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Moscow Shorts

October 2021 – Moscow Shorts Official Selection


Fixative (2020)

Director: Oleg Lazarev

Country: Russian Federation

Duration: 17:45

Synopsis: An elderly painter, who hasn’t touched a paintbrush for quite a while, wanders around the city with a film camera. One day he sees two beautiful girls through a café window. A wonderful image, but it starts to slip away from him.

Bluff (2021)  

Director: Artur Matveev

Country: Not Specified

Duration: 19:11

Synopsis: Leonid and German are business partners, former friends and members of an elite poker club. Here, using card game, players can solve conflicts much more serious than money they bet. How far they are ready to go in this game, as like as in life confrontation, and who’ll win it – depends on ability to evaluate every own step…

RAT (2021)

Director: Sarah Gordon

Country: United Kingdom

Duration: 16:47

Synopsis: An agoraphobic woman trapped in a toxic marriage, struggles with a rat problem.    


Director: Rémy Bazerque

Country: United Kingdom

Duration: 10:45

Synopsis: Things get wild at the ‘VISA and immigration services’ when Karim, a young Iranian father living in the UK is mistakenly threatened with deportation.

Drink Up, You’re Next (2021)

Director: Nathan Higgins

Country: New Zealand

Duration: 12:47

Synopsis: “Drink Up, You’re Next” is a short drama about the negative cultural impacts of binge-drinking in Aotearoa/New Zealand

Border (2021)

Director: Irina Luzgina

Country: Russian Federation

Duration: 06:19

Synopsis: A drama about family relationships and personal boundaries. The film tells about a codependent relationship between a man and a woman.

Dream of A Lost Earring (2020)  

Director: Mariusz Brozek

Country: Canada

Duration: 05:00

Synopsis: A story about a girl who loses an earring that she really loved. This takes her on a surreal journey through different emotional states and realities.        

Treading Water (2021)

Director: Régis Granet

Country: France

Duration: 21:35

Synopsis: Maxime is a young woman who divides her life between a small job and the custody of her brother Gauthier, a mental patient who does not speak. When she loses her job at a florist, she must quickly find a solution to ensure daily life. One morning, while shopping in a supermarket, Maxime understood that his brother’s behavior could be useful to them.

The Hotel (2021)

Director: Olga Fomina

Country: Russian Federation

Duration: 15:37

Synopsis: A couple comes to the hotel on a date, but instead of a romantic evening, they drink alcohol and delve into the memories.

Projection (censored version) (2021)

Director: Egor Soldatenkov

Country: Russian Federation

Duration: 22:47

Synopsis: Two young strangers wake up in a strange, half-empty room, the silence of which is broken only by a noisy television set. Finding it impossible to leave the room, the characters try to figure out who they are, what connects them, and why they ended up in this strange place. Just as strange is the fact that through the static on the screen, their own memories come through. Perhaps their shared past is the reason they ended up here.

Happily Never After (2021)

Director: Tamara Hernandez

Country: United States

Duration: 13:50

Synopsis: When a lonely and self-destructive self-help book writer starts hearing her electronic devices talk to her, she has to decide whether or not to trust them to help her fix her life.

Junior Messenger (2021)

Director: Azeem Bhati

Country: United Kingdom

Duration: 07:30

Synopsis: At the height of the pandemic, a junior doctor steps outside during her night shift to deliver news.

Street poet (2021)

Director: Samgar Rakhym

Country: Kazakhstan

Duration: 29:21

Synopsis: Tanjaryq is a traditional national poet. He hopes that the national culture will continue to be passed on to thenext generation of Kazakhs. He wants to train more young people to inherit the national identity, but he can’t find pupils. One day he discovers that his son is a rapper. He realizes that rap and national poetry have a lot of similarities, so he decides to train his son to succeed him. But Tanjaryq’s plan does’t quite work out…

A Poet’s Life (2020)

Director: Brandon S. N. Butler

Country: United States

Duration: 25:50

Synopsis: Deserted by his muse, an aging poet begins to question his life’s calling as his younger brother battles cancer.  Starring David Marciano (Homeland, Bosch, The Shield).

Soldier and Mermaid (2021)

Director: Natalya Taradina

Country: Russian Federation

Duration: 24:02

Synopsis: The soldier went fishing and met the Mermaid. She wanted to make him her lover. And  he said no.. The Mermaid was offended and stole the official boots from the Soldier. But the Soldier showed ingenuity and fooled her.

