February 2020 – Moscow Shorts Official Selection

NARRATIVE SELECTION   |  FEBRUARY 2020

Fairyocious (2019)

Director: Fabien Ara

Country: France

Duration: 13:21

Synopsis: SIMON : ”I want to be a girl, mommy.” Alma freezes. She doesn’t know how to react: from now on, her 8-year-old son wants to dress up like a fairy to go to school. She asks for help from her neighbors. Soon the whole building is debating on Simon’s choice for gender orientation.

Digital Connection (2019)  

Director: Tarek Shayne Tabet

Country: Germany

Duration: 13:07

Synopsis: In a near future where digital avatars of the dead are created in Virtual Reality, a father cannot cope with the loss of his son.   He frequently visits him in Virtual Reality. By doing so he neglects his daughter and smears the line between Reality and its digital counterpart.

A Tale Of Salt And Sea (2019)

Director: Giuseppe Francesco Maione

Country: Italy

Duration: 25:00

Synopsis: A mother hides her children in the countryside, forcing them to a cloistered life without joy, freedom and taste. The children, now grown up and eager to know the world, break the rituals of the mother and face the consequences.     

The Prisoner (2019)

Director: Harvey Eaton

Country: United Kingdom

Duration: 05:20

Synopsis: A short psychological horror set in Victorian England, inspired by  ‘The Prisoner’, a poem by Emily Brontë.  A young woman tries to escape her oppressive marriage, but as her suffocating anxiety grows, she is unsure if she can escape the demon.

The Girl in the Jeep (2020)

Director: Alexey Zuev

Country: Russian Federation

Duration: 23:44

Synopsis: A small town life of 75 year old retired teacher seems empty and mundane. Everything changes when he meets a woman, whom he saves from fired up bandits. In that moment his past and present gain some meaning.

Home (2019)  

Director: Paul Morris

Country: United Kingdom

Duration: 19:40

Synopsis: When a lonely young girl meets a local farmhand claiming to be held captive, can she help him or will his secret keep them both prisoner? 

HERMA (2020)

Director: Beauron Eric

Country: France

Duration: 29:00

Synopsis: At the edge of the world, four men live on one abandoned island. One morning, a dead man is discovered in a boat. It’s the beginning of a series of catastrophes. The fish is dying, the sea is empty … Seán Beag, the young disciple of Marcus, then seeks to restore the order of things.

KRIM (2019)

Director: Manuel Hüttner

Country: Austria

Duration: 09:59

Synopsis: In a dystopian vision of the future, a mysterious secret agent is lost on a mission. When her commanding division picks her up again, they perform a series of tests in a harsh government facility.  They find something’s missing from her memories, a new objective that she is determined to keep to herself. A manipulative game of questions and answers evolves. KRIM is a transhumanist sci-fi thriller that asks how far we are willing to go.  It questions the human tendency to authoritarian structures, explores technological advances impacting the nature of conflicts and what freedom means to the individual identity.

Numb (2019)

Director: Rachel Wan

Country: Netherlands

Duration: 05:09

Synopsis: Numb is a short surreal story about a man’s bizarre day and how he just goes with it.  Carl is an ordinary man with an ordinary life. He is one of us. But his day is about to get a little unordinary. It starts with his morning coffee unexpectedly turning into some beer-like liquid. Then, as he opens the microwave for the leftover pizza he put in earlier, the bizarreness just continues.   Carl seems numb that he just rolls with all the surreal flow. But how are these bizarre occurrences any different from what’s happening in the world today? Carl is numb. But he is one of us.

Cavity (2019)

Director: Ian Adelson

Country: United States

Duration: 13:52

Synopsis: On a night out with friends in NYC, Cleo, a troubled and uncertain young actress is seduced by a mysterious figure at the bar.  A film about a young woman finding one’s strength in the darkest of times. A film starring, written and produced by Rebecca Knox.

