Sunderland Film Festival

Films 2021

Miss Alma Thomas: A Life in Color

Synopsis: Alma W. Thomas lived a life of firsts: the first Fine Arts graduate of Howard University (1924), the first Black woman to mount a retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art (1972), and the first Black woman to have her paintings exhibited in the...

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Dawn of the Bread

Synopsis: Made in partnership with Artisan Baking Community to support their crowd-funding campaign, the film tells the story of a city in meltdown when some pongy spores from a mouldy loaf of bread trigger a zombie apocalypse! Country: United Kingdom Directed by:...

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HUFEN IA- ICE CREAM

Synopsis: A female, who is a relationship with man, explores her attraction to women in a whimsical way, by inviting women to her house in secret and eating ice creams together. This is just a sketch. Country: United Kingdom Directed by: Barbara Bargiel

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Tin Bath

Synopsis: Tin Bath A welcome addition to Shahrokh Na'el's Scribble Screen's digital sketchbook, Tin Bath immortalises the recollections of veteran engineer, John Goodfellow, as he shares memories of a working class life resigned to the past, and soon to be lost to...

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Racing Stock

Synopsis: Fifteen year old Taylor Borthwick is a stock car racer, like her father and her grandfather before her. The winner of the Ministox Scottish National Championship, racing is her life, but it is a dangerous sport that saw her lose her best friend in a tragic...

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Divination Dave

Synopsis: Savoury snack addict Dave must resort to extreme measures in order to satisfy his salty cravings Country: United Kingdom Directed by: Georgia Madden

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2020

Synopsis: 2020 is the year in which everything seems to have stopped. However, Life always has different plans. Country: Italy Directed by: Heléna Antonio

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Art21: John Akomfrah

Synopsis: Since the early 1980s, the groundbreaking filmmaker John Akomfrah has created enormous, multi-channel video installations that blend archival and original footage and audio. This documentary portrait captures John on-location and at his East London studio...

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Red Coats

Synopsis: In 2004, MPs voted to ban the hunting of mammals with dogs (the Hunting Act) in England and Wales. This act came into effect in 2005. Despite the ban fox hunting continues in the countryside over 10 years later. The North East Hunt Monitors, along with many...

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Messages to the Cosmos

Synopsis: This short film is a love letter to 2019, before the madness, before we had heard of words like “Furlough”, “Self-Isolation”, “Social Distancing and when the number “19” was your final year as a teenager. Come 2020, and we are feeling anxious, not able to do...

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The most canny bird on the coast

Synopsis: A flash fiction created for a local competition #SeaSunderland. Inspired by living on the coast this fun 2 minute fantasy is set to an animation first drafted in 2012. Country: United Kingdom Directed by: Joanne Howell

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The Snow Maze

Synopsis: 10-year-old Adam is an isolated boy tormented by the school bully, until the discovery of an old key and arrival of a new girl, changes everything. Country: United Kingdom Directed by: Sam Cadman

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Floppy Toast with Drippy Butter

Synopsis: Chloe is the centre of attention at school but for all the wrong reasons. While she can see no way out, could a chance encounter offer Chloe hope? Country: United Kingdom Directed by: Paul Stainthorpe

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Death is Smoking My Cigars

Synopsis: Death Is Smoking My Cigars is a poem published in 1987 by the American author Charles Bukowski (1920–1994). The poem has long been a favourite of the core Misfit Productions team. It evokes a life-affirming defiance which is core to the ethos of the studio's...

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Feeling Through

Synopsis: Feeling Through, the first film to star a DeafBlind actor, is a coming of age story that follows Tereek, a teen wandering the streets of New York, desperate for a place to crash when he encounters Artie, a DeafBlind man in need of help getting home. From an...

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Ghostmates

Synopsis: A recently deceased ghost is all alone, until they meet a friend. They have ghostly adventures together, until it is time to go. Country: United Kingdom Directed by:

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The Art Of Mars

Synopsis: The Art Of Mars' is a short film featuring women of all ages and backgrounds at London’s Fighting Arts Academy. The film breaks down the stereotypes of MMA fighting showing that anyone can use the sport to build confidence, togetherness and overcome...

