2020 Official Selections

We are proud to exhibit the following films, presented in themed showcases, during the 2020 Speechless Film Festival. View the streaming schedule.


Animation. You’ll find a range of animation styles and a variety of stories in this stunning assemblage of animations from around the globe.


  • He Can’t Live Without Cosmos

    Konstantin Bronzit, Russian Federation

    Award of Merit, Animation/Experimental

    This is a story about mother and son, love, and human destiny.
    16 minutes

  • Lah Gah (Letting Go)

    Cécile Brun, Switzerland

    Lah gah dives into sunny childhood memories as a girl sings and cooks with her father. In this intimate moment they are swept into the emotional depths of loss and disappearance. Helpless, the child tries to grasp what is not tangible.
    7 minutes

  • Asha

    Serena Abraham, India

    In Asha (“hope” in Hindi) a young girl finds herself resorting to pure hope and faith at a time of desperation.
    3 minutes

    student film

  • Them

    Robin Lochmann, Germany

    In a forgotten village where everyone is cut from the same cloth, a new, self-proclaimed leader arrives to change the local way of life. Dividing lines are carved out as the once unified society is torn and segregated…
    15 minutes

  • Waka Huia

    Laurent Leprince, Belgium

    An old man of Māori origin relives, between dream and reality, the distant journey made by his grandfather during the first world war.
    15 minutes

  • Coeur de Plomb

    Guillaume Martin, France

    A fallen soldier falls in love with a paper dancer, but fate takes him away and puts him to the test.
    6 minutes

  • How and Why Don Jose Dissipated

    Moshe Ben-Avraham, Israel

    Best of Fest, Animation/Experimental

    After becoming emotionally attached to a bee who is suddenly devoured by a duck, Don Jose embarks on a surrealistic journey into the depths of his consciousness.
    13 minutes



Art. These wonderfully unconventional and often bewildering films feature characters with distinct and unsettling obsessions.
  • Stigma

    Kyriakos Rontsis, United Kingdom

    Before the curtain falls, a young man weeps without remembering why. How long does a birdsong last? How much silence descends with a caress? How much black is needed to contaminate white? A drop will do.
    9 minutes

    student film

  • Ben and Mimi – Mimi and Ben

    Eva Rini May Cragg, USA

    Mimi cares for her husband Ben, who refuses to permanently remove the washcloths tied to his hands. Suppressed by his weakness, she misses the outside world. Mimi secretly opens a window and allows a caterpillar to enter their home. Getting closer to the animal, she slowly rediscovers a more primal, free, and almost mystical side of herself.
    15 minutes

    student film

    nudity

  • The Act of Devouring

    Emir Ziyalar, Czech Republic

    A troubled man is forced to repeat a grim task in 1940s Czechoslovakia. Over time, a grotesque secret leads him to fail at his job. The fear of his secret being discovered slowly becomes unbearable…
    24 minutes

    student film

    strong images


  • Chariot. Fasten your seatbelt and keep your eyes on the road…the tension is high for both drivers and passengers alike in this timely showcase of people and cars.

  • Milk

    Samiramis Kia, Canada

    In this family drama, a Russian immigrant couple do all they can to provide help to their daughter while facing their differences.
    12 minutes

    language

    student film

  • Brooklyn Park

    Nikola Duravcevic, USA

    Alone in New York, Somali rideshare driver Abdi begins his nightshift with the news of a tragedy back home. The faces in the backseat change as he wrestles, unable to connect, with whether the unthinkable can be true—until a vision provides the clarity he seeks.
    15 minutes

    language

  • Mama

    Simon Maria Kubiena, Austria

    A man and his daughter drive through the countryside to bring his mother private items after her stroke. The man is confronted with the fear of losing his mother. His daughter watches this realization through a child’s eyes.
    5 minutes

    language

  • Yara

    Sean Wirz, Switzerland

    The world of twelve-year-old Isaf is turned upside down when he discovers Yara hiding in his attic. Despite some initial distrust, the boy and the traumatized Syrian refugee girl become friends. Eventually, the authorities arrive and destroy any hope for a happy future together.
    23 minutes

  • Marisol

    Zoe Salicrup, USA

    Marisol strives to make a life for herself and her daughter. She poses as her friend and borrows her car to take fares on a ride-sharing app. When the last passenger of the day accuses her of being undocumented, her worst nightmare comes to life.
    15 minutes


Comedy. These are quirky and explosive tales of characters who are all searching for something—blood, tortillas, answers, and Goblin wine.
  • In the Blood

