Narrative Shorts (B)

  • Directed by Ros Fiol

1. FREESTYLE* (USA, 2:06) – Director Ros Fiol TRAILER

SYNOPSIS: .Combining elements of 90s R&B, hip hop, new jack swing, chiptune, future funk, ballroom, and Afrofuturism, this animation is a celebration of street dance and all other underground dance movements that create personal connections within public spaces. Music by Jason Fujita. *Emerging Talent

DIRECTOR’S BIOGRAPHY: Ros Fiol is a Cuban-American artist and animator from Miami, Florida. His work focuses on belonging by way of collective imagination and sonically driven worldbuilding. Ros is a current MFA student at the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts, LA.

2. MACHI* (UK, 3:11) – Director Prashanti Aswani

SYNOPSIS: Growing up with her four siblings in Indonesia back in the 70’s, my mother tells me of the years she spent being cared for by Machi, her caretaker at the time. *Emerging Talent

DIRECTOR’S BIOGRAPHY: Prashanti Aswani is currently doing her MA in Animation at the Royal College of Art, London. She graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design, where she earned her BFA in Illustration. She recently worked as a Motion Designer at The Mill, Chicago and took part as a judge for Motionographer’s 2016 and 2017 awards. Having lived in Indonesia, Estonia, Dubai, Singapore, Rhode Island, Chicago and London, she has acquired a very diverse perspective of her surroundings that is strongly reflected in her personal work.

3. LIFELIKE (UK, 6:46) – Director Keith Allott TRAILER

SYNOPSIS: A reclusive sci-fi enthusiast develops an unexpected friendship with a customer service representative.

DIRECTOR’S BIOGRAPHY: Keith Allott is an award winning narrative, documentary and experimental filmmaker and producer, creating films shown in film festivals including BAFTA and Aesthetica. He established his own production company, Badshoes Film in 2010. Working with young filmmakers, community organisations, learning institutions, local authority and national organisation commissions across the UK.

4. MAN SELLS DRINK* (UK, 8:40) – Director Max Tobin

SYNOPSIS: Incoherently horny, uncontrollably angry and roundly pathetic — Terry desperately seeks a specific video to quell his sexual urges. *18

DIRECTOR’S BIOGRAPHY: Max Tobin is a 23-year-old writer/director from Birmingham (UK). His often transgressive films focus on contained absurdity and attempt to reflect his local area, friends and cultural upbringing.

5. LOVE IS A HAND GRENADE (UK, 12:39) – Director Jessica Benhamou

SYNOPSIS: Besties, Gabby and Alexis hook up after a messy night out, forcing them to question the nature of their relationship, sexuality and limits of love.

DIRECTOR’S BIOGRAPHY: Jessica Benhamou writes, directs and produces across fiction and factual. She is a director/producer on the investigative documentary series, THE RIDGE, with Salon Pictures. Her first feature as a producer, LOVE TYPE D (2019), premiered at Edinburgh International Film Festival, picking up ‘Best Screenplay’ at Oscar-qualifying Riverrun, ‘Best UK Film’ at BAFTA qualifying Manchester International Film Festival and ‘Best Film’ at DC Independent Film Festival. As a narrative writer/director, Jessica has made two short films. FAMILY TREE premiered at Manchester International Film Festival in March 2020, and LOVE IS A HAND GRENADE, starring Genesis Lynea (CASUALTY) and Saffron Hocking (TOP BOY).

6. VENUS (UK, 14:12) – Director Andrew McGee

SYNOPSIS: Iris, torn out of her idyllic digital world and uploaded into a stolen synthetic body by her grieving mother, must face her body’s objectification and violent potential in a dark future.

DIRECTOR’S BIOGRAPHY: Andrew McGee is professional editor and independent filmmaker based in the South East of England. He has written, edited, and directed short films nominated for major awards, and has a passion for all things sci-fi.

7. MAJORITY (UK, 15:00) – Director Tessa Hoffe TRAILER

SYNOPSIS: Single mother and immigrant; Sonia works in sheltered accommodation. When a resident makes an official complaint against her, she must continue to face each one of them without bias.

DIRECTOR’S BIOGRAPHY: Tessa Hoffe is a New Zealand Filmmaker based in the UK. Majority is her 7th short film.

8. SNOW SHELTER (Lithuania, 16:09) – Director Robertas Nevecka

SYNOPSIS: A freezing winter in a war-devastated, present-day city. Several years have passed since the destruction, and the city is slowly rebuilding. A thirty-year-old squatter lives in an apartment with a group of strangers. He struggles to survive and also to find a little more comfort in this rough setting. One night he nearly burns the flat down, hoping for a warmer sleep. His roommates start hating him, and he is made homeless.

