Short Film Competition

38 films
In this oldest competition of the Krakow Film Festival, 37 films, including 13 documentaries, 13 fiction films and 11 animations, will contend for the Golden Dragon, three Silver Dragons and a place on the shortlist for the European Film Award and the Academy Award. As many as five Polish films have been selected for this section. Its diverse palette of colours will include both the most attractive and repelling shades, stories with an incentive as well as a warning. The film producers represent a variety of countries ranging from A as Armenia to U as Ukraine with the exception of R as Russia, just like in the previous year. Documentary animations will be screened along with animated documentaries and very realistic fiction films will be contrasted with pictures of a dystopian nature, which is nevertheless not too distant from the world around us.
  • Abel

    dir. Dekel Berenson, Paul Wesley
    fab2024

    Life follows its own rhythm in boundless mountains, but a broken heart hurts as much there as in any other corner of the world. Abel, who is 17, does not expect his girlfriend to tell him that they should stop talking to each other. He will receive support from the least expected direction.

    Read more
    film still Abel
  • Abraham (Ebrahim)

    dir. Elnaz Ghaderpour, Reza Gamini
    fab2023

    A short, dramatic conversation. A man is trying to elicit some information from a clearly scared woman. Where is she? In a cave. With a fire burning at its entrance. How did she get there? And, first and foremost, what happened to Abraham? The teenage boy went missing. He is not at home. There are only burnt women’s clothes.

    Read more
    film still Abraham
  • Amma's Pride

    dir. Shiva Krish
    dok2024

    Srija, a transgender woman from a small town in the south of India, is trying to get her marriage recognised. Unfortunately, her fight for justice, the media’s interest and the inconsideration of many people overshadow her relationship. But even when the problems start to mount, Srija can still count on the unconditional support of her mother.

    Read more
    film still Amma
  • An Orange from Jaffa

    dir. Mohammed Almughanni
    fab2023

    A few kilometres from Jerusalem, the Hizma checkpoint. There has been tension here for decades. Mohammed, a young Palestinian with a temporary Polish identity card, tries to get through the Israeli checkpoint. A succession of drivers refuse to give him a lift. Farouk, a taxi driver agrees.

    Read more
    film still An Orange from Jaffa
    Awards:Special Award
  • Autism Plays Itself

    dir. Janet Harbord
    dok2023

    In 1957 at the Maudsley Hospital in London, a film recording atypical behaviour of children was shot. Many years later, three adults in autism spectrum added their commentary to it providing new interpretations for the behaviour of the children in the film.

    Read more
    film still Autism Plays Itself
  • A Good Mind Grows in Thorny Places (Dom Strom)

    dir. Katarína Gramatová
    dok2023

    A poetic story about growing up. Adam is a 12-year-old boy who lives in a Slovak village. He is a local lumberjack and additionally takes up different odd jobs. In general, he likes to do everything. Although his life is not easy, he is able to notice beauty everywhere.

    Read more
    film still A Good Mind Grows in Thorny Places
  • Babylonia (Babilonia)

    dir. Duda Gambogi
    dok2024

    It is a hot night in Cuba. During her long-awaited debut on the stage of the biggest drag show in the entire province of Artemisa, Elizabeth de Victória must confront all the difficulties that precede a live performance.

    Read more
    film still Babylonia
  • Better This Way (E Mai Bine Așa)

    dir. Emanuel Pârvu
    fab2023

    Sixteen-year-old Adi is taken for a physical examination. He has obvious traces of beating, his face is lacerated and it is evident that he has been whipped. He does not say much. The police find out very soon that the motive behind the assault was his sexual orientation. In a small community, this is a reason to be ostracised, and for the family, especially his religious father, it is dishonour.

    Read more
    film still Better This Way
  • Blank Page Syndrome (Baltās lapas bieds)

    dir. Jānis Ābele, Toms Šķēle
    dok2024

    In the world where printing machines keep spouting millions of pages of new books, there is a reality preceding this process. A contemporary author is struggling with writer’s block over a blank piece of paper.

