In Another World

Magical realism, sci-fi, and a dystopian reality offer an escape into the playful and dark depths of the unknown. These short films have won awards all over the world, and invite us to discover the outer limits of the cinematic medium.

Themes: identity, comedy, poetry and folklore, environment, ability, embracing yourself

Advisory: contains mature themes and images

Recommended for grades 8-12

Note that the following films feature non-English dialogue with subtitles: Cuckoo!, The Silence of the River, Fish, White Winged Horse

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Walking tall is easy when you’re on stilts, though it can be a challenge to fit in when no one can meet you at your level. Just as moving through the world in a contorted fashion might be how you are most comfortable, it can be confrontational for those who can’t fathom being upside down or using feet as additional hands. Talk to Me explores the view from those who stand out and what it means to be truly seen.

Frank lives in a cuckoo clock. Every hour on the hour he straps himself into his ejection seat for a rip out the front door on his clock, in order to alert the old lady of the house that it’s time to take her meds. On this day Frank is distracted and his lack of attention to his responsibilities could end up having dire consequences. Absurd and dark humour poke fun at the loneliness of existence and the monotony of time.

In a plausible dystopian future, Earth has decayed to such an extent that humans are leaving their planet in droves for the promise of a new life on Mars. Only those who romanticize the good ol’ days of a healthy biosphere have laid down roots on Earth. Coaxed by her friends and the mounting environmental evidence, a wife must choose between her husband’s idealism and what might be her last chance to embrace change.

A young Peruvian boy lives with his quiet and seemingly spaced-out father in a floating house along the majestic Amazon River. Setting the stage for an allegorical journey into the jungle, nature, gender, truth and all things begin to reveal the true identity of his dad and the transient dreamscape which overlaps this realm. Visually remarkable and tranquil, yet eerily riveting, The Silence of the River transports viewers through an elusive sensory state.

Struggling with her day to day life, Sarah returns to her home to seek comfort from her seawise father. To her dismay, she is greeted with the strained relationship she left behind. Itching to open up about her problems, Sarah has developed a severe case of eczema, which now seems to have mysteriously escalated into scales on her arm. In despair she considers plunging herself into the ocean to find a moment of reprieve. Folklore and hyper-realism set a moody atmosphere, an unnerving yet comforting tone, a kind of siren call to Sarah’s freedom.

Though it was destroyed many years ago in the war, a young Iranian man returns to his hometown in search of his childhood sweetheart. She had promised him eternal love, but only if he came back to her as a white-winged horse. Past and present collide, enmeshed with fantasy and magical realism, as imagination and memory recount the little boy he once was.

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