In 2019, Film Movement officially coined December 28th National Short Film Day, registering the now annual observance with the National Day Calendar® to commemorate the day when the pioneering Lumière brothers projected a program of short films to an amazed public audience for the very first time. In support of the enduring impact of shorts on the cinematic experience, Film Movement Plus celebrates the form with a special program featuring nine new short films, all exclusive to the service, and not available on any other streaming platform. Among the films highlighting National Short Film Day are five acclaimed shorts from the 2022 New York African Film Festival.
The five exclusives hailing from the 2022 New York African Film Festival include:
Notre Mémoire (Director Johanna Makabi, France, 2021, French with English subtitles; 12 minutes) — Mbissine Thérèse Diop played the starring role in Ousmane Sembène’s landmark first feature, 1966’s Black Girl (La Noire de…). Today, she looks back on her experience as a Black actress in the 1960s.
Ukuhlolwa Kwephupha / A Dream Deciphered (Director Hlumela Matika, South Africa, No Dialogue; 7 minutes) — A woman asleep begins to dream. It is a dream that distorts her perception of time and space in relation to her mundane daily tasks—an illusion that evokes a surreal experience of the self.
Mier / The Ant (Director Oliver North, South Africa, 2021, English and Afrikaans with English Subtitles; 27 minutes) — Mier follows two days in the lives of Oupa, a San hunter/gatherer who lives in the desert, and Boetie, a ‘colored’ boy from a nearby settlement to which his people were relocated. Boetie is struggling with his own inner demons when he meets the older man, who shares his traditional values with the stubborn and proud youngster. Over the course of the story, we find out that they are hunting on this land illegally and that they have more in common than either would suspect.
Algo-Rhythm (Director Manu Luksch, 2019, Austria, Senegal and UK, English, French, Wolof, and German with English Subtitles; 14 minutes) — Shot in Dakar with the participation of leading Senegalese musicians, poets, and graffiti artists, Algo-Rhythm probes the rise in the algorithmic management of daily life and the insidious threats it poses to human rights and agency. Using hip-hop, drama, street art, and data-driven filmmaking, Manu Luksch’s film explores how our embrace of machine intelligence, refracted through the slick interfaces of smartphone apps, makes us vulnerable to manipulation by political actors.
Egŭngŭn / Masquerade (Director Olive Nwosu, 2021, Nigeria and UK, English and Yorube with English Subtitles; 14 minutes) — Salewa must return home for her mother’s funeral, to Lagos, a place where she once had to hide herself. At the funeral, she runs into an important person from her past, and is forced to search for her own peace. Egúngún (Masquerade) is a meditation on home, memory, and identity—on the many versions of ourselves that haunt us.
Additional exclusive shorts – not available on any other streaming platform — for NATIONAL SHORT FILM DAY include:
Desaturated (Directed by Marina Stepanska, Ukraine, Ukrainian with English subtitles, 10 minutes) — A hilariously colorful satire of life and cinema in which a young woman finds herself caught in an existential and aesthetic crisis.
Haute Cusine (Directed by Merryl Roche, France, French with English subtitles, 24 minutes) — While toiling away in the highly competitive kitchen of a top-rated restaurant, Marie (Joséphine Japy) inadvertently discovers a strange new ingredient that wins her the admiration of the chef but with frightening consequences.
Seven Boats (Directed by Hlynur Pálmason, Iceland, No dialogue, 10 minutes) — While in a desperate fight for his life, a man stranded alone on the sea is surrounded by seven boats from Palmason, the acclaimed director of Cannes Critic’s Week award-winner, A White, White Day.
The Binding of Itzik (Directed by Anika Benkov, US, English, 18 minutes) — A middle-aged Hasidic bookbinder gets more than he bargained for when he answers a Craigslist ad in this winner of the Film Movement Award at San Francisco Jewish Film Festival 2021.
Film Movement Plus opens up a world of provocative, compelling, and award-winning films and offers consumers immediate access to over 400 festival-favorite feature films and 100 short films, including a growing catalog of acclaimed films not available anywhere else.