Unwelcomed (2019)

Director: Hossein Mirzamohammadi

Country: Iran, Islamic Republic of

Duration: 21:00

Synopsis: Ladan ( an Iranian actress ) is supposed to be the main character of her husband’s (Arash ) first movie. It also will be the first appearance of her in a movie. However she has been acting in theatre for a long time. She does everything and rehearsing a lot to do her best in the movie. She also dropped her role in a play to increase her efforts in her role in the movie. Ladan knows it’s not easy to be an actress in Iran. But, she is determined to be recognized by her role in the movie. Just before the shooting starts, she finds out that, Arash and the producer of the movie have swapped her with another girl because, she offered them money for the movie production. So, Ladan faces two choices, her dream work or her life . But, she chooses revenge.

Akam (2019)

Director: Hossein Mirzamohammadi

Country: Iran, Islamic Republic of

Duration: 16:07

Synopsis: Akam is a 10 years old Kurdish boy, who lives in a village far from city. On a day of his sister’s wdding , he is told by his father to go beyond the village to bring him some bricks to fix the main pool in village for the wedding ceremony. So, Akam leaves the village and, when he gets back, he faces a disaster. He finds everyone dead exept his mother, who is deaf and, doesn’t have any idea of what happened when Akam was gone.

Air Seller (2020)

Director: Soran Ebrahim

Country: Iraq

Duration: 10:07

Citizen (2019)

Director: Mehdi Mokhtari

Country: Iran, Islamic Republic of

Duration: 25:00

Synopsis: There is an organization which believes that people should make themselves empty from anger so that no crimes will happen. Therefore they give special services to people.

TIMES (2020)

Director: Anya Semenova

Country: United States

Duration: 01:40

Synopsis: A story of how to get to the wrong place at the wrong time in exactly 2 minutes.

Bad Furniture (2020)

Director: Randall Maxwell

Country: United States

Duration: 09:59

Synopsis: A man insists on being furniture for his wife.

After the Hunt (2019)

Director: Urška Djukić

Country: Slovenia

Duration: 19:00

Synopsis: Silva, a middle – aged woman and an ardent hunter, decides to take her teenage daughter for a first hunt. But the initiating trip doesn’t exactly go as she would have wished. Silva returns home n ot with a wild boar, but with a doubt about her identity.

The Bull (2019)

Director: Bojan Labović

Country: Slovenia

Duration: 12:17

Synopsis: Milan Veber, a 40-year-old unemployed art teacher, has been without a job and, of course, also chronically broke for quite a while. He lives in a cheap small studio apartment that he rents in what used to be a lively working-class quarter of an industrial city, feeling too young to grow old and too old to start over – until the moment when he wants to open a can of beef stew after a night of drinking. At that point he looks through the window and sees a bull in the street. A bull who has just escaped from the slaughterhouse.

Paradise (2019)

Director: Mitja Ličen, Sonja Prosenc

Country: Slovenia

Duration: 25:00

Synopsis: Anna and Lars are staying on a remote Mediterranean island for their summer holidays. It feels like paradise, until an unexpected encounter puts their relationship to a test and makes them re-evaluate what they want from each other.

Sixth Grade (2020)

Director: Yuzhuo Wang

Country: China

Duration: 18:06

Synopsis: Gege, a sixth-grade girl, is moving away from the old neighborhood because her parents have decided to send her to one of the best middle schools of the city. She, with her best friend Wanli – a boy, in order to ‘be together forever’, comes up with many tricks to prevent her parents from moving, but finally realizes that nothing could be changed, they have to say goodbye. At last, however, Wanli comes up with an idea…

RUFUS (2019)

Director: Oskar Zakrzewski

Country: Poland

Duration: 18:39

Synopsis: Dark comedy about Janek, who wants something more from life. More money, more splendor, more respect. Unfortunately he doesn’t know how to achieve it. He works in a car workshop with his best friend Tomek. Things get complicated when Janek’s to do a “favor” to Mr. Marian – the rich and influential father of his girlfriend.

Let the World go on Sleeping (2020)

Director: Michael Charles Slavich

Country: United States

Duration: 11:31

Synopsis: Depicting a vision, Let the World go on Sleeping grounds us in an unfamiliar dream. Greeted by a chain of mothers and fathers, a man must make peace with his world in order to save it.

The Mother (2020)

Director: Le Huy Anh

Country: Viet Nam

Duration: 04:42

Synopsis: An adult man’s journey to find his childhood again.

