With all of the Short of the Week team located in the Northern Hemisphere, August is generally holiday season here at S/W HQ. Despite several of our team, including myself, taking some much-needed time off, the eighth month of 2022 quickly turned into our busiest of the year so far (with our calendar already full for most of September, it may not stay that way for long). Although our News channel suffered somewhat with a lack of content (apologies for any important short film news we may have missed over this period!), featuring 24 shorts throughout the 31 days of the month, meant that awesome short films were in no short demand. Don’t fret if you too were on holiday, or had some other reason for missing, as this post offers the perfect opportunity to catch-up – Rob Munday, Managing Editor.
With 50% of our featured films in August Premieres, including two World Premieres – Joe Sill’s cutting-edge “virtual production” The Cloud Racer and Kamilla Alnes’ surprising relationship drama Mens vi venter (While we wait) – our coverage included stories from all over the globe, from Nigeria to Australia and South Africa to Lebanon. For the trio of films selected by our team as Best of the Month picks we dive into summer nostalgia, immerse ourselves in the difficult situation of an immigrant in a toxic workplace and feel intoxicated by stories of cannabis love.
A Woman of No Importance by Gauri Adelker
I admire Gauri Adelker’s sensitive storytelling. It makes for a thoughtful and intimate study of a South Asian woman living in the US who deals with a toxic workplace and everyday microaggressions. And although the film could so easily slip into predictable waters, the main character is never reduced to a stereotype. Actor Kalieaswari Srinivasan’s superb performance has created layers of personality, and in giving her an edge and making her flawed she has also allowed us to see ourselves in her. It’s a masterpiece. – Serafima Serafimova
Buzzkill by Kathy E. Mitrani
As September rolls around, I can’t help but look back at the summer and the nostalgia of the summer break. Kathy E. Mitrani’s Buzzkill recreates and takes us back to those summers with a coming-of-age story that is just as immersive as it is universal and authentic. The nuanced performances and gorgeous visual aesthetic make it hard to look away and as we dive in the film, we get to revisit and look fondly back on all those awkward moments when we were all trying to figure out who we were and who we wanted to be. – Céline Roustan
Somewhere Higher by Mohammad Gorjestani
Featured our site twice before, with Refuge and Exit 12, Gorjestani was already a filmmaker I held in high-esteem, but Somewhere Higher has now confirmed him as one of the most-exciting filmmakers working in the short film arena. A 24-minute “visual mix tape anthology” celebrating those who use cannabis to stoke their creativity, featuring dance/poetry/music “smoke breaks”, on paper this doesn’t feel like a film that should work, but on-screen it’s effortlessly engaging, visually exciting and instantly unforgettable. With my screening time scarce recently, it’s rare I’ll return to watch a 24-minute documentary so soon after watching it, but I’ll continue to make an exception for Somewhere Higher – Rob Munday
The Ref by Peter Edlund
Returning to our site for a third time, the Edlund brothers’ (The New West, Mixtape Marauders) latest short sees the duo once again exploring the balance between over-the-top laughs and character-driven feels. Immersing its audience in the confines of the gym as a young Basketball referee struggles to deal with both the abominable behavior of over-zealous parents and his simmering emotions, as things start to get all too much for its troubled protagonist The Ref manages to find the perfect balance between laughs and feels.