SHORT FILM REVIEW: A Gentle Night (2017)

Director: Oiu Yang | DOP: Constanze Schmitt | Cast: Li Shuxian 
In a nameless Chinese city, a mother with her daughter missing, refuses to go gently into this good night.
Inspired by a true story, A Gentle Night, follows a mother looking for her missing daughter after she fails to return home from school one day. It’s a frustrating but engaging viewing. We join Cai and her husband in the confines of a Police interview room  – a gruff and somewhat disinterested policeman checks off a list of shallow questions whilst directly bringing up Cai’s capabilities to be a good mother in to question.  Kicking off an already difficult situation by adding the burden of patriarchal oppressions indicative of Chinese society is effortlessly constructed and executed.

Qiu Yang has already broken records with his beautiful and poignant film, having been the first Chinese man to win the coveted short film Palme D’Or at the 70th Cannes Awards, this year. He has also gone on to be nominated for over thirty festivals and at present has likely won more.

A dark film in context and tone, A Gentle Night is an impressive marker against the growing popularity of Asian cinema, admittedly some of the best independent films in the festivals over the last couple of years have hailed from the East Asian region.  Yang’s humanist look throws a sobering spotlight on the societal discrepancies within modern Chinese culture.



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Writer/Director: Anne-Marie O’Connor| Producer: Kate Larking | Cast: Kate O’Donnell, Kenneth Colley, Margot Leicester, Ash Palmisciano, Joseph Pearson and Lee Boardman

British short film Mum, directed and written by noted British TV writer Anne-Marie O’Connor and starring actress Kate O’Donnell, dives into the bond between a mother and child in the face of a big change. Unapologetically self-conscious in its address of contributing to a topical discussion and using transgender talent, Mum doesn’t allow the topic to be an ‘issue’ or overwhelm and take centre stage of what is unequivocally a love story between Mother and child. Continue reading


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Writer/Director: Konstantina Kotzamani

Twelve boys, one Albino child and a dead whale washed up on a shore… –  the logline for LIMBO has all the ingredients of a nightmarish children’s story, or the opening of a bad joke.  However, LIMBO asks many questions about humanity, morality and boyhood and takes some bold shots at imposed masculinity and male dominance under the guise of religious entitlement. Continue reading


LostFacePosterBlankDirector/Writer/Dop: Sean Meehan |  Producer: Sam McGarry Cast: Gerald Auger, Martin Dubreuil and Morris Birdyellowhead.

In mid-1800’s Russian America, Subienkow finds himself the second-to-last survivor of a group of Russian fur-thieves who have just been defeated by liberators from the local tribe they have enslaved as forced labour.  Now Subienkow faces a long, protracted and painful death unless he can come up with a plan for escape. 

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unknownAfter winning the Best Animated Short at CineKink 2017, director Dario van Vree and producer Tünde Vollenbroek’s comical animation Tabook has now been released online. Tabook looks at the subject of sex in a fun loving way, highlighting the taboo that exists in society around embracing sexuality.

While browsing the bookstore 19-year-old Gwen is unexpectedly drawn to a volume of kinky erotica, earning her disapproving glares from the other customers.

Director Dario van Vree has been directing animation since graduating from his studies at the prestigious KASK academy in Belgium. Having a specific eye for the weird, the inventive and the power of character performance, his work is characterized by clarity, humor and a love for paradoxes. Besides directing, Dario teaches animation at the Willem de Kooning Academy and is co-founder of the KLIK Amsterdam Animation Festival.

Producer Tünde Vollenbroek is an animation graduate from the HKU and Animation Sans Frontieres, and is a producer at Studio Pupil, the production company that created Tabook. She is a chief European correspondent at Cartoon Brew and chief programmer of the KLIK Amsterdam Animation Festival.

Reineke Jonker helps the humour come alive with the priceless vocal performance we hear from lead character Gwen while animators Michael Sewnarian, Bonnie Mier and Tom Mourik created the colourful animated world Gwen inhabits.

This film has been has been sweeping the boards at film festivals throughout the world, having been selected for 32 film festivals including in the Manchester Animation Festival 2016, Athens Animfest 2017, KLIK Amsterdam Animation Festival 2016 and Anima Brussels Animation Film Festival 2017. Tabook was also included in the Selected Dutch Shorts 2017 and the Korte Film Poule 2017.

Tabook is now available online. 

PRESS RELEASE: Nordic International Film Festival announce their opening night film and their 2017 line-up


The Nordic Film Festival is proud to announce their third year line up, with 24 competing films of Nordic and International decent. 83% of the films have female producers, directors and writers!

The opening night feature is the international premiere of Finland’s and ‘Man and a Baby’, directed by Marja Pyykkö. That will screen at 7pm at the renowned Scandinavia House on Park Avenue, New York. The Nordic consulate will attend the opening night film and the award ceremony gala the last night.

The festival will screen 6 International Premieres, 8 North American Premieres, and all the rest; US or New York Premieres will screen at Scandinavia House October 12 – 14th.

New York Women in Film and TV will have an industry panel on the co-work of International Productions at NIFF on October 12th.

The competition jury includes Bo Svenson (Inglourious Basterds) Brooklyn Decker (Grace and Frankie), Charlotte Munck (Anna Pihl), Hakeem Kae-Kazim (Black Sails), Jacob A Ware (Boardwalk Empire), Jerome Flynn (Game of Thrones), Kristin Chenoweth (Glee) and Selenis Leyva (Orange is the New Black).

The Nordic International Film Festival (NIFF) celebrates Nordic and international films. They discover new and upcoming independent films as well as honoring great work from already established filmmakers. NIFF’s programmers focus on finding diverse independent films with strong characters and storylines and encourage all filmmakers, regardless of ethnicity or religion. The festival was founded by Johan Matton and Linnea Larsdotter; they have partnered this year with Volvo.

This year the Nordic International Film Festival (NIFF) will be held from October 12-14th at Scandinavia House in New York. Nordic International Film Festival has throughout the year collaborated with Gunpowder and Sky a distribution company that focus one finding new films from around the world.

“This way of introducing non-represented films as a festival to distribution companies is our way to help independent filmmakers obtain distribution for their films without having to pay for sales agent fees. As a festival we have leverage to help the filmmakers though the distribution companies know we as a festival have watched hundreds of films and selectively introduces only, maybe, only 2-3 titles to the distribution company that we believe hold very high quality” – John Matton, Founder of Nordic International Film Festival.