin Walls
Producer: Kevin Walls
Cast: Erin Marshall
Synopsis: After working as a nurse for over a decade, Erin decides to pursue her dream of going to art school.

One last time | Israel | 2024 | 03’
Director: Marco Carmel
Writer: Einav Markel
Producer: Einav Markel
Cast: Einav Markel, Yuval Markel
Synopsis: Days after October 7th, the crippling fear of an attack, as the one they suffered in the south, cannot be shaken. As Michal bathes her daughter, Yael, in what should be the dearest moments, the fears grow strong, what will Michal do to protect her child?

Best Vacation Ever | United States | 2024 | 02’
Director: Elliott de Neve
Writer: Elliott de Neve
Producers: Laura Donohue Garcia, Rolando Garcia
Cast: Rafael Siegel
Synopsis: A father uses AI to alter his families vacation photo in this commercial for family therapy

For You United | Kingdom | 2023 | 04’
Director: Luca Paulli
Writer: Luca Paulli
Producers: Richard Barnett, Luca Paulli
Synopsis: ‘For You’ is a heartfelt letter from a father to his two-year-old son, capturing a summer day in the park, a world filled with wonders yet to be discovered and a looming danger. Set in Peckham, South East London, the director narrates the story in Italian, the language he has spoken to his son since birth. This project is deeply intimate and personal, yet carries a universal and resonating message: what lies ahead might be uncertain, but with love, courage, and imagination, we can create a better future.

First Wind | United Kingdom | 2023 | 03’
Director: Delilah Gyves-Smart
Writer: Delilah Gyves-Smart
Producer: Delilah Gyves-Smart
Cast: Delilah Day, Isaiah Bobb-Semple
Synopsis: A young woman sleeping over at her boyfriend’s house for the first time experiences an episode of flatulance while settling down to sleep, putting their potential future at risk.

Music Video – Official Selection – June 2024

Stay With Me | United States | 2024 | 05’
Director: Jiaxin Wang
Writer: Jiaxin Wang
Producer: Chris Zilong Wang
Cast: Jolie Chen
Synopsis: A young woman’s journey to self-actualization unfolds through fragmented time and vivid visual metaphors as she confronts her inner struggles.

Anhelo Pendiente – More | Colombia | 2023 |04’
Director: Alejandro Victoria
Writers: Alejandro Victoria, More
Producers: Sara Novoa, Mariana Moreno
Cast: More, Juan José Díaz

I’m Falling | Russian Federation | 2024 |04’
Director: Mascara Bass-Girl
Writer: Mascara Bass-Girl
Producer: Konstantin Buglevskiy
Cast: Maria Melnikova, Noah Von Agris, Rostislav Golivetz
Synopsis: A girl gets a strange call from a man. Where is he calling from? From Germany? From Moscow? From Ancient Greece? She is confused. She is trapped in her memories. Is he real? Is he from her past or from her future? Or maybe he’s just dialed the wrong number. “I’m Falling” is a mysterious noir music video by LEOPARD NOIR SCOPE for a song written and performed by a Russian based artist Маша Мария (Masha Maria).

Narrative Short – Official Selection – June 2024

ECSTASY | Mexico | 2023 | 08’
Director: Carolina Costa
Writer: Carolina Costa
Producers: Arsalan Asli, Iván Muñoz, Carolina Costa
Cast: Mabel Cadena, Natalia Solián
Synopsis: A mystical sci-fi based on Saint Teresa de Avila’s writings. Inside a ghostly mausoleum that is an artifact of both the past, and future, these nuns are being affected by a black hole. Ecstasy is an eerie exploration of pleasure.

Dream | Russian Federation | 2023 | 15’
Director: Artur Matveev
Writer: Artur Matveev
Producers: Andrey Lisyanskiy, Stanislav Khatyukhin
Cast: Aleksandra Kulikova, Anton Vlasov, Andrey Trushin, Anastasia Baktimirova, Alexey Soshin
Synopsis: In pursuit of his dreams, Igor faces the devastating loss of his loved one, a truth he struggles to accept. Supported by his pragmatic friend Mr. Raef, Igor wrestles with the temptation to take drastic action in his grief, realizing the profound consequences it could have on his path and identity. It’s a poignant exploration of love, loss, and moral dilemmas.

Lilith: lost in the night | Mexico | 2024 | 12’
Director: Jerry Garay
Synopsis: Two friends hang out until Pam receives a text and invites Neto to her house to give him the opportunity to have the best night of his life.