    Regina Banali, USA

    In the old west, Sartana rides into town to score some cash from a gang and settle a score. His ex Dolores has been hiding out with an unwitting suitor. Her secrets are catching up with her. She means to skip town but her beau confronts her. She doesn’t make it out before a shootout ensues.
    7 minutes

    violence

  • The Dishwasher

    Nick Hartanto, Sam Roden; USA

    A chef at a fine dining restaurant in New York City asks a Mexican dishwasher to find good tortillas.
    13 minutes

    language

  • For the Goblins

    Hypnus Yao, USA

    An ordinary college student gets kidnapped by goblins on his way home from a party. He makes a deal with the goblins to bring home a young goblin and teach him the ways of human society in exchange for goblin wine.
    16 minutes

    language

    student film

  • Atlas

    Maciej Kawalski, Poland

    This story takes us to a remote psychiatric hospital that receives a curious patient. The man doesn’t move or speak; he spends his days standing with his hands up. The only thing known is his nickname—“Atlas”. In a word, he is a riddle, and a riveting one at that.
    23 minutes

    language


Connections. You’ll find a number of unexpected connections—familial, metaphysical, and more—in this moving collection of dramas.
  • The Muse

    Benji Inniger, USA

    Best of Fest, Made in Minnesota

    A tedious routine is interrupted by an unexpected source of artistic inspiration.
    5 minutes
    made in Minnesota

  • Letters to God

    Yves Cohen, Israel

    Since his daughter’s death, Moshe lives alone. He rejects his wife who he blames for this tragedy. In order to escape his confinement, he accepts a job from the Jerusalem post office, unaware that it is for a very special division: The Department of Letters to God.
    15 minutes

  • The German King

    Adetokumboh M’Cormack, USA

    Set in 1914, The German King is the unbelievable true story of King Rudolf Douala Manga Bell; a German raised African prince. Upon returning to Cameroon, he sees his people oppressed under colonial rule. The only way to end to this suffering is to lead a rebellion against the man he once considered his brother.
    20 minutes

  • Comfortably Numb

    Josh Mruz, USA

    A visual and sonic representation of the ups and downs of dealing with depression.
    5 minutes

    made in Minnesota

  • Way Back

    Per Kasch, South Africa

    It is a coincidental discovery that tears a broke private detective out of his daily routine and turns his life upside down. He embarks on a search into the past to change his future.
    3 minutes

  • The Dakota Family

    Toni Hilgersson, Belgium

    A strange, deathlike creature roams around grandpa Dakota. The patriarch knows it’s time to call the members of his tribe. Will his atypical and dismantled family arrive in time to share a final moment with their clan chief?
    30 minutes

    nudity


Dreams & Nightmares. These are imaginative films that employ stunning visual effects and distinctive art direction to evoke the fantastical and incite a sense of wonder.

  • Exist!

    Luca Zuberbühler, Belgium

    A theatre is about to be demolished. A construction worker checks if there is anyone left in the building. The old rooms are filled with a strange atmosphere. He immerses deeper and deeper into this fragile world until he encounters the soul of the theatre.
    9 minutes

    student film

  • BOS

    Steffen Geypens, Belgium

    The forest is suspiciously quiet. The wind rustles softly through the leaves, the sun reflects on the moist soil, no animals can be seen. The only thing that disturbs this peace is the panting of two jogging teenagers. When they reach an open space, tension suddenly arises.
    10 minutes

  • Colonna

    Berthold Bock, Germany

    Colonna is a reclusive art-historian who stumbles upon a mysterious woman and a series of landscape paintings washed up on the beach. The shipwrecked woman eerily resembles his late wife, but her attire and face seem to stem from the 19th century. And so the reality and the world beyond begin to blend.
    35 minutes

  • Lego

    Faryarsadat Hosseini, Iran

    When a couple enters the mysterious house of the woman’s childhood, she mysteriously disappears. In searching for her, the man finds a baby wearing his wife’s necklace. He becomes convinced that the baby is his wife and she has repeated this loop countless times.
    19 minutes.


  • Dystopia. This showcase includes disquieting explorations of places that don’t yet exist and worlds we already inhabit; troubling societies both real and imagined.

