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International Short Film Competition 2023

8 Billion: We Are All Responsible

Director: Nelson Kao
Country: Brasil

Ailton Krenak, the indigenous leader and thinker, talks about the pain of the Watú (or Rio Doce in the Krenak language). Sick with the biggest environmental disaster in Brazilian history, the Mariana Dam disaster, the river asks for help. From the impacts on his village on the banks of the river, he makes an overview of the current Anthropocene period and invites all human beings to a journey of reflection and self-criticism, aiming at urgent but necessary paradigm shifts.


Director: Elena Siretanu
Country: Moldova

In a village in the Republic of Moldova, a girl tries to navigate her relationship with her grandmother who insists that she should get married and settle down.

La Tumba Mambi

Director: Alexandrine Boudreault-Fournier, DJ Jigüe
Country: Cuba

As a result of the Haitian Revolution (1791-1804), many French settlers traveled to Eastern Cuba with enslaved African people to escape the revolt. The Tumba Francesa Societies, which were known as a brotherhood and a mutual aid network, emerged from these waves of slave migrations. Eventually, they became integral constituents of Cuban culture. La Tumba Mambi is a docu-fiction film based on the Tumba Francesa La Caridad de Oriente, which is located in the city of Santiago de Cuba. Through the Society’s youngest member, Flavio, who is gathering information about the Tumba Francesa for a school project, we meet his grandmother Andrea and mother Queli, two charismatic knowledge keepers of their rich cultural traditions. The original film soundtrack composed and produced by Cuban-based DJ Jigüe, in collaboration with the Tumba Francesa members, is a rhythmic and striking reminder that the present is grounded in a history of struggles for freedom.

Back to our homeland

Director: Hawi Castañeda
Country: Costa-Rica

A group of older Cabécares from Talamanca rediscover their past when they visit for the first time since they left the indigenous territory of China Kichá, in Pérez Zeledón, where they were born, grew up and left. In the process, they get to know the generations that did remain in the territory and that are currently in the process of fighting for the recovery of the land. "Returning to the land where we were born" is a documentary that deals with the memory of dispossession and the current struggle for the recovery of lands of the indigenous community of China Kichá.


Director: Alfonso Palazón Meseguer
Country: Spain

From the surroundings of non-place several refugees talk about their situation, where they lived, and their dreams. It is a meeting to share non-fulfilled projects. They are part of a group of especially vulnerable refugees who have no choice.

The last 5 minutes

Director: Shahram Maslakhi
Country: Middle East

It's about a runner who hasn't any country to live.

Mamapara - Mother Rain

Director: Alberto Flores Vilca
Country: Peru

In the Peruvian highlands, he lives with his dog, Honorata Vilca, an illiterate woman of Quechua descent, dedicated to the sale of sweets. As the rainy season begins, she recounts passages of her life, until one evening something fatal happens that seems to make the heavens cry.

The bravery to blossom in darkness

Director: Francesco Marinelli
Country: Italy

A group of extraordinary children, a school lost in the Tanzanian mountains and many legends. How are they intertwined and what might their stories have in common? But above all, where does the courage to blossom in the dark lie? 


Director: Filip Jembrih
Country: Slovenia

A young girl transitioning into adulthood ponders about her village, her parents and her brothers, which she will soon be leaving behind.


Director: Xelîl Sehragerd
Country: Kurdistan

An old Kurdish man (Hussein Mahmood) who is a carpenter tries to make artificial legs for people who have lost their legs.

The Discoverer of the Discoverers

Director: C.S. Nicholson
Country: Norway

A family in West Africa tells the story of how their ancestor discovered the European explorers — to a European film crew. We get to see how this encounter is still remembered ritually. But do all the claims about the historic event bear a closer look? And to which degree can we trust the filmmaker’s white gaze? This short documentary explores how pride and conscience may affect collective memories.

Inside the BoduMas

Director: Giulio Pedretti, Roberto Carini
Country: Italy

Eid al-Adha is the "feast of sacrifice", it commemorates the end of Haji, an annual Muslim pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca. Muslims all over the world celebrate the feast by sacrificing an animal, usually a goat. In the Maldives, the celebration and the sacrifice are related to a Big Fish, the "Bodu Mas", and take place through various cultural, sporting, and religious moments, that unite the island communities. In the reportage, we are showing what happened during the Maghodhoo Eid Festival 2022.

And then we were taken away

Director: Jessica Bollag
Country: Switzerland

In the 20th century, authorities in Switzerland placed over 100’000 children and adolescents in homes and foster families. The measures were implemented mainly for moral reasons and affected socially marginalized families in particular. The parents had hardly any success in legal proceedings against these decisions. Instead of fighting poverty, the state fought the poor. In the participatory ethnographic documentary “And then we were taken away”, two men in their sixties talk about the administrative foster care they experienced as a child. They lead the audience to the homes, locations of their tumultuous youth and to their favourite places. Through their biographies, the men document how out-of-home placements shaped their childhood, youth and present.

When a River Becomes a Border

Director: Robi Layio
Country: Cameroon

The film discusses the artificiality and the Fragility of the border between Cameroon and Chad, which is determined by the Chari river. The people residing around the riverbank go freely back and forth, and take advantage of these socio-ethnic corridors to sneak between the two nationalities in order to seize the opportunities presented to them. The film accompanies Waldiga, a university student in Chad, who as many others in this region has a life on both sides.

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