21 Islands ISFF 2023
Streaming this February 1-12
Pregones/PRTT presents the 7th Edition of its 21 Islands International Short Film Fest as a FREE ONLINE STREAMING event, February 1-12, 2023.
Selected from thousands of multilingual submissions originating in hundreds of qualifying locations worldwide, 21 Islands ISFF finalists compete for both Festival Jury Prizes and Audience Choice Awards.
This year’s films come from:
Australia • Cuba • Cyprus • Gran Canaria • Hong Kong • Indonesia • Ireland • Jamaica • Japan • Malaysia • Malta • Martinique • Menorca • New Zealand • Philippines • Puerto Rico • República Dominicana • Sri Lanka • Taiwan • Trinidad & Tobago • United Kingdom
Click on each of 5 Groups below to WATCH NOW!
Duration: 1 hour 80 mins. >>
1. LA MAGUA
Canary Islands – 4:00 Min.
Director: Héctor García
Island of La Palma,1950s. Sitting by the loom, the townswomen thresh silk, weaving through time. Childhood memories and nostalgia make the silk throb, a feeling known by the islanders as “magua”.
Taiwan – 5:00 Min.
Director: Tan Hao Xuan
An old man sells dolls to customers across social classes. Each transaction is a reveal: humanity, love, the cruel gap between the rich and the poor. The result? A mystery.
3. THE LAST MANGROVE SEED
Malaysia – 9:00 Min.
Director: Rayhan Ahmad
This animated film tells the story of three indigenous Seletar children who sneak into the Pirate Ship. Their task: to recapture the last mangrove seed and save the seaferers’ lives.
Canary Islands – 20:00 Min.
Director: Octavio Guerra Quevedo
Jesús tries to reintegrate into society through a social program after years of living in the streets. After 2 years of rules, he fears he might not be independent again. In running, he finds freedom.
5. FLOOR 43
United Kingdom – 3:00 Min.
Director: Sophya Kebets
On her late-night shift, an oblivious cleaner gets ready to clean and bust some moves in the Lawyer’s office. She cleans up the bad deeds of an intruder who has ravaged the office.
6. IRON SKELETON
Dominican Republic – 4:00 Min
Director: Eliana Del Rosario
An experimental short film that portrays the maker’s migratory process to Brazil – its burdens, pains and questions. Self doubt, reflections on the Caribbean, heading to a bright future following a lifelong dream, but fragmented at once.
7. THE INVITATION
Malta – 11:00 Min.
Director: Nicole Cuschieri
A woman enters an art gallery. She is captivated by all the characters in the paintings. But only one of them can set her free.
8. FLOATING CITY
Hong Kong – 4:00 Min.
Director: Chit Ng
A 3D animation inspired by the tense and busy daily life in Hong Kong. It expresses the irony and anxiety of people in Hong Kong, building a rapidly developing urban landscape.
9. JONKONNU NUH DEAD
Jamaica – 6:00 Min.
Director: Ryan Eccleston
A dreamlike exploration into the world of Carlton Walters’ experiences that drew him to traditional masquerade, one of the oldest dance forms in Jamaica. Over time, it has been marginalized.
10. DAK TOKA TAÍNO
Puerto Rico – 13:00 Min.
Director: Alba E García Rivas
Marabelí, a young Taína, visits her grandma, Abuela Yaya, after Hurricane María, fearing for her survival. But Abuela Yaya comforts and reminds her of their resilient Taíno ancestors.
WATCH GROUP 1 - Starting Feb 1, 2023
Voting begins February 1, 2023
Duration: 81:24 mins. >>
1. MY MOTHER’S SON
United Kingdom – 14:00 Min.
Director: Tiago De Mauro
Inspired by the troubled true story of Kate and Sebastian Shemirane. Lives consumed by conspiracy theories, harsh ideologies and the anti-vax agenda.
Taiwan – 3:28 Min.
Director: Pin-Rong Pan
A child is taking a test. In doing so, he goes deep into his mind, confronting his fears to succeed. Animation.
Ireland – 4:00 Min.
Director: Lisa Kearney
An animated, often humorous story about schadenfreude in Irish society told through a little robin named Spideog, who feeds off the misery of others.
4. SION PAPI
Dominican Republic – 20:00 Min.
Director: Anne Fernández
Anne must go to the Dominican Republic, which she hasn’t been to in 16 years, to bury her father’s ashes. Once there, she wonders what her dad’s life was like, before he left. Why did he leave?
5. I WANT TO BE A DRAGONFLY
Philippines – 1:00 Min.
Director: James Benedict Calleja
Based on the Filipino children’s game about hiding a small object. The game is a metaphor of how a queer person feels, hiding for a long time, hindering their ability live their lives to the fullest.
6. DOUBLE YELLOWS
United Kingdon – 13:00 Min.
