30 Short Films you shouldn’t miss at the 40th Busan International Short Film Festival (Part 2)

We continue with our list of short films you shouldn’t miss at the Busan International Short Film Festival which is taking place from April 25th until May 1st, 2023 in Busan, Korea.

You can read the first part of this list HERE

Neither Nor by Soon Teik Ong – Malaysia | 2022 – 25 minutes | Korean Premiere – International Competition

Three Chinese students, who are about to graduate high school, are filming a sensational video. They wander the land of Malaysia with rebellion and confusion. They seek validation and a future, yet they invalidate themselves. All three are torn between “leaving and staying,” struggling in a pessimistic racial environment, searching for answers that have been unanswered for years in their “neither nor” Malaysian identity. ​ (BISFF 2023)

Nice to See You Face by Sun Namkoong – Korea | 2022 – 13 minutes

Eden is driving down the road when her car comes to a stop due to engine failure. During the pandemic, being inside a car on a summer day seems like death. The front windscreen of the car is used in the film to create two stages: outside and inside. The characters in the film are becoming existence of displacement, and the origin of anxiety is slowly revealed. Shot in one take, the film features exceptional directing and performances. (Byunghwa Kang – BISFF 2023)

Nurture by Sasha Argirov – Canada | 2022 – 15 minutes | Asian Premiere – International Competition

An emotionally stunted man and his ailing, narcissistic mother live together in complete desolation. An unexpected visitor triggers the deep-rooted resentment he harbors for his mother, threatening to destroy their marginal co-existence for good. ​(BISFF 2023)

On the Backstage by Yongchool Lee – Korea | 2020 – 16 minutes

A child is calm at an acting school graduation ceremony, while her parents are enthusiastic. With the child on stage and the parents watching and supporting their daughter, the film creates two stages for the viewers. Anxiety strikes the child, but a sense of smell makes her overcome, or disguised as shaking off the repression. (Byunghwa Kang – BISFF 2023)

Outsiders by Wanhee Lee – Korea | 2022 – 28 minutes

​A woman who appears to have escaped from a violent situation drives a car until she encounters other outsiders on the road as like the condensation of a dream. Tensions are high, as if she has been recalled to a stage and she must escape once more. As an intrusive presence, all others are outsiders. The film’s two outstanding actors, Changgil Moon and Taegeum Kim, depict the rising oppression, violence and excessive energy particularly well. (Byunghwa Kang – BISFF 2023) ​

Post Office by Courtney Zhi-Xian Loo, David Karp – USA | 2020 – 14 minutes | Korean Premiere

This film opens on a full-screen shot of the Chinese flag… being steam-ironed by a mother on her way to a multicultural exchange day at her children’s school. Despite her benevolent sincerity, the somewhat performative nature of her Chinese-American identity will show its surface-level-ness in unexpected ways. Maybe there is no escaping racial bias, after all…. (Sébastien Simon – BISFF 2023)​

Sikiitu by Gabriel Allard Gagnon – Canada | 2022 – 26 minutes | Asian Premiere  – International Competition

Ali, a teenage Inuit hip hop fan, lives in Ivujivik, a small Arctic village where nothing interests him. All of his problems seem to be epitomized by his father’s old snowmobile constantly breaking down. His only way out? The famous Rich E. Murdoch, Ali’s favorite rapper. (BISFF 2023)

Tarantuner by Hyomi Kim – Korea | 2022 – 20 minutes – Korean Competition

After losing his twin brother in an accident, a young piano prodigy begins to see things he shouldn’t. A pianist who is set to retire encounters his doppelgänger. A writer shows her interest in the doppelgänger’s performance. (BISFF 2023)

The Good Samaritan Girl by Johee Oh – Germany, Korea | 2023 – 30 minutes | World Premiere – Korean Competition

Minju, who attends a public school in Germany, is kicked out of her house one day for no apparent reason. Kajin, a Kurdish-Syrian refugee, is the one who helps her in this foreign nation, where the language and culture are alien. Minju, who felt she was invisible in Germany, gradually learns about the world around her with the support of Kajin. The two decide to go on an adventure to overcome issues such as racism, cultural differences, and identity crisis. (BISFF 2023)

The Night You Snow by Kyeonghui Yang – Korea | 2022 – 25 minutes

​Kitae, who suffers quadriplegia due to a spinal cord injury, goes on his first date with Sophia, a church friend of his mother. Because of his physical state, his mother must assist him with everything, even his personal businesses. The film unfolds through the mother’s narration and gaze, and her feelings are projected onto Sophia, creating anxiety. The date goes well, and the woman fills in for his mother’s love through her persona in a way that his mother cannot. Each of them appears to be a blessing to the other, albeit in an imperfect way. By using ambiguous dialogues, exquisite editing, and sound, the film reveals numerous emotions across the boundaries of desires, love, reality, and salvation. (Byunghwa Kang – BISFF 2023) ​

UNIQUE TIME by Eugene Oh – Korea | 2022 – 17 minutes – Korean Competition

In a near future where androids take over some human roles, a mysterious malfunction occurs to an android J-204. Although concerns grow that the android might be faulty, J-204 comes across someone who appears interested in this particular fault.  (BISFF 2023)

We’re from Eden by Yunseok Lee – Korea | 2022 – 29 minutes – Korean Competition

They have no family or anyone to look after them. Teenagers in shelters are required to leave when they reach the age of 18. Geonu and Maria, both 19 years old, have recently graduated from high school and had to leave the shelter they lived in.  And now they have a new baby to look after. When Maria falls asleep, their baby goes missing. The couple must decide whether or not to look for the missing baby.  (BISFF 2023)

Wheels on the Bus by Surya Shahi – Nepal | 2022 – 16 minutes | Korean Premiere

Sayaun Thunga Phulka, the Nepali national anthem sung in this film, translates as: “Woven from hundreds of flowers, we are one garland that’s Nepali, […] Diverse races, languages, religions, and cultures of incredible sprawl, This progressive nation of ours, all hail Nepal!” Let’s see what our resourceful and creative protagonist, a fatherless boy from the Untouchable caste, thinks about these feelings of unity and progressiveness. (Sébastien Simon – BISFF 2023)

Why by Yoonji Kim – Korea | 2022 – 28 minutes | World Premiere – Korean Competition

Seungeun goes to school as usual, but her friends do not respond to her contact today. (BISFF 2023)​

Winter Vacation by Minseong Kim – Korea | 2022 – 30 minutes – Korean Competition

Inhwan travels to his hometown of Goseong after receiving a phone call from his sister asking him to look after her children. His sister, who has triplets from her previous marriage, remarried last year with a man who has a daughter, Suyeon. He spends the day taking care of four children, including Suyeon, which feels awkward yet peaceful.​ (BISFF 2023)

You can read the first part of this list HERE

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