    Read more
    film still Blank Page Syndrome
  • Buzz of the Earth (Bzukot Země)

    dir. Greta Stocklassa
    fab2023

    What if Hrabal and Forman could sit at the same table to discuss a space mission? Czech humour accompanies the biggest challenge for earthlings represented by a group of scientists and a female citizen, who was entered in the competition by her children. Everything may happen during this discussion. We are aliens after all.

    Read more
    film still Buzz of the Earth
    Awards:Special Award
  • Captive

    dir. Lika Nadir
    fab2023

    Russia. On the monitors of a nightclub, beautiful girls dance in front of an uninterested clientele. From the radio and television come recruitment announcements for a ‘special military operation’. In the drawer of Savvy's young bodyguard lies a gun. Would he be able to use it to kill someone? In the name of what? Love? Propaganda?

    Read more
    film still Captive
  • Cry Me Through Hell (Di Yu Cui Lei Bu)

    dir. Jae Yang
    fab2023

    Airports are usually places full of hustle and bustle where crowds pass each other on escalators. This one, however, is different. Noone rushes Mr Wu; what is more, an airline employee starts a friendly conversation with him about his daughter. If everything seems to be in perfect order, why is the viewer becoming suspicious?

    Read more
    film still Cry Me Through Hell
  • Dark Cloud Memories (GiUkEun MukGuReum)

    dir. Seung-hee Jung
    anim2024

    In this futuristic vision of the world, memories are recorded in a virtual cloud. One day, the animation character loses all her images from the past, but she still believes she will be able to recover her memories. However, such messages as ‘Disk full. Buy a subscription. Battery low’ do not help the situation.

    Read more
    film still Dark Cloud Memories
    Awards:Silver Dragon
  • Diamond Beauty

    dir. Anna Korom
    fab2023

    Maria is addicted to plastic surgeries. Successive augmentations do not satisfy her and she wants new ones. Her nose, lips or facial fillers are never perfect. Now, she is looking forward to the opportunity of a date with her former love. But where to find money if she is drowning in debt?

    Read more
    film still Diamond Beauty
    Awards:Silver Dragon
  • Don Benjamín

    dir. Ivan Zahínos
    dok2024

    An unpretentious and poetic journey through a magical, endangered region of the Amazon rainforest in Bolivia. People living in the jungle are trying to restore the original state of the areas stripped bare of any trees.

    Read more
    film still Don Benjamín
    Awards:Silver Dragon
  • Emilio Barreto: Angels and Demons (Emilio Barreto: ángeles y demonios)

    dir. Cris Arana
    dok2024

    In Paraguay under the Stroessner regime, almost 400 people vanished without any trace and several hundred thousand ended up in prison, where they were tortured. The film tells the story of Emilio Barreto, who was detained for 13 years, although never convicted of any crime.

    Read more
    film still Emilio Barreto: Angels and Demons
  • Fahnenflucht

    dir. Emil Ahlhelm, Konradin Schuchter
    dok2023

    If you are a man, you have only two options during a war – stay and fight or leave to save your life. Not everyone wants to lay down their life for their homeland and this should be respected. A story of people who refused to participate in the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine on account of their beliefs.

    Read more
    film still Fahnenflucht
  • Force and Courage, Rise and Decline of an Italian Football Club (Forza e Coraggio)

    dir. Giovanni Merlini, Francesco Bovara
    dok2023

    Sambenedettese, a football club from a small town, is celebrating its centenary. In the 1970s, its team was a step away from promotion to Serie A. The story of the team is enlaced with a political narrative recounting the bloodiest and most brutal years from Italy’s history from a unique perspective.

