Eyes meet across vast landscapes, eyes cautiously pose a question. There is the tender gaze upon a sibling becoming himself, and the hopeful gaze awaiting the return of a lover. And then there’s the gaze that may turn into a stare; a hard look at a body defying the cistem, a predatory look at a body that prepares its assault. These short films, five of them narrative, explore the experiences of their young protagonists in different settings.
Length: 91 min
In between the mandalas and paisleys on the lines and pores of the bride-to-be’s palms, a Mehndi applicator finds a space for herself. Belonging to a culture where there is no room to even think about one’s identity, let alone question it, Kiran faces a wave of emotions. She knows nothing can be changed drastically in her life and small unnoticeable footprints are all that she leaves.
کوسه (Kooseh, A man who can’t grow a beard)
Samim, a teenage Afghan refugee works illegally in a ceremony salon in Tehran who is little by little embracing her sexuality as a girl in a guy’s figure. Djalal, the head attendant, has his eyes on Samim and finds out about his secret. He makes a move to take advantage of this.
The first time I saw my brother I didn’t like him and told my mum to send him back; I didn’t want such an ugly baby at home. Seventeen years later, Brthr shows his transition from the end of adolescence to the beginning of adulthood. So, this is a film about the search of identity and self acceptance, narrated with honesty, familial issues and complex affections that only siblings can offer.
Die geheimnisvollen Inseln (Islands in the City)
Ghostly, the temporarily shut down cruise ships lie at anchor in the port of Hamburg. A young man comes into town and waits for a message from his friend who is stuck on one of them. He watches couples strolling along in the sunset, gets himself some sweets and imagines life on the other side of the river.
In a moment of collective pause, ISLANDS IN THE CITY captures a fragile romance. There is an imminent departure in the air, the destination of which no one seems to know yet.