April 2020 – Moscow Shorts Official Selection


NARRATIVE SELECTION   |  APRIL 2020

Bully

Director: Adhip Iyer

Country: India

Duration: 23:57

Synopsis: A 12 year old boy struggles with bullying at school.

Plantonic (2019)  

Director: Krit Komkrichwarakool

Country: Canada

Duration: 14:44

Synopsis: A unique relationship flourishes between an aspiring artist and a plant man growing in his garden.

A leaf (2019)

Director: Andrea Bighi

Country: Italy

Duration: 06:10

Synopsis: An old artist does not accept that leaves, simply, fall down.     

Little French Fish (2019)

Director: Eva Lanska

Country: United Kingdom

Duration: 12:53

Synopsis: Lea is an artist from an Eastern European Jewish family. Djamil is а young man from the Middle East. They accidentally meet in Paris and fall in love. Their story is filled with passion, romance, and profound tenderness, but it cannot last long as they choose family traditions over their own happiness. Being apart is unbelievable, but will they change their mind if one day they have a second chance? One day, when they accidentally spot each other in a dark cinema hall.

THE SECRET BOX – The Rise of Paperboy (2019)

Director: G.S. Leitgeb

Country: Ireland

Duration: 10:00

Synopsis: As part of THE SECRET BOX Trilogy, THE RISE OF PAPERBOY comes to us as a stand-alone motion picture short, introducing us to a 7-year-old Paperboy and letting us witness his first encounter with ancient paranormal forces in 1885. An abandoned street-kid in the docks of New England, Codie ‘Paperboy’ Basket is present when old adventurer Abe T. Huxley and his bunch of henchmen fail to open a lost wooden box. Facing this group of shady giants, Codie needs to pluck up all his courage and put his mind to the test, being the only one capable of unlocking the box. A path opens in front of Codie, that will lead him to become the true ringmaster of moving pictures, and the founder of the quirky Entertainment Network KTC® in 1964.  NOTE: Trailer and Screener are not the official release versions and only suited for internal festival-staff. Intro & Outro Credits are currently just placeholders. For promo versions suited for public, please get in contact with submitter.  NOTE: The official website is still under construction as well.

Thirty Minutes (2020)

Director: Claire Elizabeth Terry

Country: Spain

Duration: 18:19

Synopsis: A woman, Lucy, is so lonely in the digital age that she becomes a call girl, not for the money, but because it’s the only way she can be assured of someone to talk to. 

Glint (2019)

Director: Grant Janes

Country: United States

Duration: 19:45

Synopsis: When a struggling, single parent is confronted with the onset of a bizarre mental illness, she must decide if she is losing her mind…or if her visions portend a deeper meaning.

AMERICAN MARRIAGE (2018)  

Director: Giorgio Arcelli Fontana

Country: Italy

Duration: 14:45

Synopsis: Leonardo, an Italian immigrant who lives in New York, marries a Latina woman, Nikki, to obtain the American greencard. Through the comedy of it all Nikki and Leo fall in love “for real” but it looks like “Uncle Sam” will be the one to have the last laugh.

Decliners

Director: Georg Tüchert

Country: Austria

Duration: 06:30

Synopsis: Two teenagers decide to commit suicide. They arrange to meet in a forest to execute their plan.     

Silence (Ciúnas) (2019)

Director: Tristan Heanue

Country: Ireland

Duration: 12:35

Synopsis: A couple embark on a journey in the midst of a family crisis.

