PERFECT AS CATS directed by Kevin Vu
PERFECT AS CATS directed by Kevin Vu

Thirteen short films – seven by male filmmakers and six by female filmmakers, from schools in Argentina, Cuba, Germany, India, Spain, the UK and the USA, will be showcased in the XIX edition of Nest, San Sebastian Festival’s international competition for short films by film students.

This year, the short film competition will maintain its usual format of physical attendance, with screenings from September 21-23.

Year after year, Nest gains consolidation as a breeding ground for new talents and is therefore one of the Festival’s most relevant sections. Without going any further, at this edition the New Directors section will host the premiere of La última primavera (Last Days of Spring), the feature film debut from Isabel Lamberti, a moviemaker born in Germany and raised in Spain and the Netherlands, who won the Nest Torino Award in 2015. New Directors will also include Chupacabra,by the Russian filmmaker Grigory Kolomytsev, who participated in Nest in 2016 and 2018, and was also a participant in the Ikusmira Berriak residencies in 2018. Last year, it was the Israeli filmmaker Oren Gerner who competed in New Directors with Africa five years after his success at Nest with Greenland, his graduation film.

CATDOG
Short film
ASHMITA GUHA (INDIA)
Film & Television Institute of India (FTII) (India)

A pair of young siblings inhabit a fanciful world of their making, hidden from the eyes of their mother. When she finally catches a glimpse of their world, it faces the threat of crumbling. The two of them can either surrender or resist.

ELLA I JO
Short film
JAUME CLARET MUXART (SPAIN)
Elías Querejeta Zine Eskola – EQZE (Spain)

Queralt, a painter from Barcelona, tries to talk to her daughter Gemma on the phone. Gemma is starting a new life in Athens, in a studio where she paints and lives.

ESTA NO ES UNA HISTORIA SOBRE CHINA
Short film
FRANCISCA JIMÉNEZ ORTEGATE (ARGENTINA)
Programa de Cine de la Universidad Torcuato Di Tella (Argentina)

FILIPIÑANA
Short film
RAFAEL MANUEL (UK – PHILIPPINES)
London Film School (United Kingdom)

The self-contained cosmos of the golf course reflect societal structures. Although new ‘tee girl’ Isabel still has to learn the rules, she’s already looking for loopholes to subvert the system.

I WANT TO RETURN RETURN RETURN
Short film
ELSA ROSENGREN (GERMANY)
German Film & Television Academy Berlin / DFFB (Germany)

A late-summer morning in Wrangelkiez, Berlin, Elpi, a young Greek woman, receives a phone call from a long-lost friend. As the day progresses, Elpi’s apprehensive wait for their reunion interweaves with the lives of other neighbourhood locals. In the neighbourhood there is a lingering feeling of wanting to get back to something. But to where, to what, and to whom?

LA HOGUERA / THE BONFIRE
Short film
CARLOS SAIZ ESPIN (SPAIN)
EFTI (Spain)

Lionel goes to visit his father, who suffers from foot disease, after receiving news that he has had a relapse. This meeting will renew the family memory; the need to reconcile with themselves will unite them once again.

LATA
Short film
ALISHA MEHTA (INDIA – USA)
California Institute of the Arts (USA)

Honing a quiet strength, Lata, a 23 year old domestic worker, navigates her way through an upper class home in South Mumbai. Doors consistently open and close, giving Lata selective access to the various contending realities that occupy this space.

LOS NIÑOS LOBO / THE WOLF KIDS
Short film
OTÁVIO ALMEIDA (CUBA)
EICTV (Cuba)

In Cuba, 60 years after the Revolution, two adolescent brothers inhabit their own dystopian universe. These boys live with their father, a veteran of the Angolan war. While becoming involved in war games where innocence loses ground, their father’s ghosts distance them from reality and lead them into a future full of uncertainties.

MURALLA CHINA / CHINESE WALL
Short film
SANTIAGO BARZI (ARGENTINA)
Universidad del Cine (Argentina)

Fernando receives some baffling news which upsets him profoundly, but when he shares it with his loved ones, their reactions are not as he expected. An odd debate ensues, affecting everyone involved.

BINOKL / OPERA GLASSES
Short film
MILA ZHLUKTENKO (GERMANY)
Hochschule für Fernsehen und Film München (University of Television and Film Munich) (Germany)

While the first guests are waiting outside in the cold, the Kiev Opera House is slowly awakening. The Orchestra is rehearsing and the preparations in the dressing rooms are ongoing. All of a sudden, the people from the outside flood the corridors and halls of the Opera. The foyer turns into a stage while the spectators and workers become actors.

PERFECT AS CATS
Short film
KEVIN VU (USA)
NYU Tisch School of the Arts (USA)

Inseparable sisters Henriette and Anais find their lives and relationship being torn apart under mysterious circumstances.

PILE
Short film
TOBY AUBERG (UNITED KINGDOM)
Royal College of Art (United Kingdom)

Water then food. Agriculture then industry. Old then new. Critical then extra. Simple to complex. Concrete to abstract. Dirt to clouds. Real to unreal.

THE SPEECH
Short film
HAOHAO YAN (USA)
American Film Institute (USA)

May 2003, Beijing, China: Under the pressure of WHO, the Chinese government announced that the SARS outbreak is real. The city is closed. Most students have been sent home. During a lockdown inside a private boarding school, three eight-year-old girls have to find a way to make sense of the world.

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