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Every Other Weekend

Synopsis: 12-year-old Adil seeks to salvage his unstable relationship with his father Nas but his faith is put to the test over the course of a suspenseful day. Country: United Kingdom Directed by: Andrew Mizzi

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Life Skills

Synopsis: Life Skills tells the story of Nathan, a former soldier who is struggling with life after serving in the armed forces. When Nathan’s world is collapsing and he is at his lowest point, he seeks respite by taking a unique path to try to overcome his problems....

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But You Don’t Look Autistic?

Synopsis: This short documentary is about women with autism, the portrayal of autistic women that’s seen on screen, the lack of diversity from the spectrum on screen, whether or not the film world is accepting of autistic women and their needs and asking the important...

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Lead Belly

Synopsis: Homeless ex-soldier Mark has PTSD and is haunted by tragedy from his time in combat, causing chaos for ex-wife Emma. When Mark goes missing, Emma is desperate to find him and help Mark fight his demons. Country: United Kingdom Directed by: Sean Glynn

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Kore

Synopsis: A young girl has developed a new type of mutation which is deteriorating her body. As her condition gets worse, she discusses with a former surgeon the nature of her disease and how to deal with it. Country: United Kingdom Directed by: Roberto Colapietro

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High Note

Synopsis: In a world where musical talent is entirely hereditary, Geena, the daughter of two famous musicians, is ready for her first day at Ephron Academy – a music school for the best of the best. There’s just one problem, she can’t sing a note. Country: United...

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Some Kind of Window

Synopsis: At the height of the first UK lockdown two recently separated parents desperately try to connect. Screens, homesickness, and missed communication - SOME KIND OF WINDOW is a film about the loneliness of the digital. Country: United Kingdom Directed by: Fay...

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Transactions

Synopsis: A young woman selling stuff online invites a male buyer inside her apartment, only to discover that every opportunity for gain contains a risk of loss. Country: Norway Directed by: Ivar Aase

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Lifelike

Synopsis: A reclusive sci-fi enthusiast develops an unexpected friendship with a customer service representative. Country: United Kingdom Directed by: Keith Allott

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FLUFFY

Synopsis: All Ben has ever hoped for is comfort and nurture. With his parents, Anna and John, too occupied with their failing marriage and dissatisfied life, Ben's childhood has been lonely and from the neglect he created Fluffy - his monster best friend. Like a lot...

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The Ghastly Fowl

Synopsis: Conversations about planetary destruction, global pandemics and the extinction of so many species, are never easy to start. The fact is, we are all complicit, simply because we have been born into a time of consumerism, avarice and blind searching. And the...

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Displacement

Synopsis: A family of Syrian Refugees share personal and graphic truths in an intimate telling of the Civil War that forced them to flee their home, recounting the traumatic events they faced over their 7 year journey in search of peace. Displacement is a story of...

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The National Glass Centre

Synopsis: A short documentary exploring the past, present, and future of the glass making industry in Wearside. The documentary also explores the usefulness of the National Glass Centre and its importance in keeping the glass industry alive. Country: United Kingdom...

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Guest

Synopsis: We've all got one." A young woman takes drastic measures to rid herself of a mysterious, otherworldly creature known as "The Guest". Country: United Kingdom Directed by:

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STARBOY

Synopsis: A young Hasidic man increasingly doubts his identity, his gender, and the nature of being as conflict between him and his pious young wife escalates - with shocking consequences. Country: United Kingdom Directed by: Joëlle Bentolila

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High Flying Jade (> 20 min)

Synopsis: High Flying Jade is the true story of a bipolar woman from Los Angeles who moved to Vietnam and joined the circus in Hồ Chí Minh City. In the US, Jade was an air traffic controller but repeated attempts at suicide culminated in hospitalization. She was...

