Internationale Kurzfilmtage Winterthur 2022
Here a selection of the most challenging discoveries from the International, National and Sparks Competitions - curated by Giuseppe Di Salvatore
Ben Rivers, Celine Condorelli | UK 2022 | 13’ | International Competition
This is the slow encounter of words and images. Initially distant but already bound to the fragile wire of poetry, the work of the hand and the voice of the memory join in one film discourse about childhood, which is the portrait of one singular place and a cosmos, which is a perfect sound landscape, a perfectly sound “innerscape”.
Maxim Arbugaev, Evgenia Arbugaeva | UK 2022 | 25’ | International Competition
A jewel of a film! Not only for the impressive image layer but also for a simple dramaturgy: the isolated scientist, the nature as threat, the nature as threatened. Three steps that the film is able to make us experience as three wondering surprises, and we’ll learn how science and empathy can go together, not only out there in the scientist’s life but also in the film’s and our own (both scientific and empathic) gaze.
Hlynur Palmason | ISL-DK 2022 | 22’ | International Competition
It could appear as a lockdown film, which then would presuppose a quite long lockdown. A quite long lockdown: would it be the definition of family? The affectionate observation of a father actually reveals itself to be a collaborative game that serves the intention of a story as meditation on time and change. The film shows the adventurous life of a nest and expresses the “nest-ness” of the cellular filmic dispositive itself, but its concentration feature is perfectly balanced by the strong and liberating winds of humour.
Total Refusal | AT 2022 | 20’ | International Competition
Just imagine that our own lives would be faithfully mirrored in this second life video game: the film essay would become an ethical focus, and a profound reflection, on the background figures that are part of our own daily landscape as a commodified labour force. Beside this brilliant anti-capitalistic thread we also discover an existentialist line that emerges from these non-playable characters (NPCs to gamers), for programmed slavery implies moments of indefinite suspension. Do we dare to see ourselves in them?
Morgane Frund | CH 2022 | 19’ | National Competition, Sparks Competition
Morgane Frund is brave because she does not fear to confront her voyeur protagonist and reverse his “male gaze” in rearranging the roles of power and being the one who shoots and takes pictures of him as amateur filmmaker. In this way she is not afraid of raising difficult ethical questions about the violence of the gaze, the limits of the private and public spheres in looking at and recording images – her own images too. In a subtle editing, between questioning and self-questioning, she gets us to be aware of how there is no candid average man, merely widely accepted prejudices that actually cover highly problematic attitudes.
Che-Yu Hsu | FR 2022 | 22’ | International Competition
Since Shakespeare crime is the motor of modern representation, in theatre and in cinema. Che-Yu Hsu brilliantly articulates the motive of crime in films in expanding on crime as being behind the cinema scene – for his protagonist was an influent producer of Wuxia films in Taiwan and a criminal gangster at the same time; and cinema as reconstruction of the crime scene – the same crime scene of which the documentary protagonist was the real protagonist after having stopped making films. In this way, a real crime is both after and before cinema. Should this (documentary) making of the crime scene (and the cinema scene in Taiwan) be called expanded cinema?
Clara Anastacia, Gabriela Gaia Mireilles | BRA 2022 | 17’ | International Competition
A camera seems to accidentally enter a house in order to improvise a documentation of its new illegitimate occupier. In front of the camera the woman continues to simply talk and unfolds a complex stratification of issues: from feminicide to object spirituality, from class unfairness to private dreams. Through a radical questioning about legitimacy we learn how taking care and stealing can effectively be two sides of the same coin, insofar as we face a woman that is both desperate and magnanimous. This film is a rare pearl!
Isabelle Tollaneare | BE 2022 | 14’ | International Competition
Two girls explore what would eventually become their future house. Is it an impossible dream or a real move, which seems to signal a social upgrading? The Fruit Tree is a film on desire, which coherently makes use of ellipses and opens up a cinematic space between the images and the sounds. A dreamy or nightmarish vision closes this bitter-sweet meditation on a transcendental tonality.
