56 Shorts Films from 65 Countries
A World of Shorts in the Perspective Section!

56 Shorts Films from 65 Countries A World of Shorts in the Perspective Section!


Text: Melikşah Altuntaş

Featuring a total of 56 funny, sad, tense, fun, unique, striking, and inspiring short films from various geographies all across the world, Perspective section of 14th Akbank Short Film Festival brings together some of the newest films that have toured important festivals, garnering praise and awards.

One of the deeply rooted sections of the Akbank Short Film Festival, Perspective is bringing together 56 films this year that have been screened at the world’s most important festivals, received awards, each more special than the other. Let’s take a closer look at the films featured in this section, offering a rich selection of shorts ranging from those that have passed through the biggest festivals such as Cannes, Berlin, Venice, and Toronto and have been mentioned among the most important of the year to the buried gems that remain off the beaten path.

Big Festivals’ Star Films

Taking place in an unnamed town in China, following a mother whose daughter has gone missing, A Gentle Night earned Chinese director Qui Yang the Palm d’Or at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. Currently working on a feature adaption of his 2015 short film Under the Sun, Yang’s film was one of the most talked about shorts of the year.

An offering from Brazilian cinema, Nada focuses on its central protagonist who, just turning 18, is under pressure from her family about which college she will choose to go to. Premiering at Cannes’ Director’s Fortnight, this film is among the successful coming of age tales.

Having its world premiere last year as part of the Berlinale Festival’s Generation section, Into the Blue tells the story of 13 year-old Julija, flung from place to place because of domestic violence.

One of the outstanding productions at last year’s Karlovy Film Festival, where it premiered, Atlantis, 2003 follows a Ukrainian couple trying to get to Germany.

Reinforcing its theme with an intelligently constituted visual quality, Invisibly is an impressive short out of Hungary and was one of the prominent films out Cannes’ Cinefondation section.

Having its world premiere at Berlinale, Aaaba tells the story of a young girl living with her grandfather and grandmother in the highlands of India and how their lives change with her grandfather’s coming death.

Focusing on the last days of a band on the verge of disbanding, After School Knife Fight is a short film that set sail for important festivals, having garnered praise and awards after being screened at the Cannes Film Festival’s Critics’ Week.

Screened at important festivals like Venice, Sundance, and Toronto, the Cypriot film Aria follows a 17 year-old young woman working at a local kebab shop in Athens who is waiting to get a driving lesson from her father.

With a world premiere held at Sitges, the Spanish production Caronte focuses on a protagonist whose life changes after a car accident and is supported by a parallel story taking place in space, only to become one of contemporary fantasy cinema’s more striking short films.

Having its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival’s Directors’ Fortnight section last year, Copa-Loca is a successful short film that tells the story of the Greek summer resort of the same name.

One of the Karlovy Vary Film Festival’s prominent selections, Atelier is centered on a woman who has created a calm space for herself at a studio and the interruption she experiences over time due to sounds and troubles.

Returning from the Cannes Film Festival with the Palm d’Or in 2016, Timecode tells the tale of two security guards, one working the night shift and the other, the day shift.

Premiering at the Tribeca Film Festival, Iranian director Kaveh Mazaheri’s new short film, Retouch, shares the striking story of a woman who, rather than saving her husband, watches him die.

One of the most impressive short films from France in recent years and garnering attention at Cannes’ Critics’ Week, Children Leave at Dawn focuses on a mother’s journey, seeing her son off to his military duty.

One of the outstanding films at the Moscow Film Festival, The Best Employee is a satire that follows Lena, occupied with impressing her boss and co-workers, and her ongoing competition with her closest rival.

One of the prominent shorts from Cannes’ Director’s Fortnight, the Lebanese production, White Noise tells the story of a security guard during his night shift below a bridge in the middle of the city.

The story of a woman who comes to Texas to get an abortion and the required 24-hour waiting period as mandated by law, Lucia, Before and After is a film that was received with praise and awards across the globe after premiering at the Sundance Film Festival.

One of the spotlight films of the Cannes Film Festival Critics’ Week, Selva is a Costa Rican production focusing on its central heroine, dancing within a game that is preparing her for an inevitable separation.

Screened at important festivals like Venice, Toronto, and Rome, Mon amour mon ami is an Italy-France co-production that tells the story of two friends supporting each other through their struggles with addiction.