Director: Joe Macaulay
Robbie takes a wrong turn, getting lost after his job interview, is thrown into a series of encounters: a lady of the “day”, an over-enthusiastic traffic warden, a police officer. He tries to escape.
Puerto Rico – 4:30 Min.
Director: Carlos Aristy
Two strangers get stuck in an elevator for what seems like a lifetime.
8. CANNED LIFE
Taiwain – 3:36 Min.
Director: Yu-Ling Chang
Every day, the protagonist is squeezed out of the toothpaste, barely forced to go to work, rushed into the bus, then transported to the congested office, there is always endless work waiting for him, after being overcrowded by work, turned into a pile of waste, squeezed into the drains, and then back into the original toothpaste, and so on, day after day.
9. THE PILLAR OF STRENGTH
Malaysia – 7:30 Min.
Director: Ayie Ibrahim
The people in the Borneo archipelago and their ancestral belief in the God of War, ‘Sengalang Burong’, whose energy is considered to be an intermediary between human life, animals and nature.
Singapore – 11:00 Min.
Director: Sarah-Tabea Sammel
A young woman has an encounter with aerial acrobatics dancers. She imagines herself as an aerial silks performer. Is this the start of her journey? Is she already who she dreams to be?
Duration: 65 mins. >>
1. EGO SUM
Jamaica – 5:00 Min.
Director: Adrian George Lucas López
A wayward spirit awakes devoid of memory or mandate. As it explores its surroundings, lost recollections return, culminating in the realization of its Great Purpose.
Malaysia – 3:44 Min.
Director: Lau Yen Hang
A horror short film about Ah Qiang, a middle-aged man who likes to fish at midnight. He meets himself as an UMPAN at the jetty, which will change the course of his karma.
3. SMALL HOURS
Ireland – 5:00 Min.
DirectorS: Marta Sniezek, Christian Spurling
This split/mosaic-screen 2D animation follows the train of thought of two people, from memory to memory until their subconscious lose track of reality.
4. ZUCKERBERT YOU OWN/OWE ME
United Kingdom -15:00 Min.
Director: Pauline Blanchet
Exploring a personal Facebook video archive leads to a discovery of the internet’s dark roots and questions arise as to how can the internet be separate from our material world, and hence, ourselves.
5. TIME (L)OVER
Canary islands – 5:00 Min.
Director: Álvaro Pinell
Two lovers inside a cuckoo clock. They can only meet when it strikes twelve o’clock, but one decision will change everything.
Japan -13:00 Min.
Director: Takahiro Ueno/span>
A filmmaker moves in from Scotland to Fuchimori, a small forest in Japan. There, a folk tale about the forest as the place of no return triggers his memories from Scotland and the impact of folklore.
Taiwain – 7:00 Min.
Director: Hsiao-Anne Liao
Mother told her the jungle outside the rainforest where they lived being full of beasts. But when Mother forgot to lock their front door, she couldn’t help it, and goes to define the world for herself.
8. MOTHERING SUNDAY
New Zealand – 7:00 Min.
Director: Liv McClymont
Terrifying revelations are made during a Mother-Daughter argument. A horror and dark comedy.
9. THE 1979 LA SOUFRIÈRE ERUPTION
Trinidad and Tobago -4:00 Min.
Director: Johann Medford
Francis experienced a volcanic eruption in his homeland. This animation commissioned by University of West Indies Seismic Research Centre features a caricature of Francis’s personal account.
WATCH GROUP 3
Duration: 1 hour 1 min. >>
Indonesia – 12:00 Min.
Director: Sidiq Ariyadi
A mother supports her child’s choiceto become a girl band member. Her husband subjects her to verbal abuse, as she tries to survive for the sake of the integrity of her family.
2. WONDERFULLY MADE
Australia – 6:47 Min.
Director: Joseph Hoh
Called by name from a mysterious celestial voice, a lonely child is taken on a visionary tour of all creation where he is transported to the most beautiful places in the universe.
3. THE LEGEND OF LIN BAN SIAN
Taiwan: 3:30 Min.
Director: Hui-ching Tseng
A folk legend from Lin-Yuan, Taiwan, about a Chinese geographer who stayed in Lin-Yuan by chance. Now what? This a collaboration between young students and university volunteers majoring in animation.
Cuba – 13:28
Director: Manuel Mateo Gomez
A man with violent impulses goes out into the wild to deal with his animal instinct.
5. SUNNY SIDE UP
Cyprus – 3:00 Min.
Director: Paschalis Paschalis
During pandemic lockdown, the man in his kitchen cooks eggs, sunny side up. Deep in thought, he is inspired by the human “monkey mind”; a metaphor of the unsettled mind used in Buddhism and Taoism.
Japan – 5:00 Min.
Director: Yuki Okazawa
The filmmaker shares his attempt to create a new form of expression by intersecting his own emotions as a child with those of the present, using colored pencils and crayons.
7. MY FURRY FRIEND
Taiwan – 7:00 Min.