The postman (2021)

Director: Irina Saltikova

Country: Russian Federation

Duration: 08:16

Synopsis: The mail of an elderly man Innokenty is opened by the postman. He leaves his comments on the letters. Innokenty needs to talk to her to stop this. The situation is complicated by the fact that the postman is his ex-wife.   

LETTERS (2020)

Director: Elena Kuzhel

Country: Russian Federation

Duration: 14:01

Synopsis: The main character is a participant in the first Chechen war. He reads a story dedicated to his comrade in arms. A vision comes to the hero during the reading of each letter. Now war, death, love take on peculiar images. After he finishes reading, he leaves the room and finds himself in a cemetery with unmarked graves. Next to him is a Chechen with a severed ear. Men have a short dialogue before they disappear.

Payvazhik (2020)

Director: Hojjat Gholami

Country: Iran, Islamic Republic of

Duration: 15:30

Synopsis: Mohammad is having doubts on his wedding. He is trying to consult it with his therapist. His therapist does not respond and he finds himself worrying more about something that happened between him and his wife-to-be Parastoo weeks ago. Mohammad’s friends also saw his change of behavior for the last couple of weeks. 

Fariba, Fakhteh and the other (2021)

Director: Faride Shafiei

Country: Iran, Islamic Republic of

Duration: 06:00

Synopsis: As per of her father’s wish, Fariba is tasked by her mother to give the sad news to her sister over a video call, her sister who has been away for years doesn’t get the sense and wants to have a call over the weekend, Fariba who is frustrated hangs up and post the news on social media! “Dad is gone!”

Tiam (2021)

Director: Samaneh Rad

Country: Iran, Islamic Republic of

Duration: 03:10

Synopsis: 7-year-old Tiam is an only child. His birth was a surprise for his parents, who are on the verge of separating, mostly because of all their arguing about their unwanted son. Tiam knows his parents do not want him and he is heartbroken and angry. He comes up with a plan to set himself free …

Woody Allen takes revenge (2021)

Director: Peyman Naji

Country: Iran, Islamic Republic of

Duration: 20:00

Synopsis: An amateur theater director who loves “Woody Allen”, decides to perform Woody Allen’s “The Death Knocks”. The rehearsal was so terrible. One night – somehow like what happens in the play- the death goes after the actor of the death. 

Lessness (2021)

Director: Mahdi Safavi

Country: Russian Federation

Duration: 06:10

Synopsis: Sasha and a girl living in the same house are talking about a strange event that happened to the girl. The girl enters the bathroom and Sasha walks to the window but suddenly sees the same girl in the street.

Cadillac and Blackberry (2021)

Director: Suela BAKO

Country: Albania

Duration: 14:56

Synopsis: Cadillac and Blueberries tell the   “soft” but stubborn resistance of an oil technician who in Communist Albania in the 1975 dared to refuse the car that his father from USA had given him a gift that the communists wanted to appropriate at all the costs.

Lola (2021)

Director: Vincent Casiro

Country: France

Duration: 09:38

Synopsis: After a ramdom conversation with her boss, a strange night begins for Lola.

There is no other home (2021)

Director: Elizaveta Chuprina

Country: Russian Federation

Duration: 22:11

Synopsis: Eighteen-year-old Alice dreams of entering a literary university. However, her mother, Vera Petrovna, is categorically against this idea. Alisa’s Mom works for a large company called Ryaba. She gets a promotion and an opportunity to move to another city. Vera Petrovna expects that Alice will undergo training and eventually take a promising position in the company.  The film contrasts two worlds — a rational, adult, understandable world of the mother and a very imaginative, conditional, and sometimes even scary world of the daughter. The world of Vera Petrovna envelops, closes the world of Alice. These two worlds cannot find common ground, which considerably affects the emotional state of both.   On the last day before leaving for another city, on the advice of a psychologist, Alice and Vera Petrovna come to the old house, where Alice spent her childhood. This day becomes a turning point in the relationship between mother and daughter.

Halal Kiss (2021)

Director: Selim Eladawy

Country: Egypt

Duration: 13:00

Synopsis: Strolling down the street, buying a set of porn magazines and erotic novels from a street newspaper and book stand, a middle-aged man gets into a conversation with the seller who finds him strange and outdated. He explains to him that acquiring such material provides a different kind of pleasure compared to modern, effortless ways. Sexual deprivation is displayed evidently on this man, who gets himself into an odd journey of unfortunate events, after harassing a woman who innocently asked him for directions. Her frustration and angriness led her to throw her coffee at him, staining his shirt. Meanwhile, a street salesman notices the situation and blackmails him into buying from his shop, which turns out to be for traditional Islamic clothing, otherwise he will expose him to the people and cops. He is then falsely interpreted by a taxi driver he rides with, after wearing the “jalabeya” he bought, which made him look like an Islamic “sheikh”. In a bizarre transition of circumstances, he is suddenly being asked for religious advice, judging by his appearance. After the taxi driver drops him off, he finds the magazines and novels he left behind. Realizing the man was playing him all along and starts laughing hysterically.


