Fear and insecurity plague the mind of 73 year old Raavi as she finds herself trapped in her own home. While she wallows in the misery of her confinement, some scraps of memories float from a distant past and find release. The past and present fuse seamlessly and suffering acquires a new meaning.
Zoya receives a disturbing call from her mother – her sister Zara has gone missing during the pandemic. Surprisingly, Zoya isn’t rattled enough. She’s hiding something, all of which leads back to the fateful night of a party. Throughout the film, Zoya interacts with her surroundings as if she’s re-calibrating to them. As the plot unravels, so does she. In this story, appearances can be very deceiving.
Libya, No Escape from Hell Sara Creta France. 2021. 60 min
Libya, No Escape From Hell is an eye opener on the migrants’ reality in Libya but also on the horrific machine that has been set up and the scale of those responsible for the situation that take advantage of European policies.
The detention centres in Libya where thousands of migrants await in inhuman conditions for someone – the militia, Europe, the UN – to decide what their fate should be, are at the heart of this documentary. If officially, detention centres are run by the UN-recognised government in Tripoli, in reality they are in the hands of militias that control the country and see in migrants a ready source of cash by kidnapping and torturing them.
Bablu Babylon Se Abhijeet Sarthi India. 2021. 40 min
In order to curb inflation, the Authority privatised all the farming and plantation activities thus forbidding the usage of seeds by common people. One of the companies that is a part of the privatisation is Babylon, which is a leading brand in Seedless fruits, fertilizers, electronics, funeral services, clothing, political parties, etc. Bablu a lonely old man working for ‘ goes on an assignment and accidentally encounters a rebel group planning a secret mission against”.
Abhijeet Sarthi hails from the city of Raipur, Chhattisgarh. He has completed his graduation in Computer Science and Engineering. He has done his post graduation in Direction and Screenplay Writing from the prestigious Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute in Kolkata. Abhijeet felt deeply related to cinema since childhood and aspires to be a storyteller, showcasing the creativity and craziness of his mind. Though he is an introvert by nature, his narratives do not shy away from showcasing the weird side of the characters and their stories. For him, cinema is a playground to create something interesting and simultaneously expressing himself and let the audience experience the story along with him.
Bablu Babylon Se emerged after reading a piece of news about a forest getting cut for making a coal mine. It felt absurd that in the mid of increasing global warming, people are cutting the forest. This absurdity is the crux of the story. The absurdity leads to a thought. What if someday plantation and farming get banned. So the aim was to incorporate the absurdity in the script and the final film.
It was important to introduce something as a trivial element and then subverting the audience’s expectation by adding a satirical subtext to that trivial element. I never wanted the film to become preachy with its social message, so as a filmmaker, it was a conscious decision to make the audience experience the film through the lens of its absurd characters, situations, and elements.
Dongzi, a small-town youth, becomes debt-collector, Xi Jun’s henchman in an attempt to pay off his sick father’s hospital bills. A cold and estranged parent-child relationship, an unsettling life on the streets, and an ambiguous relationship with a young woman; in Dongzi’s shoes, this is what it is like to be twenty-one.
Na Jiazuo (China, 1989) graduated from the Beijing Fine Art Academy and then the Beijing Film Academy. Streetwise is his debut film; the film picked up the award for Best Actress at the Pingyao Int’l Film Festival 2021, and was selected for the Un Certain Regard section at the Cannes Film Festival.
This is a story about “struggle”. The film adopts a polarising approach with sudden stops and starts that create the audiovisual experience. What blossoms at night, appears to wither in the daytime. The forgotten corners of the city become the focus of the camera’s lens. The green hills and the river on the one hand, and the streetscapes on the other, are the two most important settings in this film, and it is in these two environments that the characters in the story eat, talk, wander, struggle and coexist with one another.
Under Another Sky Adrián López Spain. 2022. 19 min
Jonas is about to die. He is Sato’s father, a drug addict who is accidentally involved in a crime. Jonas, feeling guilty for so many years of abandonement, turns himself in to the police. Later on, the two confront the tragic event that gave meaning to their lives, changing them forever.
Graduated from ESCAC, he focuses his activity on filmmaking and advertising. Director of the Second Unit in “El Orfanato”, he has directed numerous short films, including “Oz”, selected at the Gijón International Film Festival and the Malaga Film Festival, and “Cuerno de Hueso”, winner of the award Paul Naschy for Best Short Film at the 2017 Sitges Festival, the 2018 TAC Award (Terror Arreu Catalunya) for Best Horror Short Film produced in Catalonia and the Best Foreign Shortfilm at the 2017 Fantafestival in Rome.
Surangas are man-made tunnels cut into hill slopes to extract groundwater, commonly found in northern Kerala. The film centers around two brothers who have recently arrived at a village for work as suranga diggers. A while later, an old man and a boy arrive to work at a stone pit. But none of these people are who they claim to be. What are their secrets? What connects them? With the water they bring, surangas are meant to be life-givers. But can they also bring death to some? Reminiscent of classic Westerns, ‘Suranga’ crisply narrates a gripping tale of crime and punishment.
