December 2020 – Moscow Shorts Official Selection


NARRATIVE SELECTION   |  DECEMBER 2020

Happy (2020)

Director: julie Anastasopoulou

Country: Greece

Duration: 08:29

Synopsis: Αggeliki, a lonely and kind of quirky woman, who has lost her dog “Happy” a long time ago, makes the decision to stop looking for him. During that special night, she finds something magical that ordinary people are not able to see.

This Book Tells the Future (2020)  

Director: Jesse Patrick Hiltz

Country: Canada

Duration: 21:15

Synopsis: In a violent world, two men’s lives hurtle towards tragedy when they find a book with an eerily familiar story.

Imelda and Luis (2020)

Director: Leonel Chee

Country: Mexico

Duration: 17:35

Synopsis: Young twins, Imelda and Luis, live a neglected life with their drug dealing mom and jerk-off drug addict older brother. They only have each other to fulfill their dreams, she wants to be a nun and he wants to be a girl, neither of which seems possible.     

PRIPIAT (2020)

Director: Stéphane Ryter

Country: Switzerland

Duration: 03:36

Synopsis: On April 26, 1986, a reactor explosion at the soviet nuclear power plant of Chernobyl triggered the largest nuclear disaster of all time. 33 years later, Maritchka, a child of Chernobyl, sets foot on site for the first time to face her demons… The super 8 reels used in this film were exposed to extremely high levels of radioactivity in one of the most contaminated places on the planet. It remains difficult to accurately assess the radioactive impact on the film’s images.  

Hell’s Tuesday (2020)

Director: Liza Pnin

Country: United States

Duration: 21:52

Synopsis: A story of a girl making a deal with the Devil.

Zealandia (2020)  

Director: Bruno du Bois

Country: New Zealand

Duration: 15:00

Synopsis: In 2032, Zealandia has become the only virus free country left on earth but at a high cost to its population due to intrusive medical regulations. But, could the bag carried by a fearless woman be the downfall of this oppressive state?       

Rebel (2019)

Director: Pier-Philippe Chevigny

Country: Canada

Duration: 15:00

Synopsis: Alex, a six-year-old boy from Quebec, is much too young to understand why thousands of refugees have been entering Canada illegally. Yet when his father takes him along to a vigilante patrol in the woods to hunt out trespassing migrants, something inside him tells him to rebel.

NUKRYŽIAVIMAS / CRUCIFIXION (2019)

Director: Danielius Minkevičius

Country: Lithuania

Duration: 25:00

Synopsis: A secretive man’s inner thoughts confront against the reality.

You Promise? (2020)

Director: Lin Laurin

Country: Sweden

Duration: 14:58

Synopsis: “You Promise?” takes place in Malmö, Sweden in 1988. The story follows Vida, 5, and her brother Alex, 3, when they get a new father figure in the family. It’s an aesthetic, poetic, and heartwarming short film about family love, divorce, and fear of change – from a five-year-old’s perspective.

Help Me, Please (2020)

Director: Sergio Muñoz Esquer

Country: Mexico

Duration: 14:11

Synopsis: A child stumbles upon what seems to be the perfect house, yet its interior holds unexpected surprises.

The Silence (2020)

Director: Juraj Štepka

Country: Slovakia

Duration: 22:28

Synopsis: The silence is the sad legacy of a small country. It accompanied the war years and reigns today, when the holocaust deniers are back in parliament. How can we bring the silent majority to life? Filmmakers, influencers and museums all came together to make a tribute to the last of those who were not silent: the 92-year-old musician Vlado Strmeň. Will he be the last or not?

The apple of my eyes (2020)

Director: François SZABOWSKI

Country: France

Duration: 19:12

Synopsis: An eye surgeon has to operate the man who provoked his daughter’s death.

IN BETWEEN (2020)

Director: Ana Pasti

Country: Romania

Duration: 20:05

Synopsis: It’s a late December night. Amalia is a career driven woman in her mid thirties and a mistress in a complicated love affair with a complicated man. While waiting to hear from her lover, Amalia encounters a 12 year old boy selling used books in the parking lot of a fast food drive through. She decides to “save” him from the long hours of waiting in the cold winter’s night for his bus to arrive in the morning, by giving him a ride home. The more they drive into the night the less certain it is who is saving who…

STUDENT SELECTION   |   DECEMBER 2020

The Long Life of a Snitch (2020)

Director: Serafim Chihladze

Country: Russian Federation

Duration: 19:37

Synopsis: Eleven years old boys Miroha and Red are going to their friends Tyoma country house. But Instead of playing a harmless game of war or a game console, he suggests playing Russian roulette with a revolver stolen from his father. They have one bullet, a house locked from the inside, and Tyoma who wants to deal with someone…

Fasten Your Seatbelts While Seated (2019)

Director: Samir T. Radwan

Country: Egypt

Duration: 05:20

Synopsis: A man remembers how he wanted to fly before knowing how to run and wonders why..

