Subotika - Land of Wonders by Peter Volkart (Swiss Competition)

Subotika – Land of Wonders by Peter Volkart (Swiss Competition)

International Kurzfilmtage Winterthur is one of the most important short film events in Switzerland and in the complete collection of European short film festivals. The 19th edition will be held between 3-8th of November. Since last year, the festival has been privileged with the title of an ‘Academy qualifying festival’, so the winner of the Grand Prize can be nominated for a nomination for next year’s Academy Award ceremony. They announced the complete programme, here they are!:

* International Competition 1.

The Reflection of Power by Mihai GrecuFrance 2015 / 9′ / colour / no dialogue / Exp, Doc
In the most secret capital of the world a crowd attends a show while a disaster threatens the whole city…

Quintal by André Novais Oliveira Brazil 2015 / 20′ / colour / Portuguese, ST: English / Fic, Exp
Just another day in the life of a couple of suburban seniors.

Mynarski Chute Mortelle / Mynarski Death Plummet by Matthew Rankin Canada 2014 / 7’45” / colour and black & white / French, ST: English / Ani, Fic
A completely hand-made historical micro-epic about the final minutes in the life of Winnipeg’s 2nd World War hero, Andrew Mynarski. Composed of 21,000 hand-painted 35mm frames, the film combines aviation agitprop with abstract animation to reflect on the themes of self-sacrifice, infinity, and jellyfish.

Las Gitanas by Matthew Anderson USA 2014 / 16’30” / black and white / English, Spanish, ST: English / Fic, Exp
«Las gitanas» follows a young latino and a group of hustlers over the course of a night in Los Angeles. It explores chance interactions amongst disparate souls and the common pulse that binds them.

The All-Hearing by Lawrence Abu Hamdan
Netherlands, Egypt 2014 / 12’42” / colour / Arabic, ST: English / Exp, Doc
Abu Hamdans film is an ode to loudspeaker-libertarianism and deals with the act of listening and its boundaries. «The All-Hearing» confronts us with Cairo’s omnipresent noise pollution and with the determination to bring this topic to the public’s attention.

Rate Me by Fyzal Boulifa United Kingdom 2015 / 17’15” / colour and black & white / English, ST: German / Fic, Exp
Various rumours about a prostitute (who perhaps isn’t one) circulate online. What begins as a summary of online reviews increasingly turns into a provocative and formally audacious commentary on the fluidity of identities and the perception of young women in the internet age.


*International Competition 2.

A Matter of Will by Dušan Kasalica Montenegro 2015 / 23’45” / colour / Serbo-Croat, ST: English / Fic
A group of overweight kids is supposed to change their lifestyle with help of an authoritarian and dysfunctional instructor. And above all, it’s summer and numbingly hot.

The Exquisite Corpus by Peter Tscherkassky Austria 2015 / 19′ / black and white / no dialogue / Exp
A beach idyll with men and women in innocent nakedness is interrupted when the film material is damaged. From this moment on, nothing is as it was before.

Fucking Him by C.O. Moed/Adrian Garcia Gomez USA 2015 / 1’45” / colour and black & white / English / Exp
What is fucking? What is love? What’s the difference? How do you know?

Scrapbook by Mike Hoolboom
Canada 2015 / 18’49” / black and white / English / Exp, Doc
Lensed in Ohio’s Broadview Developmental Center in 1967 by secret camera genius and audio visual healer Jeffrey Paull, «Scrapbook» tells the story of audacious autistic Donna Washington in her own words, as she encounters pictures of one of her former selves fifty years later.

Mobilize by Caroline Monnet
Canada 2015 / 4′ / colour / no dialogue / Exp
A journey by canoe into the city creates a dynamic interconnection between natural and urban spaces. This evocative short set to a hypnotizing soundtrack by Inuk artist Tanya Taqaq celebrates the fierce resourcefulness of indigenous people in adapting to the dizzying changes of the past century.

Lo Sum Choe Sum / 3 Year 3 Month Retreat by Dechen Roder Bhutan 2015 / 20’7″ / colour / Dzongkha, ST: English / Fic
In the traditional Buddhist meditation practice of Lo Sum Choe Sum, monks, nuns, and other devout practitioners withdraw from worldly life for 3 years and 3 months. This is the time period deemed necessary to attain a higher level of clarity and transformation.