Hungry Like The Wolf | United Kingdom | 18’
Director: Kieran Dee
Writer: Alan Hall, Gabriel Thomson
Producers: Alan Hall, Gabriel Thomson, Emilia Clark
Cast: Gabriel Thomson, Alan Hall, Gráinne Good, Alfie Stewart
Synopsis: Musicians Cam and Adam find themselves caught in a hedonistic spiral. Adam has had enough of it, whereas Cam is young, dumb and full of himself.

Steps to Self | France | 2024 | 15’
Director: Bogdan ANGHEL
Synopsis: In a blink, a man’s meditative journey through symbolic realms reveals life’s struggles and transformation. Guided by key characters from his real life, he confronts and liberates from his shadows, emerging reborn, embodying the message: Life is a gift for evolution.

Without you | Spain | 2023 | 19’
Director: Feyrouz Serhal
Writer: Feyrouz Serhal
Producer: Felipe Lage Coro
Cast: Sara Sanz, Alejandro Jato
Synopsis: Once upon a night in Galicia where the vast ocean exchanged roles with the vast sky, a group of stars jumped down and took a dip in the Atlantic. And while the stars happily swam in the ocean, the black sky still had one star shining alone up there. That star had different plans for the night; she will wait till the very last end of the dark and sneak down to earth to meet her lover.

Walk with Me | Colombia | 2023 | 12’
Director: Adrien Boublil
Writer: Julian Flores
Producer: Luis Enrique Vanegas Obando
Synopsis: A young man delves deep into his past, uncovering the profound influence of a pivotal figure in his life, as he seeks strength and reassurance on the day of his wedding.

Dor (Longing) | Czech Republic | 2024 | 09’
Director: Jakub Duchoslav
Writer: Larisa Zazzeron
Producer: Larisa Zazzeron
Cast: Larisa Zazzeron, Liv K. Czibor
Synopsis: In the haunting aftermath of a global conflict, “Dor” unfolds the story of two sisters, Eve and Serena, navigating the challenges of loss and survival. As they grapple with the harsh reality of war, they cling onto memories of a once joyous family. Devastated by their mother’s death, Eve decides to take her own life to be with her. Afterward, she embarks on a quest to bring her sister, Serena, into this afterlife, driven by a longing to be reunited once again. Serena is forced to choose between real life and a dreamlike afterlife. “Dor” becomes a testament to the indomitable human spirit in the face of a world forever altered by war and an uncertain but beautiful new world.

Salvage | Canada | 2024 | 14’
Director: David Hall
Writer: David Hall
Producer: David Hall, Yair Karlberger, Ash DeVries
Cast: Trevor Ketcheson, Sophie Bastelle, Jordan Gray
Synopsis: Financially desperate millennial couple turn to a shady broker in order to salvage their down-payment.

No/Low Budget – Official Selection – June 2024

You Don’t Read Enough | Canada | 2023 |09’
Director: Noa Kozulin
Writer: Emilia Michalowska, Noa Kozulin
Producers: Emilia Michalowska, Noa Kozulin, Aidan Parker
Cast: Emilia Michalowska
Synopsis: You Don’t Read Enough is a surreal yet honest exploration of chronic anxiety through the eyes of Kasia, 23, who’s nerves reach an all time peak when she catastrophizes her immigrant mother not returning home one evening. The film chronicles the beginning of an anxiety spiral when her mom doesn’t come home, and won’t answer her phone. She jumps to the worst case conclusion that her mother might never come home and prepares to take on the responsibilities left behind. As her catastrophizing escalates, she begins to consider her mother’s affect on her, and with the help of a semi-conscious stress ball, explores her fears in a world without her mother, but also the possibility that she may finally be free from a codependent relationship. This thought plunges her into a fantasy in her mind where she is free from the weight of expectations, and is able to fill her life as she sees fit. However, as she fights to assert her own ambition and identity, the dark recesses of her trauma reclaim their hold on her, even in this mental haven. Will her mom make it home, and if she does, would it save Kasia from herself?

RUNNING FAUCET | Mexico | 2023 | 06’
Director: Natalia Audirac
Writers: Natalia Audirac
Producer: Erick Z. Gallardo
Cast: Patricia Escobedo, Vianey Vargas, Eduardo Linares
Synopsis: Tere is an employee of the night shift at a bakery. As usual, she is carrying out her duties in the storage room when, suddenly, a man brutally attacks her colleague. Tere experiences a paralyzing terror that makes her hide among the racks without doing anything to stop him.

