Alexander Gusev: 'We wanted to reflect the experience of 2020' Festival programmer talks about the latest selections of short films.
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Alexander Gusev: 'We wanted to reflect the experience of 2020'

Festival programmer talks about the latest selections of short films.

With the Euregion Film Festival coming up next month, it's time to have a look at the films that have been selected. Programmer Alexander Gusev talks about the great variety of shorts in two competitions, and about the importance of these new stories.

"We hope this program shows the ability of young filmmakers to reflect universal problems."

15 februari 2021

Finding the right films

"In the festival selection we wanted to reflect the experience of 2020, when our world narrowed down to four walls, limited to the circle of those who are closest to us. At the same time our world seemed to expand to the entire planet since we, more than ever, acutely felt the unity of mankind facing similar problems in all corners of the earth."

"We wanted to present films that rethink family relationships, which can become our main support and joy in life, or can correspond to what the hero of Sartre said: "Hell is other people". We also wanted to show the difficult path of self-identification, the search for our place under the sun, in which we sometimes have to free ourselves from tyrannical power and separate imposed ideas from our own. The slogan "We'll see it through" conveys our ability to empathize. The willingness to see the reflection of our own troubles in other people's dramas."

International Short Film Competition shows great variety

"We hope this program shows the ability of young filmmakers to reflect the universal problems of human existence, in recognizable hot topics and unexpected forms."

"The first movie of the International Short Film Competition is A Swimming Lesson From Dad, by Biró Melinda Ildikó. Thanks to the skillful use of horror techniques and the thickening of the phantasmagoric atmosphere, the helplessness and loneliness of a young girl is revealed. Her father decides to breathe courage into her in an unusual way."

"Among Us by Stephan Eigenmann is also about training, but in this case the most demanding character is not the parent or the teacher. It is the pupil herself, a musical prodigy going deaf. Dalía by Brúsi Ólason is about the restoring bond between a boy and his father. The story is told in a stingy but precise and apt way, with the hint of gentle humor."

"Mama's Ashes by Caspar Commijs is about the things we invent to put up with the worst losses, with mutual reconciliation turning about to be the best option. Outline by Alejandro Renedo is dedicated to a young actress and conveys the specifics of acting, owning the body like a handy tool, and showing the need to be able to turn on and off."

"The animated film Snow Shelter by Robertas Nevecka is set in a post-apocalyptic atmosphere and talks about our ability to show solidarity, as well as our instinct for survival. In Something is Happening by Roman Ďuriš the activity of right-winged radical groups becomes the background for a parent-child relationship. Song Sparrow by Farzaneh Omidvarnia shows the real hell on earth, in the image of a van filled with illegal refugees hiding from the authorities, moving deeper into European paradise. 

"The Speech by Haohao Yan narrates about the opposition of the individual to the collective through a child's attempt to defend her independence. Along the way, she finds the meaning of the surrounding reality on her own. In Wound Riders by Angel Barroeta, a nightclub becomes an abode of demons and ghosts. Being there encourages people to feel their closeness more sharply. 

"You are always 20 by Christer Wahlberg appears as a purgatory of memories. A collection of images of time, forever lost and eternally present in our life, reminiscent of our past joys and our inescapable guilt."

Selection of latest films from the Euregion area

"The Euregion Short Film Competition opens with Blood Group by Daan Bunnik. With emotional strain the film shows the relationship between brothers, emphasizing their mutual grievances, hidden rivalry and love. Charlie Z by Karel Konings is a mockumentary satire about the culture of YouTube videos that washes away the line between game and crime."

"In Pieces by Nils Hanssen is about a young man digging into his past. As he sinks deeper into his thoughts, he comes across repressed memories hiding dark secrets. In Vincent Groos' Lieve, the profession of a social worker acts as a metaphor for self-sacrifice and the forced need to live the life of other people."

"Oxygen by Rocky Grispen and Violette Belzer shows the inability to understand the needs of another, which turns out to be a masking of our own egoism. In Split-Up by Katja Jansen, the witty used split-screen technique helps to give special emphasis to the experiences of ex lovers. 

"The Ballet of Service by Marlies Smeenge is an excursion into a closed world trying to keep its high standards in our time of change. The Unseen Evolution by Hussein Al Khayat is dedicated to the drama of the post-industrial era, which is revealed through the example of the city Heerlen and its inhabitants. The film is about the creativity to transform the urban space. To replace despondency and depression with hope and joy."

Alexander Gusev's favorite film

"I am happy with this year's selection and, although it is not easy for me to choose one film, perhaps I will name Outline by Alejandro Renedo. In the tragicomically presented ordeals of the main character, I could recognize my own professional tribulations. This necessity to obey other people's wishes is, alas, something that is often required of each of us. No matter what profession we are engaged in. But in particular, the film speaks about the people of the creative specialties, about the vulnerability of those who, along with their work, expose themselves to the public."

A final message to the audience

"Like all devoted programmers, we hope that at least some of the selected films will not only justify viewing the entire program, but will also remain in your memory. Since our festival is dedicated to the works of young directors, we believe that the audience will be able to get acquainted with authors who are destined to glorify their names in the further history of cinema."

Don't miss out on this year's Euregion Film Festival

March 1-7, online.

Tickets & more info.

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