OFF ON SELECTION
As of 2023, our festival adds the 'OFF ON' selection to the line-up. This special section is available for streaming only. Streaming on Whush.com from 13 August to 1 September 2023.
Easy Tiger (Belgium) by Karel Tuytschaever
Synopsis: An unexpected moment in a session with a client confronts a psychologist with his own inner world. Alienated by the isolation of his seemingly perfect city life, the psychologist encounters an extreme inability to understand and embrace his own human nature. His inescapable desires for his male client force the psychologist to look at who he does not want to be. It is the only way that he can find out who he really is. An intimate portrait of a vulnerable man during a true and insurmountable romance. Running time: 01:00:00.
Aygol (Germany) by Dimitris Argyriou
Synopsis: Aygol is a young girl who is afraid to accept her sexual identity, because it is forbidden in her country and she wants to spend time with her grandmother. Running time: 00:08:00.
Trace Of A Butterfly (China) by Xu Ran
Synopsis: Life is always as light as a butterfly dance. Meeting, separating, birth and death, it all seem to be just the gentle flapping of the wings. But even if the life is light and fleeting like this, is it really impossible to leave any traces? Running time: 00:10:40.
Traveller (UK) by Caitlin Innes Edwards
Synopsis: A woman travelling across terrain finds hope and connection with an abandoned horse. Running time: 00:14:36.
Holestepper (Peru) by Sergio Fernández Muñoz
Synopsis: Angel (Oswaldo Salas), an enthusiastic high school teacher, discovers a website where his students make fun of him and his disability through some strange videos. Mixing reality and the adolescent digital universe, Angel will be involved in a world hitherto unknown. Running time: 00:17:26.
Good Grief (UK) by Robert Sharp
Synopsis: Four mothers experience the agony of child loss in a film that highlights the importance of grief. Featuring BAFTA winner Vicky McClure (This is England) Running time: 00:10:19.
The Six Values of our Society (Italy) by Lorenzo Visentin
Synopsis: We live in a society in which "bad habits" are sometimes so established that they seem like the norm, as if they were the values on which this society is founded. Our young protagonists, Lorenzo, Sebastiano and Gianluca, doubtful about the canons imposed by society, will lead us to discover these false values in an ironic way, and they'll come to the conclusion that a right, fair and united world is only possible if we are oriented towards other values. Maybe the frenetic technological evolution and the predominant power of artificial intelligence are not the most effective weapons to fight humanity's problems. Running time: 00:11:56.
Wayward (UK) by Ross Casswell
Synopsis: A feature documentary charting one man's ambition to restore and motor 'his wreck of a boat' from London to Ireland to reunite with his family. All plans soon take a back seat as struggles with alcoholism, spiraling mental health and mounting debt threatens to hamper all progress. Can he find the personal resolve to turn it around before it all closes in? Running time: 01:03:40.
Call Me Anytime, I'm Not Leaving the House (USA) by Sanjna Selva
Synopsis: Two days after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Lesya Verba, a Brooklyn-based artist and performer, gets through to her older sister in Odessa, Ukraine via FaceTime. Through the frame of this first FaceTime conversation since the day everything changed, this is a film about love, memory, national identity, and the (im)permanence of home, as the sisters cling to a call that could be their last. Running time: 00:10:15.
Circus Movements (Portugal) by Lukas Berger, Mário Gajo de Carvalho
Synopsis: Circus culture is a space of diversity, cooperation and integration. A magical space with real people. "Circus Movements" was shot with circus kids from Ethiopia - Liya and Beza, doing the hula hoop; Habtamnesh, doing the aerial hoop; and the Beniyam, only 5 years old, performing acrobatics. Collectively, they are great circus artists performing in the magnificent landscapes of Ethiopia. Running time: 00:15:00.
Heaven Is On My Side (Portugal) by Marco Espirito Santo
Synopsis: A short film on gratitude and big-wave surfing featuring João “Massas” de Macedo, “Heaven Is On My Side” is simultaneously a documentary and a meditation on environmental consciousness through Macedo's experience at the world’s biggest wave in Nazaré, Portugal. Running time: 00:03:37.
Fuori le mura (Italy) by Andrea Natale, Giuseppe Vincenzo Sciarra
Synopsis: "Over the Walls" is about the Prati neighborhood, the last of the Roman neighborhoods, the only one beyond the walls. The film is an immersive journey into this historical area of Rome, generically called "Prati," which includes three distinct areas with different building characteristics and built in different eras: "Prati di Castello," born in the post-Unitarian 19th century expansion; "Prati delle Vittorie," built mainly in the period between the two world wars and in the following decades; and a part of the "Trionfale" neighborhood. The present, the past and the future told by those who live, work and deeply know this central area of the city. Running time: 00:35:00.
