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“Short list”

Traducción: Rocío Molina Biasone. 

Ver versión en Español

Yes, these are strange times for us all at the age of Corona, and it is highly unoriginal to make a list of film recommendations. But since I have been looking for an excuse to talk up some films, I decided I may as well make the most of it and follow the herd on this one. However, instead of starting with the usual and more common “classic” recommendations, I wanted to first mention some short films from film festivals that have captured my heart in the past few years, and most are even available for online viewing- which should fit perfectly with all of our lockdowns and excessive home time.

Dylan, Dylan (2017) de Sylvain Coisne (Francia)

This first thing I did after watching this film, is immediately press play again for a second viewing. This is probably my favourite short film of recent years, and potentially ever. Everything about it is incredibly smart and sensitive- from the uniqueness of the story, to the delicate work of acting, to the precise and beautiful shooting. This film is everything I want from a short film, and from any film really. It left me completely and utterly heartbroken, and in devastating pain- and it will most likely do the same to you, but in such a way which that will only make you want to dive right back in and experience it again.

Grey Zone (2020) de Gal Sagy (Israel)

This film is an exceptionally delicate and brilliant work of directing and acting. It gives us a glimpse at a split second of the most difficult, and sadly- very relatable situation, that almost any woman experienced at least once (and probably more than once in many other variations). Without any unnecessary explanation or judgement, we are drawn to this fabulous work of acting by Rachel Yaron and Udi Persi, who are making us as uncomfortable and cringing as their encounter is.

Rezerwacja (2016) de Wiktor Korek Bojanowski (Polonia)

Reservation is such a beautifully frustrating film, which is probably one of the best experiences to have while watching a film in my own personal view, and one that I personally enjoy using as a director as well, so it pretty much makes it the highest praise I can give any film. This short keeps you on your toes as your are running around with the hero, while he tries to do anything he can just to make things right, but all these mundane little disturbances keep getting in his way, and constantly make him getting it wrong. Luckily, this film is fully available online, so the next time you are a bit annoyed and looking for a very relatable 14 minutes- this is your film.

Hair Wolf (2018) de Mariama Diallo (Estados Unidos)

Okay, so this is the kind of film that since watching it I had not been able to shut up about, and probably mentioned it to more people than I can recall. I watched it while speaking at a panel that I attended along with two wonderful fellow indie filmmakers, and despite all of us being invited to discuss our own films- we all also ended up talking about this film amongst ourselves on stage, and that definitely says it all. This Sundance winner is smart, witty, and I will probably continue spreading the word about it until everyone will give it a watch.

My Life I Dont Want (2016) de Nyan Kyal Say (Myanmar)

Aaaaand we are back to some more heart aches. This film should be watched by everyone. Women from anywhere in the world will relate to it and feel its pain, and I really think men should watch it to better understand how so many of us experience the world growing up. In addition to being a talented creator and animator, Nyan Kyal Say proves to be highly observant and sensitive, because one would have to be in order to capture all these delicate situations in such an approachable way.

Despite it being an animation, I feel this film requires a trigger warning, as I myself could not even get past the third viewing fully when I recently tried while having a difficult day.

How to Swim (2018) de Noa Gusakov (Israel)

Okay, so fair disclosure- I am in no way objective about anything that the incredible Orli Zilbershatz is in as she is one of my all-time favourite actresses who can do no wrong in my eyes, but regardless, this film deserves all the many praises it has been getting in festivals around the world. It’s sweet, sad and hopeful all at once, the actresses are fantastic and unique, and this will definitely be your feel-good short of the day (which will be a crucial contrast to some of the other films on this list…)

Girl Fact (2017) de Maël G. Lagadec (Bélgica)

And on a complete contrast, this film is probably the least “feel-good” film you will watch.

It is very intentional that this is the last film I will recommend in this batch of shorts, and that is because it is near impossible to stay focused on any other film right after watching it. When I saw this film it was part of several short ones at the SCENECS film festival in the Netherlands, but by the time it ended, quite a few people- myself included- could not stay in the movie theatre any longer.

Anyone that knows me, know that it takes a lot to get me to leave a screening in the middle and is near impossible. It is a forbidden concept for me on all levels and happened maybe twice in my life before, and only due to unusual and justified emergencies. However, this is not a film that you can just casually go on to the next one after the credits end. I fully understood the festival programmers choice to have it followed by a couple of “easier” shorts to help the viewers successfully survive this painful viewing experience, however, I fully understand how not all of us managed to do so and be able to stay committed to another film right away. With an additional and crucial trigger warning- I plead all of you to watch it (and it is also fully available on the attached link), because it is important and well executed, and cuts as deep as anything can. But be sure to find the right time, as it may discourage you from just casually going on with your day.