March 2021 – Moscow Shorts Official Selection


NARRATIVE SELECTION   |  MARCH 2021

A Star in the Desert (2019)

Director: Zachary Kerschberg

Country: United States

Duration: 15:00

Synopsis: A Star in the Desert is a dramatic fantastical film about the first day of the Gulf War in Baghdad told from a 7-year-old child’s point of view, as he comes to terms with his new reality.  The film explores how children often retreat to fantasy and dreamscape in order to make sense of what’s happening around them during times of tragedy and conflict.   In the short film, “A Star In the Desert”, there is a universal message about human suffering and using denial and imagination to escape reality as a coping mechanism during a time of tragedy and fear.   Escapism is often the answer to much of human suffering and fear today. When our external reality is so painful and terrifying, we are often conditioned to find ways to escape through alcohol, relationships, status, power, dreams, and more that take us away from the present moment.   Whether we escape through our imagination or through external influences, the core theme is denial – and turning away from what is painful and scary, which often begets more pain & suffering.   We wanted the audience to really feel what is going on in the mind of a child who is coming to terms with his situation at such a young age.   The boy slips in and out of dream state where his reality is a nightmare but his dreams are hauntingly beautiful and magical and become a window into a better life. In a sense, he is caught in between two worlds.    This story and the corresponding message could take place in any war zone, and in any place in the world. Our goal is to capture the reactions of a child who is faced with tragedy and create a dialogue about human suffering and escapism.

The Old Man and the Sea (2020)  

Director: Ali Lajevardi

Country: Iran, Islamic Republic of

Duration: 15:41

Synopsis: An old man who has just been released from prison is staying in a cheap guest house and is looking for someone who can remove an old tattoo on his arm, which is a woman’s face. He goes to a doctor but the doctor fee is very expensive, so he has to go to a basement where a young boy who does tatoo and the boy succeeds but at last he can not erase the tattoo completely. Finally he has to erase the tattoo with acid by himself.

Borderline (2021)

Director: Hossein Deirdar

Country: Iran, Islamic Republic of

Duration: 29:58

Synopsis: We have heard and fantasized a lot of tales from our mothers since our childhood. We also have tales in our own lives which belong to us and nobody knows about them. But if the situations change so that the tales of the others, become the unwanted tales of our minds… then living would be difficult for us!     

Kartika (2021)

Director: Cak Nunu

Country: Indonesia

Duration: 21:46

Synopsis: Two Indonesian students on scholarship in Prague 1966, are asked to sign a loyalty paper with a newly established government in Indonesia or else they would be forbidden to return to their country.   

It’s look sunshine (2020)

Director: Kim Seunghwan

Country: Korea, Republic of

Duration: 24:16

Synopsis: The main character, Young-eun, lives with her mother, a haenyo diver, in fishing village on Jeju Island. She learns eco-friendly photography from her friend Seung-hwan, who is a beachcomber. One day, her mother gets caught in a discarded net submerged in the sea and drowns. Young-eun moves away from Jeju and returns two years later for her mother’s death anniversary. She decides to begin taking pictures of sea debris on beaches, and Seung-hwan leaves the island to find a giant floating trash island in the Pacific Ocean on a boat made of recycled materials. 

Diva (2020)  

Director: Pauls Kesteris

Country: Latvia

Duration: 18:00

Synopsis: An ageing theatre star struggles with her mental condition and pending diagnosis, while preparing for a role. With the premiere approaching, she balances between acceptance and self denial, while losing grip on reality.       

THE LETTER ROOM (2020)

Director: Elvira Lind

Country: United States

Duration: 30:00

Synopsis: When a kind-hearted prison officer (Oscar Isaac) is transferred to the letter room, he soon gets involved in an inmate’s personal affairs…

Home (2021)

Director: Guust Mulder

Country: Netherlands

Duration: 12:54

Synopsis: A black comedy about Dirk, a man who lives with his dog and buys gadgets to fill up his boring single life. On a typical Thursday evening, he finds out that the relationship of trust with his AI device, named Atlas, is not as reliable as he thought. Can he fix his rapidly deteriorating situation? Or has he already exposed too much of himself to Atlas.

