Short Matters! = Best shorts!

These films have impressed critics and captured the hearts of audiences worldwide. They’ve been handpicked by prestigious festivals and chosen as finalists for the European Film Awards. And now, once again, the Krakow Film Festival is bringing you the best of the best in European short documentaries, animations, and fiction films of the past season.

The “Short Matters! Short Films of the Year” section has been accompanying the festival for years. This year’s edition has been dominated by short fiction films, but the program also includes animated and documentary films. All productions shown under its banner have been shortlisted for nomination for the European Film Award – the equivalent of the American Oscars. 

We are extremely proud to have been presenting the “Short Matters!” program to our audience for many years now. We are pleased to have in this group a number of films that we showcased in Kraków last year and we are very curious how our audience is going to react to the remaining short films, comments Barbara Orlicz-Szczypuła, Head of Programme Department. The program is as diverse as ever, which shows that European cinema does not close itself off but continues to experiment and search for new forms.

Two animated films previously presented at the Krakow Film Festival will be shown this year. The program includes Affairs of the Art (dir. Joanna Quinn) and last year’s Silver Dragon winner Love, Dad directed by Diana Cam Van Nguyen. The latter title made it to the final five of films nominated for the European Film Awards. Ultimately, the award for best short film production went to the Slovenian-French animation Granny’s Sexual Life directed by Urška Djukić and Émilie Pigeard. This unabashed and taboo-breaking film is also going to appear in the “Short Matters!” section.atters!”. 

There is one more animated film among the European Film Awards nominees that will be screened in Kraków. It is the Portuguese-British-French production Ice Merchants (dir. João Gonzalez), also appreciated by the Oscar committee. The film is a beautiful, intimate story about the relationship between a father and his son. Similar themes are also addressed in the fiction film Cherries (dir. Vytautas Katkus). In this Lithuanian short, we watch two generations of men working together while picking fruit from the titular tree, which becomes a pretext for deepening the bond between parent and growing child. Complicated family relationships are also the focus of another excellent story from Lithuania. In the film Techno, Mama (dir. Saulius Baradinskas), we are presented with a portrait of a possessive mother and a son who tries to escape from the country and the toxic influence of his parent. The teenage protagonist in Sofia Georgovassili’s Memoir of a Veering Storm has more freedom. The girl manages to hide a certain secret from her parents.

Two dominant themes emerge from this year’s selection. Alongside family relationships, the issue of abuse of power resonates just as strongly. In the powerful documentary Handbook director Pavel Mozha reconstructs the tortures and repressions suffered by opponents of the government in Belarus. Meanwhile, in the feature film Will My Parents Come to See Me (dir. Mo Harawe), we see the harrowing story of the interrogation of a young, lost Somali boy who falls victim to the unforgiving system. A response to these experiences may be found in the experiment conducted by the protagonists of the documentary Neighbour Abdi (dir. Douwe Dijkstra). Two neighbours create a virtual reality in which victims of wars and persecution can confront their past. As a breather, the audience in Kraków will have the opportunity to see a reflective and soothing story. It is the Spanish film The Sower of Stars directed by Lois Patiño, which won an award at last year’s Berlinale.

Films in the Short Matters! section:

  • Cherries, dir. Vytautas Katkus, Lithuania, 15’, 2022
  • Granny’s Sexual Life, dir. Urška Djukić, Émilie Pigeard, 13’, 2021
  • Handbook, reż. Pavel Mozhar, Germany, Belarus, 29’, 2021
  • Ice Merchants, dir. João Gonzalez,Portugal, France, Great Britain, 14’, 2022
  • Love, Dad, dir. Diana Cam Van Nguyen, Czech Republic, Slovakia, 13’, 2021
  • Affairs of the Art, dir. Joanna Quinn, Great Britain, Canada, 16’, 2021
  • Memoir of a Veering Storm, dir. Sofia Georgovassili, Greece, 14’,  2022
  • Neighbour Abdi, dir. Douwe Dijkstra, Kingdom of the Netherlands, 29’, 2022
  • Techno, Mama, reż. Saulius Baradinskas, Lithuania, 18’, 2021
  • The Sower of Stars, dir. Lois Patiño, Spain, 25’, 2022Will My Parents Come to See Me, dir. Mo Harawe, 28’, Austria, Germany, Somalia, 2022

Krakow Film Festival is on the exclusive list of qualifying events for the Oscars in the categories of short film (live action, animated, documentary) and documentary feature, as well a recommending event for the European Film Awards in the same categories.

Kraków Film Festival is organised with the financial support of the European Union as part of the “Creative Europe” program, the City of Kraków, the Polish Film Institute, the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, and the Lesser Poland Province. The co-organiser is the Polish Filmmakers Association, and the main organiser is the Krakow Film Foundation.

The 63rd Krakow Film Festival will be held in cinemas from 28 May to 4 June and across Poland at the KFF VOD online streaming platform between 2 and 18 June.

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