20° ShorTSIFF – Diary of 28 june 2019

Imagine a dimly lit elegant hall adorned with impressive art deco. Someone dressed in white passes by the big screen.

It’s clear to everyone that there’s a birthday to celebrate: ShorTS’ twentieth birthday.

After already seeing such merriment and family presence at the Festival presentation in Palazzo Gopcevich, we then have the Festival’s inauguration of the first evening in Piazza Verdi, where the incandescent heat hazes.

It kicks off with the tragicomic and surreal events involving the protagonists of ALL INCLUSIVE by Corina Schwingruber; a very subtle Swiss filmmaker skilled in manoeuvring her characters / puppets involved in the various burdens that the Great Navigation brings.

Sign language is a whole new universe in which you can discover profound and unexpected emotional intensity, as seen through the loveable child protagonist of THE SILENT CHILD directed by the British Chris Overton. The audience witnesses a great social commitment that shows us the impact of learning this language and its incredible value.

The tone is then lightened by the funny Spanish sketch directed by Felix Colomer. MAR captures poetry within an ironic situation; the two exquisite protagonists coincidentally collide in a completely plausible circumstance. Two women, a metro and something surprising…

Virtual reality, how exciting! Too bad that we can’t actually control the technology as well as we thought we could. This is the chilling yet humorous plot that unwinds in BUG by the French Cedric Prevost.

In ENTROPY, Hungarian Flora Anna Buda tells us the old adage that we have always told ourselves: the female gaze carries itself and its opposite.

VIA LATTEA: a woman behind the camera for this short; Valeria Rufo raises tensions between protagonists in a story of stones thrown into the sea and escalating violence.

A very current and heated crisis: illegal immigrants and human enclosures dragged into the whirlpool of highways through the eyes of a child who no longer knows the tenderness of childhood. This is the short NIGHT SHADE by Shady El-Hamus.

The moon is like a silver lady who stands high and turns us into dreamers; she smiles most when we speak of her fondly. LUNAR-ORBIT RENDEZVOUS by Canadian Melanie Charbonneau is a colourful story of an unlikely couple that will make you laugh and discover new ways of seeing relationships.

Loris Giuseppe Nese takes us back to Italian roots with a highly commendable work. THOSE BAD THINGS is a short that reveals the landscapes of Pasolinian memory, children who lose themselves in the psychological caverns of adult life.

The chilling tone continues with Santiago Menghini’s MILK, where a young teen goes into the kitchen to fetch a glass of milk. But upon encountering his mother, we discover things are not as they seem… The puppet master of fear was met with admiration from cinephiles in the audience.

As the night closes, the smell of someone’s vanilla shampoo blows lightly in the warm wind. It certainly has been a special way to start the celebration of our twentieth birthday.

See you on Saturday evening.

Riccardo Visitin

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