December 2019 – Moscow Shorts Official Selection

NARRATIVE SELECTION   |  DECEMBER 2019

Nox (2018)

Director: Keyvan Sheikhalishahi

Country: France

Duration: 13:00

Synopsis: Peter and Claire are two professional burglars on the east coast. On senatorial election night, their mission is to break into a Senator’s villa.

The Devil in the Street (2019)  

Director: Rickard Stolpe

Country: Finland

Duration: 09:02

Synopsis: On her way home at night a young woman meets her ex and a burst of mixed emotions take over and the devil comes to visit.

Nora (2018)

Director: Meena Rathore

Country: Norway

Duration: 20:24

Synopsis: From Oslo to Mumbai this film explores what happens when a seemingly perfect couple fail to live up to the expectaions of society and their social surroundings? On a trip to the east, how far are they willing to go in order to  fit in back home in the west? Inspired by Ibsens play, A Doll´s House, the film also explores if we have changed our views and expectations of Nora in todays globalised society.     

The Drone Over Corn Fields (2019)

Director: Chuanfa Wan

Country: China

Duration: 27:50

Synopsis: This is a story about “the separated family”. Dalang, a 15-year-old boy who was abandoned by his father in his hometown and has been living with his grandfather. When his father returned home from the city with his stepmother and Erlang to congratulate his father on his 70th birthday, he put forward his wish to return to the city with them, but this small wish, however, put everyone in a dilemma.

Briefcase Without A Handle (2019)

Director: Sergei Kuklov

Country: Belarus

Duration: 14:20

Synopsis: “A Suitcase without a Handle”, a set expression meaning “Something that is a pain to carry around, and a shame to throw away.”  Two thugs, each with a secret agenda to escape their life of crime once and for all, are tasked with picking up a briefcase at a near-border cafe.

Advocate Is Not Needed (2019)  

Director: Artem Minakov

Country: Russian Federation

Duration: 24:25

Synopsis: The accused of manslaughter of Chertkov is questioned by a high-class lawyer sent from a serious company to confirm his qualifications. The lawyer convinces Chertkov of his innocence, and there will be no “case” at all if he goes to one very profitable deal. But what price should Chertkov pay to clear all the charges? 

Draft (2020)

Director: Olga Alikberova

Country: Russian Federation

Duration: 15:00

Synopsis: We all perceive reality differently. One and the same romantic evening a man will see quite differently from what a woman sees. She is a romantic young lady who comes to visit her former boss, whom she is still in love with, and hopes that this evening will be the beginning of a big beautiful love story. And she is a nasty girl, of which there are hundreds who care only about his money and silk clothes.  He is a gallant intellectual writer, versed in art, and ready to sing serenades to her. And he is a narcissistic womanizer, collecting a collection of broken hearts.  Is the truth somewhere in the middle and can it be the same for two people?

Backseat Drivers (2018)

Director: Oliver Crawford Smith, Oliver Bailey

Country: Australia

Duration: 15:19

Synopsis: When a drunk pub owner is robbed by a crew of masked hoodlums, his loyal friend decides to take matters into his own hands as an attempt to get the money back.

The Monk (2017)

Director: Dan Grin

Country: Russian Federation

Duration: 19:38

Synopsis: Ekaterina and her husband arrive at the dwelling of a young healer, hoping for a miracle. As she steps into the room, he recognises his lost love. Now they must confront their past.

Net (2019)

Director: Jingkun Liu

Country: United Kingdom

Duration: 19:29

Synopsis: Wu Wang is trapped in a huge net weaved by cyber bullying. She strives to get out of the predicament, but the response of the world is not what she expected.

Swipe (2019)

Director: Niels Bourgonje

Country: Netherlands

Duration: 05:48

Synopsis: A girl finds out that she has a match on a dating app with a stranger, despite swiping him to the left moments ago. She starts to fear that the man is dangerously close to her.

Backwater (2018)

Director: Brendan McCallion

Country: Ireland

Duration: 24:00

Synopsis: In the depths of rural Ireland, Tommy has done everything to look after his sick father, succumbing to a life of isolation in the process. However, letting go proves to be more difficult than he had ever imagined.

Tumbili (2019)

Director: Brando Benetton

Country: United States

Duration: 06:05

Synopsis: A mischievous eight-year-old discovers a magical wooden box locked inside her house, mistakenly releasing the supernatural danger within it.

