2019 Official Selections

We are proud to exhibit the following films, presented in themed showcases, during the 2019 Speechless Film Festival. View the screening and event schedule.


Animation (Solid).  This is a delightful collection of narrative animations with relatable characters, amusing twists, and heartfelt reveals in equal measure. 

  • Barbaer

    Tobias Speiser, Switzerland

    Viking chief Ulf has lost his desire to be a Viking, so his best friend Berth tries to reignite his passion for the axe. After some failed attempts, Berth accidentally inspires Ulf to pick up a new occupation…

    student film

  • The Good Queue

    Roger Giménez, Spain

    This story portrays the human condition in a daily situation. Greed and impatience are always bad advisors, but we are doomed to follow their impulses.

  • The Great Androgynous

    Julien Zaccardi, Italy

    In a completely white and shapeless environment, a half-clothespin is lying on the ground among many standing clothespins. Noticing its difference, it leaves for a journey that will lead it to meet another…

    student film

  • Bolero Station

    Rolf Broennimann, Switzerland

    Bolero Station is a melodrama about a shy man who finally discovers what it takes to find good fortune.

  • Don’t Feed These Animals

    Guilherme Afonso & Miguel Madaíl de Freitas, Portugal

     Award of Merit, Animation/Experimental

    A lobotomized, bi-polar bunny lives in a research laboratory. When the bunny accidentally brings a carrot to life and creates something evil, both carrot and bunny must join forces to contain the threat.

  • Talent Scout

    José Herrera, Spain

    Dominique was once the most prestigious talent scout in París, though he has become only a shadow of his past. Then he discovers Sofía, a Spanish flamenco dancer who hides the secret of the greatest talent in history…

  • Oblivion

    Xenia Grey & Cristina Vaello Alumbreros, Spain

    May’s morning sun shines over a calm sea as fishermen return with barely any fish. Hunger devastates the country during the troubled years of the Civil War. Oblivion is an homage to the victims on the commemoration of this tragedy’s 80th anniversary.

  • Pinchpot

    Greg Holfeld, Australia

    A short story about art and work, giving and receiving, life and death, and things made from lumps of clay.

  • Moved to Tiers

    Avery Herzog, USA

     Award of Merit, Speechless Shorts (Student)

    When a baker leaves her bakery, the wedding cake toppers come to life. Disappointed they haven’t been chosen for a wedding cake of their own, they stowaway on another cake…

    student film

    • Animation (Liquid).  These non-narrative animations are beautifully interpretative and impressionistic pieces that make a strong impact by breaking from traditional story structure.

    • Medium Rare

      Luca Cioci, Italy

      Medium Rare presents functional and aesthetic values in recurrent, yet questionable domestic scenarios.

      student film

    • Gyeol

      Jin Angdoo, France

      A grey ball rolls on a rail, dives into pink liquid, and orbits around flowers. What seems normal quickly reveals itself to be a universe that follows different laws of physics.

    • Surrogate

      Leah Kurth, USA

      A reflection on a poet’s childhood pet, a young girl raises an orphaned baby chick as her own.

      student film

      made in Minnesota

    • Madrid-Atocha

      Jorge Dayas, Spain

      A commuter train departs at night from a lonely and dark station. Through the window several episodes take place over the landscape.

    • Concrete

      Aira Joana, Luca Struchen, Nicolas Roth, Pirmin Bieri, Switzerland

       Best of Fest, Animation/Experimental

      Troubled by his own reoccurring transformations, a restless backpacker seeks his place in the world. Through a mysterious encounter in a concrete building, he hopes to have found such a place.

      student film

    • Circuit

      Delia Hess, Switzerland

      On a small planet, caught up in their own private universe, the inhabitants perform a series of poetically surreal actions that repeat in an endless loop.

    • Default

      Elana Emer, Canada

      An exploration of female identity and who really controls it.

      student film

    • Nuages

      Matt Semke, USA

      Meet Duncan, a dreadfully unskilled worker bee who awakens to discover himself caught in a perpetual loop of fulltime employment. Come along on this spiritual expedition as he voyages across a murky ocean of eating, working, and looking at birds.

      made in Minnesota

    • Gumamel

      Juan Carlos Romero, Canada

      Masculine fragility can take several shapes and forms…

      student film

    • Boom -> Bust (Vicious Cycles #1)

      Wobbe F. Koning, USA

      Irregularly shaped object explosions are joined by rusty elements in a worn down environment. Spiky objects sprout and turn in a growing rhythmical cacophony until the entire system grinds to a halt. In this animation, 3D printed physical manifestations of simulated virtual objects are re-virtualized through stop motion photography.

