International Dramatic Shorts!


This year’s record number of international shorts offers a compelling look at stories from around the world. There are 42 international short films, up from 28 last year, representing 16 countries. From the torment of a ten-year old Iranian girl to the various collisions of seemingly unrelated worlds, the international shorts challenge our preconceptions and visual conventions.

Dramatic Shorts

ADVANTAGE/ Australia (Director: Sean Byrne; Screenwriter: Rob Beamish)- A young couple stumble home after a big night out. Their frisky interlude at a suburban tennis club lands them a role in a far more sinister, supernatural game and their opponents have a distinct home court advantage.

AUGUST 15th/ China (Director: Jiang Xuan)- Based on a real life event, a young Chinese woman boards a bus with her boyfriend to head home to meet his parents. What was supposed to be a joyful holiday turns unpredictable when a pair of countryside crooks hijack their bus. Traveling through China’s dangerous mountain passes, the passengers must decide how much they are willing to sacrifice for their own safety.

CHERRIES/ United Kingdom (Director: Tom Harper; Screenwriter: Fiona Kissane)- A class of teenage schoolboys are oblivious to their teacher’s attempts to question them about the wider world. They are about to get a lesson they will never forget…one that will change their lives forever.

CROSSBOW/ Australia (Director: David Michôd)- A kid. His Mum and Dad. The sex and drugs. And the boy next door who watched the whole thing unravel.

DENNIS/ Denmark (Director: Mads Matthiesen)- When Dennis, an introvert bodybuilder, invites a local girl out on a date his mother is hurt and disappointed. Despite the pressure she puts on him to cancel the date, Dennis ventures into a night that he will never forget.

DUGONG/ Australia (Director: Erin White)- In an effort to repair the past, a loner returns home with his dog on the day of his brother’s wedding, but learns that in order to make amends he must leave a piece of himself behind.

THE FUNERAL/ Canada (Director: Sara St. Onge)- A dark comedy about a young woman in her early thirties becomes aware of her own mortality and reacts by meticulously planning her own funeral. Possibly due to a lack of other big days in her life so far, such as a wedding, this becomes her moment to shine.

HARVEST TIME/ Finland (Director: Sami Korjus)- For so long, farmhouse lady Anja Huovinen has gritted her teeth and put up with her lazy husband’s drinking habits and idle talk, focusing instead on her work. But there is a limit to everything.

I LOVE SARAH JANE/ Australia (Director: Spencer Susser)- Jimbo is 13 and can think of only one girl-Sarah Jane. And no matter what stands in his way-bullies, violence, chaos, or zombies-nothing will stop him from finding a way into her world.

JUVENILE/ United Kingdom (Director: China Moo-Young; Screenwriter: Glenn Doherty)- A single parent’s relationship with his teenage daughter, on the day she brings home her new boyfriend.

THE OBJECT/ United Kingdom (Director: Leslie Ali; Screenwriters: Leslie Ali, Paul Calozzo, Nathan Frank)- Two hunters spot a flying object. Soon after, one of them is struck by the object as it falls to earth, setting off a chain reaction that ultimately reveals mankind’s stupidity and greed.

SMILE/ Canada (Director: Julia Kwan)- A subtle look at the fractures that bond a Chinese immigrant family on the day they use their cut-out Sears coupon for a free family portrait.

SOFT/ United Kingdom (Director: Simon Ellis)- A father rediscovers his fear of confrontation at the worst possible time.

THE SOUND OF PEOPLE/ Ireland (Director: Simon Fitzmaurice)- An 18- year-old boy stands in a moment on the brink of death.

SPIDER/ Australia (Director: Nash Edgerton)- It’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye.

WRESTLING/ Iceland (Director: Grimur Hakonarson)- A love story about two gay wrestlers living in rural Iceland who must keep their relationship a secret from the inner world of Iceland’s national and very macho sport.

WAVES/ Romania (Director and Screenwriter: Adrian Sitaru)- A beautiful Western woman asks a Gypsy to watch her four-year-old child while she is taught how to swim by a flirtatious married man, before she disappears into the sea.

W./ Germany (Director: The Vikings)- A social outcast describes how he finally found his place in the world.

WIND, TEN YEARS OLD (BAAD, DAH SALEH)/ Iran (Director: M. Mehr)- A day in the life of a 10-year-old Iranian girl highlights the Iran-Iraq war and the national/educational propaganda that informs the tumult, fear, infatuation, and mindset of a generation.

Documentary Shorts

THE APOLOGY LINE/ United Kingdom (Director: James Lees)- Based on the creation of a real-life ‘apology line’ where members of the public anonymously confess to absolutely anything over the telephone.

BREADMAKERS/ United Kingdom (Director: Yasmin Fedda)- At a unique Edinburgh bakery, a community of workers with learning disabilities makes a variety of organic breads for daily delivery to local shops and cafes.

