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International Short Film Competition 2020

The Unsung 

Director: Sarah Thomas 

Country: India

The Unsung is a film on a dying tribe on the coastal region of Karnataka -- the Halakki Vokkaliga. This once culturally rich tribe with a treasure trove of folk songs passed down orally from generations is now grappling against the tide of modernisaton. With only a handful of old ladies who identify with the tribe, their traditions and cultures. With the passing of these few old women, their very culture fades away. The film touches on the struggles of the tribe, the clash between modernisation and their culture, the fight to keep their forests alive and the painstakingly long battle to be included in the Scheduled Tribe list in India. The film is an unsung story of the last of the singing tribe, as they fade away.

The Voice of the Mountaine

Director: Sarah Thomas

Country: Switzerland 

The Voice of the Mountain shows us how the ex-combatants of the farc-ep live after signing the peace treaty with the colombian government. As part of the agreements, territorial spaces for reincorporation were implemented where the ex-combatants live and work in productive projects. As these projects are often not financed by the government, many ex-combatants have become distrustful and many have deserted the peace agreements. At the same time, many social leaders and cultural workers have been murdered for agreeing to peace.


Director: Mariam El Marakeshy 

Country: Turkey

Transit is a groundbreaking documentary bringing powerful intimate stories of young refugees who risked their lives crossing the Aeagean sea to Europe, only to get trapped on the Greek island of Lesvos, with no future and closed borders. It was supposed only to be their "transit" stop but it is where they ended.

Peacekeepers: In the Svanetti Mountains 

Director: Andriy Kirshin 

Country: Ukraine

Shortly after the Ukrainian crews returned to their motherland, a telegram from the Georgian leadership came to the then president of Ukraine:
"We regard your unselfish help as the extension of the historical traditions of brotherhood and mutual respect of two fraternal peoples.
Our gratitude for the rescue of the doomed refugee army, who were caught in the mountains of Svaniti is enormous. We are deeply convinced: those who were connected with pain and joy, will live forever, this will be passed from generation to generation.

Miss Curvy

Director: Ghada Eldemellawy

Country: UK 

When Uganda announces its first-ever beauty pageant for plus-size women, schoolteacher and single mother Namukasa Mariam seizes the opportunity. Hoping to gain strength by confronting past traumas (and her abusive ex-husband), she soon finds herself surrounded by national controversy, fierce rivalry and extravagant characters. Exploring timeless yet contemporary issues within a uniquely African context, Miss Curvy takes viewers on Mariam’s unforgettable journey through the extraordinary world of East African plus-size beauty pageantry.

Meduse Afro Hair and Other Myths

Director: Johanna Makabi, Adèle Albrespy 

Country: Senegal 

From London to Paris, Marseille to finish in Dakar, we start looking for various african neighborhood in order to film various types and techniques of hairdressing: braided braids, flat braids, plaited braids, weaving, straightening, afro... Throught Meetings and conversations with people and hairdressers, we question the importance of treatment and maintenance of hair in African cultures. Through the stories of Romy, Cyn, Kami and Louise we follow the evolution of their hair which finally turns out to be more political than aesthetic.

So Kou - The Horse's Tail and his Master Player Zoumana Téréta

Director: Marco Romano

Country: Mali

So Kou - The Horse's Tail and his Master Player Zoumana Téréta, gives an insight into the history of an ancient instrument and a master player who contributed at making it better known to the world. The sensation of a strong symbiosis between the master and the So Kou emerges, casting a feeling of purity and sincerity.

Talking Dreams 

Director: Bruno Rocchi

Country: Italy

Someone, somewhere, they say that if you dream a white man, you will be lucky. In a village there is a radio that broadcasts the listener’s dreams. Samuel has a dream about Bruno, a white man. They send a tractor to the village, in order to feed everyone by cultivating the land. The tractor’s journey meets with the dreams told in the radio, while blending with the memories of Samuel, yet departed years before towards Europe. Everything is going good but, given that “dreaming” is a language, that language sometimes makes a mess when it talks about the relationship between women and men.