    • Equinox

      Bruno Carnide, Portugal

      Somewhere on the outskirts of Tokyo, where the days are as long as the nights, love loses yet another battle.

    • Selfies

      Claudius Gentinetta, Switzerland

      In a veritable firework display of digital self-portraits, hundreds of quaint, embarrassing, and dreadfully disturbing selfies are arranged to form a ghastly grin that outshines the abyss of human existence.

    Art.  These contemplative and ambiguous films are connected by an interest in the universal cycle of life and death. The worlds explored are enchantingly beautiful, haunting, and elusive.[/column][/columns]
    • A Missing Girl

      Yosuke Furuta, Japan

      This artwork is a story about a girl wandering the world—repeating rebirth and extinction in perpetuity. In Buddhism, life itself is viewed as a suffering of the soul, and endeavors are made to purge one’s sins to be free from this great pain. As long as our sins are not purged, we have to endure the pain forever, with our own soul being reincarnated…

    • I, Reborn

      Manoj Michigan, India

      An undertaker lives in isolation with his aged father in the backwaters of the Bay of Bengal, cremating the departed from the village nearby. Perspectives shift when life enters their cocooned world in the form of a baby. Later, the familiar face of a woman, who had aroused his inner craving for his own family, arrives as an abandoned corpse. I, Reborn is the awakening, rising, dying, and re-awakening of this universal cycle that we all travel on.

    • A Leaf

      Bishara Shoukry, Egypt

      Salma wakes to the sound of a child swinging on the door of her room. When Salma attempts to fathom her, the child flees. When she tries to trace the child’s footprints, she herself disappears…leaving only an image on the water’s surface. Once the picture has restored life and the belly is enlarged with life, the image leaves its place to another, and a life renounces its path to another…and a leaf falls, one of thousands, without being felt by anyone.

    • Documentary.  You’ll experience light and dark subject matter from near and far in these documentaries that are otherwise unified by striking and powerful visuals.

    • Hoan Alone: Personal Stories from the Bridge

      Aaron Johnson, USA

      Milwaukee’s Daniel Hoan Memorial Bridge is the crown over Summerfest and has become one of the city’s most recognizable landmarks. But it’s also a popular site for suicides. This animated documentary explores the issues of the bridge and suicide through three intimate interviews.

    • Bait Shop

      Stewart Jay Koski, USA

      Be lured.

      made in Minnesota

    • Obon

      Andre Hörmann, Germany

      Akiko Takakura is one of the last survivors of the atomic bomb explosion of Hiroshima. During Obon she receives the spirits of her parents and is haunted by memories. Akiko’s childhood consists of constant rejections and beatings. Finally, Akiko experiences fatherly love in the midst of Hiroshima’s ruins.

    • The Land

      Stephen Crout, USA

      On the southern most border of Arizona’s Cochise County, the Sonoran Desert provides a life of creative expression for those able to live in concert with its diverse plants, animals, and people. A deep regional history reveals itself each year as the community gathers to share in fire and rebirth.

    • Hall of Fishes

      Jennifer Boles, USA

      Hall of Fishes is an archival film about the webs of power and violence behind our desires to see, contain, and consume the ocean.

      student film

    • Great! Lakes

      Tess Wagman, USA

      Award of Merit, Made in Minnesota

      In the small town of Knife River, Minnesota, twin sisters, Pamela Matson and Patricia Canelake, make candy the old fashioned way using recipes invented by their grandfather in the early 1900s.

      student film

      made in Minnesota

    • The Gauntlet.  The sound design leaves an indelible impression in these creepy and one-of-a-kind films that call to mind questions of monsters within and monsters without.

    • Bailaora

      Rubin Stein, Spain

       Best of Fest, Speechless Shorts (Professional)

      A war. A child. A dream.

    • The Music Lesson

      Adam R. Brown & Kyle I. Kelley, USA

      A jaded music teacher turns the tables on a soul-sucking student.

    • Flow

      Vladislav Khesin, USA

      Living in a world obsessed with purity and cleanliness, Lana encounters a public act of tremendous cruelty and unwillingly takes part.

    • Ulysses

      Jorge Malpica, Mexico

       Award of Merit, Speechless Shorts (Professional)

      ‘Warned by Circe, the Goddess, Ulysses ordered his men to tie him up to his ship´s mast. Thus preventing him from surrendering to the enchanting mermaid´s call, which devoured the unwary men seduced by it.’ – The Odyssey

    • Music & Movement.  This kinetic showcase features a stunning variety of music videos and dance films from around the globe.

