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2017 Short Films


The 2017 Sundance Channel Short competition ran in four European countries – Spain, France, Belgium and Poland. In collaboration with the Sundance Institute, a Grand Jury Prize winner was selected from each country and the winning films premiered at the 2017 London Film Festival. Fans also took part by voting for their favourite film to receive the Vimeo Audience Award.

The Sundance Channel Shorts competition perfectly represents the unique spirit of Sundance Channel. As the destination for independent films internationally, Sundance Channel is ideally placed to showcase and support emerging talent in the European filmmaking community.

For the fifth consecutive year, Sundance Channel is partnering with the Aegean Film Festival in Patmos, whose mission is to celebrate creativity in independent film from around the globe aligns with the Sundance Channel vision.

Le reste est l’oeuvre de l’homme

Short film • 14’ • France • 2017

Director: Doria Achour
Language: French
Subtitles: English

Aymen arrives in Marseille after crossing the Mediterranean. However, when he is reunited with his sister whom he has not seen for twenty years, all may not be as it seems.


Short film • 15’ • Belgium • 2016

Director: Isabelle Nouzha

A bounty killer tries to survive the word “vengeance” engraved on his forehead.
Shot in black and white and utilising innovative stop-motion techniques, the Jury Prize-winning film Vengance by Isabelle Nouzha is an intriguing tale set in America’s Wild West. Through eerie, brutal and unsettling terms, the film follows a bounty killer trying to survive with the word “vengeance” engraved on his forehead.


Short film • 14’ • Poland • 2016

Director: Tomasz Popakul

A pair of astronauts are imprisoned on an orbiting space station as a nuclear conflict rages on the Earth below. They have lost contact with mission control and all attempts to re-establish communications remain unanswered. All they can do now is watch the atomic mushroom clouds on the surface of the planet beneath them and try to survive together.


Short film • 13’ • Spain • 2016

Director: Adrià Pagès

Ringo by Adrià Pagès is a charming and highly entertaining family drama. Grandma has been diagnosed with senile dementia but insists she has been reincarnated as Ringo Starr. When her daughter and granddaughter realise that her delusions began at exactly the same time as the Beatles’ drummer’s demise and then witness her newfound percussive prowess, they agree to let her take a nostalgic trip to Liverpool. But Grandma couldn’t really be Ringo Starr reborn, could she…?


The Best of Europe section is presenting the best European Short Films of the last two years. The selection wasn’t easy and each affiliate festival suggested a short film for this specific section.

Information Skies

Short Film • 24’ • Netherlands • 2017

Director: Metahaven

Information Skies takes place in a forest somewhere in the not-too-distant future. The film, with an otherworldly soundscape, fuses three genres – live action, anime-like animation and digital abstraction – creating fragmented territories, attractive and terrifying at the same time.

Proposed by Peter van Hoof, Programmer of International Film Festival Rotterdam,
The Netherlands
Selected Festivals: International Film Festival Rotterdam

A Brief History of Princess X

Short Film • 7’ • Portugal • 2016

Director: Gabriel Abrantes

A supercharged history of sculptor Constantin Brancusi’s infamous ‘Princess X’

Proposed by Miguel Dias, Festival Director of Curtas Vila Do Conte, Portugal
Selected Festivals: Curtas Vila do Conde (Best Short Film), Locarno Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, New York Film Festival, AFI Festival


Short Film • 24’ • Serbia/Canada • 2016

Director: Lee Filipovski

A family of three are packing to emigrate to Canada from Belgrade. When Fluffy, a gigantic prize teddy bear turns up at the door, the parents must decide whether or not they have room for their daughter’s new friend.

Proposed by Kathleen Mclnnis, Director of Programming of Aspen Shortsfest, US
Selected Festivals: Toronto International Film Festival, Aspen Shortfest

A Little Help

Short Film • 4’ • Netherlands • 2017

Director: Daniel Halsall

Oath is a young 8-year-old girl on a quest for sweets!

Proposed by Scott Hillier, Festival Director of ECU – The European Independent Film Festival, France
Selected Festivals: ECU – The European Independent Film Festival, NewBorn Short Film Festival

Notre Héritage (Our Legacy)

Short Film • 24’ • France • 2015

Director: Jonathan Vinel

Lucas invites his girlfriend Anäis to visit him at home. His parents aren’t around. The garden is all theirs. They can make love there. A photograph hangs on the wall of a man with a tiger in his arms. “Is that your father?” asks Anäis. “Yes, that’s my father. He’s the chairman of a tiger protection group in Thailand.” The father is Pierre Woodman, the famous pornographic film director. Lucas enters into an imaginary dialogue with his father. He makes an attempt to understand his father and makes an attempt at love himself – always in view of his father, who practised it incessantly.Then Lucas confers Anäis with a knighthood and fiction soars above reality.
Between computer games and pornographic archive material, a fiction is spanned within the hypothesis. Enclosed by extremely precise framing in which the protagonists seek to orientate themselves and the footage shot by Pierre Woodman, which is freely available in the digital world, remains the question of love’s value and power. The film was created in collaboration with Caroline Poggi.

