Film Guide 2020

Section
Short Films

Expect the unexpected in HIFF’s dynamic short film programs. Running the gamut from social impact drama to compelling documentaries to off-the-wall delights, there’s definitely something for everyone.

3 LOGICAL EXITS

2020 Shorts Program | documentary short | 15 min A sociological meditation on the various “exits” young Palestinians choose in order to cope with living in a refugee camp.

Directed by Mahdi Fleifel

BETYE SAAR: TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS

2020 Shorts Program | documentary short | 8 min New York Premiere At 93, there’s no stopping when it comes to the legendary artist Betye Saar.

Directed by Christine Turner

BLACKHEADS

2020 Shorts Program | narrative short | 8 min A young woman copes with bad therapy, a broken heart, and blackheads.

Directed by Emily Ann Hoffman

BROKEN BIRD

2020 Shorts Program | narrative short | 10 min Caught between two worlds, a biracial girl prepares for her Bat Mitzvah.

Directed by Rachel Harrison Gordon

CHARACTER

2020 Shorts Program | documentary short | 17 min East Coast Premiere Actor Mark Metcalf established himself by playing an array of aggrieved authority figures. Now in his 70s, he reflects back on his life and career in this meditation on power, privilege, and the per …

Directed by Vera Brunner-Sung

THE CHICKEN

2020 Shorts Program | narrative short | 13 min On an unseasonably hot November afternoon in New York, a young Japanese immigrant and his visiting cousin spontaneously decide to buy a live chicken to cook for dinner.

Directed by Neo Sora

CHUJ BOYS OF SUMMER

2020 Shorts Program | narrative short | 17 min US Premiere Speaking only his native language, a Guatemalan teenager begins his new life in rural Colorado.

Directed by Max Walker-Silverman

DAFA METTI (DIFFICULT)

2020 Shorts Program | documentary short | 15 min Under the glittering lights of the Eiffel Tower, undocumented Senegalese migrants sell souvenirs of the monument to support their families back home.

Directed by Tal Amiran

ÊMÎCÊTÔCÊT: MANY BLOODLINES

2020 Shorts Program | documentary short | 11 min New York Premiere An Indigenous filmmaker and her white partner reflect on their differences in race, culture, class, and gender roles as they document their journey to parenthood.

Directed by Theola Ross

ENTRE TÚ Y MILAGROS

2020 Shorts Program | narrative short | 20 min North American Premiere At fifteen, Milagros’s world still revolves around her mother’s affection, until an unexpected encounter with death makes her question not only their relationship, but her own existence.

Directed by Mariana Saffon

THE GAME

2020 Shorts Program | documentary short | 17 min US Premiere The exhilarating highs and lows of a professional soccer match, all from the watchful perspective of a referee at the very heart of the action.

Directed by Roman Hodel

GRAMERCY

2020 Shorts Program | narrative short | 22 min When Shaq, a young man grappling with depression, returns to his New Jersey hometown, his exploration of grief and brotherhood transforms into the imagining of an inner life.

Directed by Jamil McGinnis, Pat Heywood

HEADING SOUTH

2020 Shorts Program | narrative short | 12 min Eight-year-old Chasuna visits her father in the big city, where she is greeted by an unwelcome surprise.

Directed by Yuan Yuan

HEAVEN REACHES DOWN TO EARTH

2020 Shorts Program | narrative short | 10 min North American Premiere Once Tau comes to a realization about their sexuality, a cascade of thoughts and emotions are set aflame in Tumelo.

Directed by Tebogo Malebogo

HIRAETH

2020 Shorts Program | documentary short | 20 min US Premiere After leaving Syria on a single-entry visa to the USA, architect and artist Mohamad Hafez makes the life-changing decision to recreate the home he left behind.

Directed by Jimmy Goldblum

HISTORY OF CIVILIZATION

2020 Shorts Program | narrative short | 15 min US Premiere A young academic prepares to leave her home in Kazakhstan for a fresh start in London. On the eve of her move, she dares to consider what will be left behind.

Directed by Zhannat Alshanova

I’M FREE NOW, YOU ARE FREE

2020 Shorts Program | documentary short | 15 min Following a 40-year, state-sanctioned separation, the reunion and the repair of the relationship between a mother and son serve as a meditation on Black family preservation as an act of resistance.

Directed by Ash Goh Hua

PARACHUTE

2020 Shorts Program | narrative short | 14 min New York Premiere Wendy, a teenage Chinese immigrant, struggles to acclimate to life as a high school student in the United States. Then Mei-Ling arrives.

Directed by Katherine Tolentino

ROUND 0

2020 Shorts Program | narrative short | 17 min US Premiere A group of Icelandic boxers train for the Nordic Championship, until a serious accident risks compromising their futures—both as athletes and as young men.

Directed by Sonia Ladidà Schiavone

TAPE

2020 Shorts Program | narrative short | 13 min New York Premiere A young hockey player struggles to repair her relationship with her teammate as they prepare for the team’s pre-qualifying match.

Directed by Jojo Erholtz

TO THE DUSTY SEA

2020 Shorts Program | narrative short | 12 min East Coast Premiere On a sweltering summer day, a pair of siblings try their best to catch their mother’s elusive eye.

Directed by Héloïse Ferlay