Lights Out, Berlin! (Germany) by Dimitris Argyriou
Synopsis: Lights Out, Berlin! is a documentary about the effects of the covid-19 pandemic in Berlin's music & club scene. Berlin has always been a vivid and colourful city. A city that was full of inspiring spots, artistic opportunities, and loud nightlife. A city with a huge cultural background that was for two years on hold. Running time: 01:30:00.
King of the World (Belgium) by Ron Chiers
Synopsis: Marc is an artist with bipolar disorder. He filmed himself, and was filmed, during a psychosis. It is an insight into the raw reality of someone struggling with mental illness. Like a lonesome rider, he lets us see into the depths of his soul and goes off the track with his uncontrolled connections. Marc let music take him into higher realms and paints himself with battle colours. A wall is used as a canvas for a manic work of art. With a state of mind that alternates between euphoria and sadness, he struggles through a rollercoaster of delusions. Wandering through past and present, through his own reality versus reality, he imagines himself to be a king, performer, stripper, art teacher, advertising man and child. In this search for himself, Marc shares his vulnerability with us. Running time: 0:25:45.
The Joy of a Home (Portugal) by Ana Isabel Martins
Synopsis: My grandparents are an elderly couple who have lived together for 50 years. Their home is the place where they spend more time together, where they share frustrations and their memories. Running time: 00:20:00.
Wuqiao Circus (Austria) by Lukas Berger
Synopsis: In Wuqiao, a small Chinese town, the inhabitants are dedicated to circus. For decades, different generations present themselves as clowns, magicians, acrobats and tamers. During the holidays of Chinese New Year, the Wuqiao Acrobatic World turns into a big playground for spectators. Surrounded by Buddhist temples and Taoist sculptures, artists create their own space of circus tradition, imagination, illusion and reality. Backstage life is melancholic. “Wuqiao Circus”, a film about circus life fragments, performative existence and the love for playfulness. Running time: 00:14:14.
Arcadia (Poland) by Małgorzata Paszko
Synopsis: A documentary impression about the destructive human, impact on nature, created with black and white images. There is only one sentence in the entire film: "Watch out". Running time: 00:08:33.
The Chaotic Melody of Tina (USA) by David Anderson, Aaron Perra
Synopsis: (TRIGGER WARNING: Includes meth use throughout, along with sex, nudity, weapons, and graphic bloody scenes.) A man who struggles with meth addiction has reached rock bottom. His mind constantly races as he nears death. Running time: 00:01:43.
Reading Through the Body (Austria) by Mersolis Schöne
Synopsis: What happens when philosophical thoughts are translated into body movements? "Reading Through the Body" is a short documentary film. It shows how a woman who is deaf tries to understand and embody a text by Friedrich Nietzsche (from the book "Thus Spoke Zarathustra"). Running time: 00:07:42.
Where my friend made a painting (Portugal) by Pedro Florêncio
Synopsis: Short and simple story: My friend made a painting from a photograph about a manifestation against the economic crisis and I made a film from that painting. Between these two objects lies a path, which began in a casual photograph and ended in a poorly-lit garage. "Where My Friend Made a Painting" is, in order of importance, a short film about a place, a friend, a creative act, a painting and the silence of one manifestation. Running time: 00:05:40.
Atmospheric Marginalia (USA) by Adam E. Stone
Synopsis: Equal parts poetic essay film and family folklore, Atmospheric Marginalia is an enchanting probe into a pair of star-crossed lovers and misfits, the continuing bonds theory of grief, and the existence of an afterlife. Steeped in the tradition of raw, no-budget guerrilla filmmaking, it was filmed entirely by hand on an unmodified iPhone 8 in 2020 and 2021, without the use of tripods, external lenses, lighting aids, etc. The film's free-flowing cycles of imagery feature unconventional palettes of unpeopled skyscapes and waterscapes that evoke, in rich and enigmatic detail, a world that often remains hidden in plain sight. Running time: 01:15:07.
Retardation (Sweden) by Nils Agdler
Synopsis: The second short film in the Male Nature Studies series. “The Great Acceleration” gained momentum in the 1950s with the Western man at the wheel. The growth curves turned sharply upwards and so did, and still do, the human impact on the biosphere. But what if this man begins to see himself as a small part of nature instead of striving to "conquer" it? What if he abandons the pursuit of status and the ever-expanding claims to power? What if he slows down and throws his paralyzing yoke? Is he still a Man then? Nils Agdler visualizes ideas of another future man – the resigned man, the regressed man, the liberated man, and possibly – the last man. Running time: 00:04:45.
Keratin (UK) by Charlie Jimenez, Scarlett Wang, Catarina Dias Silva, Stella Rosenkvist, Isobel O' Gorman
Synopsis: After a mating of elements, two bodies grieve over a lost third: a child separated from their womb. The three bodies regain connection in a wombic journey, bound by their keratin. This spiritually networks the three into an eternal fusion of a collective body Running time: 00:03:45.