History is always in the making

by Farah Clémentine Dramani-Issifou

Serge Daney used to say that cinephilia wasn’t just a peculiar connection to film, but also a connection to the world through films. This year, film after film, the short-film selection restores that connection to the world around these works, in an attempt to link these creative endeavours to our modern world. Indeed, history is always in the making, and among other things it is also crafted and recorded through films, through film programmes and those who put them together. Therefore, this short-film programme is a promise to cinema, as it is today and will be tomorrow. 

A poetic and political triptych, Anton Bialas’ Raie Manta (Manta Ray) is an ode to resistance and freedom while Paris burns. Some more resistance with Estibaliz Urresola Solaguren’s Cuerdas (Chords), the modest and sensitive tale of Rita’s dilemma, a 90-year-old woman torn between her beloved choral and her convictions. It’s Nice in Here by Robert Jonathan Koeyers investigates police violence through the heart-wrenching testimony of Imani and its gentle animations. A political choice, where longing also runs deep: in Evi Kalogiropoulou’s Στον Θρόνο του Ξέρξη (On Xerxes’ Throne) , shipyard workers in the blistering heat have the express orders never to touch each other. Playful sensuality flows also freely in Swan dans le centre (Swan In the Center) by Iris Chassaigne, as a young consultant wanders aimlessly in an abandoned mall, where emptiness breeds erotica. Modern loneliness is also at the heart of Lin Tu’s Canker, the story of a Chinese influencer who is both lost and hyperconnected. A lost connection that the Bosnian couple of Anna Fernandez de Paco’s Nisam je stigao voljeti (I Didn't Make It To Love Her) seeks to rekindle, in which prose unfolds to fill up silences and absences caused by depression. Another quest for intimacy at the other end of the world in Dang Wo Wang Xiang Ni De Shi Hou (Will You Look At Me) by Chinese director Shuli Huang, an experimental confessional film, a kind of farewell to those he loves but don’t see him. A father and son, two ice-makers living high upon a mountainside, are the heroes of Ice Merchants by João Gonzalez, a dizzyingly animated mise-en-scène. And finally, a toxic family epic, Las criaturas que se derriten bajo el sol by Diego Cespedes, in which Nataly, a transgender woman, confronts her past in a mysterious community that avoids the sun.

Farah Clémentine Dramani-Issifou

Coordinator of the short film committee