STUDENT SELECTION   |   FEBRUARY 2020

Year of the Dog (2018)

Director: Vasily Ilyinsky

Country: Russian Federation

Duration: 09:40

Synopsis: Grandparents are waiting for their guests, a beloved grandson with his wife, since early morning. Their visits are so rare these days. On New Year’s everybody sits at the festive table reminiscing about the passing year, youth, life. And what is there for them in the New Year – the Year of the Dog?

Something More (2019)

Director: Varvara Šatunova

Country: Czech Republic

Duration: 06:28

Synopsis: Obsession: static and dynamic process at the same time. The Mathematician produces large quantity of numbers and formulas, however they are constantly sent back to his table, with plenty of dissatisfied comments. The protagonist slowly enters the cycle of redefinition of one and the same thing.

LA PETITE FOLIE (2019)

Director: Massimo Zannoni

Country: United Kingdom

Duration: 12:33

Synopsis: Occupied Paris 1943. A group of misfits, comrades in the underground bohemian lifestyle, come together to defy the oppression of the new world order. As a group, they take one final stand to prove the resilience of the human spirit.

Die Schützin (2020)

Director: Simon Baucks

Country: Germany

Duration: 19:59

Synopsis: Wherever she appears, the shooter brings quick and painless death with great reliability. Shooting requires her to be completely immersed in the present. Death appears to her as great sleep, life as fleeting. But she tries to strike a balance between professional and private life, because she is in love – with a kindergarten teacher.

WORK SAMPLE (2019)

Director: Garry Savenkov

Country: Germany

Duration: 09:20

Synopsis: Middle Ages:Hans comes to an job interview for executioners. After a short conversation, he has to prove himself and  demonstrate a sample of work!


DOCUMENTARY SELECTION   |   FEBRUARY 2020

ASCONA (2019)

Director: Julius Dommer

Country: Germany

Duration: 15:00

Synopsis: ASCONA shows a place that seems to have fallen out of time, that has not changed since the 1950s but still exists. A miniature golf course becomes a social analysis analogy.  ASCONA shows protagonists who with dry humour describe the beginnings and difficulties of the course and the sport – between leisure and professional sport.  Reflecting the conversatism of the 1950s ASCONA features a cross-section of society.

Awake (2020)

Director: Matan Rochlitz

Country: United Kingdom

Duration: 16:25

Synopsis: Awake is a short film by Shift.ms that explores the interplay between Multiple Sclerosis, sleep and mental health. It is an experimental documentary film that unfolds over one night. Voices from real late-night phone calls are woven together to reflect on life and death from the unique perspective of those experiencing both insomnia and a neurological disease.

Bet on Yourself (2019)

Director: Harvey Eaton

Country: United Kingdom

Duration: 20:25

Synopsis: John Reeve, an 80 year old entrepreneur who started his life in war-torn England, now lives in the Caribbean as a cruise ship excursion mogul.   John owned an island-themed nightclub in the centre of Coventry, hosting crooners like Dusty Springfield, Liberace and Tom Jones. He intrepidly sailed across the Atlantic with no experience and no motor, has crashed at least three airplanes and two boats, lived with Pygmy Indians, had his skull caved in with a 4ft iron pipe, escaped from a Grenadian revolution, and entered the ’88 Winter Olympics as the US Virgin Islands bobsled team (yes, the same year as the Jamaicans).   Nothing in life has ever stopped John and he is an inspiration for everyone to go out, make mistakes and make a mark on the world.

Phoenix (2019)

Director: Florian Felix Koch

Country: Germany

Duration: 13:32

Synopsis: Markus is a professional BMX-Rider from Wuppertal, Germany. He nearly died in an assault in 2016. This documentary is about his mental process.

Alzheimer Cafe (2019)

Director: Martin Draksler

Country: Slovenia

Duration: 18:04

Synopsis: Ivan and Jožica, a married couple, move to a care home after 70 years of sharing their lives. Despite the hardships of old age, they continue to live together in the new environment. Memories are fading, love remains.