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Cha

Synopsis: Bibi is plagued by memories of the past, and her granddaughter Simran is starting to notice. In resolving to teach Simran how to make Cha, they are pulled into the past, to Bibi's memories of one fateful day in Delhi, 1984. Country: United Kingdom Directed...

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Any Instant Whatever

Synopsis: A man in a room, in a film – it is the becoming of something and simultaneously becoming in itself. Nothing is as solid as we believe. The film explores our perception of time and change, bodies and objects, and our inability to comprehend the full motion of...

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*This is Not a Recreation

Synopsis: Filming recreational crime footage at the scene of the crime probably seemed like a good idea at the time. Until the criminal they intended to catch turns up that is. Country: Ireland Directed by: Danny Baldwin

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Sixty Seconds

Synopsis: Sixty Seconds is a cheesy action-comedy about a ragtag bomb defusal duo. Daniel, a stuck-up straight shooter, gets paired up with Stu, a loosey-goosey renegade. Think: “Hot Fuzz meets Die Hard meets Men in Black”. Country: United Kingdom Directed by: Richard...

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Barney Lee: My Long Walk Around Britain (For HNPP)

Synopsis: A recently diagnosed 19-year-old man embarks on a journey around the entire coastline of mainland Great Britain, to raise funds and awareness for the relatively unknown disorder, HNPP. Country: United Kingdom Directed by: Matt Colin Evans

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Prank

Synopsis: A late night freshers party spirals out of control when the lads discover a partier has died and they must decide what to do with the body. Country: United Kingdom Directed by: Robert Duncan

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The Number 30

Synopsis: Ben's dying Grandfather is ready to leave this world. He is compelled to do one final deed, to fix up his Grandfather's treasured bus, despite his obligations to his pregnant wife. His hard work pays off, and he drives the old machine through the rural...

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The Nicky Nack

Synopsis: Horror-comedy short based on an improbable pub tale from the North East of England. A man walking home from his local one night is tormented by a terrifying sound: The Nicky Nack. Starring Alun Armstrong. Official Selection- FrightFest, Glasgow SFF,...

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Adéla

Synopsis: Jacek is Polish drug dealer, working on the back streets of Manchester. Attempting to provide for his vulnerable sister, he lures a young man to a derelict house, where his sibling awaits. We meet Adéla, a slender and pale girl, much younger than her brother...

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Big Pink Dress

Synopsis: Colin Burgin-Plews, a 50-year-old, 6-Foot-6 “bloke” from the North East has been an inspiration to thousands, raising money running marathons in extravagant handcrafted dresses. Big Pink Dress gives an insight into Colin’s fundraising journey, the highs and...

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Trifle

Synopsis: Alice, a grieving and disconnected pharmacist struggles with the knowledge that her husband was having an affair before his death. When she encounters ‘the other woman’ mourning her husband’s ghost-bike it forces Alice to confront her detachment, accepting...

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In The Footsteps of The King

Synopsis: A short documentary depicting the life of a professional Elvis Tribute Artist. A study on how the undying legacy of the king himself, Elvis Presley, influences the younger generations. Country: United Kingdom Directed by: Brad Sampson

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That Joke Isn’t Funny Anymore

Synopsis: Can Lindsay's love for her husband Paul sustain her through the trauma of his brain injury, which leaves him in a perpetual loop of memory loss and joke telling? Country: United Kingdom Directed by: Hannah Currie

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Hydebank

Synopsis: Governing the Northern Irish countryside, Hydebank Wood currently houses 104 young male offenders. Ryan, currently serving a 5 year sentence, has formed an unlikely bond with the prisons flock of sheep. Through their interactions, Ryan attempts to come to...

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Altsasu

Synopsis: In the Basque town of Altsasu, the beds of seven young men lie empty. As the town celebrates its annual festival, Altsasu follows Igone as she copes with the imprisonment of her son Jokin and six others, convicted in a case which has been widely condemned as...