    Read more
    film still Force and Courage, Rise and Decline of an Italian Football Club
  • How to Skin a Cheetah (How To Skin A Cheetah)

    dir. Meghan O'Shaughnessy
    fab2023

    A macabre, coming-of-age story and a thriller in one. Meghan O'Shaughnessy invites the viewers to a maze full of traps, where fantasies of revenge intertwine with illness, lies, solitude, hopelessness, violence and dreams of a journey-escape to Tanzania.

    Read more
    film still How to Skin a Cheetah
  • Inside San Isidro (En San Isidro)

    dir. Katherine Bisquet
    dok2023

    In 2020, rapper Denis Solís was abducted by the Cuban police and sentenced to 8 months of imprisonment for alleged contempt of court. In protest, a group of activists barricaded themselves inside the seat of the San Isidro organisation demanding the liberation of Solís and other wrongly convicted Cubans.

    Read more
    film still Inside San Isidro
  • Joko

    dir. Izabela Plucińska
    anim2024

    Grotesque, Roland Topor and Plasticine, i.e. Izabela Plucińska returns yet again with an animation exposing human weaknesses, which is full of absurd and black humour. This time, using 600 dolls and 200 kilograms of plasticine, she shows the mechanisms of manipulation and social hierarchy.

    Read more
    film still Joko
  • Kawauso

    dir. Akihito Izuhara
    anim2023

    A young girl and a river otter in an empty town do not develop into a story of great friendship between a human being and an animal. The protagonists are trying to establish some contact but they are total strangers. The starting point for this contemplative animation is the extinction of the river otter in Japan.

    Read more
    film still Kawauso
    Awards:Golden Dragon
  • Manual for a Divorce (Résumé d'un divorce)

    dir. Peter Ghesquiere
    fab2023

    Divorce is not as complicated as adults claim. You just need to split everything in two equal parts and make sure that ex-partners live far away from each other. Then after six years of tearing your hair out, shedding tears and immersion in despair, you will be able to have a civil conversation.

    Read more
    film still Manual for a Divorce
  • Me, Monster (Ja, potwór)

    dir. Zofia Tomalska
    anim2024

    Fear is an internal monster debilitating every cell of the body and disseminating without control. Is it possible to stop it? This animation will surprise you by offering a psychedelic journey to the labyrinth of the human mind and remote corners of the human body. A stream of consciousness ponding to the rhythm of disco, electronic and hip hop sounds.

    Read more
    film still Me, Monster
  • Moving Mountains

    dir. Jessica Poon
    anim2024

    The characters of this animation are little creatures looking like people without faces, clothes or emotions. On the one hand, they seem to be roaming without an aim, while on the other, they try to move ‘mountains’ with all their might. This surreal story is a metaphor of the lifestyle of modern nomads constantly chasing novelty and, at the same time, entangled in old habits.

    Read more
    film still Moving Mountains
  • On the 8th Day (Au 8ème Jour)

    dir. Agathe Sénéchal, Alicia Massez, Elise Debruyne, Flavie Carin, Théo Duhautois
    anim2023

    Seven days were needed to create the world, but one day was enough to destroy everything. The authors of this animated film invite the viewers to a beautiful land, woven of colourful yarn, full of animals and plants. Imperceptibly, darkness and gloom creep into this ideal world, gradually engulfing the fauna and flora.

    Read more
    film still On the 8th Day
    Awards:Special Mention
  • Open Eyes (Zheng Zhe De Yan Jing)

    dir. Qi Zhang
    fab2023

    Residents of no other country have been so much experienced by the pandemic restrictions. In China, a quarantine meant not only a ban to leave your house but also a welded door. ‘Open Eyes’ is a film that settles accounts with this difficult period in an unexpected way by presenting a relatively young marriage trapped in isolation.

    Read more
    film still Open Eyes
  • Ready (Etoimoi)

    dir. Eirini Vianelli
    anim2023

    When distinguished representatives of the country look at you from paintings on the walls, you had better behave decently. Meanwhile, employees of the Greek parliament kill time with meaningless activities and behave like little children. Where are those who made great Greek history?

