Venice, Oct 3: The Ca’ Foscari Short Film Festival will take place in Venice from 6th to 9th October with a very rich programme. It is the first European festival that was entirely conceived, organised and managed by a university, with the coordination of the artistic and organizational director Roberta Novielli. All of this was achievable thanks to the help of old and new partners and a crowdfunding campaign.

Given the success of last year’s experiment, the Short binds itself to the city of Venice and its main institutions, since the audience will be able to watch the films not only in the historic location of the Santa Margherita Auditorium, but also in some museums, art galleries and cultural institutions throughout Venice (and Mestre).

The heart of the Festival is the International Competition with 30 short films made by students of film schools and universities from over 24 different countries. Despite the hardships that the world of cinema had to face since the start of the pandemic, over 2,500 films have been submitted for the selection, so the Short will present a high-level competition, dealing with a lot of different genres, themes and points of view. This year, women play a particularly important role, not just because of the many female directors in the International Competition, but even more because in numerous films the female protagonists refuse the standards of the society they live in, showing great courage and open-mindedness.

Among them there is Bijoli, the Indian dressmaker protagonist of Chiffon (directed by Roopkatha Purakayastha from the Satyajit Ray Film & Television Institute), one of the two Indian shorts in the International Competition. At the beginning of the film we see her working at her women tailoring shop when she receives a visit from an unknown client who claims to be her sister’s friend. He asks her to tailor some Indian traditional clothes for a woman called Nayantara giving the tailor her measurements, and when Bijoli asks him to take the measurements personally he firmly refuses. Only towards the end of the short we find out the unexpected reason behind that refusal. Chiffon deals with the very important and extremely topical theme of gender identity through an everyday situation.

The second Indian short competing is Termites (directed by Jayabrata Das, who comes from the Satyajit Ray Film & Television Institute as well), which in less than 8 minutes portrays the atrocities of life under a dictatorship in an incisive way, which leads the viewers to reflect about how important it is to be able to think freely and to express our opinions.

Alongside the International Competition there will be many special programmes, masterclasses and special guests, for example the protagonist of Salgari's many adventures, the legendary 'Sandokan' Kabir Bedi will be there remotely and will present the humanitarian association Care & Share, which has been supporting the most disadvantaged children in India by promoting and defending children’s rights, including access to education, since 1991.

In the Festival there is also an annual appointment with Indian cinema, and this year Defiance by Shazia Iqbal and Castles in the Air by Tarun Dudeja Bebaak will be presented. Both the shorts focus on the struggles of women within a patriarchal system.