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My Darling Quarantine Short Film Festival

programmed by the international short film community

article by Talking Shorts Team

In light of the current COVID-19 situation that is unfolding across the world, we have witnessed many great cultural events being cancelled or postponed to the second half of the year. Yes, we are already looking forward to some extensive simultaneous festival hopping in the near future, but we don't want to sit still until that happens and will keep spreading the short film love much quicker than any virus.

Thus, we proudly present the first - and hopefully only - edition of the My Darling Quarantine Short Film Festival!

Every week Talking Shorts will present an online programme of seven short films on the subject of "dystopia" that have been suggested from our quarantined short film friends around the globe. The audience can then vote for their favourite film.

But there is more to it than just a fun game. COVID-19 affects everybody. However, some less fortunate people are affected more than others. Thus, we want to support those in need and set up a GoFundMe page where you can support the following two causes:

— Medecins Sans Frontiers is currently working hard to avoid a major COVID-19 outbreak among the 42,000 asylum seekers trapped on the Greek islands. Furthermore, they are supporting people worldwide that have no access to a functioning health system and need help and support to deal with the outbreak. We want to donate 50% of the proceeds to that cause.

— Cultural institutions and workers, especially those who work freelance and receive no institutional funding, are facing a time of crisis. Public life is coming to a stand-still, places are shutting down and people are losing their jobs. We want to donate the other 50% to those in culture that are most affected, decided together by all the initiatives, programmers and festivals that are taking part in the online event.

Please help us support these two causes. Watch the films, vote for your favourite and while you're at it make a donation!

Thank you for your support and spread the love!

Download the press release: mdqsff-press-release.pdf



Parachutes by Wendy Pillonel (Switzerland, 2012)
The World by Mika Taanila (Finland, 2017)
The External World by David O'Reilly (Ireland, 2011)
Habana by Edouard Salier (France, 2014)
Submarine by Mounia Akl (Lebanon, 2016)
Nation Estate by Larissa Sanssour (Denmark, Palestine, 2012)
Patision Avenue by Thanasis Neofotistos (Greece, 2018)



Suggested by: Jela Hasler (Pro Short)

original title: Paracaduti
length: 5
year of production: 2012
country of production: Switzerland
director: Wendy Pillonel
script: Wendy Pillonel
production: Zürcher Hochschule der Künste ZHdK Departement Darstellende Künste und Film
director of photography: Tom Keller
editing: Pascal Griesshammer
sound: Benoît Barraud, Gregg Skerman
cast: Eléonore Jenny, Luandès Brandt

In a future where the sea doesn’t exist anymore and where adults imitate things from the past, dozens of children are building sand pies on an artificial beach. Only 12-year-old Estelle looks at a wall on which the sea is painted. Thibaud, her peer, approaches the girl and pretends he can see the things that no longer exist. He takes her to his hiding place and tries to convince her to take a pill that would allow her to see the real sea.

About the director
Born in 1986 in Estavayer-le-Lac, Switzerland. Joint Swiss and French citizenship. 2010 BA in Art Education from Bern University of the Arts. 2010-14 Attends ZHdK (Zürcher Hochschule der Künste). 2014 BA in Film from ZHdK. 2017 MA in Film directing from ZHdK. Lives and works in Zurich as documentary and fiction film director.


The World

Suggested by: Emilia Mazik (Short Waves Festival)

length: 8
year of production: 2017
country of production: Finland
director: Mika Taanila
script: Mika Taanila
production: Mika Taanila
editing: Mika Taanila

The Man Who Fell to Earth (Roeg, 1976) evacuated and flipped. In abandoned landscapes, animals, furniture and empty vehicles are left awaiting for disaster. The upside-down world is accompanied by sounds from the original film and “Man Who Sold The World” popping up backwards. A “film without film” and my Bowie tribute – without Bowie. (M.T.)

”We must have died alone, a long long time ago.” (D.B.)