Psychophonic (2019)

Director: Aline Romero

Country: Spain

Duration: 05:42

Synopsis: During a full moon night, a cat is trapped inside a spooky house where a gramophone is playing, the cat will discover a secret while trying to escape and run for his life.

Pyskador (2020)

Director: Noel Chojnacki

Country: United Kingdom

Duration: 11:15

Synopsis: The psychological horror thriller Pyskador is set in a dilapidated caravan and a small fishing boat on Cornwall´s coast. It follows an incident in the life of a rugged and heavily alcoholic fisherman in which he kills his wife.   Plagued by the crime and by a vast amount of Vodka  his perception of reality and time soon blurs into a state of horrific irreality out of which it seems there is no escape. Trapped in this trauma he is forced to re-live the day after day.   

Apocrypha (2019)

Director: Evgenii Printsev

Country: Russian Federation

Duration: 17:01

Struck by Lightning (2020)

Director: Romet Esko, Raul Esko

Country: Estonia

Duration: 17:26

Synopsis: Raul and Romet are two film school students who one day wish to become world-famous film directors. However, this is not the purpose of this film. They had a really unique friend Brandon – he was a wild card. Suddenly Brandon committed suicide. Now the brothers attempt to understand the mysterious end of their best friend, by making a movie for him.

MARTA WANTS TO WIN THE LOTTERY (2020)

Director: Barney Allen

Country: Australia

Duration: 05:10

Synopsis: Marta wants to win the lottery and reunite with her husband.

FriDgid (2020)

Director: Devina Vassileva

Country: Bulgaria

Duration: 20:00

Synopsis: This is a story about toxic family, about control and freedom, in the heart of every home – the kitchen.  frigid + rigid + fridge = FRIDGID The title encompasses the fridgid relationships in the Holodinsky family – rigid characters, gravitating around their refrigerator, the home appliance that never creates sustenance but only conserves it in coldness. This is a story about control freaks, quick tempers and being fed up. A 20 min journey through the life of the Dad and Freya, his daughter.  What happens when one leaves their controlling parent?

Babble Bubble (2020)

Director: Richan Li

Country: United States

Duration: 03:46

Synopsis: Norah’s head detaches from her body and is replaced with…different heads!  Babble Bubble is a three and half-minute 2D animation which tells the story of a girl whose head detaches from her body and is replaced with different heads. It aims to portray a personal but not confessional mindset of not being mindful of daily life and splitting one’s identities and behaviors throughout different social media platforms. It is a reflection on the dissociation from self and intimacy in relationships that arises in response to hyper-mediated modern life.

Pride (2020)

Director: Dmitry Azarkh

Country: Germany

Duration: 15:00

Synopsis: The boss hires Viktor, an aspiring young crook, with the deal of his life. But everything goes wrong. He is falling into an elaborate trap. Viktor has to do his utmost to get out of the matter safely.


DOCUMENTARY SELECTION   |   DECEMBER 2020

The Little Moon (2020)

Director: Elena Kairyte

Country: Lithuania

Duration: 26:00

Synopsis: “Where the last house faded away in the wheat, there lived a little girl, who walked at night out in the fields, with a bucket of water to mirror the moon.” It’s a true story, based on Tonino Guerra’s poem, about a girl who lives in a remote Lithuanian village. This single farm holds her entire world: family, beloved animals and the whole seeing moon.    

20 Years of Growth (2020)

Director: Sofia Gorlenko

Country: Russian Federation

Duration: 08:52

Synopsis: The documentary film is about farmers who contribute to the development of agriculture in Russia. An honest story about people who love their work, land and nature.     

BIG FOOD – THE POWER OF THE FOOD INDUSTRIES (2020)

Director: Anderson dos Santos

Country: Brazil

Duration: 22:47

Synopsis: All over the world, we see an epidemic of noncommunicable diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and hypertension. According to the World Health Organization, these diseases are already responsible for 70% of annual deaths. And what can the ultra-processed food industries have to do with it? Experts comment on possible links between the facts, and reveal the power they concentrate.

