The 8 short films of European Film Festival 2020
Writer: Florey DM
Here are some of the short films you can watch at this year's European Film Festival.
Feature films usually get the spotlight when it comes to film festivals, be it online or at physical editions, which is why this time around, we're shining that light on the oft-overlooked short films instead.
In One Drag
Aside from the 20 feature titles showing at the European Film Festival (EFF) 2020, the inaugural online edition of EFF will also showcase 8 live-action as well as animated short films of various genres.
Let's take a look below at the short films showing at EFF 2020!
Let's start with one that's a little mind-boggling. In just 3 minutes, director Alireza Hashempour manages to create something truly bizarre yet captivating with his stop-motion animated short film "In One Drag". It follows a man who, after smoking his cigarette in one drag, casually flicks the stub to the ground as he always does. Except this time, something unusual happens - all the cigarette butts in the city come alive.
Kokota: The Islet of Hope
Clocking in at about half an hour, "Kokota: The Islet of Hope" is on the longer side of short films time-wise and is the longest out of all the 8 showing at EFF 2020. The documentary uses that time efficiently to educate audiences on reversing the effects of climate change, as told through its narrative of the resilient people of Kokota, who, despite facing water shortage due to the changes in their island's weather, continue to persevere in their daily lives. To help them, Mbarouk, a resident from the nearby Pemba Island, introduces reforestation efforts to Kokota with the help of Canadian tree-planter Jeff Schnurr.
From humans, we move to seagulls – hungry ones, at that. Leon Wang's 6-minute documentary "Hungry Seagull" follows a pair of seagulls with newborn chicks. The mother has given everything she's got, now it's the father's turn to look for more food, but pollution of the marine environment and overfishing of offshore fish have severely dwindled the gulls' food sources. The little family now struggles to find enough food to survive.
Moving on to something a little more uplifting, "Olmo" helmed by Silvio Soldini is an 8-minute short that revolves around the titular 80-year-old elderly man and his 8-year-old grandson Giulio. He likes having Giulio read the newspaper to him, because that way the young boy gets to learn about various environmental issues, such as melting glaciers and the greenhouse effect. One day, the two of them take a detour, instead of taking Giulio to school, Olmo takes him on a search for an old tree.
Tant De Forets
"Tant De Forets", by French illustrators and animators Burku Sankurand and Geoffrey Godet, is a 3-minute animated short film take on Jacques Prevert`s poem of the same name. It illustrates the irony of newspapers warning people about deforestation, when newspapers themselves are made of paper, which is obviously a product that requires cutting down trees.
This 8-minute documentary by Daniela Thomas highlights the issue of chemicals used in the agro-business and plastic industry that cause the worrying levels of water pollution in Sao Paulo rivers. The pollution also affects the Xingu indigenous people who live in close symbiosis with water.
Shahrbanoo Sadat's 5-minute "Qurut" highlights how climate change has affected rain patterns and soil fertility in a village in rural central Afghanistan. Audiences see this through the daily life of a young woman in the village. As dawn breaks, she can be seen milking a goat, her young son helping her by holding the goat`s horns. Before the little boy can take the goats and sheep to the mountains to graze all day long, the two of them must first finish milking the flock. Quruti is one of the popular meals in Afghanistan and the young woman often cooks it, but for some years, she and others have been making it less and less. It`s because the mountain pastures have dried up and now they struggle to feed their animals.
A Sunny Day
Let's end this list on a lighter note. Though the topic at hand is still serious, it is delivered in a hilarious way by Faouzi Bensaïdi, whose 10-minute long "A Sunny Day" is set in a future that`s affected by climate change. Audiences, who are invited to explore how familiar activities might look like in such future, will get to see what humans must do to protect themselves from excessive heat or cold, as well as just how devastating the effect of climate change can be on humans and nature.
Cinema Online, 28 October 2020
EFF 2020 movies are available for free streaming from 12am, 30 October, until 11.59pm, 30 November. Get more info right HERE.