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Published on August 6th, 2023 | by Tim Chuma

MIFF 2023: WTF Shorts Review

MIFF 2023: WTF Shorts Review Tim Chuma

Summary: The WTF shorts programme lives up to its name and reputation. This year there was also a large group there for a social/meetup group because of course there was.


Funny and bent

Pentola (2022)

A local man who fashions himself as the local Superman hooks up with the local Batman to escape his loveless marriage and too much bean soup. Surprisingly his wife is in board with this.

A very scribbly and scratchy animation style that suits the overall feeling off this short and endows the characters with a lot of life and extra humour. There is Batman butt involved and a lot of stylisation in what goes on.

While not very long this animation manages to fit a lot in the story even without that much dialogue and does not outstay its welcome.


Film details:

Director: Leo Černic

Producer: Chiara Magri

Screenwriter: Leo Černic

Cinematographer: Leo Černic

Composer: Amos Cappuccio

Editor: Leo Černic

Premiere Status: Australian Premiere

Origin: Italy (2022)


Language: English

Genre: Animation





Chomp It! (2023)

Two men stand in the local pool and reveal themselves to be half-crocodile. One is mostly human and the other man ends up not being able to contain his desire to eat him.

It has been quite a while since I saw anything from Singapore, there was one filmmaker who I remember was a guest of the festival a while ago but I have not heard anything since then.

This short was shot on 16mm and is more experimental in feel with a lot of shots of palm trees and seemingly random things to add to the atmosphere. Working on film you really have to be sure of what you want to shoot as processing costs money and you do not want to waste it.

It does manage to bring up a strange feeling watching it and it succeeds in that aspect at least.

Film details:

Key Cast: Nickson Cheng, Yazid Jalil

Directors: Lam Li Shuen, Mark Chua

Producer: Lee Yi Jia

Screenwriters: Lam Li Shuen, Mark Chua

Cinematographer: Lincoln Yeo

Composers: Lam Li Shuen, Mark Chua

Editor: Mark Chua

Premiere Status: Australian Premiere

Origin: Singapore (2023)


Language: English

Genre: Comedy , Drama , Experimental , Fantasy , Horror





Sweet Juices (2022)

An absurd comedy based around the food culture it says in Sydney but it could be anywhere in Australia with all the food bloggers, TV shows and popularity of viral food memes. If anything this is the successor of God of Cookery in particular the “Exploding Pissing Beef Balls” that were a viral meme food before that even had a name.

In this case an illegal backstreet dumpling business is trying to clear their debts by pulling off one last job with a load of dumplings but first they have to deal with loan sharks and the breakdown of the relationship of the business owners.

Just describing it does not really show how nuts the film is to watch. It goes very fast and does not let up until the end and the spraying juices everywhere is even more extreme than what I remember in the God of Cookery movie.

The director and the two stars of the movie where at the screening to introduce it and one of them said they are still recovering from the experience.

It is a very funny short and I do not know what this team is going to do next but I will be looking forward to it if it is anything like this. Not everything has to lead into a bigger movie but expanding this to full length would be nuts.


Film details:

Key Cast: Anthony Roy Barton, Catherine Van-Davies, Shirong Wu

Directors: Sejon Im, Will Suen

Producers: Rowan Devereux, Will Suen

Screenwriter: Will Suen

Cinematographer: Benjamin Powell

Composers: Shady Nasty, Shey Whelan

Editors: Sejon Im, Will Suen

Production Designer: Will Suen

Premiere Status: Victorian Premiere

Origin: Australia (2022)


Language: English, Mandarin with English subtitles

Genre: Comedy





La Perra (2023)

A young girl humanoid bird is left at home with a street dog while her mother works the streets getting crocodiles as clients. Over time she matures and has to deal with her own becoming a woman and finally understands what her mother went through.

Watercolour animation and abstract forms takes what is on the surface a very explicit movie and makes it into something very deep and meaningful. From the outside it looks like it is going to be a lot different than what the movie ends up being.

There is no dialogue in this movie but it still manages to say a lot on just the expressions and forms of the characters and what they do in the environment. The old dog has some of the best lines and it says the least of any of them.

Not all stories involving sex workers have to have a bad ending or a moral lesson, sometimes it just living their life and you know, actual work.


Film details:

Director: Carla Melo Gampert

Producers: Capucine Mahé, Franco Lolli, Julie Billy, Naomi Denamur

Screenwriter: Carla Melo Gampert

Editor: Juan Sebastián Quebrada

Premiere Status

Australian Premiere

Origin: Colombia, France (2023)


Language: No Dialogue

Genre: Animation






Meantime (2022)

A man living in the country for a fresh start becomes obsessed with his internal sounds as the silence of the setting overpowers his ability to deal with it. In specially design quiet rooms there is a limit to how long you can spend in there due to the same thing happening. I found working from home I had to have a radio on in the background as it was too quiet after the call centre. This takes it to the maximum extreme.

This shows that you can have an effective story even just having one person pretty much in the one location and not even interacting with other characters that much. Their internal world is what becomes important here.

Most people do not really deal with their internal thoughts that much and social media is more about having to sit with yourself and not deal with the consequences of your actions than anything else. This does take it to the extreme and I could not look at the screen at times especially when they decide to deal with the problem themselves and end it.


Film details:

Key Cast: Raphaël Quenard

Director: Guillaume Scaillet

Producers: Daniel Sauvage, Jérôme Barthélemy

Screenwriter: Guillaume Scaillet

Origin: France (2022)


Language: French with English subtitles

Genre: Drama , Horror





Fairplay (2022)


There contests including teenagers doing a social media challenger, “Hands on a hard body” type promotion and corporate team building build to the point where they all go off the rails involving death and injury and illustrating if you introduce competition to anything people will not know when to stop.

This was a very stressful short to watch and not just the part with the knife and the fingers as you know it is going to end badly but you do not know when it is going to do so and it keeps going from one situation to another and building each time.

The “