2020 MWFF Narrative Short Film Showcase #2

9 short narrative films from around the world have been selected for our 2020 MWFF Narrative Short Film Session #2!*

All showcases for the #2020MWFF will be available for viewing from 9am (CST) Friday, September 18th through Sunday, September 20th at 7pm (CST). You can get your tickets online and in advance by clicking the link below.


Selected Films:

Lizard (Guatemala)
*Award Finalist – Student Narrative Short

The relationship between siblings Veronica and Ricky is tested when an unexpected visitor reappears in Veronica’s life.

Director: Emily Gularte

Director Statement

I felt compelled to tell a story that is essentially about emptiness through the eyes of a child. I wanted to show children have to deal with such vulnerable, life-changing and grown-up moments on their own. I wanted to see them make mistakes that are direct results of the mistakes their parents committed: Lack of communication. Lack of trust. Lack of empathy.
My main motivation was never to make a perfect short, it was to be honest. My goal is to hopefully have people watch it and analyze their own decisions, and be a little more conscious about the things that happen when we choose to do or say something that will forever change our path and the path of those around us.

Mother Tongue (Australia)

17-year-old Jane begins to embrace her background and rekindle her relationship with her mother when she becomes immersed in Chinese culture at her younger sister’s new language school.

Director: Jessica Li

Director Statement

Mother Tongue is a film about how identity, family and culture intertwine – how messy that can be but how it can end with reconciliation and growth.

I felt a lot of mixed emotions growing up as a young Asian-Australian in the 2000’s. It was right before the rise of the internet. I didn’t see many people who looked like me on screen or in magazines. And I didn’t have the language or the life experience to understand the confusion I felt in having two cultural identities. I can still see younger family members go through these same experiences to this day. Mother Tongue attempts to encapsulate this time in a young person’s life; when you’re seeking a sense of belonging, trying to understand what you’ve been shaped by, and the whirlwind of emotions that is finding pride in all aspects of one’s identity. Mother Tongue seeks to present a hopeful, celebratory vision at the end of this tunnel.

Applebaum (United States)
*Award Finalist – Student Narrative Short

A dying man and his nurse have one last conversation. It changes her life forever.

Director: Edward Loupe

Edward Loupe is a student filmmaker from Lawrence, Kansas. He attended the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and graduated in 2017 with a BFA in Film Directing. He is currently attending the Ohio University School of Film in Athens, Ohio to obtain an MFA in film production.

Out of Stock (United States)

In 1973, the host of The Tonight Show, Johnny Carson, made a joke that toilet paper was going out of stock. By the next day, stores across the country were completely sold out.

This is the story of the first day of the toilet paper crisis.

Director: Bryan Taira

Bryan Taira is a Japanese-American film director, born and raised in Carpinteria, California. His imagination for highlighting social and economic issues are portrayed through contradictory genres. As a storyteller and artist he strives to cultivate a connection between humanity and the natural world through various mediums. Recently graduated from Chapman University’s Dodge College of Film and Media Arts, Bryan looks forward to creating and collaborating on more films.

He has a tendency toward dark comedy as a vessel for highlighting inequality and injustices.

Die Schützin (Germany)
*Award Finalist – Narrative Short

Wherever she appears, the shooter brings quick and painless death with great reliability. Shooting requires her to be completely immersed in the present. Death appears to her as great sleep. She tries to strike a balance between professional and private life, because she is in love – with a kindergarten teacher.

Director: Simon Baucks

Director Statement

The principle of omission was particularly important when designing this film. Through mindfulness and deceleration, I invite the audience to fill in the gaps in the film with their imagination. I personally always think of the main character as an updated female death. A grim reaperess who has lost faith in her profession. I don’t wish to force interpretations on the audience.

Listen to the Voices of the Sea (France)

Henri Saulnier is a young French man who has to leave for a war. For the last peaceful moment of his life, he confesses his thought and feeling to his family and friends. He confronts by the reality of war, while struggling against his own destiny. This film is inspired by the diary of a Kamikaze Japanese soldier, Hachiro Sasaki who participated in Pacific war during the World War ll.