Ecclesiastes (2020)

Director: Lola Rùi

Country: United States

Duration: 04:28

Synopsis: Beyond our known time space the human being discovered the sacred code that made them immortal, covering with obscurity their days for ever…

FOR GOOD (2019)  

Director: Natalia Parashkina, Svetlana Obidina

Country: Russian Federation

Duration: 20:37

Synopsis: In 1904 in Russia corporal punishment at educational institutions was banned by an Edict of His Majesty-The Emperor. In the town of N. the director of a Grammar-School catches a teacher whipping grammar-school boys.  Though he could be laid off for doing that, he firmly believes that whipping is the only means to educate pupils. He pays a visit to the house of one of his pupil’s parents; one of the parents works as a local notary. The teacher does his best to convince the parents that their son will never become “a good person” without A whipping. Fearing for the future of her son, the notary’s wife agrees to let the teacher to whip the boy without any delay. The notary doesn’t approve of that. He begins to chase the teacher out. A struggle ensues between them. The wife invites the teacher to come and whip the boy late in the evening, while her husband is out. The teacher comes and they whip the sleepy boy after getting him out of his bed.      

Karmen (2018)

Director: Théo Groia

Country: France

Duration: 10:06

Synopsis: Karmen, a black and round thirties, has been working for an advertising agency for ten years. Informed of a sudden promotion, she is euphoric at the idea of ​​running an advertising campaign. But her overweight will prove to be a problem for her collaborators, who by dint of low blows will lead their association to a shipwreck. 

Lighthunger (2020)

Director: Lukas Kellner

Country: Germany

Duration: 16:54

Synopsis: Lighthunger. A typical symptom of patients, who suffer from Lebersche kongenitaler Amaurose, LCA for short. They are born with  eyesight, but bit by bit they will lose it. Laika has LCA. Today she lives alone, came to terms with the situation and wants to stay inconspicuous. Yet nobody knows her dark past. Nobody has seen her hidden strength. Nobody knows, that she only seeks one thing: revenge.  All earnings with the film and the DVD will be donated with no exception to the PRO RETINA Deutschland e.V. foundation.. PRO RETINA supports people with visual impairment.

Masterpiece (2019)

Director: Dasha Koroleva

Country: Hungary

Duration: 11:06

LEILA’s VIOLIN (2020)

Director: Ella Leya

Country: Azerbaijan

Duration: 15:00

Synopsis: After the loss of her mother, thirteen year old Leila is haunted by her mother’s bedtime tales of whirling dervishes, Kabbalistic faeries, and fire mountains… leading her on a journey of self discovery and reconciliation with music, visions, and a ghostly red violin, all within the remote countryside of Azerbaijan.

Coalescence (2018)

Director: Morgan Shaw

Country: United Kingdom

Duration: 13:35

Synopsis: When a new couple go on a country escape to the highlands, previously unrevealed aspects of themselves are surfaced. There is respite to be found in the bosom of Nature, but at a cost.

Before the Mountains (2020)

Director: José Mazeda

Country: Portugal

Duration: 20:16

Synopsis: In the village of Gralhas, Montalegre, where the values of tradition and honour are sacred, the theft of water dictates tragedy.

OG Handshake (2019)

Director: Ryan Burnham, Luke Robson

Country: United Kingdom

Duration: 04:27

Synopsis: Do you have a handshake with an old friend that you remember to this day? Jake and Gerrome certainly do, with a few little extras…

The Favor (2019)

Director: HENRY Bruno

Country: France

Duration: 14:24

Synopsis: CHRISTELLE works with PASCAL. They appreciate each other, are courteous to each other and are inclined to render each other mutually. But Christelle becomes strange, absent and bothered. One Sunday while Pascal is at home with his family, Christelle calls him and asks him to come because she has a problem. Worried, Pascal immediately goes home. There, she asks him to make him a child. Pascal, a good family man, is shocked and tries to bring her back to reason but the more he opposes, the more Christelle tries to convince and charm him. Subtitles Italien, Allemand, Anglais, Arabe, Chinois, Espagnol, Brésilien.

Death of the official (2020)

Director: Artem Gilemyanov

Country: Russian Federation

Duration: 15:08

Synopsis: The superstitious official finds out from a fortune teller, who he knows, that he gets to live only until sunset. But he has a chance to take all his wealth with him, if he buries himself with all of it in the special place. The official is not a Pharaoh, but he is sure that the proverb “You can’t bring everything that you own with you to the afterlife” is definitely not about him.

