Award Winners 2020
FinalistsThe Official Selection 2020
Friday 17th July
Documentary | David Archibald, Carl Lavery | United Kingdom | 17:35
Saturday 18th July
Documentary (Student) | Anayis Der Hakopian | United Kingdom | 03:45
Documentary (Student) | Sam Jones | United Kingdom | 08:44
Documentary (Student) | Joseph Scott | Ireland | 06:55
Documentary | Chris Reeves | United Kingdom | 10:00
Documentary (Student) | Anayis Der Hakopian | United Kingdom | 03:45
Documentary (Student) | Sam Jones | United Kingdom | 08:44
Sunday 19th July
Documentary | Sam Meech | United Kingdom | 15:00
Documentary | Usayd Younis, Cassie Quarless | United Kingdom | 07:35
Documentary | | United Kingdom | 04:18
Documentary | Michael Toledano, Sam Vinal | Canada | 18:19
Young Film (Made by filmmakers under 18) | Lovro Hostić, Ivona Štefica Mihanović | Croatia | 03:27
Young Film (Made by filmmakers under 18) | Niki Paleka, Aleta Franić, Dora Pecigoš, Jan Novak Vukašinović, Ursula Pavić, Noa Zelenko | Croatia | 05:01
Young Film (Made by filmmakers under 18), Young Film (Made by filmmakers under 18) | Andrew Wang | United States | 02:52
Young Film (Made by filmmakers under 18), Young Film (Made by filmmakers under 18) | Patricia Hayes, Marc Hayes | Not Specified | 00:40
Fiction | Samara Sagynbaeva | Kyrgyzstan | 20:00
Fiction (Student) | Josia Brezing | Germany | 01:12
Feature Film ProgrammeEach feature film is accompanied by a programme of Small Axe Shorts
Friday July 17th:
Saturday July 18th
14.00 – East Of Our Memories | New film about German nostalgia for the Communist GDR
15.30 – Unsung Hero: The Story of Jack Jones | New documentary biography of this forgotten hero of the labour movement.
17.45 – The Big Meeting & Gala Days | 2 films, separated by 50 years, that provide a historical perspective on the Durham Miners Gala.
20.00 – Human Resources | The second film of “the French Ken Loach”. A young man from a working class family returns from University to join the management of the company that runs the town he grew up in. He is going to have to decide whose side he is on.
Sunday 19th July
13.45 – Wapping: The Workers’ Story | A retelling of the story of the Wapping printers strike from the workers’ POV.
15.45 – Under The Knife | In the post-Covid world this is crucial viewing for anyone who wants the NHS to remain a public service.
18.00 – Solidarity | A new film exploring the experience of blacklisting in the building trades.
20.00 – Small Axe Awards | Full programme of challenging new short films, and the announcement of the 2020 Small Axe film awards.
Semi FinalistsFilms we that we couldn't show but deserve recognition.
Bare in 2020Shelly Anthis - Canada - 01:45
In the streets of Winnipeg, Manitoba in the HEART of Canada, home to nearly a million takes on an ominous presence in the early stages of a pandemic. Coming to a city near you!
High PressureMattia Mura - Italy - 18:18
Mattia and Stefania are a couple living in Milan, Italy. Their lives have been drastically stopped by the Covid-19 Pandemic. When Mattia suddenly discovers to have an issue with high pressure, things start getting even worse. An overview of the pandemic crisis in the Lombardy region from the perspective of a young couple and a hymn to hope.
Occupying Time: The Battle of AlgiersAlan O'Leary - Denmark - 05:28
Experimental videoessay on time and temporalities in historical/political film classic The Battle of Algiers (Italy/Algeria, 1966). All audio and visual material used in the essay, apart from credits and intertitles, comes from The Battle of Algiers itself.
Songs From Next DoorPhil Moody, Carolyn Edwards - United Kingdom - 10:10
The film makers found a random selection of friends and acquaintances with different linguistic heritage who lived close by, and filmed them in the week of the UK General Election that saw Boris Johnson sweep to power on a broadly nationalist platform. The result is a gentle and carefully photographed documentary short celebrating languages, song and notions of home.