Skilleveien (2021)

Director: Peter Bjerre Salling

Country: Denmark

Duration: 29:00

Synopsis: Skilleveien is a Danish-Norweigian youth drama about a friendship challenged by individual change and a mysterious cult-like spiritual retreat. It follows Matias, who must fight to save his friendship with his best friend Janus, and keep him from falling into the hands of the peculiar spiritual guide, Joakim, as well as their odd rituals and ceremonies. Skilleveien is a story about love, the fear of change and acceptance.

Celestine (2021)

Director: Denis Pejovic

Country: Austria

Duration: 17:36

Synopsis: A conservative and old pensioner tries to seduce a young and graceful woman named Celestine who lives next door and is his tenant. He causes a water pipe burst in her apartment and offers her one of his rooms to stay overnight. Unexpectedly, the same water pipe burst happens in another apartment and Celestine makes the same offer to the romantic and dreamy young Jonas who then also moves in. Both men fight for the same woman.

Trial by Combat (2021)

Director: Daniel Wolf

Country: Germany

Duration: 13:45

Synopsis: It’s daylights savings day and an office worker challenges a Traffic Warden in a trial by combat.

Ernie (2020)

Director: Ray Panthaki

Country: United Kingdom

Duration: 21:00

Synopsis: Under the influence of dangerous right-wing propaganda and his domineering father, a lonely school caretaker looks for connection.

VICTIM (2021)

Director: Yongjia Huang, Yeni Chen

Country: Canada

Duration: 04:58

Synopsis: An innocent lady was framed in an unthinkable way  after she had been stolen by a thief. Everything happened in three minutes only.  

STUDENT SELECTION   |   MARCH 2021

Refrigerate After Opening (2020)

Director: Kevin Ung

Country: United States

Duration: 06:04

Synopsis: A man who is down on his luck finds a second shot at life when he buys himself a magical refrigerator

Marat (2021)

Director: Olga Boiko

Country: Russian Federation

Duration: 26:00

Synopsis: 1907. In the main town of the district, a group from the Revolutionaries Union is preparing the assassination of the governor. The honor of carrying out this task has fallen on twenty-year-old Marat.  Over the span of 72 hours he must say goodbye to the woman he loves and make peace with the task before him. Even though Marat is a devout Christian, faith is useless wherever high political goals exist.

Words Behind Berries (2020)

Director: Andressa Back

Country: Canada

Duration: 06:14

Synopsis: By investigating the creative process of preparing jam, a filmmaker and a cook develop a recipe of friendship, reflecting on food, art, and love.

Heir (2020)

Director: Timur Aslaev

Country: Canada

Duration: 09:47

Synopsis: Hermann is a shopkeeper of the spiritual service store he inherited from his mentor. The store, that was once known as a place where noblemen would come to receive a great knowledge, now perceived as a place of a mere psychedelic experience. Hermann endures the time when his purpose lost its sacred value.   

The Conductor (2019)

Director: Anatoly Orlov

Country: Russian Federation

Duration: 14:33

Synopsis: A young writer is obsessed with creating a successful book. In search of inspiration, he decides to embark on a risky journey into his subconscious in order to overcome his inner Censor.

The uncertain ONE (2020)

Director: Vera Surățel

Country: Moldova, Republic of

Duration: 18:00

Synopsis: Ivan, a long distance driver, humbly comes back to his beloved’s wedding. Ivan, conducteur de camion, retourne craintivement au mariage de sa bien-aimée.

Hush-hush,Forest (2021)

Director: chenglang

Country: China

Duration: 19:24


DOCUMENTARY SELECTION   |   MARCH 2021

Kim Malygin. One man manufactory (2020)

Director: Artem Ivanov

Country: Russian Federation

Duration: 06:22

Synopsis: A short film about the creation. The process of making handmade shoes by a master: from the first steps to the final embodiment.    

The Life Beyond Windows (2020)

Director: Usman ashraf

Country: United Kingdom

Duration: 13:52

Synopsis: Story of a Pakistani Man who has been fighting for his VISA since years and not knowing his destination but keeping his hopes alive.     