Mithun Chandran began his career as a software engineer in the IT industry after his B-Tech graduation. Later in 2014 he left his job and started following his passion, directed the short film ‘Thavidupodi Jeevitham’ which was highly appreciated. He continued his journey by joining Satyajit Ray Film & Television Institute, Kolkata for PG in Direction & Screenplay Writing. As part of his academics project, directed the short movie Bhoomi , documentary Pilandi and diploma film Suranga.
Amira, a 17-year-old Palestinian, was conceived with the smuggled sperm of her imprisoned father, Nawar. Although their relationship since birth has been restricted to prison visits, he remains her hero. His absence in her life is overcompensated with love and affection from those surrounding her. But when a failed attempt to conceive another child reveals Nawar’s infertility, Amira’s world turns upside down.
Mohamed Diab is a prominent Egyptian filmmaker who began his career as a screenwriter. His work has achieved commercial success in the Middle East as well as international acclaim. In 2010 he made his directorial debut CAIRO 678, about a trio of female vigilantes who fight sexual harassment on the streets of Cairo. In 2016, he followed up with the Cannes Un Certain Regard opener CLASH (2016), an action-packed political thriller shot entirely from within the confines of a police truck. His latest film AMIRA (2021) centers around the phenomenon of Palestinian prisoners conceiving children through smuggled sperm. The Disney+ and Marvel Studios series Moon Knight marks his US directorial debut.
The fact that there exists some form of immaculate conception in the most sacred and divided place on earth, is fascinating yet surreal. AMIRA is a microcosmic exploration of the division and xenophobia that exists in today’s world. In the process of unraveling our heroine’s identity, the film begs the question, is hatred nature or nurtured?
Coming Out with the help of a Time Machine Naman Gupta USA. 2021. 15 min
Sid plans to come out to his conservative, community-oriented parents at a local diner. If anything goes wrong, Sid could lose the support of the people who matter to him most. Luckily, he has the power of time travel on his side-and he will do anything in his power to emerge from this encounter unscathed. Coming Out With the help of a Time Machine gives a heartfelt sci-fi twist to tales about family dynamics and acceptance.
Naman Gupta is an award-winning director & writer. Originally from India, now based in Los Angeles. Diverse, inclusive and loves blending fiction with contemporary social issues so that his films can reach a wider audience.
“Coming Out With The Help Of A Time Machine”, a social sci-fi dramedy,
“Inconvenient Love”, an interracial comedy pilot.
“Groomstick”, a social dramedy, was sold to “Runaway Productions”.
“Lilly Riggs”, a neo-noir thriller, was released on Amazon Prime and made its North American TV debut on ShortsTV in 2020.
“The Process”, a suspense thriller, will be released on European TV & Flights post covid.
Coming Out With The Help Of A Time Machine started with a Youtube video. A video of a same-sex couple describing their experience of coming out to their Indian parents. It was honest, funny, and emotional. My writing partner, Janki, had shared the video with me with a note saying we should do a coming out story. However, I did not want to do just another coming out story. So we sat on it, while we worked on other fun projects. Then one day, as I was scribbling a time loop scene set in a diner, it hit me. Having a passion forsci-fi and blending fiction with contemporary social issues, why not tell the coming out story in a new and fresh way… the sci-fi way. Something bold, exciting, and genre- bending. Thus, the idea of Coming Out With The Help Of A Time Machine was born. As a director, I’m known for my stylized and beautiful visuals. However, the characters and their stories are always the heart of my films. To me, at its core, Coming Out With The Help Of A Time Machine is a story of family and acceptance, with strong LGBTQ+ and sci-fi themes.
An unexpected call, a pending conversation and the need to find a television. A promise has guided Martin’s life for the last ten years leading up to this moment.
Dani Zarandieta (Seville, Spain, 10/19/1980). Director and screenwriter with training in Physics and a degree in Audiovisual Communication. He worked as a cameraman at Antena 3 and in 2010 he moved to New York to study at the New York Film Academy, where he shot the short films “12:26 – 12:31” and “Second Round”, both at international festivals. In 2013 he returned to Spain only to shoot his first feature film, “Found in NYC” (“Met in NYC”), which he made between his hometown and the streets of New York, also with success at festivals (Seville European Film Festival , Manhattan Film Festival). A year later, he returns to New York and continues his career as an advertising and film editor such as “Stealing Chanel” for Lifetime. At the end of 2015 he moved to Los Angeles to direct two plays and his days back and forth between the US and Spain continued in 2016 when he returned home. He currently works as an editor of television programs in Spain, advertising director and developing his own projects. “Nanny” is his eighth short as director, after “Animal” (2020), “Ley de vida” (2018), “Why” (2017), “Saras” (2012), “…Sus muertos!” (2012), “Second Round” (2012) and “12:26 – 12:31” (2011).