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I did not enjoy MIFF international shorts 1 as much as i did with the international shorts 1. I think the international shorts 2 are more balanced in terms of content and emotion.

But here are my two favorites in this selection:

Seide (2015) – 14 minutes


(Image: courtesy of MIFF 2016)

The International Shorts 1 screening starts with “Seide”, a Kyrgyzstan film directed by Elnura Osmonalieva. In the secluded region of Kyrgyzstan lives a girl named Seide and her closest friend, a horse. As she comes home one day, she discovers that her parents have arranged her to marry their friends’ son without even asking her permission. The film deals with Seide’s struggle with the situation, thereby condemns forced marriage that still exists in some traditions.

There is not much dialogue in the film. Seide’s emotion is rather shown through her interaction with her horse. I love the scene when Seide leaves her horse in the field, wanting it to seek freedom and happiness, something she will not be able to do. Seide’s helplessness is further reinforced by the use of wide shots, making her look extremely tiny among the mountains of Kyrgyzstan.


The Simple Things (2015) – 26 minutes


(Image: Courtesy of MIFF 2016)

The Simple Things, a Chilean film directed by Álvaro Anguita, narrates the story of a civil servant who kidnaps a lost old man and make him pretend to be her husband’s mother (her mother has Alzheimer).  Drama unfolds as the old man’s children come to the area to look for him. The film is hilarious, sweet and entertaining. The image quality is not the best, and i’m not sure if it’s deliberate or not. But the storytelling is definitely the most impressive thing about this film.