November 2020 – Moscow Shorts Official Selection


NARRATIVE SELECTION   |  NOVEMBER 2020

The Politeness of Kings (2020)

Director: Saifi Haroun

Country: France

Duration: 19:55

Synopsis: Paris, in the heart of the 13th arrondissement, a rainy late afternoon. Chef Long finishes the service of the gourmet Chinese restaurant “Le Palais des Rois”. A mysterious customer calls to order, and the delivery does not go as planned …

Saiti: Son of Zouli (2019)  

Director: Amur Amerhanov

Country: Russian Federation

Duration: 30:00

Synopsis: Saiti: Son of Zouli. Historical Drama  Director: Amur Amerhanov Cinematographer: Alexandr Rodin Actors: Dugarhan Kodzoeva, Magomed Zurabov, Alexey Vakulov, Aliskhan Ganizhev  Saiti: Son of Zouli is a powerful historical drama set in the mountains of Ingushetia at the turn of the 19th century. The story is centered around three characters bound together in a remote mountain hut in view of ancient towers. Faced with life-threatening conditions, insurmountable odds, and the surrounding Imperial Russian Army, the group has to make difficult decisions that will forever change the course of their lives.  Abrek, an elusive robber, has been hiding from soldiers of the Russian Empire in the dense forests of the Caucasus Mountains for years. Despite being encircled by a ring of enemies, he escapes on a cold night and wanders into a lonely hut, sheltered by the walls of an ancient castle. He is welcomed inside by a widow and her teenage son. That night, the family recognizes their unexpected guest as the man whose actions have turned their lives upside-down. Will they break their vows to uphold the age-old law of hospitality?  The film was nominated and won the Grand Prix for “Best Screenplay” by CIS screenwriters at the “Telemania 2018” competition. It has also received first prizes at the VGIK International Film Festival for four categories and the Guild of Russian Cinematographers Vadim Yusov Award. The film was selected for the 42nd Moscow International Film Festival and won “Best Director” at the 13th Cheboksary International Film Festival.

STUFF (2019)

Director: Malu Janssen

Country: Netherlands

Duration: 13:24

Synopsis: When there is a break-in in her home, interior buyer Helen is in shock. She secretly mourns for her lost belongings with which she had intimate relationships. With this theft, she discovers that she has lost a part of herself that is not easy to replace. When she invites her friends over for an evening re-decorating her house, her detachment of her surrounding leads to a lurid finale.     

Crossroads (2020)

Director: Chilton Flóra

Country: Hungary

Duration: 30:00

Synopsis: After Deni returns home from prison, his hustler stepfather sends him to the countryside to lure a girl from a foster home. His task is to inveigle her to become a prostitute but as times goes by his feelings starts to rise towards her. Can this love be mutual and real?   Deni is torn between his motivation to prove to his father and his sense of righteousness. Has the girl got a chance of not becoming a victim? Who are the victims in these situations? Just the girls? Or even the boys who are following the family’s norm?  

CHARON (2020)

Director: Yannick Karcher

Country: France

Duration: 15:42

Synopsis: Freshly retired, a man doesn’t know how to occupy his days. For fear of being killed by boredom, he gets involved in the crazy project of building a boat in the cellar of his suburban house.

The Saverini Widow (2020)  

Director: Loïc Gaillard

Country: France

Duration: 19:00

Synopsis: Bonifacio 1883, extreme south of Corsica. The widow of the late Saverini lives in an isolated house near the cliffs, with her only son Antoine, and her dog. During the day, she assists women giving birth in town. One night her son is killed in a clash. The murderer flees to Sardinia. Her world falls to pieces…       

Summer Time (2020)

Director: Andra Tévy

Country: France

Duration: 15:00

Synopsis: A summer Sunday on a café terrace near the Mediterranean coast.  Everyone can’t help but notice their seemingly peaceful neighbors at the other tables. Subjective and distorted perceptions, an impression that the grass is greener elsewhere… The ensuing comparisons and criticisms trigger a crisis at their own tables.

Do not ask for your way (2019)

Director: Deborah Hassoun

Country: France

Duration: 15:00

Synopsis: After 6 years of analysis, Inès, 31 years old, wishes to leave her analyst. When confronted with the magnitude of the task, she decides to get help… from another analyst.

The Cornfield (2018)

Director: Michaël Guerraz

Country: France

Duration: 20:00

Synopsis: Yves has accepted to plant an experimental cornfield on his farm. This decision allows the couple to be more financially stable. As they have a baby on the way, everything seems to be on the up. That is, until one day, when Yves discovers some strange sap flowing down an ear of corn.

