Short Film Competition

36 filmów
In this oldest competition of the Krakow Film Festival 12 documentaries, 11 feature films and 13 animations representing a variety of styles and themes compete for the Golden Dragon, three Silver Dragons and a fast track to the European Film Award and an Oscar. Like a little mirror of the big world, they show nostalgic returns to the times of childhood and youth, the war and its inevitable consequences, faith in God’s power and one’s own talent, social oppression and sexual violence, the world in the pandemic and a perverse image of a family home. The films cross the boundaries of genres, provoke and use a frivolous form to tell important stories and vice versa. There is a Polish representation among them including 5 competitors.
  • Affairs of the Art

    dir. Joanna Quinn
    anim2021

    In ‘Affairs of the Art’ everyone seems to be a freak of a kind. The narrator thinks she is the only normal person in her crazy family. Is that really true? The animation uses black humour to show, in an exaggerated way, our obsessions and persistent pursuit of our dreams.

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    film still Affairs of the Art
  • Asbestos (Amianto)

    dir. Javier Marco
    fab2020

    A surreal and poetic story about a couple that finds a hedgehog costume covered with asbestos at a scrapyard. The odd outfit introduces an element of a puzzle to their world. It provokes and observes the protagonists and the world immersed in pandemic loneliness. LONG:

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    film still Asbestos
  • Bad Mood (Malumore)

    dir. Loris Giuseppe Nese
    anim2020

    Her mum makes 5 euro an hour. Sometimes a person dies in her presence, then she is in a bad mood. Her mum takes care of the elderly. Th film is a story about the repetitiveness of human life and death, as seen by a child.

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    film still Bad Mood
  • Branka

    dir. Ákos K Kovács
    fab2021

    In the early 1990s Yugoslavia, the country divided by a bloody conflict, is falling apart. At that uncertain time a young nurse, Branka, starts to work at hospital. Soon, she discovers that the drama is not only outside its walls. New-borns are dying at the obstetric ward.

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    film still Branka
  • Clara with a Mustache

    dir. Ilir Blakçori
    anim2021

    People exiled from their homes, deprived of money and valuables, sent to prisons – that is how they are treated during a war. A witness to these dramatic events is a German mark banknote with a portrait of Clara Schumann, passed from hand to hand.

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    film still Clara with a Mustache
  • Comeback

    dir. Vladimir Leschiov
    anim2021

    A little boy dreams of becoming a professional hockey player. Unfortunately, one day he is forced to give up on his passion. A hockey game to the rhythm of the Russian ‘Kalinka’ song is not only about dreams but also about building a relationship between a father and a son.

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    film still Comeback
  • Come Here (Kom hier)

    dir. Marieke Elzerman
    fab2020

    Sam is a shy and sensitive animal care worker at a dog shelter in Ostende. She prefers to hang back and perform her duties. Koen, a behaviourist, works with new dog owners. When a neurotic owner of a Belgian shepherd appears at the shelter, Sam decides to help her.

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    film still Come Here
  • Georgia

    dir. Jayil Pak
    fab2020

    When the police refuse to investigate the suicide of a young girl, a victim of rape, her desperate parents decide to seek justice in a different way. They prepare a unique protest. An example of the cinema of the #MeToo era, sensitive to social inequalities.

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    film still Georgia
  • God Was Here!

    dir. Raluca Lupascu
    dok2020

    ‘God arrived at Maglavit and made miracles’. This extraordinary story from more than eighty years ago is unique heritage of the people living in the south of Romania who are proud that the Lord spoke to shepherds.

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    film still God Was Here!
  • Have a Nice Dog!

    dir. Jalal Maghout
    anim2020

    Damascus, in the midst of war, chaos and disintegration, becomes a bleak scenery for an animation about a life underpinned by fear and helplessness. The protagonist living in Syria knows that here a bomb may destroy his house any minute. ‘Have a Nice Dog!’ shows an apocalypse happening directly in front of our eyes.

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    film still Have a Nice Dog!
  • Hide

    dir. Daniel Gray
    anim2020

    One, two, three – let’s play hide-and-seek! What if you hid so well that no one would ever find you? One of the brothers comes up with such an idea during a hide-and-seek at home. Closed in a wardrobe, he has been observing the life of his family through a crack in the door for years.