Supper for the Dead Souls 

Director: Ignazio Figus

Country: Italy 

“…The dead souls enter into homes at midnight, passing around the laden tables, departing afterwards satiated only by the aroma of the food. If, instead no dish has been prepared the dead leave accompanied by heavy sighing...” It is still alive in Sardinia the ancient habit of leaving served on the table, on the night between 1st and 2nd November, a supper for their own dead, consisting of a full meal characterized by sos macarrones de sos mortos (the macaroni of the dead). Filmed in Orune, in central Sardinia, this documentary - with an observational approach - describes the preparation of the banquet and some connected rituals.

This Ink Runs Deep

Director: Asia Youngman 

Country: Canada

This Ink Runs Deep features indigenous tattoo artists from across Canada who are reviving ancestral traditions that disappeared during colonization. Through the film, we learn about the practices that were thought to be lost forever, and how their revival reflects a reawakening of indigenous identity.

Gimbal: A bet between tradition and economics 

Director: Sidiq Ariyadi

Country: Indonesia 

A farmer named Sutrisno has a daughter named Alya who has dreadlocks in her hair. The dreadlocks hair was never been made but given. People believes a child with dreadlocks hair is given by supernatural ancestors. People also believes there's some spirit that follows the child along with the hair. To set the child free, a dreadlocks haircut ritual needs to be held. Before the ritual, a dreadlocks child request needs to be granted. Alya is asking for a big female cow from her parents. Sutrisno as the head of the family working so hard to fulfill his daughter's request to complete the ritual.

Longye: The Jungle God

Director: Lesley Mapstone

Country: Canada

In Nepal’s Himalaya, where mountain mists shroud old growth forests and bamboo jungles, lies the remote village of Thulo Syabru that has been culturally isolated for hundreds of years. It was settled by Tibetans who honour both Buddhist and shamanic idols. Of all the shamanic gods the most powerful is a deity known to the villagers as Longye, a wild jungle shaman resembling the yeti, that abducts people into its world. Villagers have frequently disappeared from Thulo Syabru. In the past year, two men have vanished after claiming they were being followed by spirits, and with no police to help solve their mysteries, the villagers believe Longye took them. This 20 minute documentary tells the story of the missing men from the perspective of shamans and villagers, and with haunting cinematography of one of the world’s last remaining undeveloped landscapes.

Spread the wings 

Director: Alice McDowell 

Country: Ireland 

Sisters Maggie and Nora are from the Irish Traveller community - an indigenous nomadic ethnic minority group. Although forced off the road in the 1980s with the introduction of anti-trespass legislation, Maggie and Nora still travel back to Connemara (West Galway, Ireland) every summer to rekindle their connection with the land. With their caravans pulled up on the side of the road they recall a childhood spent in the area, lamenting the loss of loved ones, a close-knit community and the travelling way of life. However, their culture endures in nature and ritual; and the wings of their grand-nephew Connie.


Director: Mohammad Abdollahi 

Country: Iran

The two borderline teenagers living near the Afghan border near the Loot Desert and the lagoon are trying to get a job and income so they can prevent migration and help Baluch peace and solidarity.


Director: Zoya Laktionova

Country: Ukraine 

Life flows in its everyday reality, but then suddenly something elusive changes its course. All that is left is the chance to plunge into memories where everything is preserved, as if in a museum.

Tsvetayeva and Mayakovsky 

Director: Polina Moshenska 

Country: Ukraine

The typical living blocks – Troyeshchyna in Kyiv. The neighborhood’s biggest pulsing arteries, Tsvetayeva and Mayakovsky Streets, were constructed almost simultaneously several years before the Soviet Union collapse. The combination of archival footage and today’s shootings brings up the almost 100 years of history – from right after the revolution, in 1918, when Mayakovsky starts to make films, until the modern day. Or in the intersection on the two streets there is a story of the masses whose poet Mayakovsky was; the masses who ousted Tsvetayeva from their concrete towers. In any case, it a magic of the closest things that the pedestrians wouldn’t pay attention to.

The Amsterdam T-Shirt Project 

Director: Matthew A. Donahue 

Country: USA

The Amsterdam T-Shirt Project highlights the artists, vendors and creators of souvenir t-shirts in Amsterdam, Holland, the souvenir t-shirt capital of the world and how the souvenir t-shirt is tied into tourism and popular culture in the city of Amsterdam.

