Open City Documentary Festival, Short Films
Various / 2017 / Denmark/Norway/United Kingdom/United States / 99'

The fragmented quality of film and the imprecision of memory are acknowledged in these shorts as they recount family histories, each one focusing on loss and its subsequent impact. The sincere and candid voices of those left in the wake of absence form a negative space in which we, the viewer, may unravel the mysteries of the past.


I'm Free
Edvard Karijord, Bendik Mondal | 2016 | Norway | 20′
On the 8th of October 2013, Geir Karijord goes missing in Romsdal Valley, Norway. This leaves his family in limbo — should they mourn their brother and son, or should they hope for his return? I'm Free depicts the family's experience of Geir's disappearance. It is an intimate documentary about loss, hope and living with unanswered questions.

Tom Jeffery | 2016 | UK | 11′
A documentary on how individual actions within a family impact a generation to come, a mothers’ decision to stay or go changes everything. Pained with the memory of being abandoned by her mother at the age of five and battling with postnatal depression, Sarah struggles to raise her two boys, fearing that history will repeat itself. This intimate story is told through Sarah’s eyes as she reflects on letters she received from her father. When seen in a new light, these letters are more than just advice, they are revelations about the past. We learn the story of Inherent as she and her son Tom talk about this time together.

The Imagine Films: Ladies Chat Potting Plants
Benjamin Wigley | 2016 | UK | 3′
This is short film taken from a series of eleven films made around the concept of memory. They were filmed over a period of two years at three elderly care facilities across Nottingham. Each film was shot on 100ft rolls of black and white celluloid film, hand-processed and then juxtaposed against audio from recorded conversations with each character reminiscing about their lives.

Memory Songs
Lucy Kaye | 2016 | UK | 12′
When your memory fades, your grip on reality becomes fragile and the sense of self slowly slips away. In a synagogue hall in North West London, a group of elderly people gather to find release. Using music and song they try to reconnect with themselves. Through the poetic use of poignant personal photographs and carefully assembled voiced-over memories, this film takes us into the emotional heart of these people, coping with the onset of Dementia.

The Happiest Barrack
Noémi Varga | 2016 | UK | 16′
The Happiest Barrack is an experimental documentary. Tracing her grandmother’s life of destitution in Soviet Hungary, Noémi Varga scans a house, the inhabitants of which appear numb and deprived of all sensation under the pressures of Soviet 'socialism'. Phone conversations with her family reveal the depths of her grandmother’s suffering, representing a generation of pain. It serves as a memento of times past and as a reminder of how socialism colonised the souls of a generation.

This is Yates
Zelda June | 2016 | USA | 12′
A visceral home movie collage interrogates the ways in which we confront personal trauma and shape identity via fragmented media.

You Are Still Somebody's Someone
Esther Wellejus | 2017 | Denmark | 25′
You Are Still Somebody's Someone is a documentary from a daughter to her father. A film on the blurry paths of memory and the love for the person behind the diagnosis. In a dreamy realm of nature and with an abstract use of archival footage we’re taken on a journey of the sensing and discovery of memory of a now estranged relation. Sombre images of summer twilight and 8mm archive film from years past frame the universe along with the sound recordings from the director’s childhood. The film tells the story of the director’s own father who broke off the contact with her many years ago. Like a child absorbed in tiny details of plants and leaves, we are watching as she’s creating her own world while experiencing her father engulfed in a newfound religious awakening.

Total Running Time: 99′


SHORTS: Lost in Time

Wednesday, September 6, 2017 - 18:15
£10, members £7
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From a Year of Non-Events + Q&A

Sat 09 September / 18:15
Regent Street Cinema

SHORTS: Small Hours

Thu 07 September / 20:30
Hackney Picturehouse