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  • Homecoming (Powrót do domu)

    dir. Raffi Movsisyan
    fab2020

    A bitter film in the style of cinematic realism about the disintegration of family ties. Hayk comes home to spend Christmas in Armenia. He brings a lot of presents and smiles for his family members. Gradually and painfully, he finds out how much his wife and children have become distant from him. :

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    film still Homecoming
  • In the Dark (Daaj)

    dir. Mehdi Zarei
    fab2020

    In the middle of the night in Southern Iran a family calls a doctor to an emergency case of pneumonia. These 12 minutes, which are impossible to forget, present a harsh picture of oppression and enslavement in patriarchal society. LONG

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    film still In the Dark
  • Joe Buffalo

    dir. Amar Chebib
    dok2020

    A documentary portrait of Joe Buffalo, an indigenous Canadian and a legendary skateboarder. His path in life was difficult and complicated, yet skateboarding has always been his greatest passion. When he was addicted to alcohol and incarcerated – it was actually his last resort.

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  • Khoniyar's Children (Farzandane Khoniyar)

    dir. Arman Gholipour Dashtaki
    dok2020

    The eponymous children are two brothers and two sisters – now four elderly people who never got married or started their own families. This does not mean, however, that they are lonely – they create an exceptional community marked by mutual closeness but also a sense of separateness.

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    film still Khoniyar
  • Like the Ones I Used to Know (Białe święta)

    dir. Annie St-Pierre
    fab2021

    It is Christmas, 1983. Children are only children and they are being extremely mischievous. Adults cannot control everything in the holiday chaos. The father is waiting outside to take the kids over from the mother. He is alone. They are all together. There are lights and Christmas trees. A strange evening, it is just like in the past, but so much different.

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    film still Like the Ones I Used to Know
  • Locked Out (Confines Dehors)

    dir. Julien Goudichaud
    dok2020

    A documentary elegy for the poor, destitute and homeless. The protagonists of the film are three people without a place to live, forgotten by the welfare system and the society. During the COVID-19 pandemic, when European cities were deserted, their lives became even more unstable.

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    film still Locked Out
  • Love in Times of Coal-Based Economy (Miłość w czasach gospodarki opartej na węglu)

    dir. Tomasz Siwiński
    anim2021

    Zbyszek, overwhelmed by the cold and his work in a mine, attempts to commit suicide. Only a voice-over from the TV and love for a mine crane operator keep him alive. A dark and disturbing animation with elements of fantasy, in the style of socialist realism posters.

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    film still Love in Times of Coal-Based Economy
  • Mao's Ice Cream (Lody Mao)

    dir. Brindusa Nastasa, Jialu Zhang, Annabella Stieren
    dok2020

    The documentary presents an intriguing project: every ten years five friends stand in front of the camera. Their group photo is an excuse to confront the recent decades of Chinese history and present various points of view.

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    film still Mao
  • Mom’s Hair (Mamini volosi)

    dir. Alexey Evstigneev
    dok2021

    Lisa lost her hair as a child. When all methods of treatment have failed, her mom decides to create wigs for her daughter, made of her own hair. Soon, the hair donated by her mother becomes more and more of a burden.

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    film still Mom’s Hair
  • Mother (Amayi)

    dir. Subarna Das
    anim2020

    Unexpectedly, joyful scenes of children playing and dancing turn into an account of traumatic memories from the past. Mother, who was once circumcised, must perform the same procedure on her daughter. Will she be able to defy the tradition?

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    film still Mother
  • Mutha & The Death of Ham-ma Fuku (Mutha & The Death of Ham-ma Fuku)

    dir. Daniel Suberviola
    dok2021

    The Free Zone in Western Sahara is a deserted, inhuman land where huge areas of the desert are riddled with anti-personnel mines. The protagonist of the film works in a brigade neutralising explosives and personally comments on this almost Sisyphean task.

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    film still Mutha & The Death of Ham-ma Fuku
  • My Uncle Tudor (Nanu Tudor)

    dir. Olga Lucovnicova
    dok2021

    A starting point for the shocking self-documentary by Olga Lucovnicova is her homecoming to Moldova. The house is filled with memories, yet everyone around her seems to idealise the past which hides a trauma.

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    film still My Uncle Tudor
  • On Time

    dir. Zbigniew Czapla
    anim2021

    Timetables flashing at a dizzying pace are juxtaposed with Hokusai’s drawings – this is a story, set in Japan, about travelling and the world rushing ahead faster and faster. The spirit of Bashō’s poetry is permeating the whole animation, setting the tone of philosophical reflection to this visually intense film.