Slooga (2019)

Director: Irina Aylyarova

Country: United States

Duration: 15:55

Synopsis: This film is about women who come to the US hoping to have a better life for themselves and their children, but end up enduring abuse in order to achieve their dreams.

STUDENT SELECTION   |   DECEMBER 2019

Cuts and Bruises (2019)

Director: Beatriz Couto

Country: United Kingdom

Duration: 07:54

Synopsis: Cuts and Bruises follows the story of Amelie Banks. It takes us through her struggles with mental health and how she finds solace in skating and the girl skating community.

Line 881 (2018)

Director: Ron Goldin

Country: Israel

Duration: 28:34

Synopsis: At first glance Dormagen is a perfect, green and pastoral town just a short distance from the big city. Its residents opened the gates of the city with love to the stream of refugees that filled Germany, but the warm welcome carries with it a hidden fear from the future. On one bus line that crosses the entire city you can see a social microcosm. From refugees who have just arrived to adult Germans, all are destined to travel in the metal pipe that creates forced intimacy. Through the stories of the passengers on this bus line, the whole story of Germany after the wave of immigration is told.

In The Glass House (2019)

Director: Anna Zhukovets

Country: Germany

Duration: 13:54

Synopsis: What does your inner world look like? What rooms do you flee to when the outside world is unbearable? How does this world smell? Does it smell like traces of human scent? How do you connect your inner world with the outer world?   A documentary not only about those who ask themselves these questions every day. A film not only about autism spectrum disorder or Asperger’s syndrome, but about all of us. Every human being has autistic traits. Everyone has their inner world, their perception, their glass house.

A home too far “Дом слишком далеко” (2019)

Director: Adel Mohaghegh

Country: Russian Federation

Duration: 15:00

Synopsis: A short story about a girl in love

Virap (2019)

Director: Alice Osipian

Country: Russian Federation

Duration: 20:31

Synopsis: Fifteen-year-old Maya moves with her family to Moscow. The big city pushes the girl away, adaptation also falls on the transition age. This story is about finding light in the darkest of times.

Twinless (2019)

Director: Sapir Danan, Ronalee Israel

Country: Israel

Duration: 06:20

Synopsis: This is Millie’s story, the story of a young woman dealing with the pain and loss that have tormented her since the prenatal death of her twin sister. On her birthday, Millie is drawn through her birthday cake into the depths of her memory. This journey exposes her maturation process in the shadow of the lost twin, her feeling towards this lost opportunity brought about by fate, and her contemplations of what could have been. 

The Hermit in the Night (2019)

Director: Rodolfo Lissia

Country: Italy

Duration: 13:00

Synopsis: Inspired by the mystical Dante Alighieri’s “Divine Comedy (Hell, Purgatory, Heaven)”, the story narrates the metaphorical journey of Orfeo, young wanderer of the night, as an occasion to reflect upon himself and the modern world that surrounds him. A stream of consciousness of contemporary youth in a Europe dominated by populisms, extremisms and uncertainties.

Yellow Mountain (2018)

Director: Xinyi Yang

Country: China

Duration: 09:28

Synopsis: Sun Ran struggles to be a painter like her brother. Considering her artistic pursuit and the circumstances of her family, she makes a decision finally.


DOCUMENTARY SELECTION   |   DECEMBER 2019

A Short Story (2019)

Director: Michał Ciechomski

Country: Poland

Duration: 14:00

Synopsis: “The first thing I saw was a chair, all stained with dried up blood, on the floor between cockroaches I saw the remnants of detached, human skin. Everything had to be disinfected, but firstly I ought to empty the entire apartment to zero. ”  The main protagonist of the film is an IKEA employee, who also works a second time in a cleaning company cleaning after dead bodies, to earn financially for finishing a new flat. The hero loops in the ritual of work selling kitchen arrangements, emptying and cleaning other people’s apartments and finishing his own. The film presents a few key days in the life of the protagonist in a cool and raw way.

Music Is My Life (2019)

Director: Alex Djordjevic

Country: United States

Duration: 25:45

Synopsis: Out of a population of roughly 2,500 Roma people in Vladincin Han (Southeastern Serbia), less than 10 are currently employed.  Even with help from several charitable organizations, this culture of unemployment is slow to improve.  Many of the youth in this community will face a future of collecting recyclables, working odd jobs, or living off social welfare.  While there is a growing emphasis for education among many of the families, music has always played an important role in the community when there was no other way to earn a living.  Children are raised to appreciate music and many seem to be born with a natural ability to perform.  Families who manage to earn income through performing are often able to reach a higher standard of living.   I tried to document the people and places of this region and the role music has played in shaping their communities over the centuries. I was especially interested in how music helped shape the lives of the youth, how and why they were drawn to the instruments they played, and what they hope to achieve in the future. 

