During the whole month of February 2021, for the third time in a row, the Locarno Shorts Weeks will be an open window to the world – one that we haven’t been able to fully discover in the past year.
The shortest month of the year returns, and so does the Locarno Shorts Weeks project. Once again, February will be filled with shorts: one per day, for 22 days. The third edition of the Locarno Shorts Weeks, the Locarno Film Festival’s off-season event devoted to the short format, is ready to bring back some of the highlights of the Locarno72 lineup.
The Festival will, yet again, shine a light on short cinema, which has been a vital part of Locarno every summer for the past thirty years, thanks to the Pardi di domani section.
This selection of 22 films is made up from the Pardi di domani, Moving Ahead and Open Doors sections that screened ‘on-site’ in Locarno in 2019. Seen in retrospective, they seem to be talking to us about our current present, and alerting on how could the “new” world look like after 2020.
Read more > An open window to the world
Locarno has always been a festival looking toward the future and at the avant-garde of cinema, announcing and discovering the upcoming talents of the next decades.
Today, the future is more uncertain than ever. As cinema screens were gradually shut down, we got attached to our home screens more than ever: TV’s and computer screens began offering exclusive and fresh content through ‘online’ festivals, streaming platforms et al. In this sense, the Locarno Shorts Weeks has been an initiative ahead of its time. During the whole month of February 2021, for the third time in a row, the LSW will be an open window to the world – one that we haven’t been able to fully discover in the past year. This selection of 22 films is made up from the Pardi di domani, Moving Ahead and Open Doors sections that screened ‘on-site’ in Locarno in 2019. Seen in retrospective, they seem to be talking to us about our current present, and alerting on how could the “new” world look like after 2020.
Locked up in our homes for almost a year now, we all seem to have become depressed and inert as the characters of Dejan Barać’s Mama Rosa, the Swiss Pardino d’oro winner – or, on the other hand, we too have turned to eccentric behaviour and can now better understand Christian’s relationship with his two lovely cats, witnessed in Lasse Linder’s Nachts sind alle Katzen grau, winner of the European Film Award for Best Short Film in 2020.
In a static world of limited traveling, the questions of migration and belonging became more present than ever: a motive, a longing, a movement that had been poetically captured by Filipino-US filmmaker Miko Revereza in Distancing, Arda Çiltepe in his Pardino d’oro winner Siyah güneş (Black Sun), Anaïs Moog in her Tempête silencieuse and Xaisongkham Induangchanthy in Kub ban (Long Way Home).
Burning social issues are here too: Ja'Tovia M. Gary’s The Giverny Document (Single Channel) and Akosua Adoma Owusu’s White Afro anticipated the Black Lives Matter movement, while the beautiful animations Umbilical by Danski Tang and Carne by Camila Kater dealt with the question of female representation – something that, from a different angle, is present too in the Vietnamese Mẹ, con gái và những giấc mơ (Mother, Daughter, Dreams) by Linh Duong and the Thai Puen len len puen (Friend With Benefits, Without Benefits) by multitalented Sorayos ‘Yossy’ Prapanan.
If something is certain is that nature has spoken. The crisis caused by Covid-19 is a warning for potential new and tougher times if we do not learn from the mistakes of the past. What will be left of us, if we drain all the existing reserves of the Earth? The fast digital world can often camouflage this issue, the biggest of them all. As Riar Rizaldi reminds us in Kasiterit, right behind our screens lies the material world. Everything we use, as digital as it might be, is made from the natural resources of the planet. If we keep exploiting all these for the sake of short-term profit and we keep building dams, as if it were a river, the flow of memories will be interrupted – a sign revealed by Danech San in Muoy lean chhnam (A Million Years). That being the case, there will be no past, no present and no future: no more stories to tell, that is.
Member of Selection Committee Pardi di domani of Locarno72