still from "The Water Ghost", dir. Hongzhou Xue

Play-off I

Competition screenings
For adults
Short films
07.30 PM


Competition films screening; film with the highest number of votes by the audience enters the International Competition.

Being Ten, Fatemeh Jafari, Iran, 2023, 18’07’’

A still from an animated film. A girl in a brown coat holds a duck in front of her and looks up. The figure of the girl and the duck are made of yarn.

A father and his ten-year-old son live in a lonely cottage in the middle of a dense wood. The father, a hunter, spares one of his prizes and brings it home as a present for his son. What, at first, was just a plaything forever will change the young boy's life.

Cyclepaths, Anton Cla, Belgium, 2023, 12’25’’

A still from an animated film. A man in a construction worker's outfit looks at a standing tram, with a red glow in the background.

An old woman is carrying her shopping bags. A child with a gun on his back riding a scooter. Birds are flying. A city is falling. A party is lit.

The Water Ghost, Hongzhou Xue, United Kingdom, 2023, 4’50’’

A still from an animated film. A green figure with long black hair emerges from the gray water.

An epic on the smallest scale. A romantic poem about my childhood. A subjective fantasy that changes the memories of the past. False memory can reveal the true self.

Temporarily Removed, Dotan Goldwaser, Yoav Brill, Israel, 2023, 14’13’’

A still from an animated film. A woman in a blue and navy blue uniform stands against a blue wall, between two paintings.

Deep inside a municipal art museum, a single guard is the sole queen of a small exhibition. When being forced to leave the room, her exile becomes a journey in search of a new home.

Just Keep Breathing, Anej Golčar, United Kingdom, 2023, 6’15’’

A still from an animated film. The figures of an elderly woman and an elderly man sit next to each other on an airplane. The man holds a book in front of him, the woman has her hand on the man's thigh.

Victor is stuck next to an intrusive stranger on a low-budget airliner. The crackling candy wrapper, the smacking of the lips, oh, just give him a break. No, he doesn't want your candy, thank you very much, Victor isn't hungry. There's no escape, thirty-five thousand feet in the air. So, just keep breathing.

Baking With Piggu, Claire Schlaikjer, USA, 2023, 3’27’’ 

A still from an animated film. A girl with two teeth and pink hair is standing in front of the table. In front of her is a white cake with fruit, a gray bag filled with strawberries and a white pig-shaped mascot. Behind it there is a refrigerator and a kitchen cabinet.

There’s a party. There’s a cake. And Piggu wants a piece. Piggu is a stuffed pig chasing the pleasures of a material world beyond his own. Trapped in his own soft body, Piggu nonetheless attempts to participate. Will he find what he seeks, or will his struggles end in heartbreak.

Braided, Chenxi Zhang, USA, 2023, 6’19’’

A still from an animated film. Black and white sketch. The girl in pigtails cowers and covers her face with her hands.

Mom always meticulously braided my hair tightly, so tight that it pulled a clear path on top of my head. But one day, she cut off my braids. I didn't want to resist, yet I had to accept it. As I took my first steps forward alone, my stride faltered. Along the path on my head, I touched our unbreakable inner attachment, and the journey of female growth we were both unprepared to face.

Wait for me in a dream, Natalia Durszewicz, Poland, 2023, 14’56’’

A still from an animated film. Black and white drawing. A man with glasses holds an elderly woman and helps her get up.

Wait for me in a dream is a poetic story about an elderly married couple shown with the use of painterly animation. Isolated from the world and condemned to loneliness, Bronka and Zygfryd experience a slow defragmentation of their reality caused by the woman's illness and the adversities associated with it. On their final journey, they experience moments of regret, pain and even repulsion. However, for all their worth they try to remember the love that used to last between them.