Proposed by Mia Maike Hoehne, Head of Berlinale Shorts – Berlin International Film Festival, Germany
Selected Festivals: Berlinale Shorts, International Short Film Festival Winterthur


Short Film • 15’ • Sweden • 2016

Director: Juan Pablo Libossart

Amalimbo is the story of Tipuana, a five year-old girl who experiences “the limbo” when she tries to pass to ‘the other side’ in her desperate urge to mourn the recent death of her beloved father.

Proposed by Enrico Vannucci, Programmer of Venice Film Festival, Italy
Selected Festivals: Venice Film Festival, European Film Awards, Saint Cloud Film Festival


The Searchlight section presents the best short films produced in the past two years in a specific country. This year’s Searchlight focus is on Sweden. Searchlight, in affiliation with the Swedish Film Institute, presents you with the best Swedish short films from the past two years.

Madre (Mother)

Directed by Simón Mesa Soto
2016, Sweden/Columbia, 14 minutes, Fiction
Selected Festivals: Cannes Film Festival, Guanajuato I.F.F., Chicago I.F.F.

16 year-old Andrea leaves her neighborhood in the hills of Medellin to attend a downtown casting call for a porno film.

Ten Meter Tower

Directed by Axel Danielson, Maximilien Van Aertryck
2016, Sweden, 17 minutes, Documentary
Selected Festivals: Berlinale Shorts, Sundance Film Festival, Clermont-Ferrand Film Festival

A ten meter diving tower. People who have never been up there before have to choose whether to jump or climb down. The situation itself highlights a dilemma: to weigh the instinctive fear of taking the step out against the humiliation of having to climb down.

Min Börda (The Burden)

Directed by: Niki Lindroth von Bahr
2017, Sweden, 14 min, Animation
Selected Festivals: Festival de Cannes 2017 | Directors Fortnight, Göteborg International Film Festival 2017 (winner: Grand Short & the Audience Award)
Suggested by: Tobias Åkesson, Head of Nordic Programme & Nordic Film Lab | Göteborg International Film Festival

A shopping center along a large highway is the scene of an apocalyptic musical. Animation with a strong sense of form set to auto-tuned music by Klungan. About liberation through great catastrophy.

The Committee

Directed by Jenny Toivoniemi, Gunhild Enger
2016, Sweden, Finland, Norway, 14 minutes, Fiction
Selected Festivals: Locarno Film Festival, Uppsala Int. Short Film Festival, Clermont-Ferrand Film Festival

A Nordic collaboration is taking place. Three delegates from Sweden, Norway and Finland are gathered in Lapland to decide on an art piece, which is to be placed where the three borders meet geographically. But the committee is in for a surprise. Instead of a sculpture, the commissioned artist presents his idea of a “Nordic Dance”. The delegates are faced with the true challenges of a democratic decision-making process. Is there something they can agree to be a Nordic movement?

Fight On A Swedish Beach

Directed by Simon Vahlne
2016, Sweden, 14 minutes, Fiction
Selected Festivals: Cannes Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, Sao Paolo Int. Short Film Festival

A western Swedish beach during high summer. A variety of people come together to socialise and enjoy the heat. A family with children, a watercolour artist, a group of upper middle-aged friends and a bunch of middle school adolescents.

Moms on fire

Directed by: Joanna Rytel
2016, Sweden, 13 min, Animation
Selected Festivals: Berlin International Film Festival, Chicago International Film Festival, Hong Kong International Film Festival, Uppsala International Short Film Festival
Suggested by: Niclas Gillberg, Festival Director | Uppsala International Short Film

What’s it like to be massively pregnant with only four days until you’re due to pop? You’d like to jerk off but can’t even reach, your boyfriend is fucking boring you just would like to have some fun. Than this happens. You are pregnant. Again. Yuck!!!


The Chop

Short Film • 17’ • UK • 2016

Director: Lewis Rose

The Chop is a comedy about Yossi, a charismatic Kosher butcher who loses his job, cannot find work at other Kosher butchers, and therefore decides to pretend to be Muslim in order to get work as a Halal butcher.

Killer Smile

Short Film • 14’ • China/USA • 2017

Director: Camille Ma

A single mother sacrifices everything to protect her baby boy, who is born with a deadly smile that would kill anyone he smiles at, except herself.


Short Film • 10’ • Greece • 2016

Director: Yannis Zafiris

On a barren wintry scenery, an abandoned football field, unravels the story of a man, a woman and a child. The man and woman withdraw inside a car, while the child remains outside, despite the cold, kicking a ball. When man’s efforts for reconciliation fail, the woman and the child come closer together.


Short Film • 17’ • UK • 2016

Director: Toby Fell-Holden

In a neighbourhood rife with racial tension, a local girl falls for a recent arrival.

Modern Houses

Short Film • 18’ • US • 2016

Director: Matthew Dixon

Modern Houses is a psychological thriller about the creative process.

