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This collection of short films focus on aspects of the human experience. Curiosity, greed, and love are just some of the emotions explored in Short Cuts International Programme 3. There are times that what we want, what we need, and what we must ultimately accept are drastically different, and these short films show the importance of thinking beyond ourselves, and to consider those around us. Highlights of the programme include The Last Day of Summer, A Single Life, and Tricycle Thief.

The Last Day of Summer – 18 minutes

This emotional short from director Feike Santbergen features three friends, two girls and a boy, spending a final day at the beach during summer. The boy gazes fondly at one of the girls, and seems poised to reveal something to her, when she suddenly receives terrible news from home, shattering their happy afternoon. The short captures the awkwardness of a summer crush perfectly, while also showing the difficulty that a person may face when trying to ignore their own feelings to think about someone else. The boy wants to comfort his friend, but you can sense that he knows he’ll benefit from this action as well. It’s sweet, uncomfortable, and heartbreaking all at once.

A Single Life – 2 minutes

Directors Job Roggeveen, Joris Oprins, and Marieke Blaauw make up the Job, Joris & Marieke, the animation company behind this hilarious animated short. When Pia finds a vinyl record at her doorstep, she doesn’t question where it’s from, and immediately begins playing it. As she listens, the record skips, and she realizes that the moving back and forth within the song will take her to different moments in her life, right up until the end. While the first thought might be to experience youth all over, Pia instead chooses to move forward, which doesn’t work well when she’s suddenly too old and slow to change the song. Living in the moment would be the most important lesson to take away from this short comedy.

Tricycle Thief – 18 minutes

Finding a letter informing him that he and his wife are about to lose their home, a tricycle driver in Macau goes to drastic lengths to find the money to save them. Directed by Maxim Bessmertnyi, this short points out the dangers of looking for the easy way out. The tricycle driver finds himself willing to rob a man to get some money, only to realize that he hasn’t actually helped his situation. Had he simply dealt with his problem head on, he could have avoided a lot of trouble, which is something we could all try to practice in our lives.

Other shorts in the programme include Eye & Mermaid, about a young girl who follows her father to find out how he returns from sea with black pearls; An Immortal Man, a documentary short about baseball legend Ted Williams, and how he came to be placed in cryostasis; and Voila L’Enchainement, a short without any sets, and just two actors playing out the motions of a strained relationship.