    Read more
    film still Ready
  • Red Emma (Emma la rouge)

    dir. Macha Ovtchinnikova
    fab2023

    This miniature, set in two time realities, presents a biography and philosophy of an activist Emma Goldman (1869-1940). ‘The right to vote, or equal civil rights, may be good demands’ says the protagonist, ‘but true emancipation begins in a woman's soul.’ Has this idea become outdated or perhaps it resonates nowadays stronger than ever?

    Read more
    film still Red Emma
  • Silent Panorama (Silent panorama)

    dir. Nicolas Piret
    anim2024

    Splashing of a stream, rustling of leaves, chirping of birds. Soon, the sounds of nature turn into the sounds of a tree being felled, a factory or a train. With consecutive sounds, more fragments of a picture are being revealed on a piece of paper. An interesting formal experiment, which makes us more aware of how man drowns out the peaceful life of nature.

    Read more
    film still Silent Panorama
  • Submarine (Łódź podwodna)

    dir. Oliwia Zakrzewska
    dok2024

    Oliwia is experiencing a maternity crisis. She is a young single mother who raises her two-year-old son. Struggling with depression, she tries to seek help in many different ways - at counselling centres, church or Tinder.

    Read more
    film still Submarine
  • Suisunday

    dir. Tal Menkes
    fab2024

    A rucksack suddenly falls from the edge of the table. No, it is not true. Nothing happens suddenly. The backpack started falling the moment it was put away by Naomi. Her gesture began the process whose result we could see. What happened in the case of Albert and what decision will he take when he stands above a dying bee?

    Read more
    film still Suisunday
  • The Car that Came Back from the Sea (Samochód, który wrócił z morza)

    dir. Jadwiga Kowalska
    anim2023

    Poland, 1981. A group of young people have a dream: to have a car, be free and go on a trip to the seaside. They are not really into politics, even though shelves in shops are empty and it is impossible to get a passport. An animated road movie, in a comic book style, documenting Poland during the communist era.

    Read more
    film still The Car that Came Back from the Sea
  • The Illustrated Woman (La mujer ilustrada)

    dir. Isabel Herguera
    anim2023

    Ramia, Saadiya, Shubhashree and Samira are women with different experiences and dreams who meet at a henna tattoo workshop run by Isabel. Their stories in combination with the technique of collage and live henna tattoo design make a documentary animation which screams loud and clear for freedom and equality.

    Read more
    film still The Illustrated Woman
  • The Shadow of Dawn (Eha Vari)

    dir. Olga Stalev
    anim2024

    A young girl rejects the advances of a lumberjack she met in the forest. Soon, she encounters Beast with a crow’s head and Shadow sets off to fight for her life. This magic story about love, rejection and hurt feelings is a puppet animation with impressive stage design and costume details.

    Read more
    film still The Shadow of Dawn
  • This Peculiar Day (Tento divný deň)

    dir. Emilia Ondriasova
    fab2023

    Martin has it all: his own art gallery, an intelligent wife, a nice apartment and an organised and settled life. This may be the core of the problem - his everyday life is overwhelmed by all-encompassing boredom or, simply, the mid-life crisis. He decides to face it in the most mature way: by running away.

    Read more
    film still This Peculiar Day
  • Three Birds (Tri ticice)

    dir. Zarja Menart
    anim2024

    A girl visits a bird-woman to ask her how to deal with the problems bothering her. The strange older lady sends her on a journey inside herself, in which she is accompanied by three birds. Walking through a dark forest and murky reeds, entering a mysterious lake, the character experiences pain, fright and fear.

    Read more
    film still Three Birds
  • Where Russia Ends (Tam, de zakinchuyetʹsya Rosiya)

    dir. Oleksiy Radynski
    dok2024

    In 2022, during Russia’s on-going invasion of Ukraine, unknown film footage was discovered in Kiev. It is a testimony to the erased history of numerous imperialistic wars waged by Russia against its later colonies.

    Read more
    film still Where Russia Ends