The Мemory of the North (2019)

Director: Sergey Filatov

Country: Russian Federation

Duration: 27:07

Synopsis: The history of military operations in the north during the Second World War is not so well known to a wide audience as the Battle of Stalingrad, the Leningrad blockade, the defense of Moscow. But the exploits accomplished by the soldiers of the Red Army here will forever remain in the memory of the Russians and Norwegians living here, beyond the Arctic Circle.  “The memory of the North” is a story about the defense and liberation of the Soviet Arctic and northern Norway from the Nazis, and about the reasons why it must not be forgotten.

ANIMATION SELECTION   |   DECEMBER 2019

Lost Eye (2019)

Director: Sarah Pannekoek

Country: Netherlands

Duration: 02:10

Synopsis: Wanda is riding her horse, when suddenly  the horses eye gets stolen by a group of birds! She travels through a strange world and meets amazing creatures. Will she find the missing eye and return safely back home? Lost Eye is an animated music video, the story is told in both animation and song.

“glimmen” (KRYPT III) (2019)

Director: Lars Nagler

Country: Germany

Duration: 20:30

Synopsis: in “glimmen“ protagonist FRAME is enabled to escape from a self-destructive industrial dystopia in order to approach his senses, empathy, self-knowledge and own strength again after this stupid and faceless phase of his existence and to perceive the outside world, freedom, dreams and joy in general. During this odyssey he is regressively brought back to his evolutionary origin – and thus to a new beginning of himself, in whatever shape, form and environment it will be. FRAME is accompanied by two godlike superordinate voices who support him as “escape helpers”. A circle in circles closes and circles on… – a little story about independence and against oppression.

ROBOT WILL PROTECT YOU (2018)

Director: Nicola Piovesan

Country: Estonia

Duration: 10:00

Synopsis: A sci-fi animation about a little girl’s search for meaning in a world without emotions.


EXPERIMENTAL SELECTION   |   DECEMBER 2019

Antique (2019)  

Director: Ross Berkeley Simpson

Country: United Kingdom

Duration: 09:37

Synopsis: Maia (late twenties) wakes in an empty room.  She has been kidnapped, and her captor is toying with her – withholding food and water, bringing in items for her to use at certain times and even, for a short time, bringing her someone to talk to. Maia cannot work out why her captor is doing this. When she finally learns the shocking truth, she realises that her life, and the lives of all humans will be changed forever. 

Mechanotopia (2019)

Director: Jeremias Altmann

Country: Austria

Duration: 03:48

Synopsis: In his short movie Mechanotopia Jeremias Altmann takes us through the bowels of his self-designed machine city. Similar to film projection, however, the machine city also lives solely on the reflected rays of light that it produces. The glow defines the rhythm of our visit like the heavy breath of one nearly sleeping monster. The past and future of the technoid micro architecture remain uncertain, especially since we as visitors only receive a fleeting, atmospheric insight. Apart from the construction work on the model, Altmann used a variety of sound recordings of his favorite everyday appliances (microwave, bathroom and motorcycle engine) to create a complex sound-foundation finely coordinated grows together with the images presented in Mechanotopia.

The animal that therefore I am (2019)

Director: Bea de Visser

Country: Netherlands

Duration: 10:37

Synopsis: “What does the animal see when it looks at me?” Three animals and a woman in an enclosed space. As they study each other, their own methods of communication create a wordless conversation. We view them in close-up and from various perspectives, with the woman as a solitary species in this universe. 

CUT COPY SPHINX (2018)

Director: Virginia Lee Montgomery

Country: United States

Duration: 03:30

Synopsis: CUT COPY SPHINX is a surreal, sculptural short art-film about metaphysics, myth, and destruction. A feminist twist on the classical myth of Oedipus and the Sphinx, CUT COPY SPHINX recasts the sphinx as the uncanny hero who endures ‘cuts’ across time. Shot en plein aire on a miniature prop-set with real materials like a Dewalt drill, a gallon of honey, and imagery of an often-copied 18th century garden sphinx, CUT COPY SPHINX is a conceptual art-film syncing philosophy, feminism, and image theory. The film is hand-made; directed, edited, scored, and performed by Texas artist, Virginia Lee Montgomery.