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December 1, 2019

First central European short film festival

Islamabad

December 1, 2019

Islamabad :Austrian director/screenwriter Dominik Hartl describes short films as ‘Little treasures in the shadow of big productions.’ The good news is that now more watchable short films are being made and invitees to the First Central-European Short Movie event were lucky to view four - each of a different genre - at the Marriott Hotel hosted by the embassies of the four countries falling in the central European category - Hungary; Poland; Czech Republic and Austria. The guest of honor was Islamabad Mayor Sheikh Ansar Aziz.

The evening began with the chief guest saying a few words about how films are a means to educate, inform and understand other peoples and appreciate their culture; music; art and architecture in all its beauty and complexity.

Before each film, envoys of each country said a few words about it and the directors. The first film to be screened was ‘Sing’, which, Hungarian Ambassador Szabo informed, won the Academy Award for the best ‘Live Action Short Film’ in 2017. Zsófi, who joins the award-winning school choir, is told not to sing out loud because Erika, the teacher, doesn’t consider her good enough and the choir is preparing for a competition. When her friend Liza notices that she doesn’t sing, Zsófi tells her about the teacher’s request. Liza confronts the teacher but is told that it’s in the best interest of the choir and that Erika didn’t want to publicly shame those who can’t sing well but now she will ask all of them to raise their hands. Zsófi is surprised when she realizes that she was not the only one who wasn’t allowed to sing. The friends hatch a plan and when the day of the competition arrives, the choir instead of singing, silently mouth the lyrics. When a frustrated Erika leaves the stage, the children start to sing.

Polish film ‘Atlas’ is about a patient in a psychiatric hospital. Day and night, he stands with his arms up and remains stubbornly silent. Who is he? Why is he in this, slightly crazy, psychiatric hospital? And what will happen when he lowers his arms? Theories and fact based gossip flourish about his affliction and so does the problem - what to do with him? The situation is causing confusion but Atlas won’t stir - until something strange happens and he leaves, while the others hold up their hands. Interpreting the story is up to you!

The Czech short horror film titled ‘Leshy’ is about the clash of the human forest guardian and the mythical one, based on a dark fairy tale. Gamekeeper Karel tracks a mysterious beast awakened by poachers. In fairy tales, the creature is called ‘Leshy’ but meeting it is no fairy tale.

Meanwhile, ‘Leshy’ and Karel’s young daughter, who is not afraid of him, become friends. Who will become the true ruler of the forest? A surprise ending!

The Austrian film “Excuse me I’m looking for the Ping Pong Room and my Girlfriend’ is about a couple on a trip to a spa, where one partner disappears and the other isn’t sure whether he’s looking for her or himself. Searching for her in the resort, Aron ultimately begins a new chapter in his life without her, giving the impression he is now free.

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