Mixed Reception (2019)

Director: Emma Richardson, Will Austin

Country United Kingdom

Duration: 05:20

Synopsis: Maid of Honour Joy gives a speech. But nothing is as it seems and the groom discovers more about his bride than he could ever have expected.

STUDENT SELECTION   |   APRIL 2020

Once There Was a Boy (2019)

Director: Antonious Bassily

Country: Egypt

Duration: 27:07

Synopsis: Karim , an 11 year old living with his father after his mother passed away. He asks his father to play Fifa on his playstation but his father gives him a time out after he breaks his work tools. In his room he accidentally drops his soccer ball out of the window and decides to go get it without his father knowing. On the street he meets Bibo, a kid who works with his brother in a mechanic workshop. They become friends and go play Fifa together . Their friendship takes Karim to a new life which ends in a fight with his father .

One Way Trip (2019)

Director: Elizaveta Keshisheva

Country: Russian Federation

Duration: 30:00

Synopsis: The last trip in the ambulance car. The car driver – a cheerful Armenian guy – comes to those, who can no longer be helped, for them he becomes a mediator between life and death. The road, meanwhile, shines with bright lights, erodes in an abstract pattern, yells with sirens. An inexorable countdown keeps going.

HOME (2020)

Director: Lina Margaitytė, Marius Krivičius

Country: Lithuania

Duration: 09:42

Synopsis: Early in the morning, the air-raid siren goes off. Mother’s darkest thoughts become true. She awakens her little son and hurries to pick up only the outfit that is at hand and runs out to protect their lives. In the boy’s room, deathly silence reigns with no hope that the family will ever come back there again.

The Feud (2020)

Director: Artemiy Repin

Country: United States

Duration: 14:21

Synopsis: Two feuding rose-growing families gather in a church for a double funeral of their patriarchs to sign a peace treaty, however, it quickly becomes clear to them that making peace is much harder than waging war.

The Foreigner (2020)

Director: Papillon Ariane

Country: France

Duration: 25:37

Synopsis: 2034, in a small town where people live under specific rules: Flat organization, food self-sufficiency, and above all, an amazingly accurate system of CCTV. Lou, 15, born in this Community, starts to question the values she was raised in, after Dorra, a Foreigner, has been welcomed in town.

All Good (2018)

Director: Luisa Ricar

Country: Switzerland

Duration: 18:58

Synopsis: All good. Party a little, some drugs, together suppress the seriousness of the world. All good. From weekend to another, open relationship, the occasional sex between friends. All good. Not being able to say no. Not being able to talk about. Not wanting to over react. Still, everything all good? – All Good is a drama about a young women who couldn’t say no but realizes that nothing is all good anymore.


DOCUMENTARY SELECTION   |   APRIL 2020

The Other Side – Mountain climber (2020)

Director: Rajeev Thottippully

Country: United Arab Emirates

Duration: 03:14

Synopsis: Martin a sales manager, lost one hand in a motor bike accident. However this doesn’t stops him going up. Always working on attaining physical and mental strength, Martin climbed up to the highest peaks.  The series of films depict the incredible journey of different lives among the expatriate community in the UAE, which comprises the larger chunk of it’s total population. The films portray different stories of people who manage to find time to follow their heart and pursue their passion. Depicting “the other side” of their lives, the film explores the minds of passionate people, and their lifestyle, on how they make the right use of their time and resources to do what they really love, amidst their busy work life.

Finally Free (2019)

Director: Monika Vaskorova

Country: Netherlands

Duration: 04:01

Synopsis: Short documentary Finally Free is talking about madness, the absurdity of existence and animal suffering which are recurring themes in the work of artist Gwen van der Zwan.  She processed offal into a floating zeppelin of 8 by 2 meters. The work is (with a hint of irony) about post-life freedom for the 350 pigs that are incorporated in it.

