The XVIII edition of Nest Film Students, the international film students meeting taking place in the framework of the San Sebastian Festival’s 67th edition, has selected fourteen short films from Argentina, Belgium, Chile, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Portugal, Russia and the UK.
This year, the Argentine director Martín Rejtman will chair a specific jury made up of students from the participating schools. Together they will decide the winner of the Nest Film Students Best Short Film Award, sponsored by Orona Fundazioa. Rejtman (Buenos Aires, 1961) is the author of titles such as Silvia Prieto (1999), screened in Made in Spanish, and Los guantes mágicos (The Magic Gloves, 2003), winner of the FIPRESCI Prize for best Argentine film and participant in Horizontes Latinos, the section in which he also presented Dos disparos (Two Shots Fired, 2014) after having competed in Locarno. His latest work to date, Shakti (2019), was a competitor at Berlin Festival’s Official Section of short films and this year it will be shown in Zabaltegi-Tabakalera.
Conceived as one of the Festival’s most important sections within its strategy to foster new talents, Nest Film Students has started to produce its first fruit. In this edition, the filmmaker Oren Gerner (Petah-Tikva, Israel, 1984) will present in New Directors his first feature film, Africa, only five years after winning the Nest Film Students Award with Greenland, his graduation short.
ZHENYA KRYUKOVA (RUSSIA)
Higher Courses of Scriptwriters and Film Directors (Russia)
Two estranged siblings meet again at their father’s funeral. The brother seems aloof, while the sister is clearly hurt and resentful. Now that both their parents are gone, nothing binds them. So why is it so hard for them just to be strangers?
BENÈZE / AT EASE
VINÍCIUS GIRNYS (FRANCE)
École Supérieure d’AudioVisuel – ENSAV (France)
Life is easy and humble in this small seaside house whose inhabitants live according to the tides. But a dizzying event will upset this tranquility.
CHIEMI SHIMADA (UK – JAPAN)
Kingston School of Art (United Kingdom)
Chiyo is a portrayal of the filmmaker’s grandmother. The film meditates on the family, intimacy and aging through a series of everyday snapshots in Yashio (Saitama prefecture), from a summer fair to Buddhist rituals.
HANXIONG BO (CHINA – USA)
University of California, Los Angeles – UCLA (USA)
During the time of One-child policy in China, Yan is a boy who was born as the second child in the family because his parents want a boy. The parents send his older sister away to the country side. To cover the secret boy, Yan was disguised as a girl growing up. But Yan confuses about his gender identity and struggles with the conservative world around him now. Drifting his dad’s old taxi becomes his way of expressing feelings. Tonight, he decides to take on a journey where past and dream meet.
EM CASO DE FOGO / IN CASE OF FIRE
TOMÁS PAULA MARQUES (PORTUGAL)
Escola Superior de Teatro e Cinema – ESTC (Portugal)
It’s summer in the Portuguese countryside, where the local festivities take place. Chico is haunted by a hate crime committed in his village against a boy who was secretly close to him. Throughout this journey, Chico, pressured by his friends, tries both to follow their social standards and to hide his fears and desires.
FIEBRE AUSTRAL / AUSTRAL FEVER
THOMAS WOODROFFE SILVA (CHILE)
Escuela de Cine y Televisión – Universidad de Chile (Chile)
Amanda, an obliging and solitary woman, lives with her son Daniel in Chile’s southern mountain range. Octavio, one of Daniel’s friends, is accidentally injured while they’re hunting in the forest. Amanda takes charge of the curing sessions, developing an intimate relationship with the boy. Both discover that contact with the wound produces an addictive pleasure.
FREISCHWIMMER / LEARN TO SWIM
GAYA VON SCHWARZE (GERMANY)
Deutsche Film- und Fernsehakademie Berlin – DFFB (Germany)
On an ordinary Sunday morning, Karin breaks out of her conventions and impulsively leaves home on her daughter’s racing bicycle. She wants to look for her son, who left the sheltered family home a while ago. Karins’ way leads her to a farm where her son has settled down with other societal dropouts. Unconscious of her behavior, she falls back into old schemes of mothering, reminding her adult son of why he left his old, conventional life. Their current mother-son relationship seems stagnant and they are challenged to meet each other in new ways.