Each year Abertoir invites filmmakers from across the globe to submit short films for the Abertoir Short Film Competition. As always, the response has been phenomenal and it’s not possible to show all of the amazing entries. Here we present our shortlist.
There are two prizes on offer. The first being the Audience Award for Best Short Film, and the second is the Méliès d’argent awarded to the best eligable European film.
As part of Abertor’s role in the Méliès International Festivals Federation, our short film competition will award a Short Film Méliès d’argent. This is an internationally recognised prize specific to the Federation and is a testimony to the talented filmmakers in Europe. The winner of our Short Film Méliès d’argent will go forward to the final lineup at Sitges for the prestigious Méliès d’or Award for the Best European Fantastic Short Film. All our European fictional short films are eligible.
Films are showing over two sessions:
Part 1 (Wed 15th Nov 10.30am)
Films from Alicia to Maria Hose Maria
Part 2 (Thurs 16th Nov 10.30am)
Films from Nap to Villain
Dir. Tony Morales
Spain, 2023, 6mins,
Carolina will have to deal with the childhood fears of her daughter Alicia, who has just gone blind and believes that an old woman lives in her room.
Dir. Germán Sancho / Raúl Cerezo
Spain, 2022, 10mins
Legend has it that during a cold January night, Darkface wanders the streets of a remote village. Little Carla wakes up frightened in the middle of the night. Her older brother, Lucas, tries to reassure her and convince her that Darkface does not exist.
Dir. Alex Hanno
USA, 2023, 9mins
While away on a technology detox in the northern reaches of Maine, an impressionable social media addict becomes the target of an unexpected visitor.
Don’t Talk To Strangers
Dir. Imanol Ortiz López
Spain, 2023, 5mins
My mum always told me not to talk to strangers, but Agustín is not a stranger, because whenever we go to his store he offers me treats.
Dir. Geraint Morgan
UK, 2022, 14mins
When Peter, an anxious arcade owner, is prescribed an app rather than sleeping pills, he reluctantly tries it out. However, far from bringing rest, Erebus’s soporific voice takes Peter into a waking nightmare from which he may never escape.
Honeymoon At Cold Hollow
Dir. Nat Rovit
USA, 2022, 14mins
In the winter of 1974, newlyweds are snowed in to a remote cabin in the wilderness and learn that they never really knew each other at all.
Knit One Stab Two
Dir. Alison Peirse
UK, 2022, 10mins
This essay film examines the representation of knitters and knitting, in over sixty horror films made by women, from the 1920s – 2020s.
Lands of Steel
Dir. Cyril Vrancken
Belgium, 2023, 14mins
A CGI-animated short film about genocide through the eyes of a mindless robot, set in an apocalyptic world.
Lord of the Free Range
Dir. Simon Dymond
UK, 2023, 14mins
When a proud, meat-eating father learns his wife and child have turned vegan, he pushes them away, into the arms of a mysterious vegan cult who worship a chicken. Can he overcome his own stubborn nature and win them back, or is the changing tide too much to take?
Maria Jose Maria
Dir. Chico Noras
Portugal, 2022, 15mins
On the same night that a dismembered and decapitated body is found in the city streets, Maria José wakes up startled by the absence of her mother. The authorities try to find the author of this heinous crime, but soon they will face unexpected circumstances.
Dir. Javier Chavanel
Spain, 2023, 15mins
Four people are about to undergo a dangerous experiment. The rules are simple: you will have to sleep if you want to live.
Ride Baby Ride
Dir. Sofie Somoroff
USA, 2023, 7mins
This 1978 camaro was her dream car. Now it’s her nightmare.
Dir. Sunita Soliar / Statten Roeg
UK, 2023, 15mins
A freakish, throbbing growth torments Ash. She is stuck caring for her vitriolic, dementia-ridden mother. With every indignity, Ash’s lump grows, until it erupts, spewing a mysterious substance. Will Ash figure out what it is and how to stop it?
Still Up There
Dir. Joe Loftus
Ireland, 2022, 4mins
A mortally wounded Astronaut awakens in the upper atmosphere after a catastrophic event. He struggles to remember how he got there and latches himself on to the only familiar thing to him, his own severed arm.
Dir. Emily Greenwood
UK, 2023, 8mins
When a workaholic city detective and her laid-back partner try to stop a dishevelled girl staggering down the middle of a country road, they discover she’s being stalked by some unseen entity with a horrifying ultimatum: you stop moving, you die.
The Hounds of Annwn
Dir. Beth B Hughes / Bryony Evans
UK, 2023, 8mins
A wounded warrior returns to their village but is hunted by a pack of dogs. After a desperate pursuit, they confront their past to find peace in their future.
The Old Young Crow
Dir. Liam LoPinto
Japan / Iran, 2022, 12mins
An Iranian boy befriends an old Japanese woman at a graveyard in Tokyo.
To The Marrow
Dir. Van Poynton
Ireland, 2023, 8mins
He’s in the house. He knows they are too. So they have to get out. Now. A mother wakes her daughter to tell her, urgently: he’s in the house. They have to get out, and fast. But no sooner has she spoken than they hear him on the stairs. So they hide. And to hide, they must split up. And to survive, one may have to abandon the other…
Dir. Phillip J McLaughlin
USA, 2023, 13mins
Todd is different and the other kids at school have noticed. After an upsetting incident with several bullies the Principal discovers a disturbing book in Todd’s locker and fears a retaliation. He calls on Todd’s sister Charlene to facilitate an intervention, but quickly learns the help Todd needs may require a sacrifice he’s unwilling to make.
Valley of Souls
Dir. Edileuza Penha de Souza / Santiago Dellape
Brazil, 2023, 15mins
A black family tries to defend their land against invaders but gets caught between a mischievous witch and a tortured spirit eager for revenge.
Dir. Sparky Tehnsuko
UK, 2023, 10mins
After a dragon destroys young Georgia’s home, she journeys to its lair to enact violent revenge but instead finds an innocent child in the cave. When the dragon then returns, Georgia must reckon with the price of vengeance.