Director: Hanbin Yu
An old farmer is feeling powerless in a world of scientific and technological progress. One night he finds a kitten and befriends him, but not for long, so and he decides to make a mechanical cat.
8. THE CALLBACK
United Kingdom – 15:00 Min.
Director: Zsófia Bujáki
A determined young actress looking for a starring role has a chance to succeed but faces an abusive encounter with a predatory co-star during a vital audition.
WATCH GROUP 4
Duration: 1 hour 43 mins. >>
Hong Kong – 9:00 Min.
Directors: Donald Kwok, Jay Wong
Ah-Jai, a lonely kid, meets Siu-Ball, a stray cat. Their encounter turns into a momentous experience. In other people’s eyes, they are two innocent beings. Their overlapping souls tell otherwise.
2. MONSTER IN TOWN
United Kingdom – 8:00 Min.
Director: Amirhossein Rezvanipour
A small village where residents are rats, frogs, and other small animals controlled by a Mayor who has told residents that there are blood drinking monsters around, including one left on a doorstep.
3. WHEN THE SEA TURNS RED
Philippines – 7:29 Min.
Director: Brian Caacbay
A young girl in the middle of the sea. A man who will change who she is, forever. Both represent the core characters of one of the most violent crimes that have prevailed over time.
4. THE DIARY OF THE PROJECTIONIST
Menorca – 12:44 Min.
Director: Dani Seguí Florit
A cinematic review of the filmmaker’s grandfather, Tiago Florit. For 50 years, Florit was a film operator at the Teatre Principal in Maó, Minorca. A true love story in cinema.
5. OLD WINDOWS
United Kingdom- 17:00 Min.
Director: Paul Holbrook
A struggling cafe owner is intrigued when a mysterious, elderly stranger takes an interest in her seemingly mundane life.
6. THE TERRACE
United Kingdom- 1:40 Min.
Director: Daisy Lewis
An experimental adaptation of Dante’s Purgatorio, as told through a hybrid of stop-motion and mono-print animation techniques.
Trinidad and Tobago- 2:00 Min.
Director: Johann Medford
This animation is inspired by the scarlet ibis, the national bird dear to the people of Trinidad and Tobago. The story is set in the Caroni Swamp, a wetland of significant biodiversity.
8. WE GOT YOUR BACK
Philippines – 4:00 Min.
Director: Elvin Jay Macanlalay
A social enterprise employs disaster survivors and hearing impaired individuals to create stylish, up-cycled bags made from re-purposed clothing through their innovated concept of upcycling.
9. GRANDMA’S SPECIAL FABRIC
Taiwan – 6:00 Min.
Director: Yu-Ting Wang
The wind blows the special fabric, connecting the memories of a grandmother and her granddaughter. An adaptation of author’s own experience.
Indonesia – 10:00 Min.
Director: Conrad Pamungkas
The story of a child who wants to buy a pair of new shoes in order to attend a Sumpah Pemuda ceremony in his neighborhood.
11. THE GIANT WITH A HOUSE 2
Hong Kong – 11:00 Min.
Director: Sin-hong Chan
A post-apocalyptic fantasy about a big giant carrying a house with a small girl. In their journey, they find a Ferris wheel, a roller coaster, and a modern metropolitan city in the wasteland.
Martinique – 5:00 Min.
Director: Alan Bidard
When social distancing goes wrong.
13. OH LORD
Tenerife – 3:30 Min.
Director: Gerson Ramos
At 11:45 in the morning everything seems to be going normal until something falls from the sky.
Puerto Rico – 6:00 Min.
Directors: Eric Yamil Cruz, Sergio Daniel
A performance in an old factory turns into a reminder of colonial oppression and exploitation.
WATCH GROUP 5
Pregones/PRTT is proud to present the 7th Edition of the 21 Islands International Short Film Fest. Starting February 1, 2023 with online WATCH & VOTE period through February 12th.
Selected from thousands of multilingual submissions originating in hundreds of qualifying locations worldwide, 21 Islands ISFF finalists compete for both Festival Jury Prizes and Audience Choice Awards. YOU GET TO VOTE!
Our festival process is a rich, multi-month experience involving multidisciplinary artists, activists, scholars, audiences, and neighbors of diverse age, language, and cultural heritage. Their jointly selected list of finalists is now waiting for your consideration! Watch and vote digitally on your choice desktop or mobile device from Pregones/PRTT’s website.
Year after year, 21 ISLANDS offers a kaleidoscope of the real and the imagined, bursting with memorable stories and characters, and plenty of visual pizzazz. Multi-genre and multi-style films from islands territories and island nations around the globe lend the festival both its expansive and uniquely focused character.
Special thanks to our media broadcast partners at BronxNet Community Television.
This program is made possible, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council, and the New York State Council on the Arts, with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature. For a full list of our funders, visit www.pregonesprtt.org.