The discrete way (2019)

Director: Ho Lam

Country: France

Duration: 20:00

Synopsis: Wai, a young Asian man in his twenties, lives at his aunt and uncle’s.  He works for them as a delivery man. Trapped in a tedious life conditioned by work and a withdrawn community, he meets a solitary man. This encounter will move him deeply.

GETTING FAT IN A HEALTHY WAY (2015)

Director: KEVORK ASLANYAN

Country: Bulgaria

Duration: 22:00

Synopsis: In a world where gravity is weak and skinny people fly into the sky, Constantine has never left the apartment he shares with his father Atanas. But one day the beautiful stewardess who moves into the building will change Constantine’s life forever.

THE RETURN OF ERKIN (2016)

Director: MARIA GUSKOVA

Country: Russian Federation

Duration: 29:00

Synopsis: Erkin gets out of prison and wants to return to his former life. But everything has changed and he does not know if he can live as a free man.

CARGO (2019)

Director: ABHILASH CHANDRA

Country: Malaysia

Duration: 15:56

Synopsis: A disheartened 12 year old boy encounters a dark supernatural force resting inside the cargo his unassuming father transports from the depths of a Malaysian palm oil plantation.

Here comes the Wave! (2020)

Director: Kirill Gerra

Country: Not Specified

Duration: 19:36

Synopsis: Moscow. Tomorrow Gleb’s going to world trip with his girlfriend. But today he must meet with his ex, find molly, visit the farewell party and tell his friends that he stays here. Is it easy? Is it impossible? It doesn’t matter. Here comes the wave. Here comes tomorrow.

Vera (2020)

Director: Verica Nedeska

Country: Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of

Duration: 17:37

Synopsis: On her first workday at the complex for elderly, a girl in desperate need for money meets a forgotten actress who’s willing to pay in order to die.

Alaraph (2020)

Director: Guust Mulder

Country: Netherlands

Duration: 16:51

Synopsis: A black comedy about Alaraph, an age-old, quiet, unshakable man, who is shown as an attraction in a museum. When his first and only mating-season begins, he awakens and breaks free. While a search team is trying to find him, his old-fashioned values clash with the volatile standards of the modern world.

STUDENT SELECTION   |   NOVEMBER 2020

Clear Day (2019)

Director: Gregory Yarin

Country: Israel

Duration: 10:58

Synopsis: A mild misunderstanding turns a perfectly regular day in the life of the spouses Gal and Yael chaotic and absurd. A row of strange events with a variety of peculiar characters, evokes, as it sometimes happens, their deepest fears and suspicions, that lead to the biggest fights.

Road (2020)

Director: Kirill Khaletsky

Country: Belarus

Duration: 08:23

Synopsis: The most important thing in life is people and the relationship between them. This film is about that. It doesn’t matter when this story took place and where, only people are important and what everyone in the audience will discover for himself.

Late Bloomer (2020)

Director: Lim Jing

Country: Singapore

Duration: 16:59

Synopsis: Having long sidelined her interest in photography, 75-year-old Ee King is now consumed with mischievous passion for it in old age. Amidst sharing this joy with her granddaughter Jessie, Ee King is in frequent contention with her daughter Wen Ling, who disapproves of Ee King’s carefree ways. But when Ee King is diagnosed with glaucoma, she finds herself in a conundrum of what it really means to fulfil her dreams.

Parry Riposte (2020)

Director: Goldbloom Micomonaco

Country: Canada

Duration: 16:30

Synopsis: Upon arriving at their fencing studio, the Trans-National fencing team finds their studio space destroyed. Heath – the team’s coach – is trying to balance coaching, team and fixing the studio, and their mental health. Heath starts to isolate themselves and the team must go off to the regional qualifiers tournament without a coach. 

Verunchik__ (2020)

Director: Artem Zhdanov

Country: Russian Federation

Duration: 18:00

Synopsis: Three men live in one apartment – an elderly man Vyacheslav, his 36-year old son Anton and Anton’s son, 16 year old Andrey. Vyacheslav’s wife has died and Anton’s wife left him with his son.  With his wife leaving Anton lost his will to live which his father totally cannot accept. Vyacheslav decides to teach his son everything he knows in the art of pickup. Anton makes a deal with the father – he completely trusts his father’s guidance, follows his advices and choices. His father arranges different dates for him, but Anton fails each time. Anton realizes that he doesn’t like his father abusive approach.  After another failed attempt, tired of father’s despotism, raging Anton runs home to speak up after which Vyacheslav slips into coma. His spirit comes out of the body. Before he completely disappears he rushes to make it to meet a woman he loved all his life. From his monologue we figure out that he lived his life to spite her. He finds out she has a daughter, Alena. Connecting the dots he realizes that she is his daughter also. The only problem now is his son accidentally met her and now they are attracted to each other. Anton full of confidence following his father past advices quickly wins Alena’s heart. Vyacheslav tries to prevent it by any means.