About the director
Mika Taanila is a filmmaker and visual artist based in Helsinki. His films have been screened at several
international film festivals such as TIFF Toronto, IFFR Rotterdam, Berlinale, CPH:DOX, Clermont-Ferrand, Karlovy-Vary, Midnight Sun Film Festival, IDFA Amsterdam and Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen. Taanila’s moving image installations have been shown at major international group shows, such as Venice Biennale (2017), Aichi Triennale (2013), Documenta (2012), Shanghai Biennale (2006) and Berlin Biennale (2004). Solo shows include Padiglione de l’Esprit Nouveau, Bologna (2020), STUK, Leuven (2018), Kiasma, Helsinki (2013–14), CAM, St. Louis (2013), Badischer Kunstverein (2008) and Migrosmuseum, Zurich (2005). In 2015 Taanila was awarded The Ars Fennica prize.


The External World

Suggested by: Tom Grimshaw (London Short Film Festival, FILMFEST DRESDEN)

length: 17
year of production: 2011
country of production: Ireland
director: David O'Reilly
script: Vernon Chatman, David O'Reilly
production: Henning Kamm, David O'Reilly
animation: Max Stöhr, Tobias von Burkersroda
music: Bram Meindersma
cast: Julian Barratt, Pearl Brilmyer, Adam Buxton

In a funny looking yet very bleak world, a boy learns to play piano while a cat and various other animal characters encounter all sorts of drugs, sex, violence and profanity, with numerous references to pop culture phenomena.

About the director
Born in Kilkenny, Ireland in 1985, he began working for an animation studio in London at an early age before becoming a freelancer. He has made numerous animation films, music videos, commercials and experimental films. His short film, Please Say Something, was awarded the Golden Bear at the 2009 Berlin International Film Festival.



Suggested by: Niels Putman (Kortfilm.be, Leuven International Short Film Festival), Sarah Dombrink (interfilm Berlin)

for english subtitles please click on the settings icon > subtitles > english

length: 22
year of production: 2014
country of production: France
director: Edouard Salier
script: Sébastien Ors, Édouard Salier, Nicolas Schmerkin
production: Autour de Minuit / Digital District
director of photography: Mathieu Plainfossé
editing: Alexandro Rodriguez
sound: Rubén Valdés
music: Doctor L
cast: Leoandy Chacon

In a near future, the city of Havana, is occupied by foreign invasion and close to a civil war. A guided tour with Lazaro, a kid from the ghetto, reveals the chaos that reins within the capital…

About the director
Edouard Salier has demonstrated his skills in many creative disciplines. His projects, most notably his short films Flesh and Empire, have been shown and appreciated around the world. 
He directed various Nike films and a prominent spot for Coke. But most of all he’s famous for his visually-stimulating music videos for Justice, Air, Massive Attack, Raphael Saadiq, Orishas and other international artists. An established commercial director, Edouard still takes time to create innovative personal pieces.



Suggested by: Nicolas Khabbaz (NDU International Film Festival), Sarah Schlüssel (Berlinale Shorts, shorts/salon)

length: 21
year of production: 2016
country of production: Lebanon
director: Mounia Akl
script: Mounia Akl, Clara Roquet
production: Cyril Aris, Jinane Chaaya
director of photography: Joe Saade
editing: Mounia Akl, George Sikharulidze
sound: Rawad Hobeika, Cedric Kayem
music: Paul Tyan
cast: Yumna Marwan

Under the imminent threat of Lebanon’s garbage crisis, Hala, a wild child inside of a woman, is the only one to refuse evacuation, clinging to whatever remains of home.