  • Capicúa

    Sebastián Grisales, Mexico

    XX and XY were born in captivity. Each existed in their own room, taught to survive by animations played on a screen. What distinguishes humans from animals? What will happen when they meet?
    11 minutes

    student film

  • A Picture in the 21st Century

    Stefan Pecher, Austria

    Award of Merit, Speechless Shorts (Student)

    A painter stands in front of a blank canvas. People are trapped in a system and tied to screens. The actors of the 21st century are screaming. When the painter surrenders, it suddenly becomes quiet and he begins to paint.
    4 minutes

  • Dust and Ashes

    Joshua Palmer, USA

    On the outskirts of a utopian city where only perfect health and wholeness are accepted, a mute cripple and his autistic brother smuggle resources to an outcast community.
    22 minutes

    made in Minnesota

  • Frames

    Farhad Pakdel, Canada

    A smart city tracks and analyzes a woman walking through the city. Things she does are interpreted and logged by the city system, but are they drawing an accurate picture of the woman?
    11 minutes

  • When You Grow Up

    Max Baggermann, Netherlands

    Best of Fest, Speechless Shorts (Student)

    This documentary shows a day in the life of the working man and the routine and grind that comes with it. The film examines people during the workday and the meaning of labor.
    21 minutes

    student film


  • Music & Motion. This kinetic showcase features a delightful variety of music videos, dance films, and experimental pieces from near and far.

  • Osirika – Black Champagne

    Jeremiah Williams, USA

    Suraya and Jamari are the leaders of the magical Nemanyo civilization. When the Nemanyo fall under siege by the Czar of Chezidak, Suraya and Jamari rise from their war-torn city to reclaim their power and set their beloved people free.
    5 minutes

  • Sonata

    Zachary Howatt, USA

    An experimental look into the feeling of playing the explosive 3rd movement of Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata.
    1 minute

    student film

  • Sky Blue Skin

    Marion Castera, France

    The official music video for Sky Blue Skin by artist Jeff Buckley.
    6 minutes

    language

  • I Have No Home

    Volodymyr Vlasenko, Ukraine

    Best of Fest, Music Video

    This is the tale of a young boy who travels with his imaginary friends in search of the way home. Will he find a place to stay, or is life more about the journey?
    4 minutes

  • Ali

    Rain Kencana, Germany

    Two brothers embark on a soulful journey through their own world of childhood memories in Anatolia. They dance between this world and the beyond and reveal a dark secret.
    13 minutes

  • Angel’s Trumpet

    Martinus Klemet, Estonia

    The inspiration for this film is the plant Angel’s Trumpet (Brugmansia). One of its many breeds can be pollinated solely by a very long billed hummingbird.
    2 minutes

  • You’re the Kinda Guy

    Joshua McGrane & Michelle Rose, USA

    The official music video for You’re the Kinda Guy by artist Michelle Rose.
    5 minutes

    made in Minnesota

  • I, Wretched Man

    Bastian Wilplinger, Austria

    A man, caught in a vicious circle of self-accusation and self-pity, tries to find relief by surrendering to a higher entity.
    17 minutes

  • Language Breakdown

    Vanessa M. H. Powers, USA

    This music video tells the story of an entire relationship, exhilarating start to heartbreaking end, through the medium of dance.
    5 minutes

    made in Minnesota

  • 5th Season

    Lili & Valere Amirault, France

    In a strange Orwellian world, where a robotic militia controls different universes, a star tears through the sky. This heavenly body holds a dangerous upcoming power for the militia.
    4 minutes

  • Acting

    Christine Jezior, Germany

    Perfect pictures are given to us every day: the optimal body, the optimal nutrition, the optimal life–everything within reach. The message is that all we have to do is make an effort and show some discipline. Self-tuning is necessary. And caution: don’t show any weakness.
    6 minutes


  • Parenthood. It’s a bond like no other: parent and child. The performances are notably genuine in these poignant stories of responsibility, sacrifice, and loss.

  • Day Release

    Martin Winter, Austria

    On her son’s birthday, Kathi is given leave from a Viennese prison. She finds her son, who lives in a small apartment with her overwhelmed mother, in neglected condition. Kathi searches for a new home for her son in a race against time and a struggle with personal needs.
    35 minutes

    language

    student film

  • Maternity

    Nataliya Ilchuk, Ukraine

    A film about the fatigue of a mother of two kids who lives constantly in a state of physical and emotional exhaustion.
    18 minutes

    nudity

    student film

  • Homesick

    Koya Kamura, Japan

    Best of Fest, Shorts

    Two years after the Fukushima nuclear disaster, Murai braves danger and wanders through the no-go zone in order to spend time with Jun, his eight-year-old son.
    27 minutes



  • Thriller. Expect the unexpected in these bold and gripping movies that are sure to keep you on the edge of your seat.