DOCUMENTARY SELECTION   |   NOVEMBER 2020

Pripyat Piano (2019)

Director: Eliška Cílková

Country: Czech Republic

Duration: 18:00

Synopsis: Radioactive Pripyat pianos are telling the story of Chernobyl disaster by its unique way. Due to high radiation level in former city of Pripyat, abandoned pianos became the only inhabitants who can maintain its sounds even if the surrounding walls collapse. Also, piano is too heavy to steal, so noon can take it away from the city. Chernobyl tragedy heavily settled in local people minds, who were forced to leave their homes. To be able to overcome it – they produced their own songs, poems and lyrics, dealing with the case. Now they are coming back to Pripyat to sing and play them again! With looking at overgrown objects in Pripyat, and listening the sounds of nature and radioactive pianos, they could witness the tremendous power of nature to be able not only to conquer, but also to adapt.  

A Place Called Galet (2020)

Director: Arjarn Jin

Country: Hong Kong

Duration: 07:05

Synopsis: Galet is a theatrical vision of an antique shop galvanising interest from young generations and people from all walks of life​.​ The magic comes from owner and dreamcatcher Allen Yuan, a professional dancer and choreographer whose exploration of human nature and stories bleed over into his inspired vision of what an antique shop can be. For Yuan, antiques show us a slower world full of detail, wonder and human history ​—​ if only we see them in the right light. Galet, the French word for “pebble” carries special significance for Yuan. ​Like the perfectly round natural pebbles shaped over lengths of time, Yuan believes there are no shortcuts to great things. ​Our story follows Yuan in his daily life and interactions, delving into his journey as a dancer and antique entrepreneur as he leads us to where they both converge in an immersive experience.     

PIANO CRAFTMAN (2020)

Director: Scott Ruderman

Country: United States

Duration: 05:03

Synopsis: PIANO CRAFTMAN, a quirky yet melancholic short film that looks at the life and career of Zinovy Pritsker, one of a dying breed of veteran piano tuners still working in NYC.

The strings of the soul (2020)

Director: Tamara Sushko

Country: Sweden

Duration: 25:00

Synopsis: The strings of the soul The film is about Natalia -Russian woman who has been playing the balalaika for most of her life and has a dream to be a big artist in a big sity. She came to Sweden to fulfill her dream, but she failed.  But one day new opportunities opened up for her: she got a job as a church musician in the North of Sweden, in  Swedish Lapland. Now sounds music from the  Russian balalaika, in old  church in Arjeplog,  but Natalia must also play on a new, unusual instrument for her – the organ. Two other important characters in the film are the nature of Norrland, especially the harsh Nordic weather conditions, and the music  that unites people’s souls, that plays a major role in the portrayal of Natalia’s character. Will Three Strings, which express joy, sorrow and pain, impress traditional Norrbotten habitants?

BY THE RIVER (2019)

Director: DANIEL

Country: Australia

Duration: 25:00

Synopsis: Stretching along the river Ganges rests Varanasi, the holiest of India’s seven sacred cities, and a place where devout Hindus go to die in hopes of achieving moksha – becoming liberated from the cycle of rebirth. Several so-called ‘death hotels’ exist to accommodate believers who abandon their lives and come here in wait for death – some for as long as 40 years.

Actions Speak Louder than Medals (2020)

Director: John Mollison

Country: United States

Duration: 19:00

Synopsis: On 18 November, 1952, Royce Williams found himself alone in an aerial duel against SEVEN superior, aggressively flown Russian MiGs.  In the 38 minutes that followed, he bested at least four and just-barely brought his wounded F9F Panther back to the carrier….where he was promptly told that what had just happened “didn’t.”  True to his values, Royce put the spectacular event out of his mind and continued his service, quietly, humbly — only telling his wife when informed (over FIFTY YEARS LATER) that the moment was now “unclassified.”  Today, at age 95, Royce is finally (and somewhat bewildered by) the attention he deserves.    But behind every great hero story is an even greater back-story proving out that the actions behind great deeds are their own reward.

