MDFF Shorts Session 3

WE ARE FLYING STARS (Dir: Todd Antony, 8m)

The civil war in Sierra Leone (1991-2002) not only killed more than 50,000 people, it also led to thousands of innocent civilians having legs, arms or hands forcibly amputated by rebel soldiers. Or removed by landmines.

The film looks at the Flying Star Amputees who are a group of football teams born out of the adversity of this war. All the players are victims of civil war amputations, and football has brought them a level of joy, confidence, and hope for a better future for disabled people in Sierra Leon

FINDING VENUS (Dir: Mandi Lynn, 16m)

"Auntie Mandi..?"

"Yes Harper?"

"Am I fat?"

Her niece was 5 at the time, and this exchange touched a raw nerve in Master Photographer Mandi Lynn. Why was a 5-year-old worrying about a thigh gap? Concerned that the next generation was going to face the same energy-draining body shame that had impacted her life, Mandi decided to create a “Golden Breasted Shield Wall of Reality" for them.

In December 2016, Mandi put an advertisement on social media asking women to let her cover their torsos in golden clay and photograph them. Six women turned up for the first photo shoot. The numbers quickly rose to 100, and a year and a half later, the “Golden Breasted Shield Wall” was 320 strong. Mandi dubbed the women who were willing to shed their clothing for the movement The Luscious Order of Golden Shield Maidens. Her goal is to reach 600 images which will create a counterpoint to the 400-600 photoshopped images we see daily.

This is the only documentary to date to win Fresh Shorts funding from the New Zealand Film Commission. The Commission cited the funding success to the fact that as one of New Zealand's most awarded photographers, Mandi has developed a style that can tell an epic story in just one frame. They felt the story she was creating needed to be told and would appeal to audiences around the globe. The Commission wanted to see what she could visually create when she applied her famous allegorical aesthetic to the documentary format.

I WAS BORN IN 1988 (Dir: Yasaman Baghban, 8m)

A series of executions of Iranian political prisoners began in the summer of 1988, following the end of the eight-year war between Iran and Iraq.

For nearly three decades, I have been preoccupied with the coincidence of this massacre and my birth in August 1988. The prisoners had no specific graves and were all buried in mass graves, and the most significant mass grave was called Khavaran. The mothers of these prisoners are a symbol of resistance and freedom, and they are called the mother of Khavaran.

This film is an experimental documentary and a personal essay based on these events.

ENEMY ALIEN (Dir: Gabriel Murphy, 13m)

Enemy Alien is a poetic retelling of the experiences of Joseph Murakami, a fourteen-year-old boy from Darwin, who is summarily rounded up and interned by his government on the basis of his ethnicity. Enemy Alien explores his memory and the loss this traumatic event imprinted upon him.

SHE: WHO LIVES (Dir: Ayesha Farooq, 10m)

SHE: WHO LIVES is a short participatory documentary exploring the hopes and fears of migrant mothers. Set in a day, the filmmaker is out on a journey on the local train to encounter other migrant mothers like herself. As they interacted, the memories of their formative moments began to unwind. The interactions grew into meaningful conversations sharing the layers of excitement, fear, courage, and the sense of responsibility that are attached to motherhood and migration. Struggling with the inner conflict of migration, the question is whether she, the filmmaker, ever feels proud of herself.

STANDING STRONG (Dir: Cheyne Mitchell, 8m)

STANDING STRONG follows the gripping journey of Cheyne and Joel as they battle personal demons and formidable natural elements by stand-up paddling around Port Phillip Bay. This short film chronicles their gruelling 220km expedition, undertaken to fundraise for the mental health and surf therapy charity, Waves of Wellness Foundation. As the duo faces relentless wind and waves, they endure intense physical and mental fatigue, pushing their limits in the name of a cause close to their hearts. Their story is a powerful testament to the human spirit, showcasing resilience, determination, and the vital importance of mental health support. STANDING STRONG is not just a tale of endurance but a poignant reminder of the battles many face within, and the strength that comes from facing them head-on.

DEBUT (Dir: Peta Hitchens, 20m)

They’re the new recruits. Three apprentices embarking on their first year as jockeys in one of the most dangerous sports in the world. Each month they’ll train together at jockey school residentials. While they’re not training with the group, they’re out at training tracks around Victoria, Australia. Mucking out boxes, saddling up, and riding trackwork. They’ll progress from riding in ‘jump outs’, where they learn to jump out of the starting gates, then to official trials; both steps on the path to being cleared to ride in races as fully-fledged jockeys. The pressure on the young riders to stay safe and succeed is immense. Debut takes us on a ride as they prepare for their first race.

15m Q&A post-film.

Commences Sunday, 21 Jul 2024
Rating E
Genre Documentary
Running Time 103
Show Times
Sunday, 21st July

Session times for the new cinema week, commencing each Thursday, will be released the Tuesday afternoon prior

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