*International Competition 3.

Three Wheels by Neang Kavich Cambodia, France 2015 / 19’37” / colour / Khmer, ST: English / Doc
58-year-old Nath is a tuk tuk driver. A nocturnal encounter with a dancer brings back memories. At home, he suggests to his wife that they move away. Her refusal reveals a conflict that has its origins in their forced marriage during the time of the Khmer Rouge regime.

9 Days – From My Window in Aleppo by Thomas Vroege/Floor van der Meulen Netherlands, Syria 2015 / 12’36” / colour / Arabic, ST: English / Doc
One morning in August 2012, renowned Syrian photographer Issa Touma saw young men lugging sandbags into his street. It turned out to be the start of the Syrian uprising in the city of Aleppo. Touma grabbed his camera and spent nine days holed up in his apartment, recording what was happening outside.

My Dad by Marcus Armitage United Kingdom 2014 / 5’37” / colour and black & white / English / Ani, Exp
Inherited opinions. Inherited isolation. A short film depicting a dad’s influence on a young boy’s life. His judgmental character mixed with the boy’s fondness for his dad prove to be a toxic mix that tears away at a world of opportunity and experiences. A short animation made with oil pastels and newspaper clippings.

We Need New Names by Onyeka Igwe United Kingdom 2015 / 13’31” / colour / English, ST: English / Exp, Doc
«We Need New Names» is a video essay about contemporary Nigerian diasporic female identity. It examines the contradictions inherent to an ethnographic reading of the funeral of the filmmaker’s family matriarch.

[ˈdʊŋkl̩ˌdɔɪ̯ʧlant] by Stefanie Schroeder/Juliane Jaschnow Germany 2014 / 13’13” / colour / German, ST: English / Exp, Doc
In West Germany, «Dark Germany» was a derisive term for reactionary regions of the country. Today it is mostly applied to former East Germany with its attempts to change its image: wellness centres instead of factories, sheep grazing under solar panels. The subjective camera of filmmakers born there is searching for the right distance.

Memorandum by Juan Millares Spain 2014 / 21′ / black and white / Spanish, ST: English / Fic, Doc
A memorandum on the treatment of archival material from early film history, showing female factory workers. What appears like a scholarly analysis of historic images at first, turns out to be the psychological profile of a failed relationship.


*International Competition 5.

Freedom & Independence by Bjørn Melhus Germany 2014 / 15’1″ / colour / English, ST: German / Fic, Exp
The experimental short film «Freedom & Independence» questions the current global ideological paradigm shift towards new forms of religious capitalism by confronting ideas and quotes of the self-proclaimed objectivist philosopher and novelist Ayn Rand with evangelical contents of US-American mainstream movies.

Le Park by Randa Maroufi France 2015 / 14′ / colour / Arabic, French, ST: English / Fic, Exp, Doc
A slow meandering camera in an abandoned amusement park in the heart of Casablanca. The film draws a portrait of the youth who frequent this place, and presents snapshots of their life, often inspired by images found in social networks.

Totem by Marte Vold Norway 2015 / 20′ / colour / Norwegian, ST: English / Fic
An Oslo suburb, a house, a winter garden, a relationship that has run its course but that is nevertheless kept alive.

While the Unicorn is Watching Me by Shanti Masud France 2014 / 8’10” / colour and black & white / French / Fic, Exp
On a cold Sunday morning, a man wakes up under the mischievous gaze of a unicorn straight out of his dream. His fantasies gradually transform his lonely apartment into a garden of delights where this young faun can freely reap the fruits of his desires.

Maku by Yoriko Mizushiri Japan 2014 / 5’26” / colour / no dialogue / Ani
The curtain rises: a Kyōgen stage, an examination room at an eye specialist’s, a sushi counter. Two people meet. Feelings of the most diverse kind – between fear, fascination, and tenderness – flare up and are immediately put into practice. The feelings of the other are explored.

