Here are synopses of the films for the Free Spirit Film Festival 2017.
Aval Pinne Ayaalum
Directed by Sujith Dass India 2017 Short 8:25 Malayalam (English subtitles) Festival screening on Sunday 29 October
A short film based on "Before Breakfast", by Eugene O'Neil. It portrays aspirations and dreams being dashed by hardships and cold reality. The movie revolves around a broken relationship, narrating a tale of disappointment, anger, and despair. The story is that of a couple entangled in a lengthy struggle, destined to end in tragedy.
Directed by Meysam Abbasi Iran 2017 Short 17:30 Persian (English subtitles) Festival screening on Saturday 28 October
The only companion of a lonely old man is an old woman who sits next to his house every day and watches the birds. After some time, however, the old man faces a problem and he must lock himself up in his house.
Directed by Pawel Podlejski Poland 2016 Feature 01:16:00 Polish (English subtitles) Festival screening on Tuesday 31 October
Patryk spent over 20 years in Germany and has recently come back to Silesia in Poland, his homeland. He used to have big dreams, but now he just teaches German to pay the bills. Paulina is young and all she wants is to go there — to Germany. When she suddenly enters Patryk's life, he is forced to look back at his past, although he spent years running away from it. It is a meeting of two generations shaped by different views on life and experiences. The emigration is shown as a screen reflecting their failures and hopes.
Dasha the Fool
Directed by Valentina Lukashchuk Russia 2016 Short 14:30 Russian (English subtitles) Festival screening on Monday 30 October
Dasha is happily married and fool enough not to see the ugly truth around her.
The End of Wind
Directed by Fog Forest China 2017 Feature 01:08:37 Mandarin (English subtitles) Festival screening on Monday 30 October
A lonely white-collar worker who cannot find the meaning of life. An innocent prisoner, waiting for approaching death. A North Korean woman who came to China to live. Three strangers, three different lives, cross at a certain moment. But unfortunately ... gone with the wind at last. Where to find the destination? It is in your heart.
Directed by Ashvin Meshram Nigeria 2017 Feature 02:05:03 English Festival screening on Saturday 28 October
In a remote village of 21st-century Africa, many things have changed under the influence of modernisation and urbanisation. But still so many things are as they were before. Eni, an innocent girl, has many emotions but is missing the language to convey them. When the turbulence of love enters her life, she has no way other than to trust her sympathisers. But no one could guess the love.
The Free Spirit
Directed by Rahman Leenin Bangladesh 2016 Super Short 9:29 Bengali (English subtitles) Festival screening on Friday 27 October
Ten-year-old Madrasa student 'Aynal' noticed the religious dissection through his innocent eyes and experience. The film showcases how this religious dissection is creating division among human beings. It especially illustrates how semi-educated religious teachers influence the minds of children like 'Aynal'.
Directed by Doug Kass Odessa US 2017 Super Short 1:43 Silent film Festival screening on Sunday 29 October
Smitten by the grace of the gull, a young woman rises up to swim in the sky.
Her First Time
Directed by Divya Unny India 2017 Super Short 8:11 English Festival screening on Saturday 28 October
The film is about the relationship between a working mother and her 11-year old daughter. The daughter gets her first period while her mum, a doctor, is away at work. The narrative draws a parallel between hospital and home, and is a common thread that strengthens their relationship despite the physical distance. The film also celebrates the girl child and coming of age!
Directed by Devansh Gupta India 2017 Short 19:06 English/Hindi (English subtitles) Festival screening on Monday 30 October
A couple has a long-pending argument about the problems in their relationship. Amidst all the unravelling of the past, they stumble upon the real cause of their problems. But who is really responsible? Through a single conversation, Ingrained takes a deep look at a contemporary Indian couple, their travails, and how they navigate between the fine lines of tradition and modernity.
Kafka and I
Directed by Vivek Kumar Agarwal India 2017 Short 19:56 English/Hindi (English subtitles) Festival screening on Tuesday 31 October
A series of strange experiences disrupt the life of a young man. He pulls a gun at his boss and sleeps with his house-help. The distinction between real and imaginary begin to blur. Friendship, love, and spirituality discard him. He believes it is all inside his head. But is it?
Directed by Gazal Jeet (Simran) India 2017 Super Short 8:00 Hindi (English subtitles) Festival screening on Friday 27 October
The film is based on the philosophy of "what goes around, comes around". A drug dealer who sells drugs in the guise of medicine gets trapped in his own unlawful plot.
Directed by Sonam Nair India 2017 Short 15:16 Hindi (English subtitles) Festival screening on Sunday 29 October
What happens when Girdharilal and Roopmati decide to scratch a 25-year-old itch? Secret desires come out, hidden fantasies are revealed, long-lost fire is rekindled, and things can’t help but get a little ... kinky.