About the directors
Mounia Akl is a director and writer from Lebanon living between Beirut and New York. She holds a bachelor's degree in architecture from ALBA and an MFA in Directing from Columbia University. Apart from directing, Mounia has taught Directing and Screenwriting at Columbia University, New York, and at the NHSI film summer institute at Northwestern University, Chicago.Her previous work includes fiction films Stream, Christine, EVA, Series BILY, Yahoo's web series Fasateen, produced by Emmy-winners Batoota Films (Jury Prize in Marseille and Los Angeles) and recently Lights, an omnibus feature film directed by 6 directors, including herself, from Breaking Wave Pictures, a company she co-founded in 2015 in New York.Her films have screened at major film festivals including Palm Springs, Raindance and the Rome MedFilm Festival. She recently finished editing Clara Roquet's film El Adios which premiered in the Toronto International Film Festival, played in festivals such as Telluride and Clermont-Ferrand, and was acquired by HBO.Submarine was awarded the James Bridges production grant and is a short film that explores the story of the feature film she is currently writing and which she plans to direct as her first feature.


Nation Estate

Suggested by: John Canciani (Internationale Kurzfilmtage Winterthur)

length: 9
year of production: 2012
country of production: Denmark, Palestine
director: Larissa Sanssour
script: Søren Lind
production: William Dybeck Sorensen (Redeye Film)
director of photography: Jesper Toffner
editing: William Dybeck Sorensen
sound: Roar Skau Olsen
cast: Larissa Sansour, Leila Sansour, Maxim Sansour

Nation Estate is a 9-minute sci-fi short offering a clinically dystopian, yet humorous approach to the deadlock in the Middle East. The film explores a vertical solution to Palestinian statehood: One colossal skyscraper housing the entire Palestinian population - now finally living the high life.

About the director
Sansour was born in Jerusalem and studied Fine Art in Copenhagen, London and New York.
Sansour’s work is interdisciplinary, immersed in the current political dialogue and borrowing heavily from the language of film and pop culture. By using video, photography, experimental documentary and other new media she approximates the nature, reality and complexity of life in Palestine and the Middle East to visual forms normally associated with entertainment and televised pastime. Her grandiose and often humorous schemes clash with the gravity expected from works commenting on the region. References and details ranging from sci-fi and spaghetti westerns to horror films converge with Middle East politics and social issues to create intricate parallel universes in which a new value system can be decoded.


Patision Avenue

Suggested by: Ben Vandendaele (Radiator IP Sales)

Please click on the "From 1,00 €" button and then insert the code stayhome in order to watch the film for free on Vimeo on demand.

original title: Leoforos Patision
length: 13
year of production: 2018
country of production: Greece
director: Thanasis Neofotistos
script: Yorgos Angelopoulos, Thanasis Neofotistos, Pavlos Sifakis
production: Ioanna Bolomyti
director of photography: Yannis Fotou
editing: Panos Angelopoulos
sound: Alejandro Cabrera, Yannis Antypas
cast: Marina Symeou

Yanni’s mum is on her way to an audition when she discovers that her young son is home alone. Through a series of phone calls, she fights to balance the most important roles in her life while walking along the most controversial area of Athens, Patision Avenue.

About the director
Thanasis Neofotistos is a Film Director, Writer & Architect from Greece. Berlinale Talents alumnus. His short film, Patision Avenue (13’-2018), premiered at 75th Venice Film Festival, won 3 awards at Clermont-Ferrand 2019 (Jury, Canal+, EFA) and has already selected in more than 60 top-tier film festivals. ROUTE-3 (13’-2019) just premiered in official competition of 44th TIFF (Toronto). Greek School Prayer (20’-2014) was his successful thesis (Golden Dionysus), and Sparkling Candles (9’-2019) is his LGBTQ+ sparkling short film, premiered in 43rd Frameline. He is now in the financing stage of his first-debut feature film, which he envisions as a dark, coming-of-age, folktale, Peter And The Wolf; the film got the main GFC & Media funding and has been developed, amongst other, at First-Films-First, MFI, Sarajevo Script Station. His next feature film project, Wild Boars, is developing in Torino Film Lab & MFI.







Click on the weekly winner in order to read a written review by one of our film critics.



