still from "Bye Little Block!", dir. Eva Daboros

Umami. And Despite It All, World Makes Some Kind of Sense - curated screening Aleksandra Ławska

For adults
Short films
06.30 PM


Umami. And Despite It All, World Makes Some Kind of Sense - curated screening Aleksandra Ławska

Umami is considered the fifth basic taste; however, with the global spotlight it steals, there seems to be nothing basic about it. It's mysterious, a bit vague, and flaky. It can appear at times and disappear at others. It can be demanding and, at times, feels almost overwhelming, but it's deep in flavor and heart-breaking in its taste—such a desirable experience!

Yet, with all its uniqueness, what would umami be without its companions? They work synergistically combining all the savors: saltiness, sweetness, sourness, bitterness, creating together more than they do separately. Without them, it would not show its strength. It leads to creation of an unanimous, balanced, and harmonious taste that’s difficult to reach, requiring a lot of effort, experimenting, time, and…companionship. Umami opens the door to reveal the oddity of relationships - its collective power, toxic symbiosis, empowering solidarity, beneficial cooperation, and many more.

In a short film program, we explore diverse social structures extending even those beyond human experiences. From bittersweet conversations in daily scenes, revealing the irony of our uniqueness within the larger group, to virtual communities enabling individuals to connect and express authenticity beyond the physical world, and finally, exploring the elaborate and strange coexistence that may appear in states of pain, betrayal, and loneliness.

So, while cutting a chunk of Gruyere, hearing a boiling pot of ramen, and sipping green mushroom tea, I’ll be wondering how our world with all of the intricacies of our relationships, their cracks and wounds, ecstasies and joy, conflicts and consensus, after all, makes some sort of sense.

Bye Little Block!, Eva Daboros, Hungary, 2020, 9’

A frame from an animated film. A figure with long black hair and white clothes stands on the balcony with his back turned. In the background, a square with green trees and lawns, surrounded by skyscrapers.

A young woman learns that soon she will have to move from the concrete highrise flat she lives in. Her tear transforms into a concrete monolith as it hits the ground, revealing a panoramic view of the area.

Menagerie, Jack Grey, USA, 2022, 5’

A still from an animated film. Large lawn with swimming pool. There are various cartoon characters placed on the grass, performing various activities, including: they play sports and relax.

Day after day, inhabitants of the Menagerie play out their daily lives like clockwork.

Club Zodiac, Joe Hunting, UK, 2020, 10’

A still from an animated film. Eleven figures are sitting on a large red sofa. Behind them is a large gray mouse with a crown on its head. The characters resemble heroes from Japanese comics - manga.

An exploration into virtual embodiment, presenting an electric and heartfelt portrait of exotic dance club, Club Zodiac. Alongside the bustling scenes inside VR dance clubs, this film hears from users learning fitness pole dance using full body tracking technology.

Symphony No. 42, Réka Bucsi, Hungary, 2013, 10’

A still from an animated film. A huge, brown dog with three heads stands in an area surrounded by hills. There are several arrows in the dog's body, its limbs are entwined with ropes held by miniature people.

A betrayed wife starts to investigate her husband’s mistresses. Her jealousy is gradually replaced by curiosity.

Plankton, Gustaf Lindstrom, UK, 2018, 5’

A frame from an animated film. Two very small fish in the larva stage facing each other on a black background.

Ideas, aspirations and problems at the end of the food chain.

Symbiosis, Nadja Andrasev, France, 2019, 13’

A still from an animated film. The faces of two women with closed eyes and pursed lips. The woman in the front has long black hair, behind her is a woman with pink hair in a ponytail.

A betrayed wife starts to investigate her husband’s mistresses. Her jealousy is gradually replaced by curiosity.

Martin Cries, Jonathan Vinel, France, 2017, 16’

A frame from an animated film. The landscape shows a high cliff against the background of the stormy sea. At the top, near the edge, is a dark figure.

Martin cries. He is alone. He woke up in the morning and all his friends were gone. Disappeared. Just not there. He sets off to look for them. And he searches everywhere, in the city, in the mountains, in the rivers, but he doesn’t find them.

Zoon, Jonatan Schwenk, Germany, 2022, 4’

A frame from an animated film. A wrinkled hand holds a white creature with six tentacles coming from its head. The creature is made of four limbs with four fingers and a long tail.

In the dark swamps of a nocturnal forest, a group of gleaming axolotls is in heat, nuzzling and nibbling one another’s limbs. Soon a much larger, two-legged forest-dweller encounters the lustful group and reaches down to gobble one of the small shimmering creatures. His plump friends begin to partake as well and a feast begins. While dawn is slowly breaking, a cheerful game begins higher up in the branches.

Curator - Aleksandra Ławska

A photo of a woman with blonde hair, wearing a loose blue shirt. The woman holds a mobile phone in her hand and looks ahead. A white lanyard with an ID badge hangs around her neck.

Freelance programmer based in Reykjavik, Iceland. In 2019-2021 she worked as a Head of Programming, from 2023 she took over the position of Head of Competitons at Short Waves Festival. In 2018-2022 she had been a Project Coordinator at the Cultural Foundation Ad Arte in Poznan, Poland, co-organising cultural events, film screenings, and educational workshops. She has been a member of the preselection committees for Festival du nouveau cinéma de Montréal and Glasgow Short Film Festival, Lago Film Fest and part of the reading committee for the European Short Pitch. She was a jury member at Go Short in Nijmegen, Brussels Short Film Festival, FeKK Ljubljana and more.