The Kinemastik International Short Film Festival is one of the hippest summer events on the island. Set in central but cut-off, beautiful but edgy location of the Garden of Rest in Floriana, this annual celebration of the best that contemporary short film has to offer has become a staple event for culturally-savvy locals, while also drawing in a healthy amount of expats and tourists.
Also including ‘fringe’ screenings apart from its main programme, the festival encompasses workshops and parties into its mix, taking full advantage of its evocative and quirky venue.
Ahead of its 12th edition taking place from 29 to 31 July – with each night starting at 21:00 – we’ve rounded up a list of highlights from its eclectic programme, which includes a total of 20 short films in all. Here’s a list of what you should watch out for, depending on your mood that day…
1. Teenage prostitution and the fluidity of gender
Rate Me (UK/Algeria)
A portrait of teenage escort, Coco. What begins as a summary of online reviews of a teenage escort becomes a provocative and bold commentary on the fluidity of identities and perceptions of young women in the Internet age. Indeed, the only thing that’s certain is that all these people who claim to know ‘Coco’ may not know anything at all.
Running time: 17 minutes; Director: Fyzal Boulifa
2. The Maltese one
An experienced sailor is commissioned by a mysterious client to deliver a sailing boat from Sicily to Malta. The journey is going well until he gets locked inside the toilet (Head).
Running time: 25 minutes; Director: Winston Azzopardi
3. Turning back the clock
Time moves backwards in this story of a crime that unsettles a quiet neighbourhood; as the unusual film gradually reveals the incidents that led to the dramatic event.
Running time: 14 minutes; Director: Jorn Threlfall
4. Cosmic mindfuck #1
‘Love’ depicts affection in a unique way: showing three different chapters of the story as reflected by an impact on a distant solar system. Abstract haiku-like situations reveal the change in atmosphere on one planet, caused by the change of gravity and light.
Running time: 14 minutes; Director: Reka Busci
5. It’s not easy being green
Batrachian’s Ballad (Portugal)
Just like (‘Made in China’) frog souvenirs, the gypsies attempting to integrate into Portuguese life tend to go unnoticed by the casual observer. A fable of sorts, the film is about how xenophobia seeps into everyday life.
Running time: 11 minutes; Director: Leonor Teles
6. Cosmic mindfuck #2
After a dizzying trip through the cosmos we see how an astronaut is flung into space. Rudderless, irrevocably heading for the eternal black hole.
Running time: 3’30 minutes; Director: Nicholas Provost
7. How to make a religion
A surreal tale about creating a myth, about religious kitsch, and about the desire for greatness. Who is our protagonist? The world’s largest sacral miniature park resident, John Paul II, made of plastic and fiberglass in a factory that usually manufactures garden gnomes and dinosaurs. Katarzyna Gondek’s film is a minimalist narrative without a word of dialogue or comment.
Running time: 9 minutes; director: Katarzyna Gondek
8. Wheel of time
A man gives fifteen years of advice to a teen, with unexpected results.
Running time: 6 minutes; Director: Kal Weber
The Kinemastik International Short Film Festival will be taking place at the Garden of Rest, Floriana from 29 to 31 July, starting at 21:00 on each night. Entrance is at €7 for each night, and tickets can be purchased at the door.