Postcards From The End Of The World by Konstantinos Antonopoulos (Greece, 2019) - AF
Hitting My Head On The World by Anna Vasof (Austria, 2019)
No Church In The Wild by Romain Gavras (USA, 2012)
The Day The Beans Ran Out by Guðný Rós Þórhallsdóttir (Iceland, 2018)
The Forest by Lia Tsalta (Greece, 2017)
Walking Stick by Paul Spengemann (Germany, 2017)
Bon Appetit by Erenik Beqiri (Albania, 2017)



Stars of Gaomeigu by Marko Grba Singh (Serbia, China, 2017)
AlieNation by Laura Lehmus (Germany, 2014)
Yellow Fieber by Konstantina Kotzamani (Greece, 2015)
Le sens de la marche by Jela Hasler (Switzerland, 2018)
2045 by Maja Prelog, Blaž Murn (Slovenia, 2016)
Symbiosis by Nadja Andrasev (Hungary, France, 2019) - AF
Schirkoa by Ishan Shukla (India, 2016)



idea: Enrico Vannucci
team: Daniel Ebner, Anne Gaschütz, Emilia Mazik, Niels Putman, Enrico Vannucci
programmers: Marija Apchevska (International Cinematographers Film Festival Manaki Brothers), Doris Bauer (Vienna Shorts), Eroll Bilibani (DokuFest), Laurence Boyce (PÖFF Shorts), Bojana Bregar Bojana Bregar (FeKK, Vienna Shorts), John Canciani (Internationale Kurzfilmtage Winterthur), Gabrielė Cegialytė (Vilnius International Short Film Festival, Lithuanian Shorts), Rimantė Daugėlaitė (Vilnius International Short Film Festival, Lithuanian Shorts), Sarah Dombrink (interfilm Berlin), Daniel Ebner (Vienna Shorts), Florian Fernandez (Cannes Court Métrage), Anne Gaschütz (Filmfest Dresden), Steffen Goldkamp (Director), Ania Golon (Short Waves Festival, Awesome Shorts), Tom Grimshaw (London Short Film Festival, Filmfest Dresden), Jela Hasler (Pro Short), Sigrid Hadenius (Uppsala Short Film Festival), Anna Henckel-Donnersmarck (Berlinale Shorts), Mariana Hristova (Balkans Beyond Borders, Eastern Neighbours Film Festival), Philip Ilson (London Short Film Festival), Stefan Ivancic (Locarno Film Festival, Pančevo Film Festival), Sanne Jehoul (Glasgow Short Film Festival), Nicolas Khabbaz (NDU International Film Festival, Batroun Mediterranean Film Festival), Lotte Kircher (Internationale Kurzfilmtage Winterthur), Inja Korać (Motovun Film Festival), Andrej Korovljev (Motovun Film Festival), Asja Krsmanović (Sarajevo Film Festival), Vincent Langouche (Leuven International Short Film Festival), Aleksandra Ławska (Short Waves Festival), Moritz Lehr (interfilm), Emilia Mazik (Short Waves Festival), Ryan McDonald (PRINDIE: Princeton Independent Film Festival), Diana Mereoiu (Vienna Shorts), Gaia Meucci-Astley (Encounters), Christoffer Olofsson (Uppsala Short Film Festival), Aneta Ozorek (Kaboom Animation Festival), Michiel Philippaerts (Film Fest Gent), Maks Pilasiewicz (Żubroffka International Short Film Festival), Emilie Poirier (Festival du Nouveau Cinéma Montréal), Niels Putman (Leuven International Short Film Festival, Short Film Conference), Laura Quarto (Leiden International Short Film Experience), Salette Ramalho (Agencia), Carlos Ramos (IndieLisboa International Film