Independent Shorts Awards

Social Media

The film centers around the ongoing impact social media has on our lives whether it’s for the better or worse, which can often lead us to blindly conform and influence our decisions to what we see posted online to fit in with our peers; And the main character, Reagan, feels the full effect of this common issue faced by our society today.
Directed by Daniel Antunez (USA)

Flatground

Daniel, a tormented teenager suffering from a recent trauma finds himself at his usual skate spot with his so-called friends. After an attempt to find reassurance in his peer, he is shut down and forced to suppress his affliction. He then tries to recollect his masculinity through a transparent interaction with a girl, Emily, who is seemingly interested in him. When she sees through his lustful intentions, his attempt fails. He pushes his defeat aside and skates with his friends. Subsequently, Emily overhears a conversation revealing Daniel’s truth – His mother’s suicide. A rise in tension occurs whilst the boys skate as Daniel holds a grudge against his peer. In a release of pent up anger and guilt, Daniel lashes out at his peer, solely with the intention for him to react and attack him. After a short brawl and now sympathising with Daniel, Emily stays sat as everyone else disperses. After some time, Emily gets up and walks over to Daniel in the empty car park. She helps him up and they walk away side-by-side. We watch the empty car park. Statistics for male suicide rates materialise on the screen, warning of the alarming realities of toxic masculinity.
Directed by Shay Kelly (UK)

A Scribbled Memory

We all have demons following us around. In the case of this anonymous individual, his demon is a lack of emotion. Via a real local radio interview, he tells us a harrowing story from his childhood. This animation serves as a visual element to him and the story – messy, tangled and abstract.
Directed by Bhulla Beghal (UK)

2nd Chance

A girl lost her sister in the same place where her father disappeared. It happened exactly one year ago, and now she wonders if it’s her turn.
Directed by Hugo Teugels (Belgium)

The Tattooed Heart

A creative writing instructor (Jennifer Morrison, “Once Upon a Time”) at a juvenile detention center finds common ground with a troubled student (Madison Wolfe, “I Kill Giants”) yet quickly finds herself in great danger when she decides to help her.
Directed by Sheldon Wong Schwartz (USA)

Bad Fruit (The Unheard Voice of the Tuam Babies)

This is a film about the Tuam babies in Ireland. 796 babies were thrown in a septic tank, no proper burials, no prayers, no respect. The nuns have not yet apologised for their actions. This film is a testimony told by the survivors of Tuam mother and baby home, their experience and stories. I am publishing this with great respect for the victims, the survivors and Catherine Corless for the amount of time and work she has put into her cause trying to help the victims and having the voices of these babies heard.
Directed by Teresa Lavina (Ireland)

Phoebe

Phoebe is a real catch… she just doesn’t know it yet. Far from home, she tackles a new sea of challenges during her first weeks at college. With her flamboyant roommate Adam as her navigator, she no longer feels like a small fish in a big pond, and she learns to feel comfortable in her own skin.
Directed by Kyra Gardner (USA)

Rose of No Man’s Land

“Rose of No Man’s Land” is a 3D animated sci-fi short about a character named Tito who constantly moves through time to save John Cooper, the inventor of the time machine. During this process Tito falls in love with John and Tito is conflicted with “unrequited love.” Tito’s AI assistant, Emma, narrates this story with her deadpan humor.
Directed by Mengfei Hu (USA)

Champ

MMA fighter Mike is forced to “come out” and he wants the title. Fight for dignity, recognition & respect!
Directed by Tomislav Vujcic (Germany)