Border Calls (2020)

Director: Sebastian Peña

Country: Sweden

Duration: 11:00

Synopsis: Despite the fact that the escape routes have become fewer and more dangerous, people continue to find their way across oceans and through unreliable landscapes. Often they get stuck somewhere along the way, on the border of a country or a continent. There they are forced to wait. Sometimes weeks, many times months, often years. These are therefor places filled with the constant longing after something permanent and of protection. But also longing after parents, siblings, children and spouses. The longing after the everyday life you had, when you had a place among friends, in workplaces, in the neighbourhood where you grew up.  When the longing grows too strong you call home.  In the short documentary Border Calls (11 min), which takes place in Tijuana (Mexico) on the border to U.S., we get to listen to fragments from these calls. Margarita, who fled her violent husband with their two daughters calls a sister. Fabian calls a brother. Ignacio, who was deported back to Mexico after 35 years in the U.S. calls his wife, which, along with their two children, is still on the other side of the border. Darlyn calls an aunt. Walter calls his mother. Ruben, who has fled an attempted murder with his wife and four children calls an older son still in their hometown.

Rollerman (2020)

Director: Italo Vazzana

Country: Italy

Duration: 19:02

Synopsis: A normal day in Franco’s life is not so normal considering his age, 82. Especially in the part of the day when he goes to the main park of Rome to make acrobatics with his rollerblade.

Hayat (2019)

Director: Rendah Haj

Country: Australia

Duration: 14:12

Synopsis: Rahma, a single mother of four, encourages her children to maintain a strong sense of family, faith and cultural identity as she navigates personal difficulties and disconnect

ANIMATION SELECTION   |   DECEMBER 2020

Sad Beauty (2020)

Director: Arjan Brentjes

Country: Netherlands

Duration: 09:50

Synopsis: In a heavily polluted world, a young woman mourns the disappearance of animal species. When she falls ill due to a bacterial infection, nature appears to send her a message in her hallucinations.

The Moon 2050 (TM) (2020)

Director: Paul Lapushkin

Country: Russian Federation

Duration: 14:19

Synopsis: The Moon 2050 (TM) – a fictional cosmic universe in which biological beings and artificial intelligence confront each other. The AI has already gained control of the universe and has established its own orders, according to which, at a certain frequency, some biological creatures disappear and fall into the Black Hole Inc. – it is like a large research center, where AI conducts research on biological creatures, studying the brain, studying the structure of organs, bodies, skeleton, etc.. And then they transplant a special chip and take control of the biological shell and use that shell to clone new vessels so that new AI-controlled creatures can appear.  Copyright © All rights reserved

PHANTOM (2020)

Director: Sotir Gelev

Country: Bulgaria

Duration: 28:17

Synopsis: This film is about how easily a person can waste his life. It tells about unfulfilled love. It tells about the defense mechanisms that a person builds to justify himself and how he transfers his own guilt to real and imaginary circumstances.


EXPERIMENTAL SELECTION   |   DECEMBER 2020

The Dreamcasting (2020)

Director: Alexander Razumnov

Country: Russian Federation

Duration: 04:49

Synopsis: Many young actors as Artyom are dreaming to get a shot in a big Audition, but most of them end up getting there after DUI fines.     

Magma (2020)

Director: Jari Kallio Kallio, Essi Vesla

Country: Finland

Duration: 17:21

Synopsis: Magma is a balm for soothing terrestrial aches, a memento of worlds not yet imagined.  The point is to learn how to manipulate time. To vibrate means to exist in many places at once, and it’s a type of pain, or a short circuit, but condensation really just makes things sweeter and heavier.  But also, extreme pressure compresses carbon into diamonds or breaks it down, one never knows beforehand, just like potential misreading is the necessary precondition for irony. Desire seeks to close a distance and mourns when it does. I exhale and it’s the smallest possible ritual, one that has to do with memory: an old world, a lava lamp, the smell of gas, a suspended bubble; a sacrifice that is the end of all sacrifice. 

Kilter (2020)

Director: Rob Stanton-Cook

Country: Australia

Duration: 11:36

Synopsis: Kilter explores the wreckage left in the wake of generational toxic masculinity. Following a violent crime of passion, a gentle young man descends into a tormented reality as he struggles to reconcile who he is and what he has become.   

Lost time (2020)

Director: Anna Radchenko

Country: Russian Federation

Duration: 03:10

Synopsis: Featuring alternative pop singer and songwriter JONES, Lost Time is the latest fashion film by multidisciplinary artist Anna Radchenko. The film looks at the passing of time as something fleeting and out of our control. The older we become, the more we feel that we are at its mercy. A movement-led piece, Lost Time represents a positive journey into learning to coexist with time by rising above the uncertainties of the future.   

Ophelia (2020)

Director: Meike Redeker

Country: Germany

Duration: 08:00

Synopsis: Through a monologue spoken backwards, the video deals with discriminatory depictions of women in the past and present. In a river scene, resembling J. E. Millais‘ famous painting of Shakespeare’s dying character Ophelia, the filmmaker appears. She speaks constantly into the camera. Her speech remains abstract until the video plays backwards and elicits the words in their original order, revealing a statement about the complex entanglements of language, image and social roles. On different levels the video moves forwards and backwards in time.

