In The Palace – Day 4

There aren’t many laughs to be had from the mostly serious and sometimes very intense films screening here in Varna. It seems that in the short film world, the temptation to be obscure, or at least to avoid being obvious, is extremely powerful. Too many films have left us puzzled about some part of the story or meaning, because the filmmaker is trying to be just that bit too clever. It’s a fine line of course, because part of the charm of short films is that the story is told in shorthand, and the audience has to work to decode it.

However, there are a few standout films today that achieve a satisfying balance, and even one laugh-out-loud comedy – from Australia – ‘dik’ by Christopher Stollery. This film got a great audience reaction, standing out from the very serious films in the same program.
Other stand-outs today are the documentary ‘Back to Mandima’ by Robert-Jan Lacombe from Switzerland and the cleverly stylised and powerful ‘The Child Will Die’ by César & José Esteban Alenda from Spain.

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James with filmmakers from Macedonia

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Cathy with volunteer Albatool Ali from Jordan

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James with Bulgarian filmmaker Plamena Hristova and actor Daniel Vasilev from the film ‘Busking’

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