The Last Sun of the Night
Directed by Matteo Scarfo Italy 2016 Feature 01:46:48 Italian (English subtitles) Festival screening on Sunday 29 October
After a devastating war, the Italian government decides to create some safe areas where thousand of selected people have to be deported in order to safeguard the values of Western society. In one of these zones there are only three people who live in a huge apartment building, where nothing is missing but everything is in decay. The building is a large magnetic monolith, a kind of primordial god who does not let them get away. They feel it as a safe womb. The narrative goes on at two levels: The present, set in the Zone, and the life of the past in the previous world. What's out there over the Zone's fences? Someone will try to find out.
Directed by Ramana PMV India 2017 Short 15:00 Hindi (English subtitles) Festival screening on Tuesday 31 October
A symbolic short film which reflects that actions have consequences. This is the story of an artist, a sculptor of idols, who puts life and colour into clusters of mud and clay. Ironically, he fails to add colour to his own creation: his world, his family, his child. A creation of the sculptor, an idol of Goddess Durga, punishes him when he crosses the limits of abuse.
Mahasamparka (The Grand Connection)
Directed by Santhosh Gopal India 2017 Short 23:42 Kannada (English subtitles) Festival screening on Tuesday 31 October
Ramesh, a rag picker, leads a life devoid of purpose until one day he finds an old television set. The TV comes on by itself and a girl, Lakshmi, is peering through it at Ramesh. Their TVs are actually windows into each other's space and time. A new life begins for both of them. Ramesh begins to sense a new purpose in living. He begins to dress better and thinks of doing something else other than rag picking. His emotional life too begins to blossom with a new-found love for Lakshmi. Ramesh and Lakshmi realize that they exist simultaneously in two different time frames: Lakshmi is in 1984 and Ramesh in 2015. Curious to know how she's doing in 2015, Lakshmi sends Ramesh to find out.
Directed by Patrik and Thomas Siudmak Germany 2016 Super Short 5:57 English Festival screening on Saturday 28 October
A day in the life of an American yogi, and how the practice of meditation has the ability to transform ordinary reality into extraordinary experience. Through the art of 'paying attention' to the world around him, Michael is transformed from the mundanity of society to the magic of nature; and it all happens within his own heart and mind.
Directed by Akash Mihani India 2017 Short 12:49 Hindi (English subtitles) Festival screening on Friday 27 October
Eight-year-old Mamta is struggling with her homework. She gains the attention of her always strict class teacher as she reads from the unwritten essay on Mother; leaving the class teacher distressed.
One Way Home
Directed by Qingzi Fan China 2017 Documentary 29:58 Mandarin/Tibetan (English subtitles) Festival screening on Sunday 29 October
What is the cost of a free government-sponsored education? Tibetan children Tashi and YuJu were chosen to study in China, joining thousands of Tibetan kids in the boarding schools for Tibetans only. These schools are to prepare them to return to Tibet as China's new elite, but the "first-class" education comes with a deep loss of identity, language, and culture.
Directed by Ananya Ayachit India 2017 Short 21:01 Telugu (English subtitles) Festival screening on Monday 30 October
The most celebrated wedding ends on the first night of marriage when the bride doesn’t bleed after consummation. While the girl has only the family to look for support, they fear for their honour the most.
The Smell (Ghraan)
Directed by SM Kamrul Ahsan Bangladesh 2016 Short 26:57 Bengali (English subtitles) Festival screening on Monday 30 October
An established businessman, “Ahkam”, takes an unusual road that eventually connects his childhood memories. His childhood snapshots of struggling family days, unfulfilled desires, friendship, relations, and dreams make Ahkam nostalgic. He connects the smell of his father with own fatherhood in a very stunning way. The Bangla word 'Ghraan' means Smell. Ahkam and all his lively friends were from poor families who could not afford to taste kebab in the nearby restaurant. So, their fun was to have the smell of kebab when they would pass by. But one day, he finds his poor father enjoying kebab in the same restaurant, which put a big impact on his child psychology that he still could not forget.
Directed by Nishanth Gopinath India 2017 Super Short 3:14 Kannada (English subtitles) Festival screening on Saturday 28 October
A simple thought can turn into a powerful idea. It becomes our payload and liberation. Our woman strikes towards that idea.
Directed by PB Singh India 2017 Short 20:00 Punjabi (English subtitles) Festival screening on Friday 27 October
In telling the story of two brothers trying to safeguard their dignity during the Punjab insurgency, the film evokes the violence and injustice committed by the state against innocent Sikhs.
Directed by Kiran KC India 2017 Short 22:09 Malayalam (English subtitles) Festival screening on Tuesday 31 October
The conflict between good and evil in the human mind. It also proves that the attempt to accomplish anything under the influence of negative forces will be in vain.
Directed by Holger Klussmann Germany 2017 Documentary 01:29:12 English Festival screening on Friday 27 October
A journey through the major world religions: Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Although they differ significantly, they are all looking for answers to questions about the soul of man, the meaning of life, and the origin and future of our existence. And they give people hope and strength. Filmed in India, Israel, Palestine, Italy, Vatican, Germany, and USA.