The Jewish Soldier and the Arab Doctor (2019)

Director: Rajiv Nair, Daniel Ostrem

Country: United States

Duration: 04:13

Synopsis: When Jewish IDF soldier Chen Schwartz was shot by a terrorist in Jerusalem, he was rushed in critical condition to Hadassah Hospital, where Israeli Arab doctor Ahmed Eid faced a tremendous challenge. Experience the remarkable story of what happened next in this Israel Collective film.

IN SANE 2020 (2020)

Director: PETER EVANCHUCK , HELENE LACELLE

Country: Canada

Duration: 17:33

Synopsis: Using our own limited resources what started as a home movie 20 years, 20,000k’s later IN SANE becomes a real and raw documentary: not rehearsed or scripted, we shot what unfolded as MARCO revealed his life as a bi polar, photographer travelling across Canada photographing UNESCO world heritage sites  living the life he loved as healing therapy.

ANIMATION SELECTION   |   FEBRUARY 2020

Shameless & More (2020)

Director: Fausto Montanari

Country: Italy

Duration: 01:34

Synopsis: The structure of this film is built around a series of daily life episodes where the concept of absence is the main protagonist of the scene. The irreverence of throwing out shitty ideas in a context where people cannot avoid considering them, the lack of support, of personal care, or of psychological depth are the elements that are ironically and metaphorically represented in this sequence of episodes, where the title of each one creates a fil rouge with the next. The irreverence of throwing out shitty ideas in a context where people cannot avoid considering them, the lack of support, of personal care, or of psychological depth are the elements that are ironically and metaphorically represented in this series, where the title of each one creates coherent sequence of episodes.

The Loop (2019)

Director: Anna Bolińska

Country: Poland

Duration: 04:21

The Music Box (2019)

Director: Joe Chang

Country: Canada

Duration: 11:29

Synopsis: The Great Chinese Cultural Revolution was a political campaign in China launched and led by Mao Zedong from 1966 to 1976. Nearly ten million people, including outstanding scientists, artists, intellectuals and ordinary people, died during these “Ten Years of Turnmoil” or “Ten Years of Holocaust.”  This animated short film is based on a real story and sets in China during the Cultural Revolution in 1967, It is about a young boy Liang Liang, whose family is suddenly taken to the countryside by Red Guards. He is able to grab the only thing he treasures which is a western style music box, and is careful not to expose it to the red guards since it was linked to western culture.   The film mirrors tragedies that befall children and families who are forced to leave their homes, due to war, colonization and political campaigns – unfortunately a situation which is all too common today.

Dreams Into Drawing (2019)

Director: Koji Yamamura

Country: Japan

Duration: 10:10

Synopsis: The painter KUWAGATA KEISAI lived over 200 years ago. He illustrated Ways to Sketch a series of picture books depicting humans and animals, all richly expressed. One day he was sketching a carp when suddenly he fell asleep and, in his dream, transfigured into a carp. The carp was enjoying his swim, but when a fisherman caught him things suddenly took a turn for the worse…

Triptych (2020)

Director: Sergey Maslov

Country: Not Specified

Duration: 03:25

Synopsis: ‘Triptych’ is a non-commercial short three-act film that reflects my attempt to visualize the laws and theories of the astrophysics in an art way. Also a few thoughts about the modern art are included in the narration.


EXPERIMENTAL SELECTION   |   FEBRUARY 2020

Tri-Alogue #4 (2020)  

Director: Caryn Cline, Linda Fenstermaker, Reed O’Beirne

Country: United States

Duration: 03:25

Synopsis: The subtle movement of a dancer’s arms invites three panels of film into one frame in this micro-symphony of sounds and images in which the changing light evokes the passing of times.  Human and non-human, interior and exterior co-exist in this highly improvisational yet serendipitous portrait of a changing Seattle in late August under a fire-choked sun.  Co-authored by Caryn Cline, Linda Fenstermaker and Reed O’Beirne on the same Bolex 16mm camera with a lens masked to subdivide the frame of the film roll into thirds. Since we shoot on the same roll of film, the editing (and therefore the choreography) is done in-camera.  Featuring dance & choreography by Emily Durand, and a score by Rachael Cohen with Andrea Di Biase.  By presenting three filmmakers work simultaneously within a single 16mm frame, the Tri-Alogue series offers a complexity of perspective that undermines the omniscient cinematic gaze and evokes a deeper relational mystery.    Collaborating to subdivide a 16mm filmframe into thirds, the three filmmakers present their separately-shot-segments simultaneously within one spatial plane. From the interplay of these three points of view, emerges a cinematic conversation based on a horizontal compositional logic within the shared frame. This combined connotative-relationship between the subframes evokes a spectacle of fractured spatial and temporal perspective. 

