International 2018 Short Film shortlist

Cornwall Film Festival

The Sky Underwater | Dir Anita Vedaa | Norway |10:20mins

It’s 2050. Six years old Mia lives in the city of Bergen, under a glass dome, 537 meters under the sea level. Every night, the Big Light wakes her up, clean and beautiful, unlike the rest of the world underwater, which is full of trash. Mia wants to travel out of the dome to see the Big Light, but the Adults hold her back and tell her everything is dangerous out there, because it’s full of sharks. Mia escapes anyway, and finds out that neither the sharks nor the world outside the dome are as dangerous as the fearful Adults want her to believe. Gathering the trash around her with the help of her friends, she will fly up to the surface to see the Moon for the first time.

Run it Off  | Dir Liam O’Hara | UK | 13:26mins

A long-distance runner, losing his way in life, stops a young woman throwing herself off a bridge. As he helps her get home, their night-time jog through the city reveals how a new friendship might give each enough courage to face the next day.

Run it Off  is one of the projects on the Creative England iShorts slate, delivered as part of BFI NET.WORK.  The idea that streamlined set-ups (two people, one evening) offer a perfect canvas for a short film, allowing our story to explore themes of loneliness, grief and friendship whilst focusing on character

Dentures of death | Dir Elias Sommer | UK | 13:58 mins

In the center of this comedy is timid six-year-old Tommy, whose parents make the terrible mistake of letting insensitive great-uncle Will babysit the child. That same night, sleepless Tommy loses his first tooth, and with no one there to answer his questions, the boy’s vivid imagination runs wild…

After another nightmare in which my teeth fell out, I wondered how 6-year-olds around the world cope with losing 20 teeth. The ideas for Dentures of Death came from there. I wondered: What happens if I pair someone who is about to lose his first tooth with someone who has lost all of his? what if one is at the end of his life but acts like a child, and the other a child who thinks he is dying?

Dead. Tissues. Love | Dir Natasha Austin Green | UK | 10 mins

Dead. Tissue. Love. is an intimate experimental documentary exploring the individual character of a female necrophile, as she recounts her life experiences, sexual awakening and how she express her sexuality, all whilst hiding it from a society that demonises her.

Natasha Austin-Green is a cutting edge experimental documentary filmmaker, who shows us once again that boundaries of taboo subjects can make you reconsider your stance.

Lotte that Silhouette Girl |  Dir Carla Patullo & Elizabeth Beecher| US | 10mins

Once upon a time, long before Disney and the other animation giants, Lotte Reiniger ignited the screen with shadows, light, and a pair of magical scissors.

And so with music, magic, and a stirring narration by Lotte herself, LOTTE THAT SILHOUETTE GIRL tells the largely unknown story of one of animations’ biggest influencers. Her unique style of storytelling and visual contrast inspired many, including modern day filmmakers Henry Selick, Anthony Lucas and many others. Lotte’s 1926 film, The Adventures of Prince Achmed is the oldest surviving feature length animation, and she also invented the multi-plane camera, both of which changed the field of animation forever. And sadly, both feats are often mistakenly credited to Walt Disney. This stunning documentary uses Lotte’s unique silhouette style as it re-writes history from a new point of view to tell the magical and charming fairy tale that was Lotte Reiniger’s life. It is a visual symphony that will delight audiences with its smart, artful, and romantic animation accompanied by a truly imaginative and emotional musical score as well as the wonderful narration of Lotte’s gravely and thickly accented voice.

Top 10 places to visit in São Paulo |  Dir Akira Kamiki | Brazil | 14mins      

“Top 10 Places to Visit in São Paulo” was born, a story between two photographers who enjoy a day together in the city. Our actors – a Brazilian and an Argentinian – are actually together in real life and bring their chemistry to the screen. We thought this was amazing, since their love for each other completely ignored the eternal rivalry between our two nations, and very much supported the message we wanted to bring: although there is a language barrier between the characters, they still manage to under-stand one another. And that is the beauty of São Paulo – how so many people, from different cultures and speaking different languages, still manage to live together and find common ground.

Reflections | Dir Florent Agostini | French |19mins

In a society close to our own, where the poor take an important role in the equilibrium of the community, Leria, a young woman in need is passing a job interview. An open window on a parallel world presents us with a dehumanised society where citizens can no longer communicate without machines. As the third film of the Similar Mind project, REFLECTIONS serves to bring a novel perspective on poverty’s place in society while denouncing an insidious standardisation of misery which encourages our ignorance of the beings behind those in need.

The Sermon | Dir Dean Puckett | UK| 11:05min

A young woman’s secret rocks an isolated church community in this disturbing folk horror tale. The Sermon is a short ‘Folk Horror’ dealing with sexuality, faith and oppression shot on 35mm film in the tradition of such films as ‘The Wickerman’ (Robin Hardy, 1973) , ‘The Blood On Satan’s Claw’ ( Piers Haggard, 1971) & ‘The Witchfinder General’ (Michael Reeves, 1968). These British films from the late Sixties and early Seventies that inspired me, have become known as the ‘Unholy Trinity’ and are characterized, in general, by isolated communities that have created their own societal rules often dominated by a strong male figure and ending with an explosive act of violence. I thought that these ideas and tropes were ripe for updating. So the Sermon is not only meant to be an engaging drama about our protagonist Ella’s secret life, but also a political fable which seeks to reflect, through metaphor, the current British and US socio-political climate. Written in a frustrated daze after the double whammy of Brexit and the Election of Donald Trump the film is set in a kind of ‘nowhere time’, a parallel reality almost like a dream that could be in the past or perhaps, if we are not careful, our future.

No Pain Whatsoever | Dir Alex Kendal | UK | 14min

NO PAIN WHATSOEVER is an adaptation of a short story by the iconic mid-20th-century author Richard Yates (best known for REVOLUTIONARY ROAD). The story explores the dilemma of a woman facing the reality of a having a partner shackled by serious illness, rendering their romantic relationship obsolete and leaving the rest of her life in a state of flux. Conversely, he has to deal with the trauma of sickness and confinement, and the knowledge that he is unable to participate in her life or the world beyond his ward. The film aims to explore the nature and power of relationships and loneliness – and in particular give a refreshing and provocative perspective on this woman’s need for autonomy, both emotionally and physically.