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7 films to watch at the Shnit Short Film Festival

Cinephiles get ready, because the Shnit Short Film Festival kicks off this week in Cape Town. The global festival takes place over 12 days and showcases more than 200 short films across various styles and genres. It’s now in its 7th year in SA and offers an impressive line-up of work from far and wide to be inspired and entertained by. Here are the seven films we’re stoked to see this time round.


For this film, director Dan Mace came second at Cannes in the Short Film category. The work explores the importance of perception when living in adverse circumstances that one can’t control, and tells the story of a boy called Gift who uses dance and poetry to overcome his fears. 

Into Us and Ours

Zenzile and Marie experience a life altering car accident that forces them to re-examine the foundations of their relationship. As born-free South Africans, their differing personal and political dynamics come into play and unravels their seemingly solid relationship. This film was Jessie Zinn’s 2015 UCT graduate work and scooped the Best International Short Film Award at the Ivy International Film Festival.

Sea of Ash 

Michael MacGarry‘s film re-imagines Thomas Mann’s Death in Venice and meditates on the issue of African refugees and immigrants in Italy. Tadzio, the protagonist, arrives in Italy after a perilous sea journey and attempts to make his way home. 

Hotel 22

American documentary maker, Elizabeth Lo, captures a single night in Silicon Valley on a public bus that unofficially transforms into a shelter for the homeless. Due to the tech boom, Silicon Valley is perceived as an area of prosperity but many have been displaced and she reveals the seedier underbelly of inequality occurring in California. 

The Forest Paper

Sipparpad Krongraksa, is the 21 year old 3D animator and VFX artist from Thailand behind this beautiful animation. It tells the story of bird, who needs to build a nest with straw but gets lost in a paper world, and touches on themes such as conservation and damaging effects of urbanization.

Las Arácnidas

Nina is new to the school’s synchronized swimming team. As excited as she is to be part of the gang, she soon discovers a mysterious connection between her peers and a nest of tarantulas. Directed by Argentian filmmaker Tom Epinoza, this is a poetic and dark work that will make you think differently about team sports and female friendships.

Pokey Pokey

A father tries to protect his son in a crime-ridden city awash with questionable characters and dubious activities. Junjie Jake Zhang directs a black comedy/horror animation that explores themes around sheltered children and the desire to protect them from the big bad world.

Shnit runs from the 5-16 October. For the full programme, click here

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