FAREWELL PACKETS OF TEN/ Ireland (Director: Ken Wardrop)- Two ladies discuss the pros and cons of their mutual addiction to cigarettes.

SCORING/ Ireland (Director: Ken Wardrop)- A young man explains the true power of a kiss.

Animated Shorts

1977/ United Kingdom (Director: Peque Varela)- A small town, a growing knot, and a girl searching for her identity.

DOG/ Iceland (Director: Hermann Karlsson)- Remembering the death of a dog and the guilt of a boy that soon followed.

FLIGHTY/ United Kingdom (Director: Leigh Hodgkinson)- Butterflies in search of mates undergo penultimate speed dating, and for good reason: they have two weeks to live.

FOR THE LOVE OF GOD/ United Kingdom (Director: Joe Tucker; Screenwriter: Joe Tucker and Raphael Warner)- Graham lives with his overbearing mother in a Christian bookshop, trapped in the seedy outskirts of a decaying nowhere town. He and his mother both love God, but in very different ways.

I HAVE SEEN THE FUTURE/ Canada (Director: Cam Christiansen; Screenwriter: Kris Demeanor)- A suburban boy competes in a tennis match with his father in the suburbs of Calgary when three young men approach and start to rudely accost them.

I MET THE WALRUS/ Canada (Director: Josh Raskin)- In 1969, a 14-year-old Beatle fanatic named Jerry Levitan, armed with a reel-to-reel tape deck, snuck into John Lennon’s hotel room in Toronto and convinced John to do an interview about peace. Using the original interview as the soundtrack, this narrative tenderly romances Lennon’s every word in a cascading flood of multi-pronged animation.

LAPSUS/ Argentina (Director: Juan Pablo Zaramella)- A curious nun ventures into the darker side of her animated world.

MADAME TUTLI-PUTLI/ Canada (Directors: Chris Lavis, Maciek Szczerbowski)- Madame Tutli-Putli boards the night train, weighed down with all her earthly possessions and the ghosts of her past. As day descends into dark, she finds herself caught up in a desperate metaphysical adventure adrift between real and imagined worlds.

PARADISE/ France (Director: Yi Zhou)- A lyrical look at an imaginary paradise based on black and white nature and insects–with no humans, no souls in the landscape. Based on “The Divine Comedy” by Dante.

THE PEARCE SISTERS/ United Kingdom (Director: Luis Cook)- An amusingly bleak-hearted tale of two weather-lashed old spinsters living on a remote and austere strip of coast, scraping out a miserable existence from the sea.

YOURS TRULY/ United Kingdom (Director: Osbert Parker)- Animation and live action collide in the story of Frank and Charlie, a dark romance of psychological tension that unfolds as both sacrifice their morals in search of what they love.

Experimental/Mixed Media

BEND IT/ United Kingdom (Director: Jules Nurrish)- An homage piece with a significant nod towards the living sculpture-art of Gilbert and George that plays with conventional notions of gender. Featuring two unnamed, androgynous figures on plinths in an art gallery, they dance to the same tune that Gilbert and George used in their piece from the late 1960s, in which they created the “bend-it” dance.

BUYO/ Italy (Director: Andrea Fasciani)- In this post-modern tale, Ralph is a guy whose voice only generates weird sounds, and Anna is deaf. One day they meet in the elevator. Ralph’s unusual voice makes Anna’s body vibrate, prompting Anna’s affections and her desire to follow him everywhere.

NIKAMOWIN (SONG)/ Canada (Director: Kevin Lee Burton)-Deconstructing and reconstructing Cree narrative, this film experiments with language to create a linguistic soundscape.

OIRAN LYRICS/ Japan (Director: Ryosuke Ogawa)- A historical musical about the glamorous yet plaintive life of Kiyomi, a beautiful oiran or high-class Japanese courtesan.

please stand back (zurrueckbleiben bitte)/ Austria (Directors: stadtmusik) -The directorial collective, stadtmusik, deals with sounds in cities by analyzing sound structures that are triggered by urban buildings and facilities. They focus on the aspect of movement in the city, reinforcing a dynamic experience of the urban soundscape.

PLOT POINT/ Belgium (Director: Nicolas Provost)- The crowded streets of New York City turn into fictive, filmic scenery. By playing with our collective memory-its cinematic codes and narrative language- the piece questions the boundaries of reality and fiction.

SEVILLA(¥) 06/ Italy (Director: Olivo Barbieri)- A tale about the perception of Europe in Africa…from the vantage point of an airplane.

SUSPENSION/ Belgium (Director: Nicolas Provost)- Letting go of realist constraints, and going back to the mirror-images of some of Provost’s previous works, we dive into a metamorphosing cosmic ocean.

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