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See the Animal

Synopsis: Jack is an audience - posing stooge in a magic show run by his long-time friends, Declan and Seamus. Jack wants a fresh start away from their reckless behaviour and Declan’s constant abuse on stage for laughs. Held back by loyalty and calculated persuasion...

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Entambado

Synopsis: A man wakes up inside a barrel, hostage to a masked entity that is determined to end his life. With no memory and little time left, he'll try to remember how he got there, and maybe, find his way out. Country: Mexico Directed by: Humberto Flores Jáuregui

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The Mirror

Synopsis: Mathilde, a mute French orphan, helps to protect Madame B, the most superstitious lady in the world, from all bad luck. Both have developed their own coping mechanisms to deal with extreme loss. When Mathilde breaks Madame B’s most prized possession, a...

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Quiet on Set

Synopsis: An actress assaulted on a film set during the filming of a sex scene, must choose whether to pursue accusations or complete the film that could start her career. If you have issues with the Film Freeway film file, you can screen through Vimeo- Vimeo Link:...

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Horror in One Simple Step

Synopsis: A brief horrifying vision into what happens to two close friends after they discover a Oujia board. Country: United Kingdom Directed by: Jack Sinclair, Nate James Williams, Tom Slade

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Connection

Synopsis: This movie captures the motivations of an animal rights activist. Through his eyes, we explore the paradoxes in our society --- of being an animal lover and yet consuming some of them --- stemming from social conditioning and cognitive dissonance. The...

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The Flood

Synopsis: A restoration of a previously unscreened hand drawn animated film originaly made at Amber films Newcastle Upon Tyne in 1983. based on the rurel landscape of Norhtumberland. created from the surviving role of 16 mm film .Re-edited with A new sound track...

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The Saw Makers

Synopsis: Saw Making is a critically endangered craft, with Shane and Jaq Skelton the UK’s only bespoke saw makers, crafting perhaps the finest hand saws in the world. With a waiting list of up to a year, a long line of woodworkers and collectors wait impatiently for...

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VOLTA

Synopsis: It's a 5 minutes experimental film about a 23 years old who kept having flashbacks of being bullied at school when he was 14. Past all these years he couldn't fight overcome it and just committed suicide. Country: Portugal Directed by: Tiago Francisco

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She Lives Alone

Synopsis: Living amidst the lonely and barren hills, Maud is content to provide and rely on solely upon herself. Still coming to terms with the death of her abusive mother, she refuses visitors and confines herself to her house. When Maud’s prayer beads go missing,...

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Firehawk

Synopsis: A short character drama about family, birds, and arson. Lit entirely by firelight. Country: United Kingdom Directed by: Calum Bradshaw

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Deluge

Synopsis: Set within a religious commune, on the brink of the ocean, one woman is held responsible for the rising waters and diminishing food sources. As she stands trial, accused of meddling with the devil’s darkness the community close in upon her. Three women must...

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Like Mother

Synopsis: Three women – Three generations – Three different lifestyles and one mutual goal that connects them back together. We follow three woman in difficulty. Maria is an old lady diagnosed with dementia, completely dependent on her family. Nicole, a daughter of...

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Norman Loafsby

Synopsis: Imagine if your fears, anxieties and compulsions manifested themselves as living creatures in the real world, creatures which stalked your every movement. Welcome to the life of Norman Loafsby - a thirty year old, flamingo obsessed artist, whose life is a...

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Workshop

Synopsis: Four young men fighting different mental health conditions reveal their greatest fears and challenges as they play drama games during a therapy workshop. Made in partnership with London-based charity Thrive LDN. It was filmed with zero-budget in one day at...

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LOVE SPELL

Synopsis: Love Spell is about female friendship and queer desire. In 1999 in a high school in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, a teenage girl casts a spell to make her best friend fall in love with her. Supported by BFI.Network through Film Hub North. Country: United Kingdom...

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El Palomero

Synopsis: The film follows Yoandris, a palomero - pigeon breeder and trainer - in Havana Vieja, Cuba. It explores his daily life and practice, while also touching upon the deeper role his hobby plays in his personal life. Yoandris introduces us to the Cuban tradition...