Nice Things (2021)

Director: Valentina Bespalaya

Country: Russian Federation

Duration: 15:12

Synopsis: Toma wants to save each and every one. She works on the weekends, delivers stuff to the poor, takes care of her friend’s pet. Her husband Valera craves for her attention and is obliged to take part in her frenzied activity. One day at her job Toma finds out about the disappearance of a whole train car loaded with  Zhdun (the Awaiter) toys, whereas she herself by mistake gives to the poor her expensive fur coat, which was bought on a credit. Toma is resolved to get back both of the missing items at any cost.

I.Brotsky (2021)

Director: Asha Shovgan

Country: Russian Federation

Duration: 14:56

Synopsis: A young violinist working on cruise liners, on the eve of another circumnavigation of the world, loses his instrument. Confusion turns to panic: if he wants to see the exotic corners of the planet, he has only a few hours to find the violin and catch a plane.

Blinded by Desire (2021)

Director: Guibert Najarian

Country: Lebanon

Duration: 14:00

SKAZKA (2021)

Director: Maxim Kulkov

Country: Russian Federation

Duration: 17:47

Synopsis: A volunteer soldier from Moscow comes face to face with the enemy – a badly wounded female sniper. He must decide whether to kill her and avenge his fallen comrades, or save her and betray them. If he doesn’t make the choice, others will make it for him.

The Kid (2021)

Director: Damir Miftakhov

Country: Russian Federation

Duration: 28:40

Synopsis: Fourteen year old teenager, who is in love with young pretty karate trainer, he has a crush on her. His older brother trying to help him but in a way Timur is not willing to go.


Director: Oleg Savenkov

Country: Russian Federation

Duration: 21:44

Synopsis: The Nineties. A young guy, an aspiring “Ostap Bender,” dares to run a card scam in a casino and go up against the foreign managers and masters of life, the gangsters, but an encounter with a former marginalist conductor fundamentally changes the course of the story, taking the conflict to a deeper level.

Deja Vu (2021)

Director: Artur Matveev

Country: Russian Federation

Duration: 14:01

Synopsis: A boy Maxim, lesbian-teenager Nika, young rap-star LilGri and businessman Oleg are sitting together and telling each other episodes of their lives connected together by the same deja vu effect – cry of the “rooks”, which seems to them very familiar, like they’ve already seen that moment before. The host of the meeting – wealthy old man Konstantin – knows the reason of that feelings and wants to use it to help them all.

I Used to Live Here (2021)

Director: Asaad Abboud

Country: Russian Federation

Duration: 21:33

Synopsis: Camille comes to his hometown for a day to visit his mother’s grave. He gets beaten and robbed. Destiny brings him to his former apartment where now lives Maria, a single mom. She raises a son, defends herself against drunken men and waits for her husband to be released from prison. They have one night to try living another life.

Why Don’t You Dance? (2021)

Director: Isidora Ratković

Country: Bosnia and Herzegovina

Duration: 23:19

Synopsis: A young couple is moving into an apartment to live together. Pressured by responsibilities, they leave the new home for a bicycle ride that brings them to a yard full of things for sale- things from the life one man is leaving behind.

Windows (2021)

Director: Ekaterina Velikhova

Country: Russian Federation

Duration: 19:25

Synopsis: A short mocumentary film about a couple, who tries to get through a grief. The whole film is shot through the windows. It is a symbiosis of fiction and documentary material.

Madonna f64.0 (2020)

Director: Stavros Markoulakis

Country: Greece

Duration: 17:33

Synopsis: After an important surgery, Maria returns to her family home, in order to recover. Living with her mother, her sister and a newborn baby. While Maria’s body starts healing, a deeply hidden desire of hers surfaces. Maria wants to come close to the baby, and this creates a serious threat to the “safety” of the family home.


Vasily. Poster. Druzhba. (2019)


Country: Russian Federation

Duration: 10:40

Synopsis: Story about russian artist from small town, who draws posters in retro soviet style for local cinema – “Druzhba”.      

