A car on a lonely road: in it a father and mother up front and two grown daughters in the back. Not everyone likes the father’s choice of music, and an argument breaks out. It’s hard to imagine a more mundane situation. There are moments like this in almost every family, and the trip drags on, seemingly endlessly. But somehow everyone gets through it together. In her short film FINE, young director Maya Yadlin shares a scene from her own family life, in the truest sense of the word: the Yadlins themselves are in the car, (re)enacting the family quarrel.
FILMSCHOOLFEST MUNICH, which will celebrate its 40th birthday this coming November, also sees itself as a family. Professor Wolfgang Längsfeld founded the festival in 1981 for the celebrated directors of tomorrow. Since then, it has welcomed the most talented international students and their short films to Munich. Every year, film schools from all over the world submit current productions by their students. Selected short feature films, documentaries, and animated films are screened in competition and compete for lucrative awards.
To give a taste of the anniversary edition coming this fall, ten Filmschoolfest entries from recent years are now being shown at FILMFEST MÜNCHEN prior to certain main screenings. Maya Yadlin’s FINE, which received the Audience Award in 2019, for example, will be shown before SHIVA BABY on July 9. But there are more short films focusing on family themes. In the animated film MY MILK CUP COW (prior to THE MACALUSO SISTERS, July 3), director Yantong Zhu reflects on all the little lies people tell each other to protect their loved ones from a sometimes harsh reality.
Mika also wants to protect his little brother John, who is afraid of his first day at school. Find out if Mika’s tips can calm John in Maria Erikkson’s SCHOOLYARD BLUES, which received the 2018 Arte Short Film Prize, prior to SUN CHILDREN on July 6. In Janne J. Vanhanen’s 2017 film ABOUT THE BIRDS AND THE BEES (prior to VIVA FOREVER, July 5), a father and son are unfortunately no longer talking much, as the teenager prefers to be left alone. After an accident during lovemaking, however, he has to ask his father for help. Will he be met with understanding?
ABOUT THE BIRDS AND THE BEES
MY MILK CUP COW: Director Yantong Zhu at FILMSCHOOLFEST MUNICH 2014.
Ingbert Socke’s path in THE BEST ORCHESTRA IN THE WORLD, on the other hand, is paved with prejudice. He’d like to be a double bass player in the Vienna State Orchestra, but as a sock, his chances in Henning Backhaus’s film are slim. The recipient of the 2020 Audience Award will be screened prior to WISER AT LAST on July 6 at 5 pm.
Another outsider is found in Itamar in Michael Alalu’s 2012 HOW I KILLED RABIN (prior to LIMBO, July 10). He only has fun when he’s immersed in the digital world of a video game called Rules and Fates. But then he falls in love for the first time. How is he supposed to confess his feelings to the girl of his dreams in reality? The protagonist in Tomer Eshed’s 2011 animated film FLAMINGO PRIDE (prior to MAINSTREAM, July 10) also has problems with romantic relationships, because he is the only heterosexual flamingo in his flock. Then along comes a female swan who catches his eye.
GABBER LOVER by Anna Cazenave-Cambet (prior to NIGHT OF THE KINGS, July 7) also tells an LGBTQI+ story. Mila is attracted to Laurie, but the latter doesn’t respond to her kiss at a party. Mila runs off in shame, setting off an emotional story that was honored as the best film at FILMSCHOOLFEST MUNICH in 2016. Anna, a babysitter in Clara Stern’s 2016 film WAITING TIME (prior to PRECIOUS IVIE, July 3) would probably be very happy if she were at a party like Mila and Laurie. She waits at the bus stop, alone, at night. She senses someone watching her, and a strange clicking sound behind her grows louder and louder.
The characters in the Serbian short film EMERGENCY EXIT find themselves in lots of absurd but less threatening situations: there are coffee machines that can drive a person mad, incompetent police officers who fail to take down a report, and quarrels between boys that suddenly lead to real fights between adults. Vladimir Tagić’s trip to Absurdistan, which won the award for best screenplay at FILMSCHOOLFEST MUNICH in 2015, will be shown prior to HEIKO’S WORLD on July 8.
More eclectic short films can be seen at the screening of BEST OF FILMSCHOOLFEST, which this year includes not only a selection of winners from 2020, but also from 2019. Seven films in total are being shown. Things don’t get more colorful than this — except maybe at the birthday edition of FILMSCHOOLFEST MUNICH from November 14 to 20, 2021, because of all the confetti there’ll be.