January 2020 – Moscow Shorts Official Selection


NARRATIVE SELECTION   |  JANUARY 2020

The Botanist (2019)

Director: Giancarlo Tocchini, Kyle Doohan

Country: United States

Duration: 12:09

Synopsis: A botanist in the 1970’s sets out in search of a rare mushroom in the wilderness of Montana.   Starring Jimmy Gagarin as “Jonah Fludd.”

EPILOG (2019)  

Director: Rolf Hellat

Country: Switzerland

Duration: 09:17

Synopsis: About ascents and outflows in an overripe sunflower field. “EPILOG” tells a story that begins where it ends, where everything is said, but where one can’t really let go of the other, where there is still an old familiarity and a new odd stranger.

The Last Caravan (2019)

Director: Lev Brodinsky

Country: Israel

Duration: 13:07

Synopsis: The year is 1994. A caravan site, built by the Israeli Government for immigrants from the Soviet Union, is about to be dismantled. Ilya (9) remains to defend the caravan of his grandfather,Jenia, who refuses to be evacuated.     

STICKER (2020)

Director: Georgi M. Unkovski

Country: Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of

Duration: 18:45

Synopsis: After an unsuccessful attempt to renew his car registration, Dejan falls in a bureaucratic trap that tests his determination to be a responsible father.

SIN CIELO (2019)

Director: Jianna Maarten

Country: United States

Duration: 24:53

Synopsis: A young boy in a Mexican border town hustles any way he can to help his family but learns some very cruel realities when the girl he likes gets ‘disappeared’. Based on trues stories from La Frontera.

HARBOR (2018)  

Director: Paul Marques Duarte

Country: France

Duration: 24:55

Synopsis: When Adèle, an english teacher, spontaneously lets a young 15 years old migrant, illegaly board a ferry for england with her class, she is far from grasping the importance of her gesture and its consequences on this overnight trip. 

Grace (2019)

Director: Vardan Akobyan

Country: United States

Duration: 04:45

Synopsis: Synopsis fort short movie “Grace” She hated everyone around her, but she got a secret to change her mind.

Out of the Can (2019)

Director: Nathan Raine

Country: Canada

Duration: 04:14

Synopsis: After forgoing a key funeral custom, six pallbearers make a grave mistake.

Galchonok (2019)

Director: Evgenia Olihver

Country: Russian Federation

Duration: 13:20

Synopsis: It’s a little story about a big fear. The main hero Galya hate her own things. Her Boyfriend Stats call her as a “Galchonok” (*it’s the diminutive name of jackdaw – bird in Russian) and she accept all his regards and caress. She believes that she is a real bird and her main fly will come soon in the future.  Stats and “Galchonok” are from the others “worlds”: she is a person with the subtle mental organization, big dreamer and daydreamer; but he is very strong rich man, very rational and serious. How log their relations would going on? Could Galya open her main fear to Stats in the future?

Ecology lesson (2019)

Director: Ivan Sosnin

Country: Russian Federation

Duration: 19:31

Synopsis: This is the story of a biology teacher who teaches his students to protect nature. He starts with a separate garbage collection and then opposes the construction of a mall in the park and tries to save it. The script of the film was written based on a real story in Yekaterinburg. Citizens protest against the construction of the temple on the site of the park. As a result, construction was stopped, and the park was saved.

The roof (2020)

Director: Aleksandr Razbash

Country: Russian Federation

Duration: 19:17 Synopsis: Liza is a 25-year-old young woman living in Moscow with her helicopter parents who have been controlling her life since she was a child and now spy on her even when she goes dating. After making friends on the Internet with Timur, Liza accepts his invitation and runs off to St. Petersburg as a way to have revenge on her smothering parents. Still, she can’t shake the feeling that she is being followed and watched by them. Liza wants to teach her parents a lesson, but then her game goes too far.

STUDENT SELECTION   |   JANUARY 2020

A fair deal( 2019)

Director: Garry Savenkov

Country: Germany

Duration: 08:07

Synopsis: After shopping in an antique shop, Jan finds  a flyer that offers him an irresistible offer: ” Time machine for only € 350″. Although Jan knows that it can only be a joke, his curiosity forces him to stop by. Jan does not trust the seller, who nevertheless assures him that the machine works perfectly and can transport it at any time.

Matryoshka (2019)

Director: Jenny H

Country: United States

Duration: 05:29

Synopsis: A mother and a daughter are encased inside a giant Matryoshka doll, where the pair cycles through an endless chase of cannibalism and metamorphosis.

CHASE (2019)

Director: Joseph Al-Ahmad

Country: Bulgaria

Duration: 04:47

Synopsis: In an unknown place, an unknown man is trying to escape his well-known fate.

DRAGUE & DROP (2019)

Director: Killian Diquet

Country: France

Duration: 02:35

Synopsis: Steve inadvertently sends his declaration of love to Li. He tries to hold back the message, which propels him into the cyberspace. Which he crosses to land in Li’s room, which responds favorably.