Huo Zhe (2020)

Director: Kino Lee

Country: Taiwan

Duration: 03:06

Synopsis: Hands are us, water is how the life treating us, and we as audiences are watching the life from far. The title “Huo Zhe” means “living” in Mandarin.

Fag-end (2020)

Director: Allana Chumachenko

Country: Russian Federation

Duration: 08:55

Synopsis: A young architect, struggling with disturbing dreams, performs a routine ritual, appearing every day at work, developing a project for a large company. Every day, over and over again, he begins to notice that the features of his own face, his voice, his laughter, the lines that his hand draws itself sometimes out of his control. All this reminds him of some other person, a person who is familiar to him from the childhood, but whom he has never met.

SEARCHING FOR THE PERFECT GENTLEMAN — AN INVESTIGATIVE JOURNEY (2019)

Director: Lena Windisch

Country: Germany

Duration: 09:55

Synopsis: Searching for the Perfect Gentleman is a documentary about the search of an African barber shop poster. The virtual journey takes the viewer to various African, European and Asian countries, in order to find the place where it was originally created, produced and sold. What seems easy in the beginning turns out to be a demanding process, yet an interesting experience in accessing information, communicating with people from totally different backgrounds and indulging in uncertainty, to celebrate the search itself — wherever it may lead. The film shows how boundaries between originality and reproduction merge, in a world where everything can be remixed and reprinted easily. Searching for the Perfect Gentleman tells a multi-layered story about trust, persistence and interconnectedness in a globalized world.

Memories from Now (2020)

Director: Katja Lell

Country: Germany

Duration: 10:11

Synopsis: How to remember images that had to be left behind, a language that we cannot speak any longer or the taste of tomatoes from our former garden in Russia? The film reconstructs my family’s gardens in Russia 1974/1994 and Germany 2019. The narration in the film circulates around fragments of memories, between strangeness and familiarity, distance and proximity. We raise our voices to reimagine another garden, a different language and a new home in a space in-between.

MUSIC VIDEO SELECTION   |   FEBRUARY 2020

Gulda (2020)

Director: Elena Molina

Country: Spain

Duration: 04:23

Synopsis: The internationally recognized as the terrible enfant of piano Francesco Tristano has not only recorded a new interpretation of “Prelude and Fuge”. Together with his illustrator friend Daniel Jimenez and under the direction of Elena Molina, they have recorded a video clip in a kind of happening, homage to Gulda and his rebel spirit.

Lucky Chops – Traveler (2019)

Director: Raman Djafari, Daniel Almagor

Country: Germany

Duration: 03:45

Synopsis: The music video for “Traveler” starts in a small forgotten village, a place that feels like it was left in the attic. It’s a place in stasis, where it’s hot and moist, so that the cloths stick to the body. Everything and everyone is waiting, staring, sinking into the ground. And then there’s a march, a start to an unknown adventure, a daring call by an unheard chant. Both are truths of a shivering dream. Where do they go, the ones that leave? What happens to the ones that stay? For now there’s only the beautiful uncertainty of a choice.

Bastille, Alessia Cara – Another Place (2019)

Director: Anna Radchenko, Jeremy Schaulin-Rioux

Country: United Kingdom

Duration: 04:00

Synopsis: Another Place is a surrealist music video directed by Anna Radchenko & Jeremy Schaulin-Rioux for English alternative rock band Bastille, featuring Canadian singer, songwriter Alessia Cara.  The video sees Bastille frontman Dan Smith as he struggles to keep his home from falling apart. All the while, a giant version of Alessia Cara looks through and taps on the windows sending shockwaves throughout the building.  Another Place stands as an evocative representation of a person’s distress caused by a breakup, seeking to keep one’s inner sanctuary intact by shutting off painful memories trying to make their way in.