Sport(ables) (eng subtitles)Petri Puroaho - Finland - 06:59
During Covid-19 -confinement you have lots of time to think and reflect your past history of sports. I bring you a psychological and musical innerself journey through football-memories that start to look like a virus itself. Film became a constant battle of the fact that can I trust my own memories? Is current confinement different from the past experiences? The dream was real but the memories tell you a different story. Do you have similar experiences?
The Killing of TimeNeil Murphy - Not Specified - 05:55
Shot during the COVID-19 confinement in Spain, a reflection on the situation from a philosophical viewpoint. Sharing my own thoughts about the pandemic's outcomes, transforming into a more self-aware humanitarian meditation.
vaCc1n9Olli Kasper - Finland - 04:45
vaCc1n9 is short documentary about the coronavirus crisis, but the main character is planet earth and this virus is actually a vaccine for the planet. Vaccine for a virus called humans. Video is compiled mostly from license free music and clips, but include also shots filmed by me and music that had to been licensed.
ALS JE LATER GROOT BENT - WHEN YOU GROW UP (dir. Baggermann)Max Baggermann - Netherlands - 21:14
What is work? Everyone works and has to work. The 40-hour workweek is a standard in our capitalistic society. Our work consumes the most of our available time for almost our whole lives. Office jobs and assembly-line work have become a symbol for wasting our time to useless labor. The film shows us a day in the life of the working man and the routine and grind that comes with it. With patience, the film shows commuters in traffic lines and public transport, all heading to work. Huge office buildings where hundreds of people are working, all identical behind a computer screen, typing. Endless repetition behind the assembly line. The documentary takes a look at people during a workday and makes you reflect on the meaning of labor.
DAS BUCH SABETH - THE BOOK OF SABETH (dir. Kogler)Florian Kogler - Austria - 29:27
We encounter 95-year-old Elisabeth Mnatsakanjan, a writer, poet, painter, and scholar from the USSR who emigrated to Vienna in the 1970s. Her stories, her poems, her music and an encounter with an old friend depict a life dedicated to the arts and language.
La ReinaJulia Konarska - United Kingdom - 12:42
La Reina revolves around one subject – Edisson Medina a.k.a Paquita De La Torres, the second name being his drag persona. Edisson was born to Ecuadorian parents in London and this is where he was raised. He is a part of the London queer Latinx community, performing in Exilio, one of the biggest queer Latinx clubs in London. The documentary shows him in and out of drag, performing and discussing what drag means to him but also the discrimination he has faced for being queer and the prevalent lack of inclusion towards drag performers.
CueballBrandon C Lay - United States - 13:40
Living Proof Pictures is pleased to present the newest short film by writer/director Brandon C. Lay. Cueball staring Sarah Cugini and Jeremy Thompson. Sara (Sarah Cugini) is a TikTok and Instagram model stuck at home during the pandemic with her layabout boyfriend Jer (Jeremy Thompson).
Daido Moriyama Revisited by Osdho- Spain - 02:38
As the exposition from the Japanese photographer, Daido Moriyama, was in quarantine and waited for the first visitors at the Fundació Foto Colectania in Barcelona, Spain. We have selected several of his images. My partner and I have made a free (acting) interpretation of his work, but based on our own perception of confinement, terrain vague, and basic, twisted instinctive feelings. I shot it, as if it was an interpretation of his scenes, the moments before the decisive moment of the capture. I tried to film the essence of Daido's approach and edited it as an immersive and visceral story.
EmmaKevin Spink - Australia - 06:52
Emma is a regular human that is faced with daily modern obstacles; yet underneath her smile hides a secret.
Flag CountryPamela Falkenberg, Jack Cochran - United States - 05:51
Outlier Moving Pictures' new poetry film is based on Dave Bonta's haibun poem, "Flag Country," which tells a story about an unplanned stop during a road trip, arrested to see an enormous flag at a car lot in Orbisonia, PA. Our mesmerizing views of the flag furling and unfurling in the wind, along with the "skywritten" text, induce the hypnotic state described in the poem, accompanied by a soundscape that conducts a whirlwind tour of American aspirations and moments of civil dissent, revealing the challenging gaps that continue to exist between our ideals and our actual achievements.