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We are not Venice 

Director: Komeil Soheili

Country: Iran 

A village in Iran banned any type of hotels and hostels, as people believe this can affect their culture of hospitality. While people of this village offer tourists to stay in their homes, some youth generation believes this should change and they need to earn more money from tourist.

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Wedding With Cinemas 

Director: Evren Günevi Uslu 

Country: Turkey

he documentary depicts wedding ceremonies held at cinemas, which was a tradition unique to Kilis between the years 1960 and 1980, through the testimonies of witnesses of the period, who are still alive.

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La Ramada 

Director: Fernando Torres Salvador

Country: Peru 

Jaime Estrada is the last artisanal fisherman of La Ramada cove, one of the most important ports in ancient Peru, with abundant flora and fauna. The beaches of northern Peru are disappearing due to coastal erosion, climate change and urban sprawl. Don Jaime is the guardian of La Ramada and the traditional techniques used by the fishermen of this area two thousand years ago. Currently that beautiful beach exists only in his memory.

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Hooked On

Director: Nikola Polić 

Country: Serbia

In the village of Da Changsha Island, every morning fishermen are waiting for change of tides.


The Inhabitant

Director: Diego Mandelman

Country: Argentina

The last inhabitant of a town, flooded and in ruins, takes refuge in his memory and in the memories that still persist in it.


Cops, Robbers and Old Men

Director: Ines von Bonhorst, Yuri Pirondi

Country: Portugal 

On the winter solstice, in the region of Trás-os-Montes magic and superstition combine. “Cops, Robbers and Old People” is an ode to the “Festa dos Velhos” (The festival of the old men), an ancient tradition from the remote village of Bruçó, Portugal.


The Land of Thalochians

Director: Adeel Bhatti 

Country: Pakistan

This Documentary is about the culture and music of Thal desert which is located in Punjab Pakistan. It will show the connection between its natives and their melodies.

Gadiya Lohar

Director: Gaurav Kanozia 

Country: India 

This documentary describes the lives of Gadiya Lohars, who are nomadic community of Rajasthan , India, they are also known as Military of Maharana Pratap (Emperor).


Animal Image

Director: Perttu Saksa 

Country: Finland 

An unconventional nature documentary about the relationship between man and animal. The movie depicts nature photographer and writer Heikki Willamo's journey to the landscape of post ice-age northern wilderness, an imaginative & evocative view of man's ancient relationship to its prey. The movie is built around an original score by Finnish jazz musiciana Verneri Pohjola and Mika Kallio. The music, based on improvisation, is an emotional dialogue between man and animal, which complements the incredible cinematography of Perttu Saksa. The text we hear in the film was written by Heikki Willamo, Finland's most authoritative nature author.



Director: Axelle Lenaerts 

Country: Belgium

“I was looking for an answer, but now I just don't want to forget. Piece by piece I lose parts of my memories. A whole day is reduced to an evening. An evening to a moment. And a moment to one still image. That is all I remember. That image, and the feeling I had.” The first time I went to Japan I didn’t leave Tokyo. I fell in love with the city at once. Six months later I went back to live there for a longer period of time. I was looking for an answer to what seemed like a simple question: Where does it feel like home? Ancient Japanese beliefs say humans come from water. I wanted to see if I could change too, if I could change my shape and adapt to my surroundings. Okaeri is the word my roommates shouted every time I entered the front door, it means ‘welcome home’.

Kay Kay

Director: Saeed Aghai

Country: Iran 

A Kurmanji young shepherd in a village of Northern Khorasan in Iran as "Kay Kay" during a year can not make a decision to move out of his birthplace to Tehran or not.



Director: Oleksiy Radynski 

Country: Ukraine

"Landslide" is a film about an attempt, in the words of its heroes, to build a "society that is radically different from everything around us." Urban policy and the disintegration of public relations led to the emergence of a powerless, uncontrolled enclave in the city center.

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Dor Dor

Director: Mahsima Kalweit

Country: Germany

Dor Dor accompanies some youngsters driving around to philander with each other at the nightly trafficjam of Teheran. While performing, the protagonists reflect and explain this way of getting to know each other. This documentary shows an insight of a generation trapped between a islamic tradition and penning to western ideal.

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