Amidst | Finland | 2024 | 30’
Director :Pia Andell
Writer: Suna Vuori
Producer: Pia Andell
Cast: Vera Kiiskinen, Krista Kosonen, Hannu-Pekka Björklund, Ria Kataja, Tommi Korpela, Meri Nenonen
Synopsis: Everything is perfect, and then, boom!

My Hair Is The View | Morocco | 2023 | 07’
Directoors: Safae Lahgazi Alaoui, Sanae Lahgazi Alaoui
Synopsis: In every neighborhood in Morocco there is a beauty salon with a hair straightener waiting to iron out someone’s curls and frizz. Increasingly, young women are daring to wear their hair in afros and curls in a culture that has so far rejected their African roots. The filmmakers take us on a quirky journey in celebrating rebellious hair.

Fade of Faith | 01’
Director: Yu wang
Writer: Yu wang
Producer: Rengji jiang
Cast: Yi jiang
Synopsis: Two groups of acquirers who have different positions but are interested in this land at the same time, and the rangers and herders who have protected this land for generations, a story about the struggle for land and faith broke out.

Venus in Retrograde |Slovakia | 2024 | 15’
Director: Štefánia Lovasová
Writer: Štefánia Lovasová
Producer: Michaela Kaliská
Cast: Karolína Michalková, Alica Bujňáková, Agi Gubíkova
Synopsis: Video footage shot by two sisters portrays their escape from the real world through their phone while living with their mother escaping the same world but with the help of alcohol. Their nice memories are interwoven with the struggles of the family, but how will they snap the spiral?

Forgiveness | Germany | 2024 | 06’
Director: Felix Julian Koch
Writers: Felix Julian Koch, Lisa Palos
Producers: Søren Haxholm, Inga Schlüter
Cast: Deverol Peters
Synopsis: The Film „Forgiveness“ shows the emotional journey of a South African man coming from a harsh background, experiencing and growing up with violence and prison. We show how you can reach personal and emotional growth through forgiveness. One example of many shot locally in the Cape Flats – a region and community often overlooked and overshadowed by the bustling beauty of Cape Town.

Student Short – Official Selection – June 2024

JamAIs Vu | United States | 2023 | 05’
Director: Terri Zitong Diao
Writer: Terri Zitong Diao
Producer: Terri Zitong Diao
Cast: Victoria Kenton, Lukas Smith
Synopsis: A young musician attempts to convince her sentient caretaker humanoid to let her play one last piece of music before her life ends.

The Death of Ivan Ilyich | United Kingdom | 2024 | 30’
Directors: Noah Cohen, Alex Squires
Writer: Noah Cohen
Producer: Nikita Matthews
Cast: Nash Norgaard, Finn Tyson, Phee Simpson, Gordon Stackhouse
Synopsis: Ivan Ilyich is dead. How well did he live? Adapted from Leo Tolstoy’s novella of the same name, The Death of Ivan Ilyich tells the story of a social climbing magistrate in the late 19th century Russian empire. After a seemingly innocuous injury, Ivan’s health inexplicably deteriorates, and he is forced to come to terms with death. He looks back on his once illustrious career, his relationships, his worldview. Was that all how it ought to have been?

Action Hero | Bulgaria | 2023 | 20’
Director: Plamen Marinov
Writers: Plamen Marinov, Guillaume Tanis
Producer: Plamen Marinov
Cast: Kalin Pacherazki, Boryana Bratoeva, Georgi Karkelanov, Stanislav Kertikov
Synopsis: Do we need a real action hero in a world full of intellectuals? Stanimir is a student who has grown up in France surrounded by intellectuals. He would like to shoot an action movie in Bulgaria. The whole world seems to be against him.

FISHMONGER | United States | 2024 | 23’
Director: Neil Ferron
Writers: Neil Ferron, Alexandra Dennis-Renner
Producers: Valerie Steinberg, Jordan Willcox, Neil Ferron
Cast: Dominic Burgess, Donnla Hughes, Penny O’Brien, Mark Bramhall, Ron Bottitta, Mari Weiss
Synopsis: In this supernatural dark comedy, a pathetic Irish fishmonger must survive a sex pact with an ancient fish creature in order to save his mother’s soul from burning in hell.

