by Adrian Branzan, Samuele Matteuzzi, Elina Boeva, Katarina Mihelic, Ada Gabor
The Best Independent Dramatic Short Film of the AAIFF category includes films ranging from dark comedy, romance to fantasy and escapism. This category always presents a carefully curated selection of dramatic shorts that not only portray distinctive filmmakers — their vision and their voice — but emotional, powerful storytelling as well.
By immersing itself into the stories of interesting characters trapped inside colourful scenarios, the audience is also given a chance to reflect on reality and see it from a different perspective. This category is always rich in flavour and unstoppable in its force to provoke and capture human emotion.
OUT OF THE ABYSS (2022) – Dir. Guang Wei Yan
MEDEA (2022) – Dir. FeiFei Zhong
A young woman’s promising artistic career is in jeopardy as she discovers she’s pregnant and struggles in deciding what to prioritise in her life.
FeiFei Zhong wanted her film to focus on portraying the struggles and burdens women continuously face in today’s society:
“Basically, I wanted to have an idea revolving around the difficult conditions females may face in their daily lives. Society now has so many responsibilities for females. We are wives, mothers, daughters, and still, we have so many other things to think of. So that is why I wanted to make this short film, to describe the shackles female dance in- to show how it’s really not quite easy for us to deal with the ‘daily’ life”.
HIBERNATE (2022) –Dir. Houssam Hassan Hamo
A poor Syrian child with a passion for music sees a young woman playing the accordion. He chases after her trying to enter a musical institution, where he can finally fulfil his dream of being an accordionist.
LUCKY (2022) –Dir. Yin Ze
A financially unlucky man gambles in the hopes of winning. In his desperation, he even goes to extreme measures which do not end in his favour. The story is based on a real-life incident in a small town in southern China.
THE HEART SUTRA (2022) – Dir. Shi Yi
Shi Yi discusses the hurdles she went through and how it challenged her creatively when making the film:
“I had to overcome a lot of difficulties in order to better express the core spirit of my script, and then to achieve the some of the images I wanted to express in the film. Let’s say there’s a shot of the burning scripture, because I don’t have a macro lens, I can’t put the burning scripture on top of the burnt paper, I can’t have a macro lens to express it, so how should I go about it? I came up with the solution, that is, I should enlarge the word. Then I wrote this word as a large word, and then I used our close-up lens to shoot it again, so as to make an expression for something like this, I did a lot of new attempts to overcome the whole difficulty of shooting”.
JOPEL (2022) – Dir. Clifton Abuan
Jopel is a less fortunate kid from the streets of Manila , who wanted to make his mom happy by buying her a birthday cake. He did not have any money but was fortunate to have the heart & talent to overcome it all.