“Organic” by Egor Subbotin is a full of nature and pure beauty short film telling about results and complications humans bring to the nature. Through beautiful frames, audience witness an obsolete beauty of natural creation and how human life affect it.

Unlike humans, nature is very cinematic and organic (no pun intended) to the camera. It only requires filmmakers to capture it. “Organic” does it exceptionally: each shot is full of color, depth and story. “Organic” also brings crucial art of storytelling through subtitles: just like in silent films, by adding little sentences to motion picture it reveals the full story, adding to the visual part of it. Outstanding.

Another admirable aspect of the film is soundtrack. Unlike many other documentaries, original soundtrack of “Organic” flows with the story and imagery of the film, adding more depth and context to it. It is extremely important regarding films with no voiceovers. “Organic” does it incredibly. Cooper Myers, the composer of the film, did an exceptional job.

“Organic” is a beautiful film from inside out. The story, imagery, soundtrack, each component of it creates a perfect symphony conducted by a skilled conductor. I wish Egor more ideas to come, and excited to see his future projects.

Award Winner  Winter 2023 Program
Agrinoui” by Alexis Chaviaras is a perfect example of how animation film can be mature, enlightening, inspiring and full of subtle and smooth humor for both children and adults.

A great way of approaching 3D animation in this short animation film is creating familiar yet refreshing look of creature interactions. There is something in each character that captivates, inspires and make audience member smile and feel positive energy. Humor in “Agrinoui” is universal: it is smooth yet playful, and sometimes there is a tiny bit of irony even in certain phrases. Amazing!

Also, not forget to mention, is the dramaturgy. Despite few flaws, it flows easily, and it shows main character’s growth in a short amount of time, which is an exceptional skill for a director. Furthermore, there is something moving in the story itself: it shows how to overcome failure, how to succeed and be happy about achieving success. Many people should watch it in order to breakthrough their emotional problems.

“Agrinoui” is a perfect example of a truly family friendly film. Both children and adults can find something for them there, and watching it is a lot of fun. Easy, refreshing and enlightening film that anyone could enjoy.

Honorable Mention Winter 2023 Program
“S. S. Robin” by. Camille Debiase is a deep drama script that focuses on a number of sociological issues humans deal every day. Despite the story being set in yearly 70s, the story is extremely easy to relate for any audience member.

The story revolving around adoption of a kid, and how interracial neighborhoods deal with racism, chauvinism and prejudice in general. This story could be told in almost any era of the 20th century, and it would still be something touching and enlightening. However, there are reasons why this story is based in the 70s and why it matters.

The 70s would bring enormous amount of cultural and historical juice to the story, which would make audience appreciate the story more. It is known that people do not reflect on modern times as the cultural phenomenon, and it takes time for people to see it that way. Hence, placing the story in the 70s creates unique imagery with cultural, historical and sociological references that would make audience dig deeper in the actual story.

It also creates enormous possibilities for many departments of film production to create unique atmosphere. Historical films challenge their creators to bring unique atmosphere in order to fascinate a viewer. Such era was colorful, innovative yet retrospective, with it’s own unique vibe a lot of people are trying to recreate today. Hence, it can become a reference to a lot of artists.

This story is full of potential, from dramaturgy to humor. It will indeed inspire a lot of people and raise important question modern society has to discuss.

The S.S. Robin
Official Selection Autumn 2023 Program
“Bars, Beer & Booze with Roberto Serrini” is a great documentary show pilot that talks about alcohol from social, historical and cultural point of view. Within 8 minutes, audience learns a great deal of information on the subject in a fun and easy-going way.

First of all, it is important for such documentary to have a charming host. Roberto Serrini is fun, easy going and fascinating alcohol expert, who is excited about the knowledge he is willing to share. It is as important as to be excited the subject in general. Also, he takes risk to find something new, something nobody has ever seen or experienced before, and it excites audience rapidly.

Second of all, animation adds another layer of depth to the show. It creates a somewhat timeless atmosphere, making viewers participate in historical moments that are being told in the series. Amazing.

Although there are few flaws in terms of sound quality, which can be fix easily, it is a great pilot for an exciting series that can be entertaining, educational and humorous at the same time. I am very excited about this project and can’t wait to see the actual series. Roberto Serrini absolutely has stories to tell, which means audience will get excited to hear them.

Bars Beer & Booze with Roberto Serrini
Honorable Mention Autumn 2023 Program
“Zu den Sternen” (To the Stars) by Nikolai Tegeler is an outstanding film that studies dignity, guilt and desperation. Having simple yet coherent and intricate plot, it shows many aspects of people’s past and how they deal with it.

One of the most important about the film is actor’s performance. Almost the entire film is shot in one room, which make audience focus on characters more than usual. These two fine actors, Günter Barton, and Florian Martens, show exceptional work with the script and their characters. Throughout the film audience can witness the progression within each other, along with interaction between them. This is outstanding and breathtaking, and because of such performances the film never gets dull.