    • Paris You Got Me

      Julie Boehm, Germany

      “Art may change the inner as well as the external world.” This is true to Ksenia’s experience as street artist George lures her into his magic world of illusions. This is an artistic dance about the realization of dreams.

    • Turning Days

      Anton Drozdov-Schastlivtsev & Irina Drozdova-Schastlivtseva, Russian Federation

      Turning Days explores the encounter and interaction between contemporary dance and martial arts. The video features dance improvisation by Liliya Burdinskaya and martial arts master Mahtum Saparov.

    • Olea

      Christopher H., Spain

      Olea is a poetic dance piece by director Christopher H. and choreographer Jorane Rest. Starring Arnaud Bacharach, the film captures an awakening body as it navigates through architectural spaces suspended between dream and reality.

    • The Trisch Trasch Polka

      Robert Barr, USA

      A visual music piece completed by students in the 2019 motion graphics class at Bethany Lutheran College in Mankato, Minnesota.

      student film

      made in Minnesota

    • Birthplace

      Sil Van Der Woerd & Jorik Dozy, Indonesia

      Birthplace is the symbolic story of a man arriving on a perfect Earth who encounters his nemesis in the form of ocean pollution.

    • Swarm

      Emma Miranda Moore, United Kingdom

      A mysterious group of figures find one another in the woods. They unite in dance and, as the evening falls, reveal their true identities.

    • Body/Bag

      Mark Freeman, USA

      South African choreographer Gavin Krastin’s performance explores the limits and boundaries of movement while trapped in a transparent sheath. A solitary, vulnerable performer confronts the body’s desire to break free, while only breath escapes. His physical struggle to move is a portrait of resistance to stasis, stagnation, loss and futility.

    • Dark Water

      Christian Schneider & Natália Piva Chim, Brazil

      Dark Water focuses on the story of Julia, a 33-year-old dancer who is raped, gets pregnant, and is faced with the dilemma of whether or not to keep the baby.

    • Madben – Grief, Dance to Death

      Charles Keramoal, Nicolas Pasquet & Sylvain Lefebvre, France

       Best of Fest, Music Video

      A soldier wakes in a desert landscape. Completely lost, he walks for weeks before encountering a mysterious object.

      • Passage. The characters in these dramas are all going somewhere…and while some of their journeys are heartwarming, many end in heartbreak. Either way, you should expect to be moved by each of these resonant foreign films.

      • Space Mountain

        Víctor Nores, Spain

        When her parents separate, Paula can no longer celebrate her birthday with her family. She decides to escape, traveling 400 kilometers to find her father…

      • Limit

        Javad Daraei, Iran

         Best of Fest, Speechless Shorts (Student)

        A young man desperately searches for help from the people he encounters…

        student film

      • Land

        Raphaël Meyer, Switzerland

        A young man finds shelter inside a cornfield. There, he meets a little girl and her father: the land owner.

      • Kanari

        Erlendur Sveinsson, Iceland

        Vala and Benni are on the road, moving from the city to the countryside. They are struggling to find common ground when their journey comes to a violent stop…

        student film

      • Seventy

        Tong Jiage, China

         Best of Fest, Shorts

        Nobody cares about Wang Shun, a seventy-year-old single man who collects scraps in a backward village. After his old dog dies, Wang Shun plans a funeral for himself. This funeral for a living man makes Wang Shun a celebrity in his village.

      • Resilience. A number of relationships are put to the test as these female protagonists navigate challenges of the human condition. These are poignant tales of strength, courage, weakness, and regret.

      • 10 ka 4

        Rahul Yadav, India

        10 Ka 4 revolves around a 7-year-old girl and a high class English medium school.

      • Not Alone

        Jonathan ‘Yoni’ Stein, USA

        Despite an ongoing struggle to care for her autistic brother, Kim Wallace continues to strive for an independent life.

        student film

      • Sheila

        Gonçalo Loureiro, Portugal

        Sheila ♥ Jotta

      • Jetty

        Logan Lanier, USA

        Alex lives with her parents on a rural and secluded farm. She sneaks out of her house and wanders through the fading sunlight in search of the perfect hiding spot. She is careful of watchful eyes—she shouldn’t be doing this, whatever that may be…

      • Quiet Land Good People

        Johannes Bachmann, Switzerland

         Award of Merit, Shorts

        Sybille, a headmistress and politician, is in the middle of an election campaign for municipal council president in her Swiss village when her son is accused by a classmate of mistreating her. Sybille has to choose between morality and career. Either way, her reputation in the community is at stake.

        student film

      • Thrills & Kicks.  Suspense and horror are paired with offbeat humor in this quirky showcase that is loaded with personality.