FREEDOM & FEARJohannes Ziegler - Germany - 14:00
The world in 2025. Strict restrictions and quarantine measures still apply. The global economy plunged into a deep crisis from which it has not yet recovered. The silent fear of the COVID-19 virus and state control are widespread. A mother and her daughter live in silent fear of a virus and the oppression, the invisible control that is supposed to protect our society. Everyday life has changed. He has become calm, characterized by simple tasks and the urge to survive. In these circumstances, the mother tries to complete a work whose completion becomes the symbol of our time. It is a serious decision that our society has to face: fear or freedom. - "This film was created during global quarantine efforts to contain the COVID-19 pandemic."
FYRVAKTAREN - BATHTUB BY THE SEA (dir. Rønneberg)Ole-André Rønneberg - Norway - 14:45
Day in, and day out Gunnar is doing the same things. He drinks his coffee, fishes with his boat, and on Wednesdays and Saturdays he is having his out door bath. But one day a mermaid comes in with the tides, and he must use his bathtub for her. When the bathing day comes and the bathtub is occupied it is getting complicated for Gunnar.
MILA (dir. Vakalios)Andreas Vakalios - Greece - 14:50
Based on a true story, "Mila" is a "polaroid picture" of a daughter's and a father's last encounter at the hospital. She is a twenty year old girl who likes to skate and who hates talking to her mom. He is a forty-five year old hospitalised alcoholic life artist. They haven't spoken or seen each other for years. Their encounter at the hospital might change everything. Or, it might not. The film was shot on location in a working hospital with natural light bounced into the hospital rooms with the use of DIY stands and mirrors.
MÜTTER - MOTHERS (dir. Köhler)Lorenz Christian Kohler - Germany - 08:57
A female arabic refugee in immigration authority: She is begging to catch up with her children. They got separated. The responsible official tells her that his hands are tied. As the situation escalates the official throws the woman out of his office. A bit later, we see him, visiting his old mother. With her, we are traveling in her past – we will see what happened with her, 40 years ago in West-Berlin...The same situation, the same dialogues, the same office... The film is dealing with the tragedy of separation between children and mothers beyond cultural differences.
Renacer - RebornLeO. - Mexico - 04:41
This is a story told from the future and shows how COVID-19 in Mexico triggered solidarity and union in Mexicans to reinvent their country: Professionals from different areas redistribute from large cities into small towns to keep safe and to manufacture the necessary medical equipment. As time passes, the factories evolve to develop new technology for energy production and agriculture. This in turn, gives Mexico the opportunity to generate revenue beyond tourism and oil, creating a better quality of life for Mexicans in the long term.
SAFIYYAH (dir. Goksøyr)Mattis Ohana Goksøyr - Norway - 09:06
Danish Amir connects with a local girl, Sarah, on a dance floor in central Oslo. He ends up going home with her, but, halfway into bed, he discovers that she is Jewish. Shocked, he reveals his Palestinian background and makes his exit from the now tense situation. Once outside, he sees that his phone is dead, and, alone in an unfamiliar city, he is forced to knock on Sarah’s door. He asks to borrow her charger and she hesitantly lets him back in. The film is a meeting between Danish-Palestinian Amir and Norwegian-Jewish Sarah.
SDtoHDuprezMaxV2_009.mp4 (dir. A. Spence)Anna Spence - United States - 04:16
Booted from the limelight, Max Headroom now roves the video signal on the search for meaning. Once summoned to the screen, he talks to the audience in hopes of remembering his past life. As we watch Max, (and as he continues to watch us), he begins to understand what it will take to escape from his purgatory.
SOMEONE GOOD WILL FIND YOU (dir. L. Strogov)Leelila Strogov - United States - 08:40
A well-intentioned Chinese immigrant father tries to teach his son, David, how to “make it” in America. When David becomes enamored by a Superman costume in a store window, his father sees an opportunity to impart to him the importance of hard work, thrift, and delayed gratification. But when the time comes for David to reap the rewards of his efforts, it turns out that the lessons he’s learned transcend those his father intended. Revealing the human capacity for connection, compassion, and sacrifice, Someone Good Will Find You is a story about the lessons parents try to teach their children, and the unintended ones children learn on their own.