With Many Things to Come by Jelena Gavrilovic Serbia 2015 / 22’9″ / colour / Serbian, ST: English / Fic
Jovana recently moved out of her family home to live alone. One summer day, she decides to pay a surprise visit to her family and have some leftover lunch. She arrives to find her mother down and depressed, and decides to take her out for a beer.

*International Competition 6.

Monkey by Shen Jie China 2015 / 5’9″ / colour / no dialogue / Ani, Exp
Conflicts between family members tend to escalate when one of the members dies. According to the director himself, this film was inspired by the death of his grandfather. An allegory with three monkeys.

Séance by Yuri Ancarani Italy 2014 / 30′ / colour / Italian, ST: English / Exp, Doc
The word «séance» defines an attempt to communicate with the spirits. In the Mollino house-museum, a medium is speaking with the spirit of the architect and photographer Carlo Mollino about his work. Conceived by the esoteric architect as his spiritual home, the house was kept secret and was meant to welcome his soul beyond terrestrial life.

Una Storia Normale by Michele Vannucci Italy 2015 / 16’16” / colour / Italian, ST: English / Doc
Mirko is fourty years old and has had four trials, having being accused of international drug trafficking and two attempted murders. Today, Mirko has a wife, three children, a mother, a father, and a whole neighborhood to feed. After all, he is the king of La Rustica, a suburb of Rome.

Fortunato – D’Aqui Até São Torcato by João Rodrigues Portugal 2014 / 21’30” / colour / Portuguese, ST: English / Fic
About a man who set out to find the solution for his financial problems and found enlightenment on the way.

Junilyn Has by Carlo Francisco Manatad Philippines 2015 / 14’28” / colour / Tagalog, ST: English / Fic, Exp
Junilyn is a dancer in a nightclub. During the pope’s visit to the Philippines, she needs to learn new dance moves in order to attract more customers. But during her rehearsals, she also makes a courageous plan to liberate herself.

*Swiss Competition 1.

Kacey Mottet Klein, naissance d’un acteur — Ursula Meier Switzerland 2015 / 14′ / colour / French, ST: English / Doc
8 years. 12 years. 15 years. A body growing up in front of the camera, indulging in sensations and feelings, exploring boundaries and dark sides. A body subjecting itself to the character over the years and thus turning what might seem like a game into a true acting performance. The portrait of a teenager who developed through the camera.

La Vague by Irene Muñoz Martin Switzerland 2014 / 13’8″ / colour and black & white / Spanish, ST: English / Fic
On 20 November 1975, during the rhythmic gymnastics World Championships in Madrid, Spanish dictator Franco dies. Using private and archival photos, the film tells the story of a gymnast – the filmmaker’s mother – and questions historiography and Spain’s collective memory.

Ivan’s Need by Lukas Suter/Veronica L. Montaño/Manuela Leuenberger Switzerland 2015 / 6’20” / colour / no dialogue / Ani
A baker is obsessed with kneading dough.

The Meadow by Jela Hasler Switzerland 2015 / 8’57” / colour / no dialogue / Doc
A herd of cattle is grazing in a steppe-like landscape, guarded by dogs, protected by cowboys. But little by little, this seeming idyll turns out to be deceptive and cracks start to appear in the peaceful image – while the cows end their day the same way it began.

Subotika by Land of Wonders — Peter Volkart Switzerland 2015 / 13’25” / colour / German, ST: English / Fic
Subotika, a little-known island on the other side of the globe. To boost tourism in the republic, the foreign minister commissions a promotional film. A cinematic work about an enchanting country with exceptional attractions, magnificent visions, and a few minor problems.

O som da casa by Maxime Kathari
Switzerland, France 2015 / 14’35” / colour / Portuguese, ST: English / Fic
Before leaving for Europe, a young Brasilian students spends the last moments at home with her mother. An atmospheric snapshot, in which a hug and a chat express the mutual love between mother and daughter.

Moriom by Francesca Scalisi/Mark Olexa Switzerland 2015 / 12’16” / colour / Bengali, ST: English / Doc
Summer 2014 in rural Bangladesh. «I came from Heaven. I came to destroy all bad things in the world. I’m a police officer. I’m a flower angel. I have a job at police station. I will punish them. I will put them in jail.» The story of a girl and of the tragedy that changed her life.


