We Are One Film Festival was a free ten-day online festival that’s running exclusively on YouTube that wrapped up on Sunday the 7th June. Though the film festival is over, there’s currently a few shots and features, as well as Q&A’s, still online for people to watch. So I’ve spent time watching a few of the short films that’s available at the moment and these three shorts are my final reviews from the festival.
DIRECTED BY: Dekel Berenson
STARRING: Svetlana Alekseevna Barandich, Eric R. Gilliat, Anastasia Vyazovskaya, Alina Chornogub, Liana Khobelia, Istan Rozumny and Pavel Levitsky
Anna, a middle-aged single mother living in war-torn Eastern Ukraine, is lured out of her home by a radio advertisement for a party organised for foreign men.
Written and directed by Dekel Berenson, this short focuses on Anna, a lonely, middle-aged single mother living in war-torn Eastern Ukraine, who responds to a radio advertisement for a party organised for foreign men in the hopes of finding love. We see Anna working in a meatpacking factory before she answers the advertisement for single women to meet these foreign men at a party that turns into a different charade from what the audience might be expecting as it becomes clear it’s intentions of this party is for the American visitors looking to take a wife back home. That table three-way conversation in which another woman translates between Anna and an American man is genuinely uncomfortable to watch, showcasing the lack of human connection and empathy that occurring here that Anna hopes to find. The short is well directed by Dekel Berenson, particularly in how it highlights the loneliness Anna feels during the scenes at the party, and the cinematography by Ivanov Klimovich is also good and Svetlana Alekseevna Barandich is compelling to watch as Anna.
A well done short by Dekel Berenson, I could easily watch a feature length version of Svetlana Alekseevna Barandich’s Anna.
DIRECTED BY: Elin Övergaard
STARRING: Cecilia Milocco and Kristoffer Appelquist
A new refugee home for children is debated at a Swedish public council meeting in Elin Övergaard’s lucidly observed story of political polarisation.
Written by Ellin Övergaard and Manne Indahl, with the former also directing, Who Talks focuses on Niklas attending a Swedish public council meeting as they debate on a proposed centre for refugee children. Who Talks? More like Who Listens? The short is fourteen minutes long and while Niklas is ideally there to talk about the children currently in school, the public council meeting is completely overtaken by the debate on refugee children being sheltered and cared for by the municipality, leading to some shockingly over exaggerated and racists statements of how taking in these children will lead to an increase of crimes and rape. This leads to the short boiling over with ‘assault’ which is only perceived that way due to the narrow-mindedness of these in attendance. It’s a well directed short by Ellin Övergaard, with some solid performances, but I just felt like like it was missing something from making it great.
Well directed short by Ellin Övergaard with good performances from Cecilia Milocco and Kristoffer Appelquist.
DIRECTED BY: Thanasis Neofotistos
STARRING: Enes Kozličić, Lazar Dragojević and Simonida Mandić
In a sweaty, overcrowded tram in Sarajevo, a shy teenager is beset by every imaginable impediment as he tries to capture the attention of his object of desire. Yet the overheated hero of this wild farce will not be easily defeated.
Written by Marina Symeou, and directed by Thanasis Neofotistos, Route-3 is set on a jam-packed tram in Sarajevo, where a shy young teenager can’t take his eyes off a young woman at the front of the bus. He decides to pluck up the courage to get close to here to say something, but that proves to be more challenging than it sounds. The film is well directed by Neofotistos, showcasing how claustrophobic the main character is in this confined space trying to squeeze past other passengers on the tram, though the story itself will come off as slightly creepy and the comedic element, particularly when Lazar Dragojević appears on screen, will either work for you or it won’t.
Shot well but the short just wasn’t for me.