Director: Kyoko Kasuya

Director Statement

As a multidisciplinary artist, Kyoko Kasuya deploys her work in several forms: photographs, videos, installations and publications. Her initial studies in English and American literature influence her projects, in particular through the importance and inspiration accorded to writing, so as to create images or figures. She was deeply marked by the massive earthquake in Japan and the accident at the Fukushima nuclear power plant which occurred in 2011. By crossing these events, between France and her native country, she started observing contemporary society in detail while examining her own Japanese identity. She thus wants to recall events that we are beginning to forget. Her work opens up a questioning about sociological and historical subjects through the shifting of existing views, thus contributing to a universal understanding. She considers that the role of artists is to transmit our memories and our experiences to posterity.

Thirst (Venezuela)

A near future.
A world with no water.
A couple of survivors.
A constant wait for death.
An unexpected visit.
An impossible negotiation.

Director: Dester Linares

Dester Linares was born on November 6, 1986 in Caicara del Orinoco, Bolívar, Venezuela. In 2006 he began his film studies at Universidad de Los Andes until the year 2012, where he graduated with honors. At that time he was a Post production and Edition Assistant in the documentary feature film CABRUJAS IN THE LAND OF SLYNESS (2011) by Antonio Llerandi.

Within Reach (Canada)

Alice, a hesitant wife, arrives home after going on a date with a man she recently met, only to stumble upon her diligent stay-at-home husband, Terry, who is badly injured on his neck, who she wasn’t expecting to be home. While Alice tries to behave composed as if it were another perpetual day, Terry confesses his knowledge of Alice’s new date, causing her to fall into guilt and avoidance from the situation. Instead of creating a dispute, Terry surprisingly tries to understand Alice’s perspective and support her, helping Alice find a way to move on from Terry’s death after he was brutally murdered, in which he only remains a fragment of her imagination.

Director: Kody Millar

Director Statement

The structure of Within Reach takes the form of a constant revelation, beginning with almost no information and quickly but quietly backing up to reveal more and more about the characters. And it’s all about a study between the characters in this one. There really isn’t a straight plot with clear objectives, and the characters just sort of live their lives. Events just kind of “happen,” and they happen quite ambiguously, leaving the audience to bring forth their own ideas by reflectance and question themselves. That’s how we get the theme of memory across, because your own memory will affect the way you perceive everything, so watching it a second time will change how you see the entire movie. The theme of letting go is portrayed through feeling detached from the characters, having a difficulty to really feel close to them. Instead of focusing on the “what,” it focuses on the “who.” Who are these characters, what don’t we know about them, and why does their relationship seem so off?

Quiet Crossing (United Kingdom)
*Award Finalist – Student Narrative Short

Quiet Crossing is a strong emotional, political story filmed by the Film BA students at the University of Westminster/Westminster Film School (London). It is a 1967 story of East German students, opponents of the communist regime, who are trying to emigrate to West Germany hidden at the back of a food delivery truck. They must remain quiet at the time of arrival at the border crossing point, or they will be discovered and executed for their anti-political activities. Anna’s and Yans’s sleeping baby on board is a time bomb that can explode at any time, and something unexpected happens.

Director: Patrik Krivanek

Director Statement

With this film, I want to remind people the history because this history repeats itself, but in altered forms. Evil politics can have different faces; it is a strong political story from 1967. East German students, opponents of the communist regime, are trying to emigrate to West Germany hidden at the back of a food delivery truck. They must remain quiet at the time of arrival at the crossing point of the border, or they will be discovered and executed for their antipolitical activities. The film should serve the viewer in making their own opinions on how people who are forced to emigrate must undergo the reality of fear and often sacrifice someone else’s life in the fight for their own. Even though their lives change fundamentally, they will have to bear the consequences for the rest of their lives. It’s very today’s story. Our film was shot on vintage Arriflex 16SR and was shot entirely on 16mm film Kodak Vision3. We used an “old way of filmmaking”. For example, we didn’t use any external monitors! We had only about 600 ft. of film stock which equals around 16 minutes of footage. Such a challenging experience!

* A note that due to the move online because of COVID – not all films selected for the 2020 MWFF will be available for screening online.

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