Music lives here (2019)

Director: Polina Stepanova

Country: Russian Federation

Duration: 26:30

Synopsis: Music has been living in Irkutsk Region Philharmonic Hall for 80 years already. The film tells us about the mission of a musician, about intergenerational continuity and how the hand of a master leads and directs his pupil. About the role of the conductor in the Symphony orchestra, the power of folk music, about the voices “flying to God”. Philharmonic music travels and gets to different parts of the world, and the rattling sound of tram becomes integral part of love and harmony (of Philharmonic).

The Kai (2020)

Director: Katherine Velikhova

Country: Russian Federation

Duration: 16:00

Synopsis: A short documentary about a brother and a sister who were separated in orphanage when they were kids.

WHEN MOM IS GONE (2020)

Director: Zeynep Gulru Kececiler

Country: Turkey

Duration: 28:36

Synopsis: “When Mom is Gone” is the story of a father and his six children trying to hold on to life.  Mohammed is left alone with his six children, the oldest of whom is 11 and the youngest is 2, in the mountain village of Sumara, in the city of Bamyan in Afghanistan. 9-year old Masume has quit school and is trying to be a mother to her siblings. 11-year old Jumahan, the eldest son, is working far away from his family. What has happened to leave Mohammed and his children in this condition? Why is Masume taking care of her siblings? Why is Jumahan working as a shepherd at a distant village away from his siblings? Yes, a father and his six little children in Afghanistan have to struggle hard.  Filmed in 35 days, the documentary demonstrates the micro-scale reflections of the devastation caused by the war in Afghanistan that has been going on for a decade. 

Of Mosquitoes And Men (2019)

Director: Madis Ligema

Country: Estonia

Duration: 28:33

Synopsis: Some of this planet’s mysteries we get. It fills us with great pride and satisfaction. But how can we claim some deeper insight into the ways of the world if we don’t fully understand ourselves, never mind the humble mosquito?  “Of Mosquitoes and Men“ is a contemplative journey into the habitat of creatures both large and small, fathered by the Estonian nature and its furtile soil. The mosquito has assumed the role of the smallest of the living beings, and man the most important of them all. This documentary delves deep into the symbiosis between the two and into our mission on this blue sphere we call home.

A World Without (2018)

Director: Xin Liu

Country: Canada

Duration: 15:00

Synopsis: The Rocky Mountains are the backbone of North America and have invaded the Gulf of Mexico from the Arctic. His name is simple and humble, but his blade is sharp and tenacious, demonstrating his character. In the mountains, he talks freely, but puts some messages directly to my heart. One day, when I was hiking in the Rocky Mountains of North America, I accidentally picked up an antler. This moment took me into the mountain of dreams and crossed the four seasons as soon as I left. I tried to use the camera to feel the true nature of nature. I approached him again and again, his climate, his mountains, the animals (mountain people) living here. Suddenly for a moment, the Rocky Mountain disappeared, the camera disappeared, and I disappeared. Everything was like a universe. The flow of the Milky Way, the cycle of life and death, and the presence of it, according to the standard, is the highest respect for life.

Mothers Of (2019)

Director: Ross Lai

Country: Canada

Duration: 21:03

Synopsis: El Salvador has some of the most extreme anti-abortion laws in the world. It is one of a handful of countries in the world where abortion is banned under all circumstances, including cases of rape and when a pregnancy poses a clinically verifiable risk to a woman’s health. As an extreme consequence of the law, women who have naturally occurring obstetric emergencies are routinely imprisoned on homicide charges. When they seek emergency care after miscarriages or stillbirths, doctors report them to the police on the suspicion of having an abortion. Between 2000 and 2011, 129 women in El Salvador were prosecuted for abortion or homicide when the fetal deaths occurred in the last months of pregnancy.  ‘Mothers of’ explores the hyper-strict abortion regulations in El Salvador through the story of Teodora del Carmen Vásquez, a woman forced to serve over 10 years in jail after suffering a stillbirth in her 9th month of pregnancy. Through Teodora’s perspective, we begin to understand how loss and motherhood are felt in the face of bitter social injustice.

