Here is the shortlist for our 2020’s Short Film Production category, recognising uses of archival footage in short-form filmmaking. This covers any film of 30 minutes or less in which footage is integral to the storytelling, whether documentary, fiction of any genre of filmmaking.
Black Night in June
Director: Arthur Kent
Archive Researcher(s): Arthur Kent
Archival Sources: Arthur Kent Archive
Production Company: Skyreporter.com
Country of Production: Canada, China
Synopsis: This short factual film recounts the June 4, 1989 assault by the People’s Liberation Army on pro-democracy demonstrators in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square. Featured in Black Night In June are the voices and words of the students, and the chilling megaphone decrees of the Communist Party’s martial law authority, advising everyone to leave the square immediately or suffer the consequences.
FOCAL Points: This short film presents restored footage from the momentous June 4th 1989 protests in Tiananmen Square, China and gained viral traction on the 30th anniversary of the events.
The Tree (Derevo)
Director: Oleg Chorny
Archive Researcher(s): Bohdan Shumylovych
Archival Sources: Center for Urban History of East Central Europe, Village of Blagoveshchensk, Urban Media Archive, Victor Kyzyma, Oleh Yavorovych
Production Company: Urban Media Archive, Center for Urban History of East Central Europe
Country of Production: Ukraine
Synopsis: The film tells the story of a craftsman’s creativity and his connection to a tree that extracts an invisible form from a material substance. The act of creating by a human being is subject to the power of the substance that governs the carver independently determining the result. The subjectivity of nature is also manifested in the film through chemical damage – images and memory are absorbed and disappear behind the veil.
Archival Highlights: Recently found in a decayed state, material from an unknown amateur filmmaker called Victor Kyzyma is used as a basis for exploring the relationship between nature and film decay.