The story is also written exceptionally. Every detail has a reason behind it, all twists are sharp and happen and at the right moment. The dramaturgy is also there, making the story progress in the specific and unique way. Outstanding.

Another positive aspect of “To the Stars” is number of props and how they are integrated to the story. These are not just objects for the sake of it, they help move the story forward, give clues about character’s background and their feelings.

Overall, this is a big, important, and inspiring piece of art. An amazing example of modern day independent film, where the story and the production is not huge, yet the director is able to tell a distinctive story with gratitude, grace and taste. I am fascinated by Nikolai Tegeler’s work.

Zu den Sternen
Award Winner Autumn 2023 Program
“For I Am Dead” by Patricia Delso Lucas is a unique short film that tells a story of boredom, fate, self-acceptance and death. Within 18 minutes, all these important issues are revealed through traditional film timing, editing and such unique scale.

This piece of art can be easily called timeless since people of all generations can relate to it. The main character is presented in a unique way, being petty, dreadful, devastating and disgusting at the same time. Only mature directors can pull off such complicated characters.

In terms of the production, it is incredibly pleasant film to watch. Locations, costume design, light work, and camera angles — all of these key points prove how sophisticated and professional this film is. Besides telling a complicated and thought-provoking story, audience can feel a very specific atmosphere, which is layered up with so many professional aspects.

It is important for the plot to give viewers the idea of what characters are the moment they appear on the screen. For I Am Dead is a perfect example of it: the exposition is set so perfectly, you understand and feel characters the moment they appear.

Overall, this is great, tasteful and inspiring piece of art. Patricia is a fabulous director and I am hoping we will see a full feature film from her soon. She deserves it like nobody else.

For I Am Dead
Official Selection Winter 2023 Program
“The Last Earth” Station by Kathryn Radmall is an exquisite, futuristic, and cosmic script that shows unique world of Space and human interaction with it. Nonetheless, this story can be more relatable than any World stories since it touches on people and other creature communication, desires and wishes.

It is crucial for such cosmic stories to have its own world. “The Last Earth Station” deals with it like no other: the number of details elaborated in the script is outstanding. Although there could be references to other Space-themed films, the world the script provides to the reader is unique and unlike any other. It takes enormous amount of hard work and talent to place stories in such unconventional locations.

Another major part is how, despite being cosmic and all-around futuristic concepts, it is as human and touching as possible. It has all aspects of traditional film stories’ approach, including drama, humor and experiencing existence.

I believe Kathryn Radmall creates a unique script that will interest not only geeks, but broader audience, since there are so many layers to the story. I believe in “The Last Earth Station”.

The Last Earth Station
Official Selection Winter 2023 Program
“Ferocious by Dimitri Devyatkin” is a very unique script telling a story about John Paul Jones and his adventures. Comparing to many other historical and adventures stories, “Ferocious” differs by many reasons.

One of the reasons it is unlike other stories audience seen before, characters are full of layers. There are no simple one-sided characters like a straight up villain or a regular hero, there is way more to it. Some of them lack dignity, whereas some of them are lousy, or funny, etc. This is a great example of people’s behavior in terms of history, since most stories about past eras show everyone with enormous amount of dignity or force. ‘Ferocious” is about people, with their desires and fears, passions and wishes; it is about them being human, just like everyone else.

Another important reason why “Ferocious” differ is how ambitious in terms of the scale it is. Indeed, it is an adventurous story, full of exciting locations, battles, and costumes. It sparked my imagination multiple times while I was reading it. If the number of details and imagery written in the script would be observed in the film itself, it can achieve a massive visual result as well.

Overall, this is exciting yet mature adventure script. Full of energetic and enlightening scenes, it can be a successful hit, since there are so many layers in such story.

Official Selection Autumn 2022 Program
“Being A Dog” by Felix Swahn is an animated short film that tells a story of a person/dog named Tim and how he is trying to mature and become a better person. This short, animated film is one of the best things I have seen in such a long time. Despite one major flaw, it is unique, dark, and full of juice. It is a clear example of how dramatic animation can be.

First of all, the style of animation is incredible. It catches an easy instantly, being retrospective and futuristic at the same time. Besides it, such style adds layers to the story: it adds additional emotions to it, making it dark, dirty and very human. The style also combined with little nuances made in comic-style, and such combination is rare to observe. Animation is an ability to create imagery of the story from moving frames and Being A Dog does it miraculously.

The story is also captivating Tim deals with thoughts and emotions everyone can relate to, and it is crucial. Although, I believe one major flaw is the ending: if the entire film can be described as a build up to a certain catharsis, the ending failed to execute it. I wish there was a more open and thought-provoking ending, which could add more mystery to the story.

Besides that, it is an amazing work. Sophisticated but very natural, full of authenticity and drama, this short, animated film told more about characters than most films. It creates unique atmosphere; it is something I desire to watch again and again. Felix Swahn is a diamond in the rough, and I am sure his future projects will be as exciting as this one.

Being A Dog
Official Selection Autumn 2022 Program
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