ANIMATION SELECTION   |   NOVEMBER 2020

Lost Lula (2020)

Director: Steven Vander Meer

Country: United States

Duration: 03:00

Synopsis: Lost Lula is an extraordinary and dynamic composition of gorgeously drawn, ephemeral human figures that appear and dissolve into and out of whimsical lines and shapes, small birds and sometimes even other figures.  The gracefully flowing visual feast is in perfect time to the sublime gourd banjo and guitar music of Pharis & Jason Romero.

The Fourfold (2020)

Director: Alisi Telengut

Country: Canada

Duration: 07:14

Synopsis: Based on the ancient animistic beliefs and shamanic rituals in Mongolia and Siberia, the film explores the indigenous worldview and wisdom: Nature is the homeland of human being, Tengri is the deity and the father sky, Earth is the mother with rivers nourishing all beings, pagan and pantheist gods co-exist with all mortals. Against the backdrop of the modern existential crisis and the human-induced rapid environmental change, there is a necessity to reclaim the ideas of animism for planetary health and non-human materialities.

Home? (2019)

Director: Helena Giersz

Country: United States

Duration: 05:00

Synopsis: A woman living in New York City receives a telephone call from Eastern Europe. Her grandmother has died and the woman quickly returns to her homeland. Entering her grandmother’s apartment, she finds a music box. She winds it up and as the music box opens she is transported back in time to the magical world of her childhood: fairytales, dreams and her first love. At the funeral, she notices a man who reminds her of her first boyfriend, he recognizers her too and avoids contact. Back at the airport for her returning flight, she discovers that the man she thought she recognized at funeral is now a customs control officer. As he reaches out to her, for a moment she thinks that he has recognized her, but instead he confiscates a gift left to her by her grandmother. The realization that they are now complete strangers is devastating. Not only has she lost her grandmother and the final link to her homeland, but she’s also grieving the loss of a magical time in her life where she felt safe and loved. But as she reflects on all of the beautiful memories she still has, that made her who she is today, she finds comfort from the fact that although she has grown away from her past, her past still lives on in her memories, as colorful and magical as always.

Too Late (2020)

Director: Roy Stein

Country: Canada

Duration: 05:04

Synopsis: Deep into the small hours of the night, drenched in black coffee and paperwork, a lonely office worker’s sanity starts to slip away.

Jean (2020)

Director: Marion Auvin

Country: France

Duration: 13:30

Synopsis: Jean, a well-known but casual actor, arrives on set freshly shaved while his director had asked him to come with a four-day beard. This innocuous gesture is a disaster for the filming and, for Jean, an opportunity to finally pay attention to the world that surrounds him.   


MUSIC VIDEO SELECTION   |   NOVEMBER 2020

Freedom (2020)

Director: Billy

Country: United Kingdom

Duration: 03:37

Synopsis: Through the divine intervention of an ancestral spirit, two men find themselves free’d from captivity, and take the opportunity to face their oppressors on equal footing.

HOLD MY TONGUE (2020)

Director: ILAN BARZILAI

Country: Mexico

Duration: 04:40

Synopsis: The video, filled with reflections of collective and personal meanings, narrate, using small vignettes of poetic expression, a heartbreaking world where Man tolerates the onslaught of his tragic and arbitrary destiny with a kind of stoicism that, in some strange way, allows him to point out, accuse and finally redeem himself. In this universe there is cynicism, hope, light, shadows, contemplation and detonation.

Ekaterina Yashnikova – Recover (2020)

Director: Yulia Uzkikh

Country: Russian Federation

Duration: 05:13

Synopsis: Touching musical road movie about best friends who don’t want to grow up. Three boys go on the road in an old orange car. Where will they go?

Modern Day Cathedral (2020)

Director: Philos Maurice Klein

Country: Germany

Duration: 05:23

Synopsis: Modern Day Cathedral is a blues ceremony against greed and consumerism.  A surreal journey that encapsulates the theme of modern consumerism, our self destruction as a species and our hope that prevails through it all.

Lost In Pantitlán (2020)

Director: Emilio Guerrero Alexander

Country: Mexico

Duration: 03:08

Synopsis: In a futuristic Mexico where the law no longer exists, three twisted Agents of Order go on their routine patrol through the city in search of wicked fun and brutality when they come across a homeless busker and target him as the victim of the night.

PATRICK MARTIN – BOTH OF YOU (2019)

Director: THEO WATKINS

Country: United Kingdom

Duration: 03:00

Synopsis: A lovable schmuck has to traipse across South-West England a dollar short, down on his luck and with a heart that just won’t stop aching. We’ve all been there.