Sigurimi (2021)

Director: Luigjina Shkupa

Country: Germany

Duration: 28:50

Synopsis: From 1944 to 1990 Albania suffered from the dictatorship of Hoxha, which turned Albania into an extremely isolationist, Stalinist, anti-revisionist and communist state. At that time, the communists, currently three million people, built 750,000 bunkers. The bunkers are everywhere: in cities, yards, cemeteries and playgrounds across the country. After communism, the bunkers were used in different ways by the albanian citizens: they became pizzerias, bars, museums and hostels.  The bunkers are used symbolically in the film, to report  what is left of the communist dictatorship.  


Death and the Winemaker (2021)

Director: Victor Jaquier

Country: Switzerland

Duration: 18:59

Synopsis: A young winemaker devotes himself to creating the best wine in the world, to win the hand of his beloved Mathilde – the daughter of his rich neighbour. He creates a wine so exquisite, that even Death demands to taste it. As he learns the awful truth about Mathilde’s fate, he captures Death in a barrel, ignoring the consequences on the natural order of things.

All At Sea (2021)

Director: Kasia Nalewajka

Country: Poland

Duration: 09:24

Synopsis: Cornelius is a happy-go-lucky crab bachelor. A night spent drinking with his friends turns awry when the parasitic barnacle, Sacculina, spikes his drink and has his wicked way with him. In the days and weeks that follow, Cornelius experiences physiological and mental changes that transform his life. In fact he’s been infected by a parasite that is controlling his mind so that he is the carrier of Sacculina’s eggs. As Cornelius is getting more and more excited about his ‘offspring’, his health is gradually deteriorating. In a terrible climax, the parasite eggs hatch and Cornelius is left barely alive. Told as a nature documentary, this comic drama is based on real animal behaviours.   

Downfall (2021)

Director: Rona Fayad

Country: Lebanon

Duration: 03:28

Synopsis: Enya’s journey trying to make it as a dancer is hindered as her behaviors drag her downhill.

Khomus (2021)

Director: Polina Tarasova

Country: Russian Federation

Duration: 04:04

Synopsis: The incomprehensibility of the Universe has terrified man from the very beginning of time. The journey of man through the unknown part of the Universe, the connection between ancient man’s fear of cosmos with the modern perception of his “I” in the Universe, questions about death, rebirth, the mysteries of the origin of the Universe and all that exists.  This is a story about a man whose spaceship crashed, before dying he teleports to the “other” space. During a journey through the “other” space he enters the “workshop” of God, seeing the stages of the creation of the world, the fragments of God’s creativity that exist in the “other” space as in Limbo. The hero meets with objects and creatures in space are consonant with the biblical concept of the creation of all things by God. Images and objects in space are an allegory for these events.  At the end of his journey the hero meets God himself, his soul separates from the physical shell and becomes a part of the God.


NORM (2021)

Director: Mariia Korostelova

Country: Ukraine

Duration: 08:52

Synopsis: This experiment brings together members of the creative group “CULT” and the Integration Theatre of the Clinical Hospital “Psychiatry” in Kiev. Completely different people, with and without diagnoses, answer questions and talk about worldview topics. The main question for us is the concept of a norm: a social norm, a psychological norm, a mental norm. Does it exist, are there criteria, how is it determined? ..       

People enjoy my company (2021)

Director: Frank Sweeney

Country: Ireland

Duration: 17:35

Synopsis: A film exploring the privatisation of the state-owned telecommunications company Telecom Éireann from the viewpoint of shareholders communicating on early online forums. The event is contextualised within ideologies of technological emancipation in the pre-millennium period.  Funded by The Arts Council of Ireland with exhibition funding from Brightening Air. The development was funded by a Rapid Residency Award from Science Gallery Dublin.  

TONE (2021)

Director: Dan Winters

Country: United States

Duration: 33:29

Synopsis: Two broken souls living in a crumbling future society struggle to move on from their scarred pasts.


Bi-2 — We don’t need a hero (2021)

Director: Max Shishkin

Country: Russian Federation

Duration: 00:00

Synopsis: An Ancient organization throughout human history killed the heroes to keep a society under uncompromising control. “Nowadays” members of the organization create the illusion of fighting for freedom’s sake: they kill national hero and then resurrect him. He assembles followers to take the organization’s headquarters by storm, but intentional punishment is waiting for them. Will evil prevails or is there still hope for freedom?

On The Other Side Of The River (2021)

Director: Mikhail Somov

Country: Russian Federation

Duration: 02:56

Synopsis: The story from the music video “On the Other Side of the River” is based on the experience of one of the creators of the soundtrack.  When he had been listening to music, he did not understand what had been happening around him, but as soon as his ears opened to the world, the charm of the surrounding sounds opened to him.

Moscow Shorts