This year, the Argentine Short Film Competition presents ten creations where length sets the rhythm of an expressive format with its own particular characteristics and rules. The short can be a place for experimentation and the development of curious ideas or simply a way of transforming a leftover film into an innovative audiovisual world. In this section, young and eager directors dare to pay homage to brevity.
Crushed, by Jazmín Stuart – Argentina – 2017 – 13´
Crushed is a little tale I wrote many years ago, which reappeared now that I was looking for a plot to shot a short film. Dark humor and the tragic romantic genre attracted me to acting and directing. These, and the idea of telling a story almost without leaving a car.
Fear, by Juan Pablo Menchon – Argentina – 2017 – 10´
We wanted to shoot Fear for a while now (we almost did it in Madrid long ago; we almost did it in Buenos Aires not so long ago), but the day we met Ari and Peque we realized we had been waiting for them from the very first day. Nothing is more important, when it comes to shooting a dog and a kid, than their friendship. And these two friends are one. The same way they appeared in our lives, we cruised along Route 2 surrounded by that four-days-long magic act, looking for sunrises, starting bonfires, playing with test tubes, getting foggy with the pool steam. Seven friends lovers colleagues brothers cousins, making a movie in the most beautiful way ever. Ari has never seen the sea or been to the movies, which I don't think is a coincidence. I think magic is still out there.
In the Amazing Communication Age, by Augusto González Polo – Argentina – 2017 – 15´
I feel nowadays human relationships face crises because of external factors that didn't even exist a few years ago. The fact that when you look up in any corner or any bus you see every pedestrian is checking their phone is a symptom of something we don't know where it's going. All of this becomes significant when these habits are seen in anachronistic contexts where just a while ago it was hard to tell in which decade we were. Far from the cities, where everything is present in the same proportion but in different quantities, these habits differ in volume.
Let Us Now Praise Movies, by Nicolás Zukerfeld – Argentina – 2017 – 9´
I started shooting this film by chance. First, I had an expired 16 mm film that I had been given and that I kept for a while and some friends needed to shoot fireworks for a short film in my girlfriend's parent’s rooftop. Then, because of Manny Farber, an American painter and critic I had become interested in, whose texts hadn't been translated. I was going through one of his texts and I thought the character interpreted by Lucas Granero (a friend, a critic and a filmmaker) could translate these during the movie and that we could go further into that little script outline. I think of this short film as a microscope that allows me to see people serving coffee, translating, making photocopies, looking for a job, drawing or shooting; performing little tasks as termites, lighted by a candle.
Motocross, by Francisco Chiapparo – Argentina – 2017 – 15´
After almost two years without shooting I decided to embark on a project that reflected the concerns that I accumulated across these years. The challenge with Motocross was to make a comedy about the frustration of Vero, an unemployed actress facing the 30-year crisis who is about to go to an audition, something that happens to be embarrassing to her, in the hope that it’s just a phase. I was keen on showing how optimistic she is in spite of the frustration she experiences and, of course, I experience as well.
No!, by Pedro Maccarone, Max Franco - Argentina - 2017 – 12´
No! appeared as a response to the frequent and increasingly worrying cases of gender abuse that have been threatening Argentina in the last few years. Our intention was to show, through a sequence shot, how easily and crudely these terrifying stories take place; stories that, unfortunately, are real. The horror genre is our trademark as filmmakers and we were sure it was going to perfectly match the theme, which was our inspiration to create our own story.
Oriental Passion, by Santiago Korovsky – Argentina – 2017 – 13´
Oriental Passion came up within the context of an exercise in Mauricio Kartún's drama workshop many years ago. A couple enters a motel room after meeting for what could be their last date. It is, somehow, a short film about the obstacles of lifting your guard and showing compromise. I contributed with my own experiences encoded as humor and the process served as some sort of exorcism of certain stage in my life. After rewriting the script a couple of times, I got a grant from the Fondo Nacional de las Artes (National Endowment for the Arts, Argentina) which helped me make the film.
Pixied, Agostina Ravazzola, Gabriela Sorroza – Argentina – 2017 – 9´
We wanted to speak about the modern-life routine through Pixied, about how sometimes objects can rule your life. About how sometimes we live as if we were set in autopilot and we had no control over our daily lives. And we decided to frame all that in his realization that he is, in fact,just a character in a set. It is only after he discovers the truth and understands who he really is that he can rebel and find how to escape his routine and the objects that chase him and trap him. We think of ourselves as animators more than as filmmakers, so animation is the genre we choose to express ourselves. And what better expressive tool to use than the language of pixilation, a technique which serves as the base for this short film and shapes its format and its context at the same time?
Son, by Alejo Santos – Argentina – 2017 – 8´
Son is born in the experience with distance and my recent becoming a father. It also has a political-environmental aura. I don't like the word “manifesto”, but the protagonist's words have their own weight and they go beyond his relationship with his son. Aside from that, science fiction is a genre that is always very critic of its contemporary society.
Twelve Nails, by Paula Hernández – Argentina – 2017 – 15´
Twelve Nails emerges from the desire of shooting. In the idle times during the making of feature films, the urge to shoot arises. Twelve Nails was written a while ago but it was saved in a hard drive that was opened at the right time by accident (and by fortune!). So I got back to work and I focused on the last hours of their relationship. I don't need to judge, I’m just interested in the emotional fragility of their bonds. In the beauty in sadness, in the crude portrait of naked bodies, in the passing of time reflected in those bodies, in the characters' loneliness, where what appears to be inoffensive ends up being devastating. Twelve Nails is what the night masks but the daylight forces us to see.