WORDPLAY (2019)

Director: Vickie Boschiero

Country: France

Duration: 02:34

Synopsis: Phil, a quirky cruciverbalist’s finds his job at stake when the journal decides to shut down his section. He rehearses his speech to the board at home whilst shedding his layers of protection. He finally faces the board despite being socially vulnerable for the first time, and finds the confidence he did not know he had.

Tomate (2019)

Director: Floriane Burgun

Country: France

Duration: 03:19

Synopsis: Hana is alone on a bench, children are playing when suddenly, a ball rolls at her feet. Intimidated, she takes it but gets up in a strange world. 

Pushkin’s Pants (2019)

Director: Lev Brodinsky

Country: Israel

Duration: 08:00

Synopsis In the 1990s, Israel established government-built caravansites for Russian and Ethiopian immigrants. Abraham, a 9-year-old immigrantfrom Ethiopia, teaches himself Russian in order to survive the difficultconditions, and creates a unique bond with Marina, his neighbor who immigratedfrom Russia. 

NOVEMBER 1ST (2019)

Director: Charlie Manton

Country: United Kingdom

Duration: 24:41

Synopsis: Traveling to witness the execution of her son’s murder, a mother is torn between retaliation and reconnecting with her estranged daughter. 

Something is happening (2018)

Director: Roman Ďuriš

Country: Slovakia

Duration: 18:54

Synopsis: Viktor works as a journalist on insignificant local television. Driven by his ambition, he begins to investigate on his own, who is behind the violent acts in his city. When he finally uncovers it, then begins the most difficult moral decision of his life.


DOCUMENTARY SELECTION   |   JANUARY 2020

Remember The Rain That Made Your Corn Grow (2019)

Director: Xavier Girard Lachaîne

Country: Canada

Duration: 12:12

Synopsis: First film on the vibrant Haitian culture in Montreal through music, food and culture. Montreal’s Haitian community now makes up the largest non-European ethnic group in Canada and the rise and influence of Haitian Canadians on Montreal’s creative culture is undeniable. This film assemble the only soundtrack ever made by Montreal recording artist and producer High Klassified (Future, The Weeknd) and first film by director Xavier Girard Lachaîne.

In the Footsteps of Ghosts / РПо следам призраков (2020)

Director: Geraint Rhys

Country: United Kingdom

Duration: 18:18

Synopsis: It is almost 30 years since the Soviet Union came to an end, yet contemporary Russia, and more importantly, contemporary Russian artists are still using this past to fuel their creativity.  One of the leading artists in this movement is Pavel Otdelnov. His works grapple with life growing up in the post-industrial landscapes of Dzerzhinsk, where abandoned chemical factories are numerous and continue to impact the environment which surrounds them.  Through his paintings Pavel explores ideas of loss, nostalgia, family, environmental damage and a deep sense of place.  These works have reverberated throughout Russia and beyond, being included in collections in the State Russian Museum, Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow Museum of Modern Art, Academy of Arts, Moscow Union of Artists, Kovcheg gallery, Gorbachev Foundation and private collections in Russia, United States, Germany, Italy, Spain, Poland and many other countries.  In the Footsteps of Ghosts takes us into Pavel Otdelnov’s studio in Moscow as he describes to us the inspiration behind many of his works.   Not only is this film an exploration into the mind and work of the artist, but also a deep reflection on the relationship between society and place.’

ANIMATION SELECTION   |   JANUARY 2020

Hesar (Gate) (2019)

Director: Nomadic Alternative, Farnaz Ohadi

Country: Canada

Duration: 05:04

Synopsis: The video is the backdrop for the song “Hesar” from Farnaz Ohadi’s Persian Flamenco debut album. It focuses on themes of Iranian women’s struggles, immigration, mental health and the artist’s  journey when she arrived in Canada in 1990. The movie traces the journey of the artist from her home land, Iran to Canada, the angst and confusion and pain of immigration and finally choosing to put down roots in a new land.

Last supper (2019)

Director: Piotr Dumała

Country: Poland

Duration: 13:00

Synopsis: A tragedy of a group of men sitting at a table and moving to the rhythm of contemporary music played by a string quarter – the Last Supper of Jesus and 12 Apostles

Rain (2019)

Director: Piotr Milczarek

Country: Poland

Duration: 05:00

Synopsis: ‘The Rain’ is a simple animated film on collective consciousness. It talks about how no accountability for our actions pushes us to thoughtlessly follow the crowd, which may lead to a tragedy. The film also depicts a struggle of an individual with collective hypnosis and its consequences for both the individual and the crowd.

Time in the Forest (2018)

Director: Juan Paulín

Country: Mexico

Duration: 06:33

Synopsis: A ghost of the past that persists in staying there, a history of heartbreak inspired by the aztec legend of the Iztaccíhuatl  and Popocatépetl volcanoes


EXPERIMENTAL SELECTION   |   JANUARY 2020

Landslides (2020)  

Director: Caroline Déodat

Country: France

Duration: 11:40

Synopsis: All it takes is a dream to chase one’s own track. With the fantasies of erased rituals appear the memories never lived. They arise with the sound of wind and waves, caress the most familiar places, glide in the woods, in the sea, in the cemeteries and in the backyards. The dancer follows them step by step.  Following the pulsation of a slow rhythm, Landslides exhumes dreams and reanimates memories in layers of landscapes. Reality flashes. The images may appear in today’s scenery in the form of a pre-recorded archive.   Ethnographic film and video art, this film involves the interstices of loss, lack and oblivion often invoked with regard to songs, music and dances inherited from slavery in Mauritius. 

