Looking for a deep-dive into the vibrant world of bite-sized Argentinian cinema but aren’t sure of the best place to start? Well, look no further. We’ve handpicked ten of our favourite short films from the region, many of which proved award-winning favourites on the festival circuit, and all of which you can watch right here on FilmDoo!
1. The Birth of a Drummer (dir. Nicolás Stefanazzi)
The Birth of a Drummer follows the journey of a young small-town Argentinian apprentice boy, asked to travel 125 miles to deliver a Bombo (drum) to a far-away town by an old luthier. He sets out on on foot, without transportation, money, or food, braving the blistering heat. But Little does he know of the tragedies, dangers and the unexpected ending that await him. Winner of the NOA Short Competition Audience Award at last year’s Festival de Cine de las Alturas in Argentina.
2. The Suicide Hotline (dir. Magalí Porchinitto)
Lisandro works at a suicide helpline centre while grappling with his own depression, and faces his worst nightmares every day. One night, he receives a call from Elisa, who plays Russian Roulette with her father’s revolver, claiming she will pull the trigger if Lisandro fails to answer her correctly. Will Lisandro let her die? From this clever setup, director Magalí Porchinitto delivers a thrilling masterwork that has you gripped from the beginning up to its resonant final moments. A Special Mention entry at last year’s Patagonia Media Festival.
3. The Chimai and the Storm (dir. David Bisbano)
An official entry at the 60th Zlín Film Festival, David Bisbano’s animated short revolves around an aged Chimai (spiritual healer), who uses her spiritual powers to heal an uprooted tree every time a storm occurs. When she voyages into the forest to fix the broken tree, she discovers an extraordinary, miraculous power.
4. Vestiges, The Mystery of the Dique La Ciénaga (dir. Valentín Alvarez Sabouret and Gustavo Correia)
A father and son go fishing in the placid La Ciénaga dam. After a period of no catches from the quiet and still waters, they begin to experience jerks in their fishing rods. They wait for some time until they finally discover a dark horror hidden under the waters, waiting for them to come closer to the surface. Valentín Alvarez Sabouret and Gustavo Correia’s shiver-inducing picture received a Golden Coconut Award nomination for Best Short Film at the 2020 Hainan International Film Festival.
5. One Less (dir. David Páez)
This horror-thriller crime short deals with a woman kidnapped and held captive in a dingy secluded room. She is abused and tortured continuously in various ways by different men, until she finds the door to her prison one day open. The film’s title originates from the hashtag, “Ni Una Menos (Not One Less)”, popularised by Latin American women protesting violence against women. Based on a real-life incident where a 16-year-old girl was brutally drugged, gang-raped and murdered by three men who were later acquitted.
6. Chico Miguel (dir. Maximiliano Subiela)
Miguel is a poor boy who often picks up trash with his father. One day, Miguel finds a brand new but unwanted Pinocchio puppet, dumped by one of the rich kids, which indirectly serves to teach various lessons about sharing, love and affection. The film brilliantly captures the sweet innocence of childhood, while depicting the various forms of luxury found in urban and rural households, reminding us that money can’t buy happiness. Among the dozens of festivals to select Maximiliano Subiela’s poignant film, Chico Miguel was picked up for the Festival Latinoamericano de Cortos Cine Valor where it won the award for Best Latin American Short Film.
7. The Loudest Silence (dir. Eduardo Bertaina)
Sometimes our parents don’t fit into our idealistic perception of what a parent is or should be, which is exactly the subject of Eduardo Bertaina’s short drama. Mara, a young schoolgirl who lives with her grandma, is elated when her mother comes to pick her up from school for the first time. She soon learns, however, that her mother isn’t what she had hoped or expected her to be like. The film focuses on the disappointment and psychology of a child, who feels abandoned by the person for whom she yearns the most.
8. Moon (dir. Nicolás Cefarelli)
Martin has been in love with the Moon ever since he was a toddler. He likes to watch it every day from his window, along with his dog. Even his father tries his best to fulfil Martin’s affection towards the Moon, but as Martin grows up, his obsession gradually takes over, and he finally takes it upon himself to reach the Moon at all costs. Will he finally meet the love of his life? An official selection at the 13th International Children’s Film Festival Bangladesh.
9. Little Forest (dir. Paulina Muratore)
Paulina Muratore’s animated short depicts a beautiful relationship between a small plant and a little girl. Mizu takes good care of the plant through thick and thin as they the two of them grow up together. She waters the plant every day, and it grows into a giant tree. When a flood arrives, Mizu takes shelter on its branches. This compelling depiction of love and harmony between nature and humans was an official selection at the 2020 Göteborg Film Festival Prisma and the 2021 Atlanta Film Festival.
10. Dubicel (dir. Yashira Jordan and Igor Gopkalo Streiff)
Dubicel is a little boy dreams of seeing the constellations, but a small hurdle stops him from achieving his desires: He lives all alone in a closed dome. Yashira Jordan and Igor Gopkalo Streiff’s short animation was an official selection at the Buenos Aires International Film Festival, where it picked up the award for Best Soundtrack.