ANIMATION SELECTION   |   APRIL 2020

Dead End (2019)

Director: Nir Berger

Country: Israel

Duration: 04:00

Synopsis: Dead End is an animated comedy web series set in a post-apocalyptic Israel. The year is 2020 and Jerusalem has been decimated by a nuclear war. Bickering teenage siblings Yarden and Kineret travel what remains of the city in search of their little brother who went missing in the aftermath of the bombing. In their travels they encounter various survivors of what was once Israel, only to find that very little had actually changed.  

Drought (2020)

Director: Mia Salera

Country: Canada

Duration: 05:30

Synopsis: In a post-apocalyptic deserted NYC, a young woman is on a quest to find the most important resource on the planet: water.   The Director is 21 years old.

CRISS CROSS (2020)

Director: Caroline Hamann, Fritz Penzlin

Country: Germany

Duration: 07:30

Synopsis: Criss Cross is a film about love and borders.  Which is stronger?  An unfortunate chain of events motivates a couple in love to try and defy the obstacles between them. Can they be overcome?  Or might digging underneath be a better solution? And just when you think it’s getting easier, bureaucracy and the past get in the way!

To the dusty sea (2020)

Director: Héloïse Ferlay

Country: France

Duration: 12:23

Synopsis: Left alone in the deepest of the summer, Malo and Zoe are trying their best to catch their mother’s elusive eye…

Fly (2019)

Director: morteza halimi

Country: Australia

Duration: 06:50

Synopsis: After losing his family as an egg, the little penguin finds his own reason to live. His reason is his desire to fly.

Just play (2020)

Director: Kirill Chikalin

Country: Russian Federation

Duration: 03:00

Synopsis: Two adult desk lamps play chess. A young playful lamp tries to understand the rules of the game, but in its own way. The young lamp jumps onto a chessboard and scatters all chess pieces, and ruins the game. Will the adults accept the new rules?

Her Voiceless Song (2020)

Director: Nobuyoshi Suzuki

Country: Japan

Duration: 16:25

Synopsis: The first video work by Nobuyoshi Suzuki who directed, animated, screenplay, music, sound design, and edited all by himself.This work depicts the heavy subject and sin of having a dog.I would like to see this work especially for those who have owned dogs, those who want to have dogs, and those who want to have dogs.


EXPERIMENTAL SELECTION   |   APRIL 2020

Tender is the Kiss (2020)  

Director: Longwei Deng

Country: United States

Duration: 15:00

Synopsis: Will he find the mysterious woman who might be the only one to prove his innocence?  

Death by Plastic (I) (2020)

Director: Tarek Shayne Tabet

Country: Germany

Duration: 00:58

Synopsis: A young woman mysteriously finds herself in front of a wall of plastic. She playfully interacts with the fluttering sheets.  They gradually surround her and attempt to asphyxiate, and kill her. She frantically tries to break away.

Plastic Flowers (2019)

Director: Υannis Zafiris

Country: Greece

Duration: 04:00

Synopsis: A fairy poisons the waters of the village. He is coming back thirsty. As he is looking for the fountain, he faces a desert place and some plastic flowers. A horse and a dog will keep him company till the end. 

The Eggs (2019)  

Director: Evgeniya Kachesova , Veronika Gurina

Country: Russian Federation

Duration: 09:22

Synopsis: An egg seems to be so simple and so complicated at the same time. It contains multiple meanings and symbols. This movie is some kind of mini investigation of such phenomenon as an egg. We study it, spin it, dig inside, and try to see the world through the egg’s eyes. It’s incredible how an average egg contains so many secrets. Imagine a new life that begins in a distinct space. This egg is fragile, firm, smooth, liquid, viscous, round, fast… But sometimes egg is just egg.  