SPOON (dir. Velasco)Victor Velasco - United States - 04:35
In the city, a business man walks to work on a Monday morning when he's interrupted by a junkie-like kid who asks him: Do you want some soup?
STOLPERSTEINE - STUMBLING STONES (dir. Mosadegh)Reza Sam Mosadegh - Germany - 13:18
In 1986, as the child of a refugee family, Reza Sam Mosadegh fled from Iran to Germany. He was not allowed to return to Iran for more than 20 years. The only visual connections to his old homeland were Iranian films and camcorder recordings of his family. Thus, Reza recognized the important meaning of film in his early years. Thereupon, he studied media economics and media sciences. During his studies and under the supervision of a mentor, he has successfully established himself as a director through various projects. At the age of 25, he has won his first director awards at the "ElevateFilmFestival" in Los Angeles. Reza has high expectations in terms of visual language, the latter is important to him because, as a refugee child, he wanted to understand films despite the language barrier.
Swimming LessonsDimitris Giouzepas - Greece - 05:15
A short film created during the resent lockdown because of coronavirus (but has nothing to do with). It is an attempt to make a multi-sensory experience of the sea through the senses of a blind young man who is having his first swimming lesson.
THE COCAINE FAMINE (dir. McMullen)Sam McMullen - Ireland - 13:06
The Cocaine Famine is an Irish black comedy about cocaine and the futility of nationalism. Set in an isolated shed in rural Ireland, three characters play out an absurd scene in real time. The result is a short film full of playful humour and hard-hitting historical facts.
The InvitationMeltem Cemiloglu - Turkey - 02:17
Meltem is a 40-year-old woman who lives alone. She remains isolated at home for a long time due to the Covid-19 virus outbreak. A typical middle class person, Meltem plans an invitation for dinner. Meltem, who cannot even apply her nail polish without looking at YouTube, prepares spaghetti bolognese and salad for the dinner invitation. This dish is a reflection of her isolated life and mood that is the result of the virus epidemic.
SOLITAIRE (dir. E. Brodach)Elena Brodach - Russian Federation - 18:00
Alexandra, a French architect working on a significant project in Moscow, is an intelligent, driven and independent career woman. But when her life’s desire turns to having a child, and with her biological clock ticking, she is suddenly faced with a serious choice: does she have the time to wait for love or must she take responsibility to have a child alone?
THE ACT OF DEVOURING (dir. E. Ziyalar)Emir Ziyalar - Czech Republic - 24:00
A troubled man is forced to repeat a grim task in 1940’s Czechoslovakia. Over time, he starts to fail his task and work on his grotesque secret instead. The fear of his secret being discovered slowly becomes unbearable.
THE HOOD (dir. Delgado)Patricia Vidal Delgado - United States - 10:00
Under the pretext of preparing for a role, an actor walks the streets of the neighbourhood of Compton, in Los Angeles, looking for information and inspiration. The actor ends up getting involved in a series of events, which the film stages as if it were a documentary, in a device that sometimes reveals that the camera observes small details that the protagonist does not see, thus making our point of view the true point of view, in an intelligent and subversive exploration of the rules of a genre.
WAITHOOD (dir. Mees)Louisiana Mees - Belgium - 21:38
If youth is the season of hope, it is often so only in the sense that our elders are hopeful aboutus.Andeachcrisisseemsfinalsimplybecauseit’snew.–GeorgeEliot 'Waithood'is a portmanteau for 'waiting' and 'adulthood'. Athens 2019. 44% of youth is unemployed, a generation lost in no man’s land, wandering outside of the classroom and the labor market amid a booming sharing economy and expanding gentrification. Five youngsters avoid waiting for an empty future by seeking entertainment in the luxurious Airbnb establishments that one of them is cleaning for a meager fee. On the rooftops they look out over a city in turmoil, daydreaming about a world of possibilities.