For the Residue (2021)

Director: Yongchu Suh

Country: Korea, Republic of

Duration: 03:20

Synopsis: It deals with the movement of the lips and the traces of those gestures.

Konìa: the dark and the dust (2020)

Director: Salvatore Mazza

Country: Italy

Duration: 11:51

Synopsis: KONÍA: the dark and the dust Written and directed by Salvatore Mazza November 23 at 7:34 pm November 23 is not just any day in the memory but a date that will remain forever etched in the memory. 40 years ago a devastating earthquake struck Campania, Puglia and Basilicata, causing almost 3,000 victims and 300,000 homeless. The Irpinia earthquake was one of the strongest earthquakes of the last century, the third in order of energy. With a moment magnitude of 6.9 on the Richter scale, it tops even the strongest earthquakes of the last 100 years. The short film entitled: Konía, the dark and the dust: it is a prayer, a prayer to the land of Irpinia to escape from oblivion and forgetfulness. Konìa, with a sober and stylized script, tells of the “reborn”, those who managed to save themselves from the rubble, also understood as the rubble of the spirit and soul, a rebirth from darkness and rubble; it is also the story of “those who remain” in their countries of origin, now emptied, stripped of the flesh; it is the drama of “those who go”, who decide to leave, to go away, to close the door behind them; but, between the lines, the melancholy of “those who do not come back” is also dashed, not even in the summer or once in a while or on religious holidays. The emptiness and desolate spaces of the reconstructed villages go hand in hand with the void felt by those who felt “disoriented”, deprived of a country and “disoriented”, disoriented the day after that November 23rd. What remained after that terrible tragedy? What has changed in these forty years? The narrative line of the short does not want to give and does not give answers, it does not raise any doubts of a political nature or of the “could be done and it could not be done”, but wants to make the uprooted, the “dusty”, the absent, alive in us and with us. It is our personal remembrance and homage to all the victims of that day. The wound we wanted to tell is a wound of being, a wound of the senses that is difficult to heal. The earthquake, in its tragic nature, has brought us closer, unlike this pandemic, which, due to force majeure, has distanced and weakened us. Will we remain more and more forgetful, quiescent and forgetful? We sincerely hope not, but it is important to make our “homeland” reflection, remembrance and memory.

MUSIC VIDEO SELECTION   |   DECEMBER 2020

Day off (2020)

Director: Lana Druzhinina

Country: Russian Federation

Duration: 06:18

Synopsis: Dmitrii Smirnov’s “Jolly Jazz Project” (St.Petersburg, Russia), presents its debut video to the composition of the famous russian composer Dmitry Semenishchev – “Day Off”. This composition encourages listeners to get away from everyday problems, endless rat race  and to get a little rest. Let yourself see the beauty of the world around you. Jolly Jazz is not a classic jazz band. It is a community of musicians, actors, directors and other creative people who are united by love of music and desire to experiment.

Sweet Robbery (2020)

Director: Anastasia Miasnikova

Country: Czech Republic

Duration: 03:17

Synopsis: The guy is interrogated by two policemen. They beat him and he start to confess. He flashbacks the memory of the robbery with his girlfriend. It starts with the planning of the bank robbery (they are buying weapons and outfit, stalking out at bank to record activities, they have a board of the bank’s blueprint etc.) Then the robbery starts. They park the van in front of the bank. They point the gun at the bank worker. Then they blow up the vault with a bomb. They collect all the cash with bags. Police arrives as they get in the car. They both fire back. After chasing the van rolls over, they climb out of the car and they were surround by police. They drop their weapons and surrender. Then cut back to the interrogation room. The surveillance camera of the bank shows that he was alone during the whole robbery.

2 Down (Official Music Video) (2020)

Director: Sam Farage

Country: Finland

Duration: 06:55

Synopsis: The 2 Down music video depicts a journey of a lonely backpacker in a vast, dreamlike landscape of a never-ending mountain range. The traveller seems to be completely lost in thought. Painful memories start to arise from the past and she is forced to dive into them. She must fight the demons of guilt, blame and sorrow within in order to break free from this mental dissonance and find forgiveness, acceptance and gratitude to replace them.  The story is about overcoming the worst of sufferings and clearing one’s mind from agony. It’s about facing one’s deepest fears and painful emotions head on, and growing from them as a person. No one is perfect and sometimes one needs to accept what is in order to move forward in life and strive to do one’s best. Life is short, and we should be spending it loving each other instead of fighting. Ultimately, 2 Down is about gratitude towards life.