Enemies Within (B)
This French drama is fascinating from its start as a French-Algerian man finds himself questioned by a policeman about his entire background and whether he truly belongs in France. As it goes on, it tackles interesting territory but doesn’t manage to be quite as intriguing. This is a heavily dialogue-based short with some strong performances and a thought-provoking theme.
La Femme et le TGV (B+)
This sweet Swiss short centers on a lonely woman who runs a failing bakery and gets her daily joy from waving at the train that passes right by her window. When a train driver throws a letter out the window to her, she begins a correspondence that helps to reinvigorate her attitude and energize her life. Bonus: it’s based on a true story!
Silent Nights (B)
This Danish short tracks the development of an unlikely romance between an undocumented Ghanaian immigrant living in Cophenhagen and a local woman who spends her time volunteering at a homeless shelter. It’s not your typical romantic drama, with two endearing characters who may or may not be right for each other.
This Hungarian short finds a young girl starting to a new school and joining the choir, only to be instructed by its director not to sing out loud because her voice isn’t good enough to help them win the big competition in which they will soon compete. It’s a cool premise that leads to an endearing and great ending.
This Spanish-language short’s title conjures up images of a fast-paced thriller with a countdown clock. It refers instead to the time displayed on the camera screens monitored by two security guards, one who works during the day and one who works at night, who develop an unexpected bond in this touching and truly funny film.
Previous winners: Stutterer, The Phone Call, Helium, Cufrew, The Shore, God of Love, The New Tenants, Toyland
Who should win: I liked “La Femme et le TGV” best, but I also see the case for voting for “Timecode” or “Sing.”
Who will win: I think La Femme et le TGV will win, though I understand why others think “Enemies Within” could take it too.