Live-Action Competition 4
“People eat their dinner, just eat their dinner, and all the time their happiness is taking form, or their lives are being destroyed.”
I’ve been paraphrasing this line from Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya for almost all of my career after people ask me what I appreciate about short films. It is partly a vain attempt to make me look intellectual. But it is, for me, also a perfect illustration of what short films can do better than any other medium. Our prevailing film culture works on the grandiose. “The bomb will destroy the Earth and turn the rest of the planets a shade of mauve.” “You’ve actually been my cousin’s mother’s half-sister all along, and we’re due to be married on live TV in half an hour.” “If we don’t get the medical supplies sent from Borneo, the human race will all contract a flu strain resistant to chicken soup.”
You know the kind of thing.
Yet real life is predicated on small moments. Those seemingly tiny moments where asking someone to pass you the salt in the morning leads to asking them to pass you a shotgun by the evening. Where the act of treading on someone’s toes leads to marriage and children down the road. We eat our dinners and our lives change.
Shorts encapsulate these moments so well, showing the beauty of the seemingly banal and the importance of the seemingly insignificant. All the shorts here deal with subjects that at first glance seem low-key and understated. But they find drama, humour and warmth in their stories as they illustrate just how wonderful – and sometimes shocking – the everyday can be.
One Saturday afternoon at a Norwegian play centre, a couple witnesses an argument between two mothers and the centre's manager. The couple are wondering if they should intervene, but the situation soon triggers underlying issues of their own.
Do the Blind Gaze Through a Window?
Mesude is a nurse with stage four breast cancer who refuses to get treatment. After her pain increases, she consults with the doctor at the hospital that she works. Realizing that her body will not be able to heal, she starts discovering and following her own methods of therapy.
Majid, a young man struggling financially, comes up with a ploy to better the life of his wife, Sarah.
Dancing For You
Twelve-year-old Wiktor is a pupil at a renowned ballet school. He’s preparing for an event of enormous importance in school life: the promo show, which decides whether or not he’ll be promoted and move up to the next grade. All the teachers and all the pupils' parents take part in the occasion. His grandmother is his companion as he practices for the performance, but his dream is that his father, who lives abroad, will come to the show.
Holy Family is a dark humoured comedy that tells the story of a family of five brothers, a single mother and a grandmother who live tight on a small apartment in Benfica. Everything is complicated on the day that the emblematic Sardoal FC mascot escapes and the club is at risk of losing the championship.
Shooting Ms Rena's Film!
Inside a bazaar located in the outskirts of Baku, a young film team tries to shoot a scene with a well-known actress.
The Distance Between Us and the Sky
It’s night on a highway. Two strangers meet for the first time at an old gas station. One has stopped to gas up his bike while the other is just stranded. Lacking the 22.50€ he needs to get home, one will try to sell the other the distance that separates them from the sky.