VFF 2018 — The Films

With hundreds of films submitted from all over the world for the 3rd Vertical Film Festival, the selection panel had a tough job narrowing it down to the films below.  This list is in alphabetical order; competition finalists then out of competition films.  For the actual order as shown at Katoomba, please refer to this PDF (186kb). We're very grateful to the filmmakers who've allowed us to showcase some of their films online, where circumstances & rights clearances permit.

UPDATE: The results of the competition are in!  DETAILS IN our blog.

⇧ THIS WAY UP ⇧ (Films in Competition)


Golden Delicious
A fantastic journey about discovery of inner strength and the power to persevere when faced with the impossible.
Director Veronika Jelsikova (Czech Republic) Duration 2’58" Equipment Sony as7ii  

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Zebra Life
Sophia relives a message that will change her life. She will have to walk in a journey between black and white lines, what they call the Zebra Life in order to found the correct path in life
Director Octavio Maya Rocha (Mexico)  Key Cast Sandra Arcos  Duration 2’55”  Equipment iPhone SE Website http://vimeo.com/210713598

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Isle of Capri
Lina’s grandmother is in a severe state of Alzheimer’s disease. In order to make her remember again, Lina abducts her from the hospital and takes her to her abandoned childhood home.
Directors Måns Berthas (Sweden)  Duration 3’00”  Key Cast Lina Hallberg, Britt-Mari Eriksson Cinematographer Johan Lehman Sound Jerker Häggström Production Manager Petra Berggren First AC, Grip Joakim Nyström  Equipment Red Dragon

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The Jacaranda
Jacaranda, the woman who every spring appears to send letters to people from all over the world, that are accompanied by a beautiful violet blue flower. Generating a positive impact on the community in the integration and equality.
Director  Ane Rodríguez (Mexico)  Duration 3’00”  Equipment Sony A7s II  Website http://purplelips.tv/


Dayna Grant grew up struggling with the perimeters of schooling and found herself lost with life and her career until she found the perfect profession for her. Stunts. Dayna is award winning stunt woman, who has worked as a double for A-list actors including Charlize Theron and Tilda Swinton. Although she is hugely successful in her industry her main passion is helping others around her achieve their goals.
Director Laura Sargisson (New Zealand)  Duration 2’59” Key Cast Dayna Grant Cinematographer Olly Harris Gaffer Drew Wright Editor Alastair Tye Samson Post Production The Finishing Suite Equipment Sony F5, DaVinci Resolve
Website http://www.laurasargisson.com/

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'Rectangle' is a tongue-in-cheek insight into the way we capture home movies in the 21st century.
Director/Producer Ben Kumanovski (Australia)  Duration 1’33” Key Cast Emma Bellamy, Josh Megarrity Cinematographer Sidat de Silva  Art Director Melissa Kumanovski  Equipment Red Helium Website http://www.fussyfilms.co/

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When we take our first steps in to art, we need a guide, a muse, a source of inspiration. Maya Plisetskaya served that role for dancers of many generations. Her portrait, ever-present in rehearsing rooms and her smile inspire young dancers to overcome their difficulties.
Director  Inna Ouvaroff (France)  Duration 3’00”    Equipment RED

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Follow your heart.
Director Kai Stänicke (Germany)  Duration 3’00”  Cinematographer Thomas Schneider Editor Susanne Ocklitz Equipment Sony FS7  
Website http://www.kaistaenicke.com/


A vertical documentary to portray a different point of view in life. A point of view that challenges prejudice and preconceptions. Lina's point of view.
Director Pablo Santiago Apiolazza (Italy)  Duration 3’00”  Script Federica Raffin
Music Ian Post Special thanks to Oltre Quella sedia NGO  Equipment Sony a7sI  Website http://www.apzmedia.com/


In a society where men control the purse strings as a way of holding power over the family, a woman breaks free from the domestic prison her husband has created to continue her job as a street cleaner.
Director Kiran Pokharel (Nepal)  Cast Nisha Karki, Kiran Pokharel Producer Kamal Risal, Sanjeev Acharya Duration 3’00”  Equipment  Blackmagic Pocket Camera Website https://www.facebook.com/kiran.pokharel1

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Two strangers meet at their balconies. She is tired of her life. He will invite her to pursuit the life she wants.
Director Juan Francisco Pérez Villalba (Colombia)  Duration 3’00”  Website http://juanfranciscoperezvillalba.com/

A eulogy for for the victims of police violence.
Director & Producer Charles Williams (Australia)  Duration 2’37”  Writer & Actor Abdul Hammoud Cinematographer Aaron Farrugia  Sound Designer Craig Conway  Equipment Nexus 5 & Arri Alexa
Website charleswilliams.com.au


In the Gobi Desert of Mongolia, a nomad boy called Turuu trains his horses for a big race at the traditional Nadaam festival.
Directors Joerg Locher & Jeremias Heppeler (Germany)  Duration 3’00”  Equipment Panasonic FZ1000 Website facebook.com/ulanbatorfilm


3rd Prize

Exploring the diversity of time by combining two different timeframes to create new scenery and emotion. Plants are filmed with time-lapse and composited with realtime insect imagery.
Director Yoshiyuki Katayama (Japan)  Duration 1’43”  Equipment Canon EOS 7D  Website ktym.jpn.org/


Tall Shorts (Films Out of Competition)

