Together with a small army of review volunteers, we've worked hard to select a programme of exciting films that offers the highest quality and variety.
With Drama, Sci-Fi, Comedy, Animation, and Documentary films from around the world, you're sure to find something of interest. What's more, many of our directors and filmmakers are travelling to join us for Q&A sessions at the festival.
Read on to see the full roster of films in this year's festival, and to find out when to see them!
Please Note: as our shorts are not on general cinema release, they do not carry a BBFC certificated rating. We've highlighted any potential causes for concern, and we consider Screenings 1, 2, and 5 to be broadly family friendly.
Alice, already a woman, wakes up in a wonderful land. She does not remember her name neither how she got there. Three stars fall from the sky and become pieces of a broken mirror.
A Roman Centurion soldier is resurrected in modern times at the Roman Baths, witnessed by a magnificent Golden Eagle (The Spirit of Rome). As he enters the streets of modern day Bath he is mistaken for a street performer.
Mrs Kaye is a tense kafkaesque thriller that explores the plight of a woman fighting seemingly unending levels of bureaucracy in the guise of a nameless man.
contains scenes of emotional stress.
Maudie lives in a care home, where all the residents just want to sleep; but she wants to feel the wind in her face. Unfortunately, fresh air is aparently against the rules. A short animation about independence and not growing up...
See Me Now is a fashion film inspired by the quote - "The darker the skin, the uglier they're considered". In this film models and designers of colour come together to showcase the beauty of dark skin.
Contains some nudity
The most watched videos today are Music Videos. A political event is put into music & lyrics, and set to footage from a 1972 documentary on 'The Troubles' in Ardoyne, Belfast, Ireland.
This film follows the story of the real Ariel from Disney's The Little Mermaid as she tries to exist as 'Part of That World'.
Deals with major life changes.
Some decisions are tough. A very hard day in the life of Annette Davis.
deals with loss. Contains scenes of emotional stress.
A moment is a short, unfixed length of time. Minutes are fix units which measure time... This film shows a moment of my life. Every. Single. Morning.
John is 32. Diagnosed with a devastating eye condition he is gradually losing his sight. Urged by those around him to make difficult decisions he seeks solace in his love of night fishing guided by his young friend Ben in a journey requiring real patience and fortitude.
Deals with issues of Disability
Tracey wants to travel, if only she could get the cleaning done.
Deals with issues of Obsession
Join us to kick off Sunderland Shorts in style!
Screening 1 is the basis for our Festival Launch Party.
The party will begin at 6.00pm at the Minster and as well as the great shorts in screening one, we'll also have live music from Sunderland's own Lilliput, a pop up bar from Maxim Brewery, and food from a local vendor tbc, all for just £10.
Ticket numbers for the launch party are limited, so head to our ticketing site at The Little Box Office to make sure you don't miss out!
Pepca and Martine are lovers and dance collaborators torn apart by the immigration arrest of Martine. They must learn to be there, no matter where there is.
deals with sexuality and lgbt issues.
A washed up boxer gives a boxing lesson that changes his life forever.
Deals with issues of estrangement.
An animated film about outcasts and acceptance, told via psychology inkblots.
deals with psychological issues.
In one of the last "illegally-constructed" neighbourhoods in Taipei, the residents' quest for relocation gives birth to a community - a home that they never knew they had.
An Award-Winning Experimental short Film inspired by creative process that any artist and musician has to go through in order to produce a masterpiece.
contains mild horror scenes
Encounters of a woman working in a restaurant, a man eating food waste in the street, an old man who is a diabetic patient and a boy suffering from cancer.
korean w/ english subtitles. contains scenes of emotional stress.
Science-fiction short film about the birth of the first human on Mars, told from the perspective of a Navajo family living in Gallup, New Mexico.
Spanish w/ english subtitles.
The imaginative, nine year old Steven grows up with divorcing parents. The only place he can visit to escape his home situation is his imagination. In his imagination he catches a shooting star in a glass jar which becomes the light in his life.
Dutch w/ english subtitles. SUITABLE FOR ALL AGES.
One worker sparks an uprising when he attempts to break free of his dystopian underworld.
contains mild violence.
Half mortal. Half god. All natural chicken. This film chronicles the birth, life, and legacy of Thundercluck, the viking chicken with the power of thunder.
contains mild cartoon violence.