Jorge Cadena | CH 2022 | 15’ | National Competition
This film arises out of an urgency and efficaciously points out how queer and indigenous people suffer from the same violent discrimination in Colombia. The mixture of tradition, carnival and drag aesthetic could be seen as the Latino version of Afrofuturism, if one could not recognise how this is not a utopic matter but a burning reality. The subjective perspective, the symbolic imagery and the wonderful lively wind that breathes in Jorge Cadena’s film reveals how this reality is able to be both confrontational and empathic.
Amartel Armar | GHA-FR 2022 | 15’ | Sparks Competition
Ghanaian garbage dumps have already been the object of film essays and documentaries but what Amartel Armar achieves is something different from the pornographic exhibition of the horror. He develops a vibrant story of brotherly affection, that is rigorously shot from the point of view of a child and emerges as a cry against the blind functioning of survival. A cry with intense aesthetic peaks.
Mark Albiston | NZL 2021 | 15’ | Sparks Competition
The old car becomes the materialisation of adulthood and desire but also of the burden of trauma. The absent father is the incumbent phantom of a coming of age story or, better, an atmosphere, insofar as the wonderful camera is able to express the intensity of emotions in an unforgettable way.
Lawrence Abu Hamdan | UK 2022 | 15’ | International Competition
The film ingeniously unfolds as a geometric theorem on the absurdity of borders and protective – or hypocritical – legislation and the anomaly of a single jurisdictional case becomes the vector for a global issue: the unacceptable impunity of drone wars and their coward violence at a distance. This is an urgent reality check.
Angelica Restrepo, Carlos Velandia | COL 2002 | 14’ | International Competition
How does a film know how to be highly abstract and strongly immersive at the same time? The two Colombian filmmakers demonstrate that less is more: the voice over shrinks into simple subtitles, which together with the 3D point cloud animation aesthetic perfectly, intensely, almost painfully, represents what memories feel like.
Sophia Farantatou | CH 2022 | 26’ | National and International Competition
What if the abundant recurring to images as evidence will lead to the inefficacity of the evident images themselves? How to claim against homophobia and transphobia that resist the evidence of their being potentially criminal? The real virtue of Septembre amer is to question the role of images, to show the necessity of film as art, as an art that knows when and how to renounce to the images themselves.
Claudius Gentinetta | CH 2022 | 6’ | National Competition
It would be redundant to discuss a film that does not need any commentary save for the recognition of how refined and radical Gentinetta’s exploration of feelings through animation is.
Douwe Dijkstra | NL 2022 | 29’ | International Competition
How to survive trauma and its violent aftermath? How to let creativity compete against destruction? Dijkstra has got his neighbour to witness all of this and has brilliantly integrated the making of the film, and himself, within the film. In this way, he realises a horizontal, collaborative film, where the performative aspect of filmmaking is part of the creativity that the film wants to highlight.
Pedro Cabeleira | FR-PT 2022 | 27’ | International Competition
How to make a mother-child bond fit to a self-made career in the social media competition? This amazingly written story is able to put tenderness and aggressivity together, as well as beauty and vulgarity, showing the gender-sensitive violence of work negotiation without taking the easy path of physical violence. This is highly contemporary.
Johannes Binotto | CH 2022 | 5’ | National Competition
A video essay should make one reflect upon but also experience the motive or the argument at stake. Here Johannes Binotto finds the balance between the intellectual complexity of scale jumps and the surprise of their visual and sound breaks until the categorial jump to the textual level. In this, the found footage will be less an item to manipulate and more a horizon into which to dive and re-emerge.
Eloïse De Gallo, Julie Borderie | FR 2022 | 16’ | International Competition
Science is a fascinating matter that can produce amazing abstract images, but with Blue Silico we are not just attending an aesthetic show but we discover how science and aesthetic are a very personal and intimate concern for the filmmaker. In addition the planetary and the individual perspective merge together.
Nikita Diakur | DE-FR 2022 | 12’ | International Competition
The filmmaker challenges his avatar to learn a backflip and his/its performance will challenge the learning A.I. system, but also his/its own’s body, that would be ruinously damaged if not perfectly virtual. Backflip is a ludic confrontation of one’s own projections and the capacities of our virtual counterparts.