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Tainted

Synopsis: An intense young woman stalks a young gay couple in a seaside town. What is the root of her seemingly unhealthy obsession? Country: United Kingdom Directed by: Rikki Beadle-Blair

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Fire and Water

Synopsis: Opposites attract but the path to true love is never plain sailing. Country: United Kingdom Directed by: Robert Brown

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Draft

Synopsis: We all perceive reality differently. One and the same romantic evening a man will see quite differently from what a woman sees. She is a romantic young lady who comes to visit her former boss, whom she is still in love with, and hopes that this evening will...

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Fluorescent

Synopsis: A fluorescent bulb is shot from a cannon at high speed against a wall. At 3,000 frames per second and in its last moment, it can finally shed its inner light. Country: Israel Directed by: Avner Pinchover

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Cut Off

Synopsis: The first day on the job sees a mobile hairdresser climbing new heights. And not in a good way. My new comedy short starring Yvette Boakye (Girls), Lia Hatzakis (Chewing Gum) and Sunil Patel (Stath Lets Flats). Nick Flugge is an award-winning short film...

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What a Circus

Synopsis: Are we living a modern lie? In this extravagant satire, a mysterious carnival master walks us through the problems of our modern society, questioning the dangerous future we are building around us. A BBC Arts and Arts Council England production. Country:...

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The Cancer Monster

Synopsis: A girl in a cancer ward is forced to confront her deepest fears - real or imaginary. At stake is life itself. Country: Ireland Directed by: MICHAEL COSTELLO

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Bananas Girl

Synopsis: Logline: Seven-year-old Bananas Girl asserts her independence, perfects the art of the non-sequitur and navigates the boundaries between herself and her mom. Synopsis: Seven-year-old Bananas Girl asserts her independence, perfects the art of the non-sequitur...

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Time and Tide

Synopsis: The beaches of Hartlepool, in the North East of England, are where seacoalers have worked and prospered for centuries. Steve and Keith are the last two seacoalers working today, and despite the government phasing out coal in under two years’ time, they...

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Benjamin Kahn: The mind behind the hat

Synopsis: A documentary about Benjamin Kahn, a French pianist who played at London St Pancras station every day and every night with the hope of being scouted. Country: United Kingdom Directed by: Natan Stoessel, Emile Meyjonade

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An Infant Hercules

Synopsis: An anonymous inter-generational conversation between two inhabitants of Middlesbrough. This is a grim, eye-opening account depicting first-hand experiences of the social, political and economical impact of a Thatcher-era Britain. Country: United Kingdom...

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Unholy ‘Mole

Synopsis: A selfish man sells the soul of his unborn child to Satan in exchange for forcing his wife to make guacamole for him. Things go wrong... Country: United States Directed by: David Bornstein

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Interference

Synopsis: Interference Is an experimental short film shot on the north east coast line of Tyne and wear and Northumberland. made to a sound track composed by the director michael Salkeld Made in 4K and 5.1 suround sound Country: United Kingdom Directed by: Michael...

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On In 15

Synopsis: A knockout show ... with a knocked out frontman A band are about to perform at the biggest gig of their lives, except a monumental problem hits them 15 minutes before they go on stage, can they fix it time? The comedy short film, set in the 1990s 'Cool...

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Joe

Synopsis: When an old man goes golfing and loses his only club, he must find a creative way to keep his game going. Country: United States Directed by: Zoe Neely

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SEE YOU TOMORROW

Synopsis: Alex is dating Steve who is dying from cancer. Alex calls to check on Steve and finds out that he is now in a hospice. Alex calls different hospices to find where Steve is. When Alex finds him Steve is almost unconscious and then falls into a coma. For 3...

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Tick Tick Tick

Synopsis: Tick Tick Tick is a black comedy about what it means to be when you're a worker bee with a mind of your own. How far would you be willing to betray your personal beliefs if your job was at stake? If you've ever had a crap job where your boss has asked you to...

