This year’s sci-fi short package themed ‘Near & Far’ is composed of seven films from across the world, all related to Topos (aka the word for place in greek). They either explore situations placed far away from here or they focus close instead, attempting to discover alternate versions of our societies on earth by imagining events and technology that will soon overwhelm our everyday life.
In that way, most films are concerned about the promise of certain utopias that usually end up as ominous dystopias. Vikaari and Recall are both interested in that motif for example. What’s also a common thread in this selection of shorts is the fact that there is only a short distance between those two versions of the future and they might as well coexist as they do in Parallel Offer. In others like 7 Degrees the end is imminent, but there is still room for hope even then and in Microtopia every form of life has been replaced by machines, but beauty and cruelty have still survived as we know them. Finally, in Lal human-like creatures can be cunning and unrelenting without any limit, contrary to Oxygen where aliens can sometimes be more humane than us humans. From this point of view, it seems possible that we need to visit other worlds in order to better understand our lives here on earth.
Near and Far short films
Microtopia // 2020 // France // Animation / Fantasy / Sci-Fi// 3 min 3 sec
Directed by Audrey Defonte, Denis Koessler, Philip Gonçalves, Alexandre Terrier, Pierre Duhem, Achille Bauduin
See the circle of life in the tiny world called Microtopia! Half-biological, half-mechanical creatures eat and get eaten, in a rhythmical, musical explosion of colours and imagination.
Recall // 2020 // South Korea // Thriller/ Sci-Fi // 26 min 45 sec
Directed by Dongsik Kim
Recall starts as a thriller but travels into the territory of the sci-fi tech films of the 80’s. Machines that can access and manipulate your memories forces the audience to question the validity of memories and also ponder the notion of guilt. The film is not that interested in exploring the technology, but focuses on bringing a powerful story using the theme.
Lal // 2020 // Turkey // Animation / Sci-Fi // 14 min 30 sec
Directed by Gökalp Gönen
On a platform in space, a wooden creature is born. It can speak others like itself into existence, but it also has a hole in its body that can only be filled through cannibalism, and the miracle takes a turn to the sinister. Another beautiful animation from the director of last year’s Avarya!
Oxygen // 2020 // Belgium // Animation / Sci-Fi // 10 min 32 sec
Directed by Rocky Grispen, Violette Belzer
An astronaut-doctor crash lands on a mysterious planet. Low on oxygen, she sets out to find more with the help of a robot companion. They quickly find some but unfortunately in order to obtain it she is forced to make a decision between her convictions and her survival. A thought-provoking animation that makes us question what we would be willing to do to survive.
Vikaari // 2020 // Sri Lanka // Sci-Fi / Fantasy / Human Rights /Pseudo-documentary//14 min 34 sec
Directed by Sandun Seneviratne, Charlie Bray
The widespread birth of babies with similar deformities triggers a worldwide panic. Disease is ruled out but the actual cause could be something more terrifying. The children, nicknamed Vikaari, all share remarkable set of characteristics and may even possess, if rumors are to be believed, paranormal abilities
7 Degrees // 2020 // Spain // Sci-Fi / Drama // 22 min
Directed by Tino Fernández
4 strangers, coincide in a paddle court on the night of the end of the world.
Parallel Offer // 2020 // South Korea // Sci-fi / Drama // 23 min 21 sec
Directed by Jeein Paek
LeeJin is a job seeker who has never even passed the document screening. One day, LeeJin’s husband from the parallel universe visits LeeJin and asks her to leave the Earth together.
Take a peak of some of the films here