In times of polarization and isolation, in a world where hatred drives us further and further apart, cinema might still be a place for us to come together. It can make us listen to each other and most importantly, create bonds. It can make us think and rethink the past and the present and imagine a new future. During these last few days, we watched 19 wonderful and extremely varied short films, which allowed us a peek into many worlds. There were two that unanimously captivated us and still remain in our bodies and hearts. Two films that defy the boundaries and possibilities of cinema and reflect on the power of listening and caring as a form of resistance and change.
The jury decided to give a Special Mention to a film that brilliantly weaves different cinematic proposals into an undeniably urgent and thought-provoking film. Through the act of remembering, thinking together, and acknowledging, the film allows a confrontation with colonialism and its visual and cinematic proofs. A game of memory, reactions, and reflections become a narrative device for bringing a colonial past from forgotten archival images to the park benches of our present. The Special Mention goes to The Porters by Sarah Vanagt.
A film made from urgency: an urgency to accompany, to make visible, to get closer, and to take care of each other. A brave film in which we feel the filmmaker's audacious gaze and tenderness through which he sits with his characters. A film about people who are displaced from their lands, where the pain is transformed into tenderness and art is transformed into resistance. We feel the effects of war out of the frame, through memories, gestures, and expressions; the power of listening and care. For his mastery in playing with the cinematographic language, the tenderness of his approach to the young characters creating a deeply personal and political film, the Award for Best Short Documentary goes to Away by Ruslan Fedotow.