Our world has changed immeasurably in a short number of months. Not all of the films in our Closing Night program were made during quarantine, but they do all present various perspectives on isolation, sickness, and the hopes and anxieties attached to the vague future. You are not alone.
The View From the Window (dir. Marco Chiappetta) (Italy) (1:00) (International premiere)
While the world is on lockdown, the sky is fulfilled with dreams and promises of a brighter future. “The View From the Window” rejects quarantine limitations — a moment of relief can be imagined in the natural world outside.
Outside (dir. Prospero Pensa) (Italy) (0:59) (International premiere)
Spending more time in our homes means we’ve had more time to observe and absorb our surroundings that previously may have been overlooked, and perhaps underappreciated. Sounds of a bustling, vibrant city are contrasted with simple imagery of household objects and appliances in “Outside” as the camera meditates on the sensory evocations of items we interact with every day.
Cat in a Box (dir. Carlo Piscicelli) (Italy) (3:00)
While for many people the recent stay at home orders might have been a jarring change to the comfort of our established routines, we forget that some of our nearest and dearest friends have been following stay at home orders for much longer. In “Cat in a Box”, we are reminded of how quarantine brings us closer to living like our humble feline companions.
Trapped Cat (dir. Jamie Fidalgo) (Spain) (2:00)
Tensions boil over between two unlikely roommates as an allergy-ridden man’s two-day cat-sitting stint is extended indefinitely. “Trapped Cat” absurdly considers the ways in which blame is assigned and shifted during quarantine.
Zoom Parties Suck (dir. Lachi Ross) (Australia) (3:37) (World Premiere)
In “Zoom Parties Suck”, a group of friends try to recreate the normal events of a house party through the online platform Zoom. To the host’s despair and much hilarity, his guests turn out to be capable of having just as much fun as if they were really there in person.
The ____ Necessities (dir. Benjamin Font) (USA) (4:11)
Stuck in an existential loop somehow involving a strip club, a church, and a dream that may result in his own death, a man attempts to break his world down to its bare bones. The repetitious unease of our new quarantine routines paired with both the loss of independence and anxiety over the future reveals itself as a form of deja-vu.
B’Y (dir. John Hollands) (Canada) (7:32) (ONLINE PREMIERE)
An intensely psychological film in which the horror of isolation can be felt in every frame, “B’Y” takes place in 19th century Newfoundland – what might as well be the edge of the world – as a young man cares for his ill mother. Through dramatic ellipses and pallid lighting, his loneliness becomes a part of the world around him.
TOILETPAPERMAN (dir. Gary Ye) (Canada) (1:45)
In these trying times, an unprecedented hero arises… This clever animated PSA gives you all the facts on COVID-19 with an introduction to a hero we deserve but don’t really need right now.
Gardens or a Big World (dir. Yannis Zafiris) (Greece) (2:00) (ONLINE PREMIERE)
Scientists claim that plants emit ‘’ supersonic ’’ screams when they get stressed, just like humans do. A woman looks out of her window to find the source of a strange noise.
Balconies (dir. Rocio de Prat Gay) (Argentina) (3:48) (WORLD PREMIERE)
In “Balconies”, a filmmaker studies her neighbor’s routines in both Buenos Aires and Barcelona, finding beauty in the stillness and similarities of the revised everyday.
Eternal Sunday (dir. Rodrigo Buscato) (Brazil) (3:00) (WORLD PREMIERE)
Reflecting on the current standstill of society, “Eternal Sunday” considers the meaning of Sunday, and how this day of rest which has now become everyday for some of us, could be seen as a time when we can better come to know ourselves.
Day 27 (dir. Charli Brissey) (USA)
A dancer grapples with quarantine through this short video-animation hybrid. “Day 27” hints at that urgent human need to escape one’s limited physical confines into more dreamy venues.
It Won’t Be Long Now (dir. Joe Lueben) (USA) (5:20) (ONLINE PREMIERE)
An honest diary entry disguised as a contemplative letter from Father to son during quarantine. Anxious narration, fearful of the present and its impact on the future sits in contrast to hope, embodied by mundane, fleeting moments of innocence.
Korridor (dir. Marie-Pierre Bonniol & Walter Duncan) (Germany/FRANCE) (1:16)
Confined in their flat in Berlin, March 2020, a Mother and her 7-year old son collaborate on a playful testament to creativity — a fantastical short made using only a clothes hanger, a shiny hula hoop, and a lamp. In the process, they transform their ordinary corridor into a ghostly and experimental place marked by gamelan sounds and transfixing light imagery..
The Discovery (dir. Josh Wagner) (USA) (3:55)
We often miss the undercurrent of reality, too focused on what is in front of our eyes and our minds. This piece is both an exploration and a reflection of our awareness, and the phenomenon of encountering the unknown.
Mothers (dir. Gloria Kurnik) (UK) (0:55)
A loving tribute to the work of mothers during the lockdown, “Mothers” takes us into that special world shared by a mother and her child as she creatively deals with the restrictions facing us all.
Dimensions (dir. Alessio del Pozo Temoche) (Peru) (2:33)
As families and loved ones are separated, loss is grappled with from a distance. With tender animation and a melancholic tone, “Dimensions” captures the distinct sense of helplessness that has invaded the human psyche.
How to Be Not Alone (dir. Robert Morrison) (Canada, USA, Brazil, Mexico, Turkey) (4:58) (INTERNATIONAL PREMIERE)
A filmmaker ventures onto Chat Roulette, a website which pairs up strangers that is more famous for its more unsavoury elements. With abundant empathy, he shares in intimate conversations with strangers across the globe; regardless of circumstance or geography, people will inextricably seek to connect.
Minutes (dir. Donell AJ) (UK) (2:09) (WORLD PREMIERE)
“Minutes” calmly considers everyday objects and circumstances and how they have transformed into vital sources of inspiration or insanity when the minutes in a day “feel longer than the hours.”
So Close, So Far (dir. Komeil Soheili) (Iran) (1:34)
“So Close, So Far” examines one of the few upsides to the lockdown situation. A man who normally spends long days at work, makes time to forge closer bonds with friends and family that he might otherwise take for granted.
Together (dir. Laine EllioTt) (USA) (7:47) (WORLD PREMIERE)
Two lovers create a time bubble in order to live inside one perfect moment. A pre-quarantine work, “Together” uses ephemeral, sumptuous imagery to capture the impact of time spent with that person you love most. A willing, self-imposed lock-down is set in order to keep regular world interference out.
Chant for a Pandemic (dir. Dee Hood & Global Artists) (USA, Korea, Germany, Spain, Finland, Australia, India, Italy, Mexico, UK, Croatia, Scotland) (5:08) (LIVE STREAMING PREMIERE)
“Chant for a Pandemic” is a short, experimental film, made in collaboration with artists across the globe in response to the Covid 19 pandemic. This is what we are witnessing now, we are all in this long wait together.
Alex and Mr. Fluffkins (dir. Adeena Grubb & Andy Biddle) (UK) (0:53)
With quarantine loosening and lifting in places, Alex and his cat Mr Fluffkins have been having a pretty chilled time. Life is about to change for many people — but does it have to?