L’Eclisse di Monica (2020)

Director: Amos G. Pellegrinelli

Country: Switzerland

Duration: 11:25

Synopsis: An actress, in an empty theater, is laid bare and forced to investigate her work and identity.

Align (2020)

Director: R.E. Wolfe

Country: United Kingdom

Duration: 07:22

Synopsis: ‘Align’ is a conceptual dance film that presents two radically different dance forms: ballet and pole dance. Starring Californian born professional ballet dancer Casey Nokomis Pereira and British actress and dancer Holly Weston, our black and white film is set in a North London studio and cuts back and forth between the two dancers whilst they rehearse their sequences. The juxtaposition between the two crafts is demonstrated throughout, but our cinematographic choices also allow the audience to see the parallels between the two crafts and between these two women who are united in numerous ways, including rhythm, gracefulness and athleticism.    

Advocate Is Not Needed (2019)

Director: Artem Minakov

Country: Russian Federation

Duration: 25:00

Synopsis: Vasiliy Chertkov is accused of murder and is questioned by high-class lawyer from a big company who is sent to verify qualification. The lawyer convinces Chertkov that there will be no ‘case’ at all if he goes to one very profitable deal. What price should Chertkov pay to clear all the charges? And what secret is hidden behind the lawyer’s expensive suit?

MUSIC VIDEO SELECTION   |   APRIL 2020

Gashes (2020)

Director: Ri Shirotsuki

Country: Latvia

Duration: 04:24

Synopsis: “Gashes” is played and composed using real plants, as seen in the beginning of the music video.  The production was completed with a large team of volunteers – and we would be more than happy if you would be interested in promoting the result.  Waterflower is the stage name of multimedia artist Sabine Moore. Starting in 2006 under the alias “Kroffork”, she was one of the first female solo acts in electronic music in Latvia.  “Waterflower” creates her audio-visual worlds to help cope with growing up in-between cultures (born in Latvia during the fall of the Soviet Union, later schooled in the UK), creating her own reality, which portrays a new, original identity that is both Northern, Eastern and Central European. As with many identities, there are many layers to what creates us each as our own individuals; whispers of the past, present and future, cohering as one. Any gashes we once suffered, with time they will all heal – as our desires, as our pain.  The music video features archetypal figures: The Statues (the past), The Shield (the dog), The Green Man (the present) and Waterflower herself: the timeless flower that blooms within the past, present and future).

The Spongetones “Too Clever By Half” (2019)

Director: Steve Boyle

Country: United States

Duration: 03:02

Synopsis: The Spongetones are known as the godfathers of Power Pop.  This genre of music is melodic pop, played by Rock combos and heavily influenced by The Beatles.  This is an unusual song by the band since it’s mostly performed by strings and percussion, similar to some of the unique tracks found on 1967 Beatles’ albums.  The production challenge to producer/director Steve Boyle was he had a studio cyclorama, a camera, lights, two actors and some occasional props and that was it.  The editorial style is an update on 1966 Pop Art color-washed multi images along with a hint of a 1967 semi-psychedelic instrumental break.  This matched well with the tone poem word play of the lyrics – offering partial storyline images that are busy, trippy and overall, colorful.  It’s a fun two-and-a-half minute video you’ll have to watch more than once to take it all in.

Hanen  “Breathe” (2020)

Director: Wit Dziki

Country: Poland

Duration: 03:33

Mama (2020)

Director: Tonio Krueger

Country: Switzerland

Duration: 03:53

Synopsis: A short story about the lost of motherly love.

Sounds (2019)

Director: Leonid Kolosovskyi

Country: Russian Federation

Duration: 12:07

Synopsis: Couple in love capture sounds surrounding them. These sounds become the symbol of their feelings and one day they are reborn to the songs. Eventually, feelings change, sounds change and songs change too, till they’re gone forever. This film shows the parallel between couple relationship transformation and surrounding them sounds.

Settle Down (2020)

Director: Tonio Krueger

Country: Switzerland

Duration: 03:57

Synopsis: if you are taking no advice.