Blaha Luisa Ter

Short Film • 27’ • Hungary/France • 2016

Director: Antonin Blanc

The National Theatre of Hungary no longer stands at the heart of Blaha Lujza square, yet the play continues… There is an invisible barrier that separates the stone faces of the passers by, the whispers of those who wait, and the music from the deep end of the square. At the crossroads of a heavy past and a bitter present, the daily grind and routine of the theatre continues to unfold. Will the masks ever fall and allow us to meet on the street?


The Spectator

Short Film • 19’ • Greece • 2016

Director: Thodoris Vournas

Thanos has detached himself from every feeling and watches his life as if it was a film.

Peony Pavilion

Short Film • 17’ • China/US • 2016

Director: Sido Yao Lu

In the city of Shanghai, a young male escort Chen Xing falls in love with a Kun Qu Opera student, Yuan Siqi. Yearning to build a new life together with her, Chen lies to Yuan about his past, breaks up with his supporter Huang Bei, and gets a job as a service boy. But the shortage of money, the anger from Huang and load of struggling to survive in the metropolis of Shanghai push him into a corner. At the same time, in order to become the leading actress in the Kun Qu show of Peony Pavilion, Yuan needs to understand what love is…

And around…and around

Experimental • 04’ • Portugal • 2016

Director: Carlos Coelho Costa

Passing, whether physically or virtually, through space, is a process of the construction of knowledge, whose movements can be recognised as a practice of intertwining – performative movements that foster, in a certain space-time, the becoming of new orders; movements that are perceived as forms of territorialisation, de-territorialisation, re-territorialisation. Through the movement of territorialisation, a reordering of relationships with space is perceived, in the sense of an appropriation of the territory, whilst de-territorialisation is defined as a loss of relationships or of the signs of its appropriation. The movement of re-territorialisation presupposes the revisiting, or re-appropriation of the territory, giving back or attributing new meanings to it. “And around… and around…and around…” constitutes a body of experienced possibilities and in the meantime the possibility of new constructions.

Good News

Short Film • 17’ • Democratic People’s Republic of Korea • 2016

Director: Giovanni Fumu

Suburb of Seoul, early afternoon. Hidden in the privacy of a shabby love motel, Minhui and Junho, a teenager couple, have to face an important decision that could change their lives forever.

Virgin Land

Short Film • 14’ • Italy/Peru • 2016

Director: Giovanni Aloi

In a Peru choked by drug trafficking, more and more farmers decide every day to escape the yoke of organized crime, gathering in cooperatives. Tierra Virgen investigates the life of a farming family who is about to start walking on this legality’s path. Nesto, as a teenager, lends a hand in the field of the parents even if he would like to stay close to his peers. His father Eusebio, the old farmer, proud and tireless, he is persuaded by his wife Angelica to enter the local cooperative, but, just hidden by a wall of cane, continues to grow coca.

Whale 52

Short Film • 23’ • Greece • 2016

Director: Thanasis Trouboukis

Whale 52, the loneliest whale, has been spotted in Athens. Meanwhile, a diver is waiting for the results of crucial medical exams. A waiting that leads to a fateful encounter.

Our Wonderful Nature - The Common Chameleon

Animation • 4’ • Germany • 2016

Director: Tomer Eshed

The feeding habits of the common chameleon as never seen before.


The Swimming Club

Short Film • ’10 • UK • 2017

Director: Cecilia Golding, Nick Finegan

Going swimming isn’t easy if you’re transgender. This is the true story of a group of transgender people in South London who have taken matters into their own hands, and set up a ‘safe space’ swimming club.

[Out of Fra]me

Short Film • 18’ • Germany • 2016

Director: Sophie Linnenbaum

“It would be too easy to say that I feel invisible. Instead, I feel painfully visible, and entirely ignored.” David Levithan, Every Day

A Stone Appears

Experimental • 10’ • UK • 2016

Director: Constantine Venetopoulos

The film is about a man and a woman who live in an infinite repetitive routine, until a stone appears. The film is an ode to the original story of Adam and Eve, with a modern twist.

On Air

Short film • 20’ • Germany • 2015

Director: Robert Nachen

Two bohemians hijack a live radio show including the moderator and guest, all in order to broadcast their political views. However, their intention to better the world takes on a slightly different spin.

Sandy Beach

Short film • 12’ • USA/Greece • 2016

Director: Thanos Papastergiou

Late Summer. Southern Crete. A woman takes her father for their usual Sunday swim.


Short film • 20’ • Kosovo/UK • 2016

Director: Daniel Mulloy

A family, led by their father, heads out on what appears to be a holiday. However, it becomes clear that they are, in fact, leaving the safety of a leafy suburb to cross Europe and making their way into a war zone. As they travel, the father’s reassurances grow hollow, and under great stress the father buckles and the mother’s strength takes over.

Alice in the Cafe

Short film • 19’ • Greece • 2016

Director: Dimitris Nakos

On the backdrop of the Greek economic crisis, Bill decides to change his life. Within the same day, he looses his job, meets Alice in a café, and decides to break up with his older girlfriend Katerina. Alice in the café is a film which juggles with humour and fatality to depict people’s relationships in today’s worldwide situation and the courage and determination that one must have to make important decisions about one’s life.

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