*Swiss Competition 2.

Suspendu — Elie Grappe Switzerland 2015 / 15′ / colour / French, ST: English / Fic
At dawn, at a classical dance academy, a boy falls while rehearsing some movements. Something breaks in his foot, causing sharp pain. But he doesn’t give up. The exams are held today, and the boy tries to face his dance partner and classmates, convincing himself that his body has no limits.

Une histoire simple, la mienne, la tienne et celle de M. — Atefeh Yarmohammadi Switzerland, Iran 2015 / 32′ / colour and black & white / Persian, ST: French, English / Doc
The filmmaker’s thoughts, the mother’s narrative, and memories of the father overlap: a personal family history and simultaneously a political journey of discovery in 1980s Iran.

Seemannsgarn by Julia Munz/Claudia Wirth Switzerland 2015 / 5’44” / colour / no dialogue / Ani
When a mosquito and a sailor like each other…

A Place I’ve Never Been by— Adrian Flury Switzerland 2014 / 4’40” / colour / no dialogue / Exp
By reference to one place, this cinematic experiment explores the images accumulated in digital archives. A montage of individual images makes visible hidden traces, patterns, and intervals in order to extract new meaning from the prevailing redudancy.

Hausarrest by Matthias Sahli Switzerland 2015 / 13’32” / colour / Swiss German, ST: English / Fic
The story of Max who is under house arrest for six months, assisted by the electronic ankle monitor «Percy». One day, he discovers how far the monitor’s goes in supervising him. There is only one way to escape from it.

Nuestro Mar by Eileen Hofer Switzerland 2015 / 15′ / colour / Spanish, ST: English / Fic, Doc
Cobbler Emilio likes to observe dancing prima ballerina, but he never speaks to her – he’s too shy. At home, he looks after his old mother and spends time with his neighbor, singer Omara Portuondo. Together, they observe the rough sea, the waves. A severe storm is approaching Havana.

*Swiss Competition 3.

Nirin — Josua Hotz Switzerland 2015 / 15’45” / colour / Malagasy, ST: French, English / Fic
The earth radiates a red light, the path seems endless. Nirin doesn’t know where they’re taking him, but he’s looking forward to discovering Madagascar. His personal journey prompted the director to make this candid and moving film.

La fin d’Homère by Zahra Vargas/ Switzerland 2015 / 23′ / colour / French, ST: English / Fic
The Valley, a remote universe surrounded by mountains, with 2,500 hunters. An event hit the headlines once: the death of a bearded vulture, shot by Homer, a local hunter. Several years later, the story has turned into a truly surreal fable that goes around, fueled by the imagination of everyone.

Lucens by Marcel Barelli Switzerland 2015 / 6’30” / colour and black & white / Italian, French, ST: English / Ani, Doc
The story of the first (and last) entirely Swiss nuclear power plant, which was put into operation in 1968 and closed down again in 1969 after an incident.

Just Another Day in Egypt by Nikola Ilić//Corina Schwingruber Ilić Switzerland, Serbia 2015 / 10’50” / colour / Arabic, ST: English / Doc
What is left of the Egyptian revolution in 2011? Nothing but full prisons and empty promises. Former military chief Abd al-Fattah as-Sisi has seized power, ruling his country with an iron fist. Life goes on and the Eyptian people try to make the best of it.

Paradies by Max Philipp Schmid Switzerland 2015 / 14’52” / colour / German, ST: English / Exp
Against the backdrop of a greenhouse, texts, documentary images, and sounds are interwoven to evoke a set of questions: what is our image of paradise? How are these ideas manifested in gardens and city layouts? Is it enclosed, artificially designed, or found in the wilderness?

On avait dit qu’on irait jusqu’en haut by Tizian Büchi Switzerland 2015 / 17′ / colour / French, ST: English / Fic
Anna and Maxime are on train, facing each other. Not talking, hardly exchanging a glance, they observe the countryside passing by. They have decided to hike up the mountain, re­igniting memories of previous summers when they were full of the joys of love.


For this year’s Main Focus /Person in Focus / Land in Focus screenings, special Openings and other great selection of short films, visit the official website and look through the complete programme!

/Logo, photo and text from the official website/