A bribe tests the will of a union leader as he battles corrupt police and an oppressive government in his fight for justice on the picket lines.
contains strong language and mild violence.
Leigh is a luckless single man who sets his standards low when it comes to romance. When he knocks on the door of his blind date, Miranda, he is disappointed with her beauty. Leigh’s unexpected disapproval leads Miranda to make some unlikely confessions that teach them both to raise their standards.
A film about the Slovenian river Hubelj raises a question or two about the responsibility towards nature that we should all be aware of, and about behaving properly and living in harmony with it.
A personal animated tribute to the later great soccer legend, Sir Stanley Matthews, on the 100th anniversary of his birth.
Take the next best residential neighbourhood. A man is on the look-out for a victim. Within a couple of minutes, he chooses a young woman. He hunts, stabs and rapes her. As he dwells on his vicious performance of the crime, the residents turn into a dormant audience while they stand by and watch the rapist’s captivating show.
Deals with rape. Contains scenes of violence and sexual abuse.
As darkness falls, we experience an encounter that will never be repeated.
One day El Mano, the world’s greatest wrestler, decides to exercise his massive legs. During a brief respite, El Mano is attacked by an unholy being. It is a Japanese Zombie!
contains mild cartoon violence.
A number of kidnapped and trafficked women find themselves imprisoned in a squalid medical facility. For Paula her continued survival relies on her basic human function.
DEALS WITH IMPRISONMENT AND TORTURE. CONTAINS GRAPHIC NUDITY, strong language, extreme violence.
Desperate to reunite with her daughter, a cash-strapped motel housekeeper finds a potential answer: a dead guest's bag of money.
deals with moral issues.
Experimental Animation in full 2.39:1 Cinemascope with surround sound places the audience at the centre of the orchestration composed by the director. The experimental abstract visuals interpret the complexity of the score.
Contains Flashing Imagery throughout
24/7 follows Kevin as he reveals his life to the world through a controversial new website '24/7'. Everything Kevin sees and hears is streamed directly onto the internet. How will Kevin cope when he has no privacy?
deals with privacy issues.
In the wake of Thatcher's reign, a broken man fights back
deals with political viewpoints. contains strong violence.
An experimental journey exploring the people and places around the North East of England.
A project set in the stunning industrial landscape of north Wales. Huge photographic images up to 50 ft high displayed as installations in former industrial sites shown with time lapse photography.
A short film about the painting of a mural under the Wearmouth bridge in Sunderland.
In the suburban community of Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija, Philippines, Nena and Carmen isolate themselves from their other playmates and indulge themselves in a forbidden game after Nena, gullible and curious, sees the game well played by her parents at the midst of twilight after watching what-they-call a 'horror movie'.
TAGALOG W/ENGLISH SUBTITLES. contains strong language, scenes of a sexual nature.
Guillermina is a young colla from the northwest of Argentina. She can't mourn and wants to be free. Leaving her husband's wake, she climbs a mountain following a flying condor in the sky. When loneliness is so deep, sometimes spirits are the only company.
Spanish Language w/English and Spanish subtitles
A young boy learns that death is not always the end of the road...
deals with issues of mourning and renewal.
Homelessness is a short documentary about three characters who share their experience of being homeless, and their journey of recovery.
Deals with Social issues
When Zep's lonely she goes a little...crazy.
contains strong language and comedic horror.
A man and a woman, dressed in funeral black, arrive at a homestead. Both are silent, bottled up, alone. They each enter the barn to work through their thoughts. In the end, both find their way outside - to the fields and garden, and to some kind of peace.
deals with issues of mourning and renewal.
A retired superhero lives in a Florida retirement community. When his old nemesis is released from prison and moves in next door, the two resume their old rivalry over their prize-winning rose bushes.
Sensitive people are around our life and sometimes are able to link the past with the future. People without any name can attract attention of friendly people.
ITALIAN W/ ENGLISH SUBTITLES. deals with emotional stress.
We all travel together down the same path, but the journey is always different.
Intrinsic Moral Evil seems to be a tale of identity and coming of age. But above all, the three dancers play with the viewer’s perception and expectations.
deals with lgbt issues.
A stray puppy suddenly appears to brighten up a lonely boy's world. The two enjoy a long-lasting companionship as they grow together.
deals with issues of mourning and renewal.
