To kick off the first day (24.062017) of the 14th IN THE PALACE International short Film Festival, thirteen short films were shown for the International Competitive program. These included: In part one: Design Thinking, Back and Forward Inc., The Ravens, Yulya, September, and in Part Two: Strings, Journey Birds, The Sled, Child Dream, Faith, Pedro, and Last Act of a Dying Horse.
From the first block the most interesting film was The Ravens, because it had an interesting storyline, and managed to develop the characters well in a short space of time. The story centred on two parents and their young daughter living somewhere in rural Australia. When Ruby’s (the daughter) father returns from war unexpectedly, his volatile state makes it hard for the family to reconnect with him. The little girl’s anxieties are projected onto a pair of ravens, who end up attacking her as they fiercely defend their nearby nest which is a full of their young. These ravens become a catalyst for the troubled family’s journey from crisis to healing, and although Ruby was, at first, frightened by the birds, she ends up being the saviour of their young in what seems a positive ending.
Other films from first block were also interesting because they explored a wide range of different themes. For example, feminine fragility, kidnap and an emotional journey in Yulya; a mother and son returning to their home country after years spent abroad, each following different paths in an attempt to reclaim what had been lost in September; a nonverbal futuristic science fiction exploration of our society and the constant demands of everyday monotonous work in Back and Forward Inc.; and an explanation of a proven and repeatable problem-solving protocol that businesses use to achieve extraordinary results in Design Thinking.