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Trust

Synopsis: Unable to legally access abortion at home, Maria is forced to travel alone overseas. When she runs into difficulties, a Stranger appears and offers help. However, once she is safely shut up in The Stranger’s house, things begin to unravel and Maria finds...

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Street Friends

Synopsis: Street Friends,' is a short observational documentary that aims to shed light on the ever growing homeless crisis in the North of England, and gives a voice to the often overlooked members of society. Filmed in Newcastle and Sunderland, the documentary...

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Cult Film

Synopsis: A lonely bachelor seeks solace in an extra-terrestrial cult. Country: United Kingdom Directed by: Alastair Cummings

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Bound

Synopsis: Short film about improving improving mental health through running. Country: United Kingdom Directed by: Simon Green

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Uber Thoughts

Synopsis: A comical look at what your UBER driver ISN'T saying. Country: United States Directed by: Meredith Koch

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Bertin

Synopsis: In the Alps, Bertin a big man and Yohann a little one robe a charity shop. Country: France Directed by: Elise Lausseur

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STARGAZING

Synopsis: When two strangers meet, they could never imagine how a simple conversation could change everything. Country: United Kingdom Directed by: Daniel-John Williams

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Flower and the Girl

Synopsis: a heart- warming story about an old clown, and a young shadow girl, who reminds him of what it means to be young again and in doing so, finds she becomes 'real'. Country: United Kingdom Directed by: Robin Heap

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Maria Torres: Neighborhood Artist

Synopsis: What if making art could save your life? For this Peruvian-born New Yorker, painting helps heal physical and emotional trauma. Country: United States Directed by: Davis Hall

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CHOKER

Synopsis: As a girl drops from the sky onto a crowded beach, a mysterious man drives at breakneck speed towards her. CHOKER is a unique narrative take on one of the biggest challenges facing our planet. Due to its 'no dialogue' nature, it is a film that we hope will...

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Dafa Metti (Difficult)

Synopsis: Under Paris' glittering Eiffel Tower, undocumented Senegalese migrants sell miniature souvenirs of the monument, to support their families back home. Far from their loved ones and hounded by the police, each day is a struggle through darkness in the City of...

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This Being Human | إنسانية

Synopsis: A portrait of a young Iraqi who left everything behind at 15, in a solo quest for a more peaceable future; Hameed’s salvation is education in the US bound by a big altruistic dream. Country: United States Directed by: Aimie Vallat, Guido Ronge

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The Collector

Synopsis: Meet Mr. Paschalis, a retired bank clerk from Halkidiki, Greece. Mr Paschalis has a passion for collecting old objects. A real passion! With 2000 objects collected over the last 40 years, he has turned his home into a museum where he transforms into an...

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Oh, Geno!

Synopsis: The vibrant story of one pivotal night in the life of 1960s soul legend Geno Washington, as told by Geno today. Country: United Kingdom Directed by: Onyinye Egenti

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SKINT

Synopsis: Skint is a stark realist drama following a debt collector as he’s overwhelmed by his own “Buy-Now-Pay-Later” payments while trying to give his daughter the best life possible. With no other options left in the face of impending catastrophe, he’s forced to...

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Katie

Synopsis: A young girl stumbles upon a crashed Army vehicle and a soldier who knows just what nightmare they are about to experience. Country: United Kingdom Directed by: Wayne Thompson

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Falafel Sundays

Synopsis: The short is about a connection to a time, food and a person who serves it. It revolves around fleeting connections and tiny interactions, that become a part of our nostalgic past. Country: Bangladesh Directed by: Fahim Arif, Pracheta Ahana

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Night Shift

Synopsis: After a brutal robbery, a Shopkeeper sets out to get back what was stolen from him: his pride. Featuring a unique blend of fiction and reality. Country: United Kingdom Directed by: George Dickson

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Intruder

Synopsis: A young man comes home from work one evening, to find that all is not at it seems. Country: United Kingdom Directed by: Stewart King

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