2021 International Competition

After careful consideration our programming team have nominated the following 13 finalists in the 2021 international student film competition:

pavel palshin
the russian state university of
cinematography vgik

switzerland, 2019


Hunchback Andrey Kazimirovich quietly lives in the communal flat until Veronika appears. Struggling to avoid the young neighbour’s sympathy, Andrey discovers something even more mysterious than his own origins.

Born and raised in a Russian Far East town, Pavel Palshin is currently based in Moscow. Passionate to write and film for fiction films, creative commercials and music videos.

brothers again

vanja victor kabir tognola

vanja victor kabir tognola

switzerland, 2019


Franco, an elderly man, lives his life in serenity together with his wife Margherita. The arrival of his brother Vittorio, with whom he hasn’t talked in years, breaks the calm. Vittorio wants to reconcile, but Franco still bears a grudge against him. Only a sad discovery manages to touch Franco’s heart. At dinner, peace has been made. The rediscovered brotherhood is so wonderful, it seems like a dream. It takes nothing, though, to turn a dream into a nightmare.

Born in 1994 in Mendrisio (Switzerland). In 1998, after being exposed to high doses of film and TV, he falls in love with the cinematic language. Being an idiom intuitive to understand, but quite hard to speak, he decides to study Film to improve his fluency. From 2016 to 2021 he studied Bachelor of Arts in Film at the Zurich University of Arts.

offside again

feyzi baran & kamil kahraman

batman university

Turkey, 2020


When Azize lost her father at a very young age, her family moved to the village where her uncle lives. In the elementary school she was sent to watch over her siblings where she met with football that would change her life. No matter how hard she tried to fulfill her dream of being a part of the sport, it always ended up going nowhere. Just when she starts losing hope, she becomes a licensed football player at
the age of 48. However, struggles never end for a woman football player
Feyzi Baran was born in Diyarbakır, 1987. Dicle University Radio Television graduate and in his fourth year in Batman University Cinema Television Department. The films he produced or directed have won awards and they have been screened in film festivals and competitions such as TRT Documentary Awards, TÜRSAK Awards, and Adana International Film Festival.

Kamil Kahraman was born in 1987 in Mersin. He graduated from Dicle University in 2009 and completed his master’s degree at Gaziantep University in 2014. He received awards for his poems and short stories during his high-school years.

sudden uncertainty

firdaus balam

multimedia university johor

Malaysia, 2021


Frankie lives at home with his grandma while his peers go off to school. When a Government notice arrives one day announcing the land reform of his village, Frankie is unable to read it. Too proud to ask his best friend Gamat for help, he spirals into rage and later, regret. Bagan tells the story of the final days of a dying village, told through the eyes of a pair of adolescents; when innocence clashes with the harsh reality of growing up and moving on.

Muhammad Firdaus (b. 1998) is an independent filmmaker based in Malaysia. He graduated from Multimedia University in Iskandar Puteri with a Bachelor of Cinematic Arts. His passion for filmmaking started at an early age as he aspires to be a film director from a young age. Anak Seletar is his first attempt at a long-form documentary as he observes the life of an indigenous tribe in the south of Malaysia. The film is about emotion, and emotion can be understood by anyone. He believes that film should be a medium for the voiceless person to tell their stories in a free way

in the bear’s cage

raphaël venayre

INSAS film school

belgium, 2020


Manu hardly speaks anymore, which worries his son, Leo. When Leo’s uncle visit their home, Leo doesn’t know what to expect. His father is not well. Leo knows it, his uncle knows it. But for Manu, there is no way to break down in front of them. No way to break down in front of anybody

Raphaël Venayre is a fiction and documentary director from Brussels. He’s a student in the directing section of the INSAS Film School. He has already received prizes for these previous works in festivals, such as the CinéHaïku or the Young Talents Festival in Colomiers (France).

turning man – 81 rpm

robin trouillet

offenburg university

Germany, 2021


Jürgen Leppert, also known as “Der Dreher” or “der Kreisel” is a graduate engineer, speaker inventor, 360 degree dancer, gifted Frisbee player and thoroughbred 68er. Everything revolves around the Karlsruher legend, and not just on the dance floor. A declaration of love to music, dancing and rebellion. A portrait of a tough person who still swims against the stream and the living proof that 81 years is far from too old for hard raves.

