The International Talent At The BISFF Online Short Film Festival
The Bangalore International Short Film Festival in association with Fliqvine, brought an incredible slate of short films to your computer screen, of which, the international section stands as a true representation of cinema’s global language.
With the understanding of cinema being discussed widely on a global scale, the interest in films from around the world has never been higher. Whether it’s the Academy awards or any film festival, international cinema is always represented as a mirror to watch and comprehend the level of work your peers are up to. BISFF 2015 too, saw some incredible movies being screened this year. Of them, a few chosen ones were, along with several Indian films, showcased as part of their Online Short Film Festival, in partnership with Fliqvine.
We wrote about the great deal of Spanish work in contention in the international section. We’re now covering all the other movies that made it the Online Short Film Festival.
Somewhere Down The Line
Directed by: Julien Regnard
Country : Ireland
Very few people get symbolism right, especially in the visual medium. Thus, so metaphorically poignant is Somewhere Down The Line, that you cannot help marvel at the simplistic approach that director Julien Regnard employs to fasten some hard truths. That a car journey is portrayed to symbolize the journey of life, makes the movie fascinating from the very start.
‘Tis the common truth that childhood, emancipation, friendship, love and betrayal are but the natural course life follows. But so melancholic and despondent is Julien Regnard’s tale, that you cannot stop yourself from posing that off existential question. The animation genre helps, for the incongruity in the lead character has you believe that, that could very well be you.
The French Revolution
Directed by : Hai Afik
Country : Israel
Hai Afik’s gripping, tense narration in the accurately titled, The French Revolution scares us into fearing a degenerative society. A society that uses force and threats as a measure for control. The story, which depicts a couple dealing with invasion into their homes presents a taut plot, filled with hyperbolic stress. But this invasion is not all the couple is fighting against; it is also their own pressured interpersonal dynamic that is put to test. How do you fight an assault, when you are not united?
Find yourself at the edge of your seat as you watch The French Revolution unravel; as it presents an inherently symbolic ending, in face of the anticlimatic trigger.
Directed by : Alexis Michalik
Country : France
Easily one of the most accomplished directorial works in this list, Grounded also makes for quite the run at the Bechdel Test. Very rarely do we see two women forming meaningful relationships and having helpfully kind conversations in cinema, but in Grounded, director Alexis Michalik gives us an insight into women helping each other out in the most affirmative manner.
When Evelyn finds herself and her baby unable to get onto her flight to go attend her mother’s funeral, it is an airport attendant, Stephanie, who comes to her rescue. She battles it out for Evelyn just so she can get her onto the flight, for no simple reason, but pure human empathy. The short but satisfactory relationship meets the most satisfying ends, reminding us that few things are as beautiful as helping someone out. The acting is purely delightful, aided by a strong background sound, keeping us engaged throughout.
First World Problems
Directed by : Hanna Maylett
Country : Finland
The ironically titled, First World Problems is a step into the world when every space of conduct crashes down because of, funnily, a first world problem. When a tired housewife cannot find her car in the garage after an extensive shopping trip, fat tears of anguish roll down her cheeks as she sits on the floor and finds comfort in ice cream. Doesn’t seem world-crushing enough? Because it isn’t, on a relative scale.
But the film tackles this rather mundane moment of frustration with such delicate humor, devoid of a judgmental tone, that you cannot help but smile. When a staff from the supermarket offers to help her find her car, we see our distressed protagonist sit down, slowly calm down, as her body sways to the tune of some electronic music on hand. Priceless!,
Directed by : Jorge Orozco Watson
Casa Capuchinas is the story of an unlikely partnership in the time of horror. Julia is a temporary servant employed to help Martha, the house woman, with moving. The former, a naive, impressionable young one, and the latter, a seasoned, hard-faced woman of substance and incredible self respect and honour, get along with the friction a new teacher and student would. Except, when Julia finds herself a victim of assault, it is Martha who comes to her rescue, ready to commit a crime if that’s what it takes in defense.
Movies often shy away from pairing up strong, independent women together, but Casa Capuchinas is a proof of female solidarity like few others. The movie is refreshingly poignant as it not only brings to fore intended violence against women, but also rests as one of the few examples where they fight back.
Directed by: Xu Zhang
Country: United States of America
The world is an intimate global community, becoming a unit of one, as we progress into the future. The best way to foster this oneness is by using nothing, but some warmth, despite the differences. Xu Zhang’s short film, En Route, in an incredibly warm movie, replete with moments that foster endearing temporary relationships between absolute strangers who, in various moments in the film, resort to emotion rather than language to express, befitting the idea that there exists no stronger language than humane kindness.
The director compellingly lets us into the journey of 8 charming strangers, all, as much as the movie allows us to see, seem inherently nice people. Bound, not by language, for all speak different ones, but gracious affection. In Xu’s film, we’re audience to three parallel stories, each distinctive in tone and depth. The first rather delightful, the second, rather melancholic, yet emotional, and the third caricaturishly adorable and happy. And you watch all three, feeling genuinely hopeful towards the end.
Directed by: Nikolay Kotyash
The satirically titled Every Other chronicles the day in the life of a woman; a day, unlike any other day she has had, which begins with her reporting her wallet theft. What begins as a police-led search for her missing wallet, soon spirals into an uncontrollable chain of events and chaos.
Nikolay Kotyash’s Every Other is incredibly well acted, and boasts of an extremely well-drafted storyline that takes its time to unfurl in a myriad of ways. With a tinge of underlying irony and humor at all times, the movie makes for a highly entertaining watch.
Button Eyes / Olhos de Batao
Directed by: Marlom Meirelles
Jealousy is a powerful and extreme emotion. Button Eyes explores this very deal, in a rather twisty manner. While it starts out looking like a compelling drama, the shift in narrative definitely makes it a much more intriguing experience.
Couple Dora and Miguel live an estranged life, away from the city as well as from each other. In fact, the movie establishes this idea rather compellingly by keeping the initial interaction devoid of words, and restricted to pure physicality. When a lost girl, Julia enters their life, Miguel is instantly taken to her, as he adopts her as his granddaughter, until he can find her real home. Consumed by rage of disorderly fashion due to this easy camaraderie, it is Dora’s reaction that elevates the movie from being a sugar-film of emotion to a truly volcanic one. The ending is almost priceless.
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