  • Scars

    Diego Di Iorio, USA

    Award of Merit, Speechless Shorts (Student)

    An innocent young girl journeys by candlelight through a dark spiral of terror and buried secrets.
    9 minutes

    strong images

    student film

  • Till Death Do Us Part

    Maria Luiza Munhoz, United Kingdom

    A married couple is dead. Lying lifeless on her dining room floor, a woman regains her breath, blood flows back into her husband’s body, and a broken table is back on its feet. How did they die?
    3 minutes

    violence

    student film

  • Somebody and Nobody

    Joscha Douma, Germany

    Award of Merit, Shorts

    A calm, reserved cowboy wants to avenge his murdered brother—to finally step out of his shadow and prove his own manliness to their father. But the enemy seems to be one size too big…
    28 minutes

    violence

  • Black Sun

    Sonic Barometer, Ireland

    A developer comes across the artifacts of previous occupants in a house he is renovating; one is a childlike drawing depicting a malevolent force, an ominous portent of what could be his doppelgänger? Caveat Emptor
    5 minutes

  • Offseason

    Ioachim Stroe, Romania

    A man and a woman wake up to find themselves at an abandoned beach. They try to remember what brought them to this place and how they are related.
    18 minutes

    violence

  • Choker

    Orson Cornick, United Kingdom

    As a girl drops from the sky onto a crowded beach, a mysterious man drives at breakneck speed towards her. Choker is a unique narrative take on one of the biggest challenges facing our planet.
    4 minutes

    violence

  • Altitude

    Nicole Scherer, Austria

    Best of Fest, Speechless Shorts (Professional)

    For two alpinists, the hike up to a mountain cabin turns into a life-threatening battle between reality and illusion.
    11 minutes

    strong images


  • X Factor. There’s something special about each of these daring and distinctive experimental pieces. Expect a one-of-a-kind cinematic experience.

  • Vitiligo

    Soraya Milla, France

    Being from mixed cultures means going through constant waves of doubt. Vitiligo invites you to experience the mindspace of two women, both plunged deep in an internal questioning of their external appearance.
    6 minutes

    nudity

  • Dream/Life

    David Aufdembrinke, Germany

    A young man escapes his routine to find out what he truly wants in life. His friends refuse to participate in his endeavor, so he goes alone and arrives further than he ever would have dared to dream.
    22 minutes

    mature, language

  • Bella

    Seth D. Myers & Sarah Stolar, USA

    A young female dancer travels on an emotional journey through psychological and physical landscapes to discover a crucial truth that lives within her.
    18 minutes

  • Play

    Piotr Sulkowski, Poland

    A man consumed by guilt because he did not dare to defend his mother plays the role of a murderer and forces his ten-year-old self to face his original trauma…
    12 minutes

    mature, strong images

    student film


Best of Fest. The following received Best of Fest awards from our panel of judges. A Best of Fest award is granted in each of our six categories.
  • Altitude

    Nicole Scherer, Austria

    Best of Fest, Speechless Shorts (Professional)

    For two alpinists, the hike up to a mountain cabin turns into a life-threatening battle between reality and illusion.
    11 minutes

    strong images

  • How and Why Don Jose Dissipated

    Moshe Ben-Avraham, Israel

    Best of Fest, Animation/Experimental

    After becoming emotionally attached to a bee who is suddenly devoured by a duck, Don Jose embarks on a surrealistic journey into the depths of his consciousness.
    13 minutes

  • The Muse

    Benji Inniger, USA

    Best of Fest, Made in Minnesota

    A tedious routine is interrupted by an unexpected source of artistic inspiration.
    5 minutes
    made in Minnesota

  • When You Grow Up

    Max Baggermann, Netherlands

    Best of Fest, Speechless Shorts (Student)

    This documentary shows a day in the life of the working man and the routine and grind that comes with it. The film examines people during the workday and the meaning of labor.
    21 minutes

    student film

  • I Have No Home

    Volodymyr Vlasenko, Ukraine

    Best of Fest, Music Video

    This is the tale of a young boy who travels with his imaginary friends in search of the way home. Will he find a place to stay, or is life more about the journey?
    4 minutes

  • Homesick

    Koya Kamura, Japan

    Best of Fest, Shorts

    Two years after the Fukushima nuclear disaster, Murai braves danger and wanders through the no-go zone in order to spend time with Jun, his eight-year-old son.
    27 minutes