3 H 33 Port des Yachts STREET (2021)

Director: Laurent Canches

Country: France

Duration: 26:07

Synopsis: The night of the 27th to the 28th february 2010, I lived the Xynthia tempset in a small village la Faute-sur-mer, of South Vendée, in France. 900 inhabitats.  During this night, Christine , my wife, called me at 3 :20 telling me desesperatly « Laurent I’m going to die drowning». I didn’t realize what really happens in my house and in this village. I just tell her : « call the fire department, they will come ». She called twice. They never went. 

CELL 364 (2020)

Director: Mathilde Babo, Zoé Rossion

Country: France

Duration: 04:14

Synopsis: A former Stasi prisoner revisits his cell.

ANIMATION SELECTION   |   MARCH 2021

The Last Fish (2019)

Director: Seyed Mahmoud Saemin

Country: Iran, Islamic Republic of

Duration: 07:23

Synopsis: A fisherman with a fishing hood and an old boat is trying to find some fish but he is not successful. Board and disappointed he falls asleep and he dreams he is catching a lot of fish.

Elsewhere (2020)

Director: Sylwia Kubus

Country: Germany

Duration: 06:00

Synopsis: The protagonist is leaving on a journey to the places, that remind her of the past.  The woman looks back on her memories of the unhappy love and tries to leave these behind.     

The Coincidental Killing of a Cat by an Unworldly Tune (2021)

Director: Maya Kurdoglu

Country: Turkey

Duration: 02:33

Synopsis: A cat wanders into a house where a mysterious musician plays a song that no mortal can bear to hear.   

Twoot Newt (2021)

Director: Jackie Snyder

Country: United States

Duration: 04:03

Synopsis: In this sequel to Toot Newt, a musical amphibian struggles with the difficult feelings of making art.

The Dark Odyssey (2020)

Director: Michael Lavine

Country: United States

Duration: 08:31

Synopsis: A brave captain and his faithful mate transport a captive warrior, who holds The Inventory of The Mind, across the interstellar line. When their ship is forced to navigate an asteroid field, their mission is jeopardized.

A Poem by Alba (2021)

Director: Yoo Lee

Country: United States

Duration: 05:38

Synopsis: An elderly woman living alone in her apartment deals with loneliness and her eventual end.

Dear Rosa (2020)

Director: Gaele Sobott

Country: Australia

Duration: 02:06


EXPERIMENTAL SELECTION   |   MARCH 2021

1934 (2021)

Director: Michele Bellio

Country: Italy

Duration: 13:55

Synopsis: Composition for twenty photographs, sound effects and narrating voice.  Twenty pictures taken between spring and summer 1934. A moving love story lost in the past. Mountains as a place of the soul, between Trentino and Südtirol.      

Unplanned HORNET (2020)

Director: Kate Pelling

Country: Germany

Duration: 04:32

Synopsis: ‘Unplanned HORNET’ (2020, 04:32 Mins.) is about not having control of a situation. The video was recorded in May 2020 at a time when, for the third time in two years, the artist had lost all of her paid work, this time due to the Corona pandemic. The hornet stands as a metaphor for ever-present financial precarity and the video explores the effect that has on making artwork. However, it is not a bleak situation, there is laughter and a feeling of forging ahead when the artist attempts to discuss the topic of editing, which is a recurring theme throughout her practice. The techniques used to edit the video, including blind editing which involves making cuts to the video without looking at the footage, continue the idea of not being in control. Editing is also used to address a misunderstanding about the nature of the threat, but the mistake is retained along with the ‘corrections’, so that the history of the process remains visible. 

MEOW (2020)

Director: Seenivasan Selvaraj

Country: India

Duration: 23:36

Synopsis: The innocent children pet a frog. The grandfather being a pedophile tried to abuse the children. The children try to communicate the same to Priyanka but she to fails to get the hint from them. The grandfather in a rage kills the pet frog as it becomes a hindrance to his vile motives. Once when Priyanka was cleaning the house, she notices an ant trail leading to the grandfather’s room. She follows the trail to his room and grandfather is not there. She hears the ‘’Gloomy Sunday’’ song playing on the gramophone. She sees the ants leading to a dead dry frog and cries. She recalls multiple instances from the past and she is now aware.   