Abyss of Tenderness

Abyss of Tenderness
The film manifests itself in consistently downward movement. Vertically projected, the spectator sinks into the animation. Objects, rooms and layers form a tableau vivant, a portrait.
Director Valentin Hennig (Germany)  Duration 3’29”  Website valentinhennig.de/

Bird Murderer

Bird Murderer
Gary is not having a good day when he feels he’s responsible for killing a bird.
Director Evan Moore (U.S.A.)  Duration 3’10”  Website vimeo.com/evanscottmoore


Vertical are the walls that we built with our own hands. They are blinders and we are like horses, letting them blind us.
Director, Writer, Editor Joana Maria Sousa (Portugal)  Duration 3’09”  DOP, Actress Rita Laranjeira
Voice-Over Giulia Siciliano  Website vimeo.com/joanamariasousa


A young homeless woman spends her days chasing "that feeling". The vertical format makes us think about the space that these marginalised characters occupy in our society as well as on our screens.
Director & Writer Megan K. Fox (UK) Duration 3’01” Cinematographer Ben Calloway Cast Natalia Kostrzewa

Le Poids de Mendel

Le poids de Mendel (Defying Mendel)
A woman receives a diagnosis for bipolar disorder. The vertical frame serves to convey the feeling of claustrophobia when one is faced with the cruelty of modern-day psychiatry which denies the human being any control over his/her destiny.
Director, Writer, Producer Marie-Hélène Panisset (Canada)  Duration 7’02”  DOP Marc Simpson Threlford Editor Mathieu Demers  Score Julien Knafo  Exec. Producer Barbara Shrier  Website lesfilmsdelhydre.com/


A look into the pigeon fanciers of Old Delhi.
Director Eva Weber  (UK)  Duration 4’14"  Producer Harriet Harper-Jones  DOP Chloe Thomson  Editor Tracy Granger  Website oddgirlout.co.uk  
Commissioned by Nespresso for its Talents 2016 competition.

One Day

One Day
The transition of a day, seemingly static yet marked by a thousand details. Rothko and sound-images meet the documentary impulse. Time passes as the everyday is made abstract and ineffable.
Director Tara O’conal (South Australia) Duration 2’32” Sound Designer Robert Del Col  Screenings Adelaide Film Festival / 9:16FF  Prizes 2016 CACSA Emerging Artist Award (Helpmann Academy)


A man wakes to find himself in a life preserver face-down on the shore of a desolate, disquieting beach.
Director, Writer, Editor Matthew Richards (NSW, Australia)  Duration 3’37”  Cast Daniel Bowden Cinematography Ryan Alexander-Lloyd  Sound Design Ned Beckley  Equipment Arricam Lite (35mm Kodak) Website fouranchorisland.com/

Rhapsody in Blueberry

Rhapsody in Blueberry
A woman searches for her identity, which she finds is like swimming upstream.
Director Gaëlle Denis (France) Duration 3’59"  Writers Gaëlle Denis & Amber Trentham  Producers Nathalie Algazi, François Drouot & Marie Sonne-Jensen  DOP Baptiste Chesnais  Editor Dominic Leung  
Website gaelledenis.com  Commissioned by Nespresso for its Talents 2016 competition.

Self Destruction

Self Destruction
Above a sea bound by ice, whales rise out of the blue infinity in the misty sky. Free and majestic they float over the water; the soul of the oceans. But man, in his baseness, weighs down upon these great spirits; he forgets the part of the blue eternity that is in himself — in his eyes.
Director Yaroslav Adamov (Russia)  Duration 2’13”  Cast Daria Kuligina  Music Talking Bush

Stand Up Tall

Stand Up Tall
A short short film about heights and perspective.
Director Andreas Bense (Denmark)   Duration 3’17”  Cameraman Mads Castillo Assistant Amalie Tagmose  Editor Janus Bjaaland Dahl  Featuring Morten & Simon

Step by Step

Step by Step - My Way to the Top
Why do people climb? Why is it so important to get to the top anyway?
Director Andreas Bense (Denmark)  Duration 2’32”  Cameraman Mads Castillo  Assistant Amalie Tagmose  Editor Janus Bjaaland Dahl  Featuring Primula, Anne and Mitchell

The Santa Maria

The Santa Maria
A lonely guy, dangerous gangsters, a beautiful policewoman, even more dangerous gangsters, a ship in a bottle: Our guy’s life gets turned around when he receives a mysterious letter that contains nothing but a treasure map. Suddenly, he finds himself in a dangerous adventure chasing the most precious treasure on earth. A vertical film noir. Shot in Berlin, Germany, 2016.
Director Erik Schmitt (Germany)  Written by Folke Renken and Erik Schmitt  DoP Johannes Louis  Duration 4’35”  Cast  (IOOA) Guy: Fabian Busch Dangerous Gangster: Maxim Mehmet Corrupt Police Officer: Folke Renken Police Officer: Marleen Lohse Dame: Beate Maes Even more dangerous Gangsters: Bertan Canbeldek, Vasili Trigoudis, Florian Zumkehr  Narrator Erik Vogel (ENG), Folke Renken (GER)  Equipment Sony Alpha 7s, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s plus Website erikschmitt.de  Distributor www.detailfilm.de  Commissioned by Nespresso for its Talents 2016 competition.


An entertaining look at orientation.
Director Fred Cavender (France)  Duration 1’37”  Website tuperhero.com/