      • 33RPM

        Paul Gall, USA

        A young man is haunted by the recording on a recently purchased album.

      • The Film Machine

        Sonia and Miriam Albert-Sobrino, USA

        A female professor tries to escape the vicious circle of the horror genre.

      • Open Minded

        David Nguyen, Switzerland

        Open Minded presents the crazy adventure of a girl who wants to open her mind.

      • Fairy Tail

        Justin & Kristin Schaack, USA

         Best of Fest, Made in Minnesota

        A hopeless romantic discovers an unlikely intruder and finds love at first fight. Suspense…Romance…Puppets!

        made in Minnesota

      • A Minnesota Morning Horror Story

        Jill Fischer, USA

        A modern horror story set in the cold winter of Minnesota. A set of twins discover the evil that dwells within when coffee is in play.

        made in Minnesota

      • Rota Fortunae

        Ryan Glauser, USA

        A young woman leaves her career choices to the random mercy of a spinning wheel every morning, each job more frustrating, soul-sucking—and occasionally more disgusting—than the last.

      • The Employee

        Kyle Sims, USA

        A diligent employee makes an unexpected discovery.

        student film

      • It’s About Time!

        Isaac Carlton, USA

        A young man’s night takes an eventful turn after a mysterious object appears in his backyard.

        made in Minnesota

      • Bagheera

        Christopher Watson, India

        Bagheera is the determined young leader of an Indian Girl Scout troop. She teaches her pack everything from snake handling to short wave radio communication, courage, and determination. Little does she know that her own strength and expertise are about to be pushed to their limit in a fight for her life…

        • The Unreal.  You will journey through time, space, and alternate realities in these imaginative and touching films.

        • Corvus

          Matthew Evan Balz, USA

          A short film about a woman building a machine with hypnotic capabilities.

        • Helios

          Martin Kaszubowski, USA

          A young woman with a severe sun allergy loses her mind as she remembers her life.

        • Relativ(ity)

          Josh Mruz, USA

          A young scientist inherits her father’s ambition to discover time travel.

          made in Minnesota

        • Bear

          Josh Cisewski, USA

          A young girl must face her fears when she meets a mysterious gypsy man in the forest who makes her question her father’s fables of a fearsome bear in the woods.

          made in Minnesota

        • e.ro.sion, noun

          Catriona Rubenis-Stevens, USA

          e.ro.sion, noun follows a woman’s last days in the “Goodbye Clinic” to have her life deleted. We witness her fade into a parallel reality in which she observes the world continue on without her while her body and soul disappear before her very eyes.

        • The Hum

          Leonardo Lenzini, Italy

          A man wakes in a claustrophobic, white room. He doesn’t know where he is or why he’s there. The silent monitor is the only “window” of companionship, whose visions anticipate drastic decisions.

          student film

        • Treatment

          Andrea (Andi) Behring, USA

          Hannah fights for her life both literally and figuratively while summiting her own personal Everest. Along her journey she is faced with the challenging choice of either giving up her fight to ultimately find peace, or instead clawing her way through the pain to recovery.

        • Z-Speechless.  This is a small sample of films from this year’s Z-fest, our festival friend based in the Twin Cities.

        • Frost Bite

          Andrew Hunt, USA

          A girl and her unusual companion take a journey through a dangerous wasteland.

          made in Minnesota

        • Unalienable Rite

          Nathan Block, USA

          As the United States government’s ability to handle civilian matters spirals out of control, an opportunistic military group seizes power…

          made in Minnesota

        • 20 Seconds

          Penny Pauletich, USA

          You can learn a lot about someone in 20 seconds.

          made in Minnesota

        • Surface

          Joe Hegle, USA

          A young girl wakes up in an eight foot deep hole. Does she have what it takes to pull herself out?

          made in Minnesota

        • Zeil Zuigen (Soul Sucker)

          Allan Johnson, USA

          A man grapples with the tedium of his day, haunted by symbolic visions of his soul-crushing present life and those of another time and place.

          made in Minnesota

        • Shadowboxing

          Sean Skinner, USA

          He’s fought his whole life…and now he could be through. He fights again so she never has to.

          made in Minnesota

        • Two Weeks Notice

          Ryan Becken, USA

          Bryan puts in his two weeks notice. Is it because of all the singing and dancing?

          made in Minnesota

        • Red Flags

          Joe Kessler, USA

          A comedic take on first dates, when swiping right, goes wrong.

          made in Minnesota