Vaudeville! (2020)

Director: Elcio Verçosa Filho

Country: Brazil

Duration: 24:38

Synopsis: Short film in five acts narrating in classic vaudeville style the obsession of a moneyed old man with a girl that keeps slipping through his hands. Vaudeville!’s got it all: the husband, the wife and the lover; craving, running and mayhem; doors that open… and close;  the illusions of desire and a deadly fate under the shining wheels of an Ice-cream cart – i.e., all the usual stuff.

LYÉ-BUHL (2021)

Director: Sangman Kim

Country: Korea, Republic of

Duration: 10:43

Synopsis: An ascetic monk who follows Buddhist teaching confronts agony between the world of Color(Phenomena) and the world of Void(Fundamental).   The two worlds exhibit stark contrast with one another like nature and man-made, past and present, day and night, eternity and moment, Nirvana and Anguish.   The monk strives to disentangle himself from the world of Color as he strides towards Nirvana, the world of Void. In the end, he realizes that both worlds are inseparable as much as they are a resonant pair, and that his anguish ultimately comes from obsession.

MUSIC VIDEO SELECTION   |   MARCH 2021

Close to Monday – God you need guns (2020)

Director: Nikita Shevelev

Country: Russian Federation

Duration: 04:41

Waste my time (2020)

Director: Evgeny Kolskiy

Country: Russian Federation

Duration: 03:27

Altitude Lake (2020)

Director: Jérémy Griffaud

Country: France

Duration: 06:03

Synopsis: Music video

Mumiy Troll – Cosmic Forces (2020)

Director: Ivan Sosnin

Country: Russian Federation

Duration: 04:11

Synopsis: The story of an alien who once arrives on our planet. Seeing that the Earth is on the verge of ecological disaster, the alien decides to save it. However, the locals are dissatisfied with the initiative of the uninvited guest. The music video becomes an ecological manifesto, which makes you think about global and important issues.  The main role in the music video was played by the actor of the series “Game of Thrones” and Christopher Nolan’s film “Tenet” – Yuri Kolokolnikov.  Lyrics: I’ve got tired of you, I’ve got tired of you I’ve got tired of all of  you , earthlings, I need a break. Aren’t you fed up, aren’t you fed up with The same day-to-day actions?  Hailing the Cosmic Force: please save my hide –  They’ve had a healthy planet and now it’s all screwed up Cosmic forces, send me home to my love, This business trip has become too radioactive!  Cosmic forces … Morons, necrophiles, That you’ve had a healthy planet and now it’s all screwed up Cosmic forces, don’t let them tear it down!  Their actions was uncovered, they couldn’t keep it a secret It could have remained undisclosed for another hundred years, If they had kept it in a secret.  But we’ve had enough of your  lies.  The chord is final, the show is over.  Hailing the Cosmic Force: please save my hide ! They’ve had a healthy planet and now it’s all screwed up. Cosmic Force, send me home to my love, This business trip has become too radioactive!  Cosmic forces … Morons, necrophiles, That they’ve had a healthy planet and now it’s all screwed up Cosmic forces, save this Planet from extinction! Business trip has become simply unbearable.  Hailing the Cosmic Force: please save my hide –  They’ve had a healthy planet and now it’s all screwed up

Searise (2021)

Director: Joseba Elorza

Country: Spain

Duration: 03:38

Synopsis: Searise is an animated music video denouncing climate change. The video presents a succession of scenes where we see the causes and consequences of global warming. These scenes, with a clear surrealist touch, show the clash between the new generations, who find a world in decline, and our generation, the cause of it.  This protest song against climate change has a beautiful story behind it, as it has involved 3 generations of the Anders family (Eric Anders, singer). Evelyn, Eric’s daughter, took part in the creation of the song and, William Anders, Eric’s father, is actually the astronaut who took the photo that ends the video, popularly known as “Earthrise”, back in 1968 during the Apollo VIII mission.