Keygrip | Nasos Gatzoulis | 6' | GRC
After a sudden and difficult breakup with his girlfriend, a man is transferred into an alternate psychedelic world. There, the territory is dominated by multiple sadistic versions of his ex-girlfriend. In a frantic, visual and audible rhythm, we observe the damnation of the protagonist, who keeps experiencing the worst of his nightmares. The film shows, with biting humor, that even between electric shocks, drowning in the pool and cruel torture with different objects, the victim remains submissive to these women, who are actually one. He's going to need more than just finding the key to get back home.
WALD | Floortje Pols | 11' | NLD
The characters in Floortje Pols’ short drama are influenced in a vicious cycle by one another’s behavior. By always choosing to protect their own emotions, they exist at emotional extremes: either erupting in vicious confrontation or avoiding confrontation altogether. Everything is worth it to gain control over the other and avoid vulnerability. We too are faced with this familiar feeling of being caught between the desire for invulnerability and the search for intimacy. WALD reveals the director's fascination with the destructive side of human beings and the need to exceed emotional limits in an attempt to truly feel.
Donut Paradise | Erdem Arslan | 6' | TUR
It all starts when a white-collar man gets lost while driving his car. In the midst of his journey, the protagonist seems to find the promised land. Donut Paradise is the surrealist experiment by Turkish director Erdem Arslan, born in Istanbul. The short film plays with the conventional structures of its genre and offers an eccentric take on the paradigms of the socio-cultural structures in which we live, breathe and sweat. Throughout the narrative, the film invites the viewer to decipher for themselves what synthesizes the Donut Paradise that gives the short film its name.
Orbit | Tess Martin | 7' | NLD
The sun’s energy circulates throughout the earth, feeding the cycle of life. Everything is connected in a natural loop, which repeats, like the circular discs of magical optical toys. This perfectly balanced rhythm is disrupted by human excess, throwing the cycle out of orbit and temporarily stopping the circulation of energy in nature. Orbit is Tess Martin’s phonotrope project exploring the relationship between humanity and the sun. Spinning drawings guide us along with the flow of energy through our planet allowing us to ponder our place in the natural cycle. Martin’s short premiered at Rotterdam International Film Festival along with an interactive installation and print series.
Vitiligo | Soraya Milla | 7' | FRA
When you have a mixed cultural heritage, you are constantly prey to doubt. Vitiligo invites the viewer into the minds of two women of mixed heritage in an unflinchingly visceral mode. Director Soraya Milla constructs a spectral experience by mixing performance, music, poetry, installation, theater and dance. The short film reflects on the feeling of being exiled and the impact of the globalized world on the women’s perception of their own identity. What is it like to never truly feel at home? Since its premiere, Vitiligo has been exhibited at film festivals around the world.
I Will Go Backwards of Our Path | Mattia Biondi | 3' | ITA
A backwards journey through the seasons and the units of language by director Mattia Biondi, an independent Italian filmmaker who meticulously works and reworks his images. His research is based on the use of minimal and essential technical instruments and is oriented towards the development of creative processes that fuse archival material and autobiographical elements. Biondi asks what it would be like to change the grammar of the world and its internal clock. There is always a way to look for a more concrete point - images lost in between the fleeting moments. These are the images that make up I Will Go Backwards Of Our Path.
Mary, Mary So Contrary | Nelson Yeo | 15' | SGP
Repurposing and manipulating images from two classic films drawn from two different corners of the Globe (Fei Mu’s 1948 film Spring in a Small Town and Alfred Hitchcock’s 1938 film The Lady Vanishes) combined with the filmmaker's own personal images, Mary, Mary So Contrary creates a hallucinatory narrative about a Chinese woman named Ma Li. Almost every night, she dreams of a lamb she had as a child, or that she is a Caucasian woman named Mary. Director Nelson Yeo is a filmmaker from Singapore and participated in the Berlinale Talents Tokyo in 2014, the BiFan Fantastic Film School in 2015 and the Locarno Filmmakers Academy in 2018. He is currently working on his first feature film.
I Don‘t Exist Yet | Susanna Flock | 14' | AUT
In this experimental short film by Susanna Flock, the protagonists are not human. Clumsy, green, ambiguous objects - the placeholder forms for computer-animated characters - are at the center of this troubling and uncomfortable investigation into the conditions behind computer-generated images (CGI). Initially invisible to the viewer, these characters only come to life through mathematically simulated textures. In this film, the invisible construction of digital effects is dissected to make the body of the seemingly bodiless tangible. I Don’t Exist Yet takes digital material and the surplus ‘digital garbage’, as its subject in order to explore disembodiment, subjectification, and dislocation.
At The Entrance of The Night | Anton Bialas | 19' | FRA
Two young Senegalese men walk through a Moroccan forest at night looking for a passage to the north. Along their journey, they end up experiencing a strange premonitory dream. Meanwhile, two Civil Guard officers are patrolling across Spain's south coast in a 4x4. Both are attentive, and the vehicle's headlights probe the darkness in search of clandestine presences. At the same time, a young woman performs a symbolic burial in a suburban park in Paris. The short film by Parisian director Anton Bialas presents three parts of one spiritually connected and resonant story, involving characters across Africa and Europe.
Thanatos | Luiza Fagá | 7' | BRA
Wax-winged, he flies, dreaming of himself as a bird. These are the delusions allowed within Greek myths. The sun, however, is forbidden. Let us remember that the moral of the Icarus myth is prudence. This experimental short film deals with the life impulse versus the death impulse. Dutch artist Bas Jan Ader and the security robot Knightscope K5, after all, seem to have one thing in common: recklessness. Combining found and original footage, the narrative is based on several anecdotes as profound as they are mundane, all compiled by Brazilian director Luiza Fagá.
Others | Grace Rex | 13' | USA
Others is a collection of eight surreal and experimental vignettes. Each piece focuses on a different person, in the midst of a seemingly quotidian moment, but each connected by an umbilical cord to an innocent but unpredictable being. While each vignette has its own location and characters, an unsettling and uncanny undertone brings them together, using absurdist and dark humour to build a world of irreverent and tender stories. By creating challenging and ambiguous images, director Grace Rex weaves a visual language that allows viewers to explore the visceral experience of everyday life.