Robin Trouillet, 27, studies media, art and production in Offenburg. With internships in Hamburg and Munich, such as co-operations in several projects, he gained his experiences in filmmaking. As a filmmaker and director he searches for stories and images that affect people no matter which genre. Beside his studies he works as a freelancer and is always open for new and unconventional ideas.


albin wildner

film academy vienna

Austria, 2019


After losing his lifelong position at an industrial corporation for economic reasons, Raphael is forced by the Austrian Unemployment Office to take an underwhelming job as a night-time security guard. He recently moved back in with his bedridden mother, who is also cared for by the dedicated Ukrainian nurse Vera. Through Vera‘s support, Raphael gradually learns to cope with his new life situation, but a tragic incident breaks his world apart once more. A warm-hearted narrative about a part of society, whose basis of existence is increasingly threatened.

Albin Wildner was born in Vienna in 1983. He attended a high school for media, photography and arts and shot his first documentary film in Costa Rica in 2004. From 2006 through 2013 he worked as a graphic designer and independent cinematographer, earning his engineering degree along the way. During this period he also became interested in psychology, and completed a two year course in systemic family constellations. Since 2014, Albin Wildner has studied directing and cinematography at the Filmakademie Wien (Vienna)

the quest for freedom and the longing for belonging

noam paul

offenburg university

Germany, 2021


The name of the film is taken from the book Liquid Love by the sociologist Zygmunt Bauman. The film investigates the tension and the pendulum swing between freedom and belonging in the context of relationships. An attempt to express two opposing worlds trying to co-exist, where one will always overcome the other in a constant, endless tension.

Noam Paul is a designer, Illustrator and animator based in Tel Aviv. This film is her graduation project in the Department of Visual Communication at the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design.

in search of identity

aghlap shair

national college of arts

Pakistan, 2021


This film reveals a confused identity association of culture and religion by people as they are celebrating and welcoming Ertuğrul because he is a Muslim hero, while on the other hand their own nation’s scientist Abdus Salam was never embraced because of theological differences and personal religious bias. It ends with Quaid’s speech where the founder of this country (Pakistan) addresses how it is a democratic country despite religious differences…

Aghlab shair is a filmmaker with six years of visual storytelling experience directing, cinematography, and photography. He says: “Everyday I’m learning to become better. I believe in creating value in whatever I do, and I personally feel everything which needs to be done must have a motive behind it.


nima siavash

tabriz islamic art university

Iran, 2020


Temreh, a student, returns to her dormitory after rehearsal. But due to her delays she faces a problem and sees herself on the verge of losing her dorm room. The manager finds out Termeh was lying about her delays and decides to call her parents. But Termeh doesn’t want her father to know about her activities as an actress.

My name is Nima Siavash, and I was born in Rasht, Iran in 1999. Studying B.A in multimedia. I started acting when I was 15 and have started filmmaking since 2017. I’ve also made two short fiction films, and the last one Delay won 2 prizes including Best Actress and Best Film in the special section from the 9th Omid Student Film Festival (Iran), and the Diploma of Best Film Over 15 Minutes from Image of the Year Film Festival (Iran).

avant card

stella raith

film academy baden-wuerttemberg

Germany, 2020


We follow Ernst, a postcard character, on his way through the diverse world of postcards and his bizarre journey to himself. Will he find happiness?

Stella Raith was born in Münster in 1995. Since her early childhood she loves to combine dance and illustration, and found her realization in the form of animation. Between 2014-2020 she studied animation at the Film Academy Baden-Wuerttemberg focusing on animation. Avant Card is her graduation film


ferman narin

mersin university

Turkey, 2020


Hatice lives in a village with her two children and she can barely make a living. One day, the shepherd of the village, Recep, is killed by Pirabok. After this incident, families send their children away from the village. Hatice and her children, who are alone in the village, face the curse of Pirabok

Ferman Narin was born in Diyarbakır in 1995 and completed his education in Diyarbakır Vali Ünal Erkan Primary School and Namık Kemal Vocational High School. In 2016, he started his undergraduate studies at Mersin University Faculty of Communication-Radio Cinema Television Department. He edited many short films and commercials and worked as an assistant director in various projects. SOYKA is Ferman Narin’s first short film.