“They were living creatures. Watch ‘em come to life right before your eyes.” Motivations, values, priorities—
can be fluid, or elusive altogether. These slippery people evade easy descriptions. In Christoph Kuschnig’s heart-wrenching Hatch
(Austria, 19 mins), two couples are forced to make momentous decisions on a bleak Christmas morning. In Miranda de Pencier’s Throat Song
(Canada, 17 mins), an Inuit woman remembers lessons from her grandmother when faced with the hardships of poverty and violence around her. In Michael Kratochvil’s dialogue-free Eileen Pratt
(Australia, 15 mins), a lonely woman skirts the brink of madness before going over the edge. Finally, in Bryan Buckley’s Asad
(South Africa, 18 mins), a Somali youth emulates the pirates that terrorize his village, but his relationship with a local fisherman proves life-changing.
Film Note Writer: Sterling Hedgpeth