Our 50th edition’s June Short & Mid-length selection is split across five storytelling compilations, Mid-lengths, a Dutch Panorama and Short Profiles. Together this rich and varied selection celebrates the programme’s role as a bridge between art and cinema through its focus on artists’ moving image and experimental film, as well as exceptional short form storytelling.
Twenty short films make up five storytelling compilations that speak to the most urgent challenges and opportunities of our times. These are stories of Companionship and loneliness; Persistence and truce; Independence and community; Alienation and belonging, and Confrontation and avoidance.
The compilations feature three filmmakers returning to IFFR. Syrian-American filmmaker Ramzi Bashour presents his darkly comical film The Trees after his IFFR 2016 selection No One Gets Out of Here Alive. Peruvian-born Felipe Esparza Pérez follows Laguna Negra at IFFR 2020 with the spiritual daydream The Old Child in this edition, and Rotterdam-based, Argentine-Dutch filmmaker Jaime Levinas, whose Midnight Coffee was presented at IFFR 2020, returns with PINPIN – a snapshot of the Once neighbourhood in Buenos Aires, where he was born.
Two graduation films are presented with Wisarut Sriputsomboon’s Underground Cemetery and Rokhaya Marieme Balde’s À la recherche d'Aline alongside work from more established filmmakers such as Alexe Poukine’s Palma. Typically wide in its geographical spread, the programme includes films from Azerbaijan, Congo and Cuba, with Fariz Ahmedov’s The Last One, Franck Moka’s Home Sweet Home and Carlos Melián Moreno’s El rodeo, respectively. Two Brazilian stories of resistance from female directors also strongly contribute to the compilations with Talita Caselato’s Veronica, and Mariah Texeira and Nanda Félixs’ Riff-Raff.
June’s Mid-length programme is made up of five titles, three of them directed by women. Prantik Basu returns to IFFR after his film Sakhisona won a Tiger Short Award at IFFR 2017. His latest work Bela is an intimate observation of an indigenous village in eastern India. German brothers David and Saša Vajda present a dizzying film at the border of fiction and documentary in Jesus Egon Christus after its world premiere at the 2021 Berlinale. Iranian artist, filmmaker and essayist Sanaz Sohrabi deals with oil and colonialism in her latest work One Image, Two Acts. Pallavi Paul’s essay on police brutality and corruption in Delhi The Blind Rabbit is selected alongside a portrait of a young Chinese woman in the US and a reflection on cross-cultural experiences in 200 Cigarettes from Now by Tianyu Ma.
With June’s festival focussing on national audiences, the Short & Mid-length section presents a special Dutch Panorama programme of 11 short titles. The Peruvian-born and Amsterdam-based director Daniel Jacoby won a Tiger Short Award for Mountain Plain Mountain at IFFR 2018 which he co-directed with Yu Araki, and was nominated the following year for Nehemías. His latest work No One Cried focuses on the world of ‘camming’ and online chat rooms. Artist and filmmaker Erik van Lieshout is an IFFR favourite, with his history at the festival dating back to the installation project Happiness at IFFR 2006. His reflections on the position of an artist in society Beer was nominated for the Ammodo Tiger Short Award at IFFR 2020, following nominations in 2010 and 2013, and he continues this theme in his latest work Art Blasé which screens in the programme. Jasper Coppes shows Aasivissuit, his study of climate change in Greenland, which follows a selection at IFFR 2014 with Uit de lucht gegrepen.