Festival), Marija Razgutė (M-Films, Lithuanian Shorts), Marina Richter (NIFFF), Nina Rodríguez (Guanajuato International Film Festival), Julie Rousson (Festival du Court Métrage de Clermont-Ferrand), Yara Yuri Safadi (Leiden International Short Film Festival), Sarah Schlüssel (Berlinale Shorts), Sven Schwarz (Kurzfilm Festival Hamburg), Maria Stoianova (Nordisk Panorama), Adam Symchuk (Asian Movie Pulse), Elma Tataragić (Sarajevo Film Festival), Ben Vandendaele (Radiator IP Sales), Enrico Vannucci (Venice Film Festival, Torino Short FIlm Market, Varicoloured), Carla Vulpiani (Varicoloured), Wim Vanacker (Festival de Cannes), Bard Yden (The Norwegian Short Film Festival), Laura Walde (Internationale Kurzfilmtage Winterthur), Radka Weiserova (Prague Short Film Festival), Curtis Woloschuk (Vancouver International Film Festival), Anna Zača (Riga International Film Festival), Sholeh Zahraei (Director)
with the kind support of: Hannes Aava, Dovile Aleksaite, Rémi Allier, Giovanni Aloi, Agustina Arbetman, Kieran Argo, Kristina Aschenbrennerova, Ali Asgari, John Badalu, Simone Bardoni, Laurynas Bareisa, Roberto Barrueco, JJ Basic, Claire Battistoni, Katia Bayer, Brigita Beniušytė, Paolo Bertolin, Atli Bjarnason, Manon Bovenkerk, Mélissa Bouchard, Eva Brazdžionytė, Patrick Bresnan, Viviana Carlet, Virginia Carolfi, Léopold Céléreau, Peter Cerovšek, Minchol Cha, Noha Choukrallah, Vítězslav Chovanec, Elena Christodoulidou, Léa Crissaud, Laurent Crouzeix, Antonio Curedda, Adriana Dafonseca, Brenda De Morue, Hugo De Pin, Gina Dellabarca, Raphaëlle Delbèque, Melissa Delmee, Nicolas Denaniot, Nikita Diakur, Douwe Dijkstra, Sara Dufossé, Philippe Echterbille, Gunhild Enger, Amanda Nell Eu, Ingvild Evjemo, Popo Fan, Susana Fernández, Per Fikse, Jamil Fiorino-Habib, Margherita Fontana, Panos Fotiou, Alejo Franzetti, Beth Sá Freire, Joana Fresu De Azevedo, Giovanni Fumu, Niv Fux, Anne Fryszman, Mariana Gaivao, Peter Gašparík, Amos Geva, José Humberto Gil Rincón, Niclas Due Gillberg, Delphine Girard, Laure Goasguen, Laurent Godichaux, Carmen Gray, Anna Hade, Boris Hadžija, Mick Hannigan, Liz Harkman, Camille Hebert Benazet, Heinz Hermanns, Katrine Holst Anderson Vesterskov, Koos Hornman, Neilos Iacovou, Veronique Jadin, Mathieu Janssen, Delphine Jeanneret, Matevž Jerman, Mieczysław Judzikowski, Laura Jumel, Iva Jurlina, Michael Kalopaidis, Nadine Katschmarek, Tamar Kay, Vasilis Kekatos, Niels Ketelaars, Hélène Karenzo, Marie Karenzo, Dianna Kasen, Alika Kharchenko, Lea Kierbel, Kaja Klimek, Stefanie Kolk, Panos Kotzathanasis, Katrin Kuechler, Joachim Kurz, Ivana Kvesic, Stephen Lee, Delphine Lehericey, Hippolyte Leibovici, Danny Lennon, Jacqueline Lentzou, Stéphanie Léonard, Matt M Lloyd, Elodie Liénard, Linn Löffler, Bianca Lucas, Ivete Lucas, Marcin Luczaj, Carlo Francisco Manatad, Kyrylo Marikutsa, Mary Marinopoulou, Julie Marnay, Randa Maroufi, Bérangère Mc Neese, Ryan McKenna, Damien Megherbi, Martina Mestrovic, Mário Micaelo, Carlo