The Red Finger | China | 2024 | 19’
Director: Zhuofei Lin
Writers: Zhuofei Lin, Yuhan Wu
Producer: Wei Zhang, Xiyue Zhang
Cast: Dayu Wang, Xiao Hou
Synopsis: Zhaofeng, who is experiencing a midlife crisis and supporting his family of four on a meager salary, comes home from work one day to discover a dead body, forcing him to make critical choices for the sake of his family…

The Menagerie | United Kingdom | 2024 | 20’
Directors: Ana Ofelia Floares, Viktoria Chernykh
Writers: Ana Ofelia Floares, Viktoria Chernykh
Producer: Shannon De Kempe
Cast: Ben Pugh-Cook, Allegra Cappucci, Ioannis Vamvakitis, Gail Downey, Fiona Turner, Joel Meakin-Collins, Kevin McLaughlin
Synopsis: Through the satirical portrayals, The Menagerie offers a glimpse into the diverse reactions of seven audience members towards the 1959 French absurdist play, ‘Rhinoceros’ by Eugene Ionesco.

Outside of Time | United Kingdom | 2024 | 15’
Director: Elitsa Marielle
Writers: Elitsa Marielle, Gabrielle Névé
Producer: Kinnie Hue
Cast: Callum McCrudden, Sean.J O’Kane
Synopsis: Leo, a dreamy 12-year-old boy, is at his grandparents’ for a serious family reunion.His parents want to put his grandfather, who has Alzheimer’s, in a special home. Leo has to face this decision, as he disagrees with his parents’ opinion and feels compelled to act.Perhaps he is the only one who can still maintain contact with his grandfather. But the loss of the grandfather’s memory will make the day much stranger and surprising for Leo.

Golden Years | United Kingdom | 2024 | 12’
Director: George Carter
Writers: George Carter, Harrison Jones
Producer: Sophie Schwajda
Cast: Harry Dexter, Laura Frances Martin, Theo Athinou, Rebecca Sargent
Synopsis: Alone in his house, a man struggles to hold onto his memories. Seeing glimpses of his past, he attempts to salvage what he holds dear.

An Gobha – The Blacksmith of The Boyne Valley | Ireland | 2024 | 12’
Director: Craig McShane
Producer: Craig McShane
Cast: Tom King
Synopsis: Nestled within The Boyne Valley lies the forge of Tom King, also known as “An Gobha”. Tom is a blacksmith who follows the ways of ancient Ireland, crafting weapons and jewelry for Ireland’s high kings and queens. His mighty anvil can be heard echoing throughout the valley, and the flames can be seen soaring into the skies as the forge burns throughout the night, he is known throughout the valley but one question remains…Who is An Gobha? This documentary gives an insight into the work and life of award-winning Blacksmith Artist, Tom King, who brings to life the ways of ancient Ireland through his craftsmanship and experience.

Christmas Dance | United States | 2024 | 03’
Director: Tiffany Jiang
Writer: Tiffany Jiang
Producer: Tiffany Jiang
Synopsis: In the cozy confines of a Christmas living room, a porcelain ballerina and a gingerbread ornament have a charming story to tell. In an amusing quest, the gingerbread ornament sets out to pursue the ballerina inside the music box. The gingerbread ornament’s journey turns into a lovely adventure set among shimmering lights and festive joy, highlighting the pleasure of seeing the world through the eyes of a little character and the enchantment of dreams.

Don’t Criii | Canada | 2024 | 13’
Director: Sebastien Kaschel
Writers: Sebastien Kaschel, Sage Markham
Producer: Sebastien Kaschel
Cast: Sage Markham
Synopsis: Follow Sage’s journey through addiction and grief as he navigates early adulthood, finding hope in jiujitsu amidst chaos, in the documentary “Don’t Criii’.

The Fallen | United States | 2024 | 10’
Director: Raine Ramirez
Writer: Raine Ramirez
Producer: Raine Ramirez
Cast: CJ Jugel, Celeste Gersten, Maura Diedrich, Thalia Martinez Bobadilla, Jay Morrison, Jasmin Regato, Raine Ramirez
Synopsis: A girl stuck on a forgotten Earth tries to find pieces to fix her jetpack, to get back home

Waiting Room | Czech Republic | 2023 | 12’
Director: Katarina Zrinka Šarić
Writer: Katarina Zrinka Šarić
Producer: Katarina Zrinka Šarić
Cast: Sofia Katela, Zdeňka Goričev Hrdličková, Theo Jacques, Marta Falvey Sovová
Synopsis: Mia has endometriosis. In the hospital waiting room, the walls start closing on her but her perspective shifts.