A seemingly unremarkable man spends a day taking a bizarre test at a mysterious facility. Through his day he interacts with the odd, detached employees of the facility, guiding him from section to section, obscuring the intentions or duration of the test.
Irene is eight and she just woke up from a horrible dream.
SPANISH W/ ENGLISH SUBTITLES. deals with issues of inequality.
When strange things start to occur on the arrival of three new students, Sam takes it upon himself to discover the truth.
contains fantasy violence.
During a bizarre series of events a vampire discovers that harmless forest creatures, and even his own body, have turned against him.
contains mild cartoon violence.
An old Armenian couple, Ara and Sosseh, living on the memories of their lives where they used to work as stage actors, are preparing a new-year's eve dinner for the family to reunite.
Desperate, delusional and destitute, Ben meets with his childhood friend Brian, in a trendy London bar to patch up and catch up on happier times. But with nothing left to lose, it soon becomes clear Ben has a dark and deadly vendetta against the people he blames for his failings.
contains strong language and scenes of mild drug use.
When ageing gangster Vick risks it all to quit the life, he discovers his young protege has been keeping a secret of his own -- one that plunges them both into a deadly cat and mouse game over the course of one car ride.
contains strong violence and strong language.
The film follows Dominic Wilcox, an artist/inventor/designer, on his quest for new ideas... Transforming the mundane and ordinary into something surprising, wondrous and strangely thought provoking.
Love is Blind finds Alice in the passionate embrace of a young lover, as she finally succumbs to temptation. When her husband James returns home early to try and make amends for his recent infidelity and inattention for their marriage, Alice finds herself in the midst of an emotional minefield.
deals with disability issues.
Half-siblings Julie and Ricardo meet for the first time and find an unwanted attraction.
deals with issues of gender and sexual attraction.
Set in a world where men and women live in apparently equal, yet parallel universes, The Spring is the story of a young woman on the most important day of her life: her wedding day. But her world is not as it seems.
Jamie's routine is simple, wake up in filth, shower, hire an assistant, dispose of target, dispose of assistant. Repeat. Today will be slightly different...
contains strong violence.
A short portrait film of Lambton Street Amateur Boxing Club, Sunderland.
Jamie and Brian are two skinheads bursting with hate. One night something is revealed to them which changes their life upside down.
contains strong violence, strong language, and scenes of discrimination.
A famous American starlet, accompanied by her entire entourage, unexpectedly books a room in a once-great, now run down hotel. Things are frantic as the staff finally sense their chance to rescue the hotel.
GERMAN & ENGLISH LANGUAGE. contains strong language.
In 1973, the threat of nuclear attack was ever-present. The UK government needed to prepare its citizens for nuclear war, but how? A secret government committee was tasked to write a script for a future filled with widespread panic, death, the destruction of the BBC… and correct grammar.
Join us on Sunday afternoon to celebrate the Audience and Jury winners of Sunderland Shorts 2015!
The audience award will be based on scores from all our audience members during the duration of the festival, while awards for specific categories will be chosen by our Jury panel.
Scores and awards will be calculated in the hours before the screening, so joining us on Sunday means you'll be the first to find out about the best of the 2015 festival.
The awards are:
Some of the world's best short films, specially invited to appear at Sunderland Shorts 2015.
After celebrating the Audience and Jury winners of SSFF 2015, we'll be screening a special selection of some of the best short films in the world, featuring award winners from festivals such as Cannes, Clement Ferrand, and Sundance.
As he is going to save a princess imprisoned in the dungeon of an evil sorcerer, Tarim learns that he is the main character of a movie, and decides to fight against the special effects.
contains mild fantasy violence.
A daring portrait of disabled man yearning for intimacy in a world that would rather ignore him.
deals with DISABILITY AND LGBT ISSUES.
Pablo feels trapped in his rainy village. He wants to leave, now. And this time all ways are good.
SPANISH W/ ENGLISH SUBTITLES. contains strong language.
Aïssa is Congolese and is presently residing illegally on French territory. She claims to be a minor however the authorities believe she is over 18. In order to establish whether or not she can remain in the country a doctor must give her a physical examination
French W/ ENGLISH SUBTITLES. contains nudity.
After the death of his mother, ten year-old Joe moves to a remote village. It’s where she’d wanted to live. Alone with his older father, Joe is silent with grief. When the local bus driver won’t wait for him, Joe begins to run.
deals with mourning and renewal.