Taking a look at one of the most important issues on the global agenda, the refugee crisis, from Slovenia, A New Home is another film that was showered with praise after premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Also screened at important festivals like Toronto, London, and Rotterdam after competing for the Palm d’Or at Cannes, Danish-Palestinian director Mahdi Fleifel’s A Drowning Man focuses on a man who is trying to survive in a city far away from his family without seeking help.

Prominent Films with Impressive Stories

Inspired by an emergency 911 call made during a school shooting in Atlanta, Georgia, the hair-raising DeKalb Elementary was one of this year’s nominees for the Best Short Film Oscar.

Centered on a young man who does not want to give up his place in line to the young woman in front of him at a market and directed by Cenk Ertürk, who Akbank Short Film Festival followers may remember from his shorts Muz Eğrisi, Nahoş Bir Mevzu, Nuh Tepesi, and Uzun Bir Gün (A Long Day), Shall No One Hold My Hand! is one of the attention-grabbing films from the Perspective section.

Known for his short films, documentaries, and currently preparing for his debut feature film, Pablo Munoz Gomes’ French production Kapitalistis is a warm and effective short that focusing on the concept of Santa Clause.

With its own run time of just three-minutes, Spanish producer–director Carlos Gómez-Trigo comes to us with Maelstrøm, a lesson in the importance of how to best use time in short film.

Spanish production Cachorro is an award-winning short that embarks on an effective allegory with the tale of lion cubs that, by their mothers, are forced to leave their pride at a young age.

Russian production I Can See You tells the adventure-filled story of a young woman who gets mixed up in a car jacking and the blind man sitting in the back seat.

Canadian production The Beep Test is an impressive short film in which Wojtek, who has fallen prey to bullying, one of the most painful problems in school life, is unable to verbally defend himself against those that make fun of him, thus taking physical action.

Multi-award Winning Animations

Directed by Max Porter and Ru Kuwahata and focusing on a sweet father-son story, Negative Space was nominated in the Best Animated Short Film category at this year’s Oscars.

Working in the art department on films such as Coco, Rio, and Finding Dory, Trevor Jimenez’s award-winning animated short, Weekends, tells the story of a young boy, shuffling back-and-forth between two households after his parents’ divorce.

Premiering at the Venice Film Festival, this French production and broken love story, You Will Be Fine, is a powerful animation that shares the sad story of a man drunkenly recalling how his last relationship ended.

Receiving great praise from the Berlin and Sarajevo film festivals, Volcano Island is an outstanding animation, focusing on a female tiger living on an oceanic island, in harmony with herself and nature.

A U.K. and China co-production, Divisional Articulations is a collaboration between composer Lux Prima and visual artist Max Hattler, featuring fuzzy analog music and geometric digital animation.

Documentaries from all over of the World

The Finnish production Arr. For A Scene is a documentary about two foley artists who were producing sound on the shower scene in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho, one of the best-known scenes in film history.

Swedish production In the Woods centers on a group of athletes who get together every year for log rafting.

Taking off from the principle that shadows are not always under the earth, Sub Terrae is a Spanish documentary that dazzles with its visual aesthetic.

Following a man who lost his family to gun violence in one of Rio de Janeiro’s favelas and is training his son in boxing, The Good Fight is an impressive documentary from Brazil.

Coming from Spain, La Fiebre del oro is an affecting documentary that elucidates a problem in Cabo Delgado Mozambique, which costs the lives of hundreds of miners, by drawing attention to the contrast between the poverty in the community and the wealth under the ground.

There are also…

In Russia’s So That Mom is Happy, a young woman tries to find a way to make her mom happy one last time.

In Laura Moss’ U.S. production Fry Day, a young girl comes of age on the day of Ted Bundy’s execution.

From Thailand, Death of the Sound Man tells the story of two soundmen working on a short film.

From Greece, the emotionally packed Mum, I’m Back focuses on the unusual tale of a woman who returns to the town she was born in, following her mother’s passing.

Spanish production Adivina / Fortuneteller brings its protagonist, trying to get his relationships in order, together with a carnival fortuneteller.

Australian production The Knife Salesman tells the highly tense story of a knife salesman and a mother of two.

Lebanese production The President’s Visit focuses on the funny story of a town’s inhabitants who go through endless effort to show off their village during the president’s impending visit.

German production Ionela shares the story of a woman trying help girls escape from forced prostitution.

Spanish production Black Label reveals a strange love story, concealed by masks.

A Mozambique and Portugal co-production, Nyo Vweta Nafta tells the story of two men who are interested in the events taking place around them.

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