The Adventures of Grip Gaffer | United States | 2021 | 20’
Director: Evan Burdett
Writer: Evan Burdett
Producers: Natasha Sequeira, Brandon Pridgett
Cast: Aaron Latta-Morissette, Nijah Brenea, AlbaCarol Valdez, Macie Connor, Jahi Minkah Trotter, Hunter Thore
Synopsis: Grip Gaffer, film gear superhero, tries to make a name for himself by stopping the machinations of the villainous Stinger.

Homeward,Eastward | China | 2024 | 20’
Director: Yifei Tang
Writer: Yifei Tang
Cast: Gongyu Shi, Shiyu Shen
Synopsis: Girl, woman, and the old crone. There is a forgotten village that lies in the boundless mountains shaded by whispers and deities in Guizhou. The fate of these three was supposed to be as quiet as the wind, fading in tranquility and eternity. However, the girl, who was unable to bear the loneliness, always yearned for the land beyond the provincial mountains. And a city boy enlightened her romance, yet also led her into a river full of poetry and tragedy……

One Last Wish | Canada | 2024 | 07’
Director: James Domingos
Synopsis: After the passing of her grandmother, a young bunny searches for a dandelion that has the power to grant one single wish.

Seriously, Maggie? | Canada | 2024 | 12’
Director: Mya Stifani
Writer: Mya Stifani
Producer: Mya Stifani
Cast: Ella Reuther, Gabriel Lezza, Nazifa Ali, Alina Ichmouratov
Synopsis: After spending the night with her douchey man-child of a crush, Maggie gets pregnant. This film steers clear of the media norms that paint abortion in a tragic and negative light. “Seriously, Maggie?” is not a sob story, and is rather a realistic account of a young university girl’s coping with the help of her best friends.

Let it go | Australia | 2023 |15’
Director: Hsuan-Ze (Oscar) Lin
Writers: Rongxin Kang, Hsuan-Ze (Oscar) Lin
Producer: Hanxuan (Neko) Chen
Cast: Lihe Wang
Synopsis: This is a narrative short about an older brother who accompanied his younger brother, who had been suffering from Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) for years and was paralyzed all over his body, on his final journey.

Mariela | Colombia | 2023 | 29’
Director: Alejandro Victoria
Writer: Alejandro Victoria
Producer: Lía Samara Mora
Cast: María Elena Duque, Armando Lozada, Virginia Herrera, Valentina Duque
Synopsis: Mariela, a middle-aged woman, receives a call from his brother, Marcos, who tells her it is their mother’s dying wish to see her again. Mariela decides to travel to her childhood house in Vallejuelo, where she will run into a long kept family secret.

This Peculiar Day | Slovakia | 2023 | 19’
Director: Emília Ondriašová
Writers: Emília Ondriašová, Pavel Babej
Producer:Tomáš Kubica
Synopsis: There’s nothing more pathetic and sad than the midlife crisis of an artist who truly has it all but realizes it way too late.

Free Your Mind | United States | 2024 |16’
Director: Sean Alexander Ball
Writer: Sean Alexander Ball
Producer: Sean Alexander Ball
Cast: Ethan King, Walker Moore, Skylar Angeleise Lanier, Tra’Waan Coles
Synopsis: A writer not only overcoming writer’s block, but himself.

MARTHA | France | 2023 | 14’
Director: Geneviève Bourgeois
Writers: Geneviève Bourgeois, Thomas Bevençons
Producer: Tomas Martin Rojas
Cast: Mélina Masungi, Yannick Ngurambila
SYNOPSIS: Martha (10), will see her family torn apart after the unexpected departure of her mother. Despite her father’s best efforts to keep everything a secret, Martha is determined to find out the truth. Their relationship will emerge stronger than ever. B

The Painting | United States | 2022 | 09’
Director: Yuxin Wang
Writer: Yuxin WANG
Producer: ZHANG HANXIN
Cast: QI Sun, YUE ZHANG
Synopsis: Sam failed to retrieve his dream memories with the help of a psychologist. His sister Ann suggested that he communicate with people and seek inspiration. During a blind date, Sam hits on inspiration, but his blind date Nancy is disappointed. In order to thank his Muse, he used painting to re-establish understanding with her. In the end, two different people have changed the lack of themselves.

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