MECAL 2019 BARCELONA: PACKED WITH CREATIVE, DYNAMIC SHORT FILMS THAT LEFT THEIR MARK
The Mecal 2019 International Short Film and Animation Festival of Barcelona has come to an end, and the participating films did not disappoint. After three weeks of competition — animation, fiction, oblique and documentary sections— and parallel activities, there was a lot to digest; for those of you who don’t know, the oblique section is characterized by short films demonstrating innovation, creativity and risk-taking.
We were lucky enough to attend the animation and documentary sections of the competition, as well as interact with some of the competing directors and producers, and we truly enjoyed every minute in attendance. The mix of emotions the films provoked ran the gamut: amusement, confusion, shock, reverence, sadness, joy, etc. No film left us feeling indifferent. What’s more, the people in the short film industry are some of the humblest, nicest and most creative you could meet.
Now that all of the awards have been announced, what we’d like to do with this review is inform you of the winners and mention the ones that stuck out the most for us.
MECAL 2019 AWARDS
Audience Award: “The Shivering Truth” (USA) by Vernon Chatman
2nd: “Entschuldigung, ich suche den Tischtennisraum und meine Freundin” (Austria/Germany/Sweden) by Bernhard Wenger
CARRERS BCN AWARDS
We didn’t get to see all of the films from the competition this year, but we’d still like to offer up our favorites of those we did see. Here they are:
- Charming stop-motion film about a Valentine’s Day proposal that doesn’t exactly go to plan. Beautifully made.
- Story of an old, lonely hen, Raymonde, who is fed up with her sad, little life and starves for sex and adventure. Endearing and funny.
- Hysterical film about Linda, who’s totally obsessed with elephants, and her husband, Troyer, who get stranded while on a safari in Africa. Had us in tears from laughing.
- Story of a one-eyed street dog that uses his sense of smell to “see” and investigate the world around him — he discovers his best buddy, a market-ready dog corpse, using his nose— on the streets of Old Hanoi. Innovative, creative story-telling.
1st: “Siostry” (Poland) by Michał Hytroś
- A glimpse into the lives of the 70-plus-year-old nuns who inhabit the Benedictine Convent in Staniatki, Poland. The dialogues amongst them were sweetly innocent and funny.
- Hilarious story about an Indian family that is coping with sharing their home with a hell-raising rooster. Shocking ending!
- Animated tale of how secret agent Zvi Aharoni hunted down one of the highest ranking Nazi war criminals on the run: Adolf Eichmann. An engrossing story that is cleverly told.
SPECIAL MENTION: “Their Voices” (Poland) by Eri Mizutani
- A look into the lives of young deaf students at their boarding school where they’ve created an environment of mutual respect and understanding. Absolutely adorable.
By EMILY BENSON