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    film still On Time
  • Rough

    dir. Declan Lawn, Adam Patterson
    fab2020
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  • Salvia at Nine (Szałwia o dziewiątej)

    dir. Nari Jang
    anim2020

    What is a greater offence? Stealing a chocolate bar or molesting kids in front of the school? While adults hurt children with impunity, a little girl trying to steal sweets is caught red-handed in a shop. She leaves the shop with a sense of guilt, chased by remorse.

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    film still Salvia at Nine
  • Snowy

    dir. Kaitlyn Schwalje, Alex Wolf Lewis
    dok2020

    Snowy is a turtle. Snowy is a pet and not a particularly mobile member of the family. Snowy lives in the cellar and has a solitary lifestyle. Can Snowy be happy? Numerous people, more or less close to the turtle, express their opinions on Snowy’s wellbeing.

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    film still Snowy
  • Solar Voyage

    dir. Adam Żądło
    dok2021

    ‘This is a film about Mirek Lech, a visionary, inventor, extreme traveller and a champion of renewable energy sources’. The portrait of an unconventional protagonist takes on an unconventional form: a parody of a documentary essay with elements of friendly humour.

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    film still Solar Voyage
  • Testimony of Ana (Zeznania Any)

    dir. Sachin Dheeraj Mudigonda
    dok2020

    A night, a lake and a stone in the water. The mysterious opening of the film leads to Anaben Pawar, an elderly woman whose life in a small village in India is filled with syncretic rituals. The old lady lives in harmony with nature, yet she is under constant threat from an oppressive, patriarchal culture.

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    film still Testimony of Ana
  • The Danger in Front (Le danger en face)

    dir. Alexis Chartrand
    fab2020

    You never know what to expect from a barber. You do not know what he may be thinking when all day he is observing life in the street or what he will do when he notices a shadow of a threat. In this crazy game with the cinema, the theatre and the comic strip, a revolver that has been pointed once will certainly shoot in the end.

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    film still The Danger in Front
  • The Hangman at Home

    dir. Michelle Kranot, Uri Kranot
    anim2021

    A pregnant woman bolts the door, a man goes to sleep among flying bombs, a father is playing with his daughter – each of them is caught in an intimate, emotion-laden moment. We are peeping at them, like at the hangman from Carl Sandburg’s poem – what is the hangman thinking about when returning home from work?

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    film still The Hangman at Home
  • The Last Matador (Viimeinen matadori)

    dir. Katariina Lillqvist
    anim2020

    When bullfighting was banned in Spain and arenas, used in the past for corridas, were transformed into supermarkets, all that unemployed toreadors could do was pose to photos for tourists. Yet the protagonist of the animation has come across an unexpected customer – Vladimir Putin himself.

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    film still The Last Matador
  • The Last Room on the Left (Stancja)

    dir. Adrian Apanel
    fab2021

    ‘I’m here because of the add’ – a boy in foggy glasses explains the reason for his unexpected visit to an irritated landlady. When it turns out that he is solvent, the woman invites him inside. Is it really the room he was looking for? Or, maybe, it is a trap out of which he will not manage to get out?

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    film still The Last Room on the Left
  • Too Late (Za późno)

    dir. Kinga Syrek
    anim2021

    The protagonist of the animation is a model, actress, star of Andy Warhol’s films and his partner, Edie Sedgwick. The main axis of the film, however, is not her relationship with the American artist, but the relationship with her toxic father. Difficult childhood has cast a shadow on her adult life, soaked with alcohol and filled with drugs.

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    film still Too Late
  • When We Were Bullies

    dir. Jay Rosenblatt
    dok2021

    An archival educational film and an accidental meeting with a friend from school bring back memories from the 1960s when the director was in the fifth year of elementary school. At that time he participated in a shameful incident. Together with other students, he tormented mentally and physically a class scape goat. What do they remember from those years?

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    film still When We Were Bullies
  • You Are Here (Ty zdes)

    dir. Orkhan Abulov
    fab2020

    A subtle melodrama in the old style about youth, memories and the first infatuation. It is a story about the encounter between two separate universes, of a Russian student and an American researcher, in a tent in nature amidst stunning landscapes of the Caucasus. It begins well and ends well, too.

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    film still You Are Here