OMI (2020)

Director: Mira Ravald

Country: Finland

Duration: 13:44

Synopsis: OMI is an ode to water on a thin surface of a tight wire.   Inspired by mythologies of water deities, the short film OMI is a blend of dance and circus, combining elements of both afro-Cuban and Finnish folklore.  Exploring the similarities of these opposite cultures and balancing within duality, OMI pays homage to the water deity Yemaya and the serene Finnish landscape of lakes and forests.

Star Spangled Brighton Beach (2020)

Director: Lynn Bianchi

Country: United States

Duration: 02:51

Synopsis: We are presented with a picture of a regular day on Brighton Beach. The beach goers are enjoying the sun and the sea while a woman in the foreground is looking intently at something in the distance… Meanwhile a whole other world is coming alive inside of her body as if on a canvas.

noonwraith blues (2020)

Director: Kamila Kuc

Country: United Kingdom

Duration: 03:29 Synopsis: Ominous cinegrams of Albrecht Dürer’s Melencolia print intercut, like cascading scythes, with depictions of a woman in a field, evoking repetitions that exist in harvest rituals, as well as in gestures of madness. Specters of familial anxieties creep into this loose take on the myth of Południca (noonwraith or Lady Midday), a Slavic harvest spirit that could cause madness in those who wandered the fields alone.

MUSIC VIDEO SELECTION   |   JANUARY 2020

Christmas morning (2019)

Director: karni and saul

Country: United Kingdom

Duration: 02:48

Synopsis: a duvet fantasy animation.for jack savoretti. duvet dwellers live in a secret soft blanket cave in a kids room.mixed media live action and animation . casual fantasy. by karni and saul

Regression (2019)

Director: Ophir Benshimon

Country: Israel

Duration: 02:59

Synopsis: A guard at the mall finishes his boring shift and returns home. Happy moments from the past do not give him rest when he has to deal with his mature and routine life

Marsel – Go overseas (2019)

Director: Egor Myasnikov

Country: Russian Federation

Duration: 03:43

Synopsis: In our cities, stars have not been seen for a long time. The only lights that we see are the light from the windows of the buildings opposite. It is a story about a boy who wants to see the stars, and his best friend – a faithful dog. Together they go on a journey to the dream.

Dolphin – J2000.0 (2019)

Director: Ivan Sosnin

Country: Russian Federation

Duration: 04:33

Synopsis: It is a story about love, which left so little in our world. To revive it, humanity needs the help of an extraterrestrial civilization.  Alien artefacts in the form of space-shaped jewelry are able to return to Earth the sincerity and love described in the song.

ARE THE STARS DYING? // Brian Burgan (2019)

Director: Damiano Daresta

Country: Italy

Duration: 04:46

Synopsis: The idea of the film clip started from a question, that is also the title of the song: are the stars dying?
The title of the song tormented me from the very beginning. 
I thought title and music were closely connected: through those notes I could image millions of stars shining. I felt that Brian could prompt me more demanding reflections with his music: it seemed he spoke of something divine, because stars are immortal if we compare their life to ours. 
I decided to personify the dying stars from the title as two women with different attitudes; two close blue spheres, attracted and pushed without stop. 
The idea to set the scene on the scion was as well related to the theme of stars. Because some plants, like the stars, live longer than men. It’s all a matter of duration. 
Everything else, came instinctively. Since the song is composed of three acts, the film clip follows the evolution of a love story of two women, like in a screenplay; first the dream, then the calling into question and the tragic end: the death of a star. 

Artur Rojek – “Sport Life” (2019)

Director: Michał Marczak

Country: Poland

Duration: 04:28

Synopsis: “Sportowe Życie” is Artur Rojek’s first single from the forthcoming album entitled “Kundel”. According to the artist himself, the song is about appreciating things. The music video was directed by Michał Marczak (Best Director Award at Sundance 2016 for “All These Sleepless Nights”), who previously worked on music videos for Radiohead, Mark Pritchard, and Monika Brodka.  The video for ”Sports Life” shows the story of two men, who thanks to the passion and hard work – not only physical but also creative, constructed a unique vehicle, in which they take part in illegal street races. The music video was made in an unreal and poetic convention, which was emphasized by the unique locations of Upper Silesia.

Vater (2020)

Director: Victoria Braunholz, Eric Stehfest

Country: Germany

Duration: 04:25

Synopsis: A music video of Berlin-based industrial techno artist Hartbrand whose father joined the right wing party AfD of Germany. A global sympton of failing communication between generations. ‘Vater’ is the artist’s analysis of his parent generation that lost course.