Migotto, Marija Milovanovic, Morgane Mingers-Franchimont, João Paulo Miranda Maria, Tonia Mishiali, Sarah Momesso, Rael Montecucco, Katja Morand, François Morisset, Margarida Moz, Leonhard Müllner, Pablo Munoz Gomez, Peter Murdmaa, Ioakim Mylonas, Vanja Henrikke Ødegård, Lisa Ogdie, Barbara Orlicz-Szczypula, Thom Palmen, Marina Palmero Butolo, Anne Paulicevich, Justin Pechberty, Sam Peeters, Séverine Petit, Vladan Petkovic, Panicos Petrides, Michiel Philippaerts, Cristina Picchi, Julie Pichard, Per Platou, Michaelan Pnacekova, Séverine Porzio, Jelena Popovic, Sven Pötting, Marinette Pouet, Sorayos Prapapan, Tristan Priimägi, Anna Purkrabkova, Britt Raes, Eloi Ragot, Olha Raiter, Tonka ReciCvrčak, Tim Redford, Hortense Regnault, Nuno Rodrigues, Alexia Roider, Julian Ross, Andrée-Anne Roussel, Kirsten Ruber, Peter Schernhuber, Kamil Saldun, Martin Scheuring, Andrea Schwemmer, Sébastien Simon, Toril Simonsen, Carlo Sironi, Skartouli, Anna Skau Tolstrup, Léo Soesanto, Simone Späni, Ludwig Sporrer, Szymon Stemplewski, Marko Stojiljković, Daniel Šuljić, Anita Svingen, Marta Świątek, Dave Taylor-Matthews, Leonor Teles, Patrick Thülig, Tina Tišljar, Léa Triboulet, Luis Trinques, Dorian Truffert, Lenka Tyrpáková, Daniel Vadocky, Adriano Valerio, Niels Van Velsen, Edwin van den Hove, Fernando Vasquez, Millan Vazquez-Ortiz, Giulio Vita, Judith Wajsgrus, Anouchka Walewyk, Saskia Walker, Yi Wang, Rich Warren, Florian Weghorn, Birgitte Weinberger, Jochen Werner, Insa Wiese, Curtis Woloschuk, Thomas Woodroffe, Sara Xiol, Qiu Yang, Zhengfan Yang, Simon Young, Anastasiya Zhyshchynska, Claudio Zilleruelo Acra, Nicolás Zukerfeld
Talking Shorts would like to thank the filmmakers who provided their films for free: Mounia Akl, Nadja Andrasev, Konstantinos Antonopoulos, Erenik Beqiri, Romain Gavras, Marko Grba Singh, Jela Hasler, Konstantina Kotzamani, Laura Lehmus, Blaž Murn, Thanasis Neofotistos, David O'Reilly, Wendy Pillonel, Guðný Rós Þórhallsdóttir, Maja Prelog, Larissa Sanssour, Ishan Shukla, Paul Spengemann, Mika Taanila, Anna Vasof
in collaboration with: Asian Movie Pulse, Black Canvas Festival De Cine Contemporaneo, Balkans Beyond Borders, Concorto Festival, DokuFest, Encounters Film Festival, FEKK, Festival du Court Métrage de Clermont-Ferrand, Festival du Nouveau Cinéma Montréal, FILMFEST DRESDEN, Glasgow Short Film Festival, Guanajuato International Film Festival, Interfilm, Internationale Kurzfilmtage Winterthur, Internationale Kurzfilmwoche Regensburg, Kaboom Animation Festival, Kurzfilm Festival Hamburg, Leiden International Short Film Experience, Lithuanian Shorts, London Short Film Festival, Motovun Film Festival, Nordisk Panorama, Pančevo Film Festival, PÖFF Shorts, Prague Short Film Festival, PRINDIE - Princeton Independent Film Festival, Pro Short, Sarajevo Film Festival, Short Waves Festival, Uppsala Short Film Festival, Vienna Shorts, Vilnius International Short Film Festival, Żubroffka International Short Film Festival