DIRECTOR’S BIOGRAPHY: Robertas Nevecka is a self-taught animator. He worked with a number of local and international animation projects (for brands such as MTV, Warner Music, Lionsgate, Deviantart, etc.). He creates film industry meta comics and recently finished a short animated film “Film Crew in Quarantine.”

9. INVERNO (Timo’s Winter) (Italy, 16:28) – Director Giulio Mastromauro TRAILER

SYNOPSIS: Timo, the youngest of a Greek community of funfair workers, will have to face the hardest winter together with his loved ones.

DIRECTOR’S BIOGRAPHY: Giulio Mastromauro grew up in Molfetta, a small town in Puglia, and graduated very young in Law despite his strong passion for cinema. Immediately after graduating, he decided to leave everything and move to Rome, where he was admitted to the preparatory course of the Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia. In the following years he wrote and directed several short films appreciated by audiences and critics: “Carlo & Clara” (2013), winner of a special prize at the David di Donatello Awards and selected in over 100 festivals worldwide; “Nuvola” (2015) with Mimmo Cuticchio, nominated for the Nastri d’Argento and winner of over 50 awards; “Valzer” (2016), in competition – among others – at Flickers’ Rhode Island Int. Film Festival. His latest short film, “Inverno (Timo’s winter)” (2020), is winner of the David di Donatello Award 2020 for Best Short Film.

10. FEELING THROUGH (USA, 18:17) – Director Doug Roland TRAILER

SYNOPSIS: Feeling Through, the first film to star a DeafBlind actor, is a coming of age story that follows Tereek, a teen wandering the streets of New York, desperate for a place to crash when he encounters Artie, a DeafBlind man in need of help getting home. From an awkward meeting between strangers emerges an intimate bond, and a journey that forever changes Tereek.

DIRECTOR’S BIOGRAPHY: Doug Roland is an Oscar-nominated filmmaker for ‘Feeling Through’ which is the first film to star a DeafBlind actor. Featured on The Nightly News with Lester Holt, The Daily Show, in The New York Times, and LA Times, Feeling Through is executive produced by Oscar winner Marlee Matlin and was made in partnership with Helen Keller National Center. Together they created a fully accessible screening event around the film called ‘The Feeling Through Experience,’ which has been featured at international conferences as well as schools and universities (more at

11. TO CATCH A FLY* (Netherlands, 19:40) – Director Sanne Kortooms TRAILER

SYNOPSIS: A retiring assassin for hire gets assigned the job of guarding a young, feisty Hungarian beauty in a remote cottage somewhere in the French Ardennes. Heat, stench and boredom push their relationship to the edge until only an irrevocable deed can establish some sort of new order. *15

DIRECTOR’S BIOGRAPHY: Sanne Kortooms is a Dutch director, writer and filmmaker. She won the Best Director of a Short Film Award four times for her latest short film To Catch a Fly. In 2010 she graduated from the HKU University of the Arts in Utrecht, the Netherlands (Master of Arts, with honors), with two films and a thesis. Her film The Blue Bus has been screened at many film festivals around the world and has won several awards, including Best Student Film at the Cambridge International Student Film Festival and the Audience Award at the NTR New Arrivals. After finishing film school, she directed another short film (Verbonden), worked as an assistant director, unit production manager and script supervisor at different movie sets. Her latest film To Catch a Fly, which premiered at the Netherlands Film Festival in Utrecht. To Catch a Fly has won many awards on different film festivals around the world including NRFF Amsterdam 2021.

12. GATES (UK, 29:58) – Director Josh Pickup TRAILER

SYNOPSIS: After disappearing from their broken home three years ago, Grace appears in her sister’s life in an attempt to protect and make amends with a less than cooperative Ella. Grace and Ella trek the beautiful countryside of Kent, but there is nothing blissful about their time together. Past trauma and unresolved tensions simmer below the surface and as the days pass by, the safety and sanity of both sisters will be tested.

DIRECTOR’S BIOGRAPHY: Josh Pickup is an award-winning writer/director based in West London. He has spent the last 6 years focusing primarily on writing, both professionally and as a passionate hobby but has since moved into the world of filmmaking.

Total streaming time: 02:43. Foreign language films will have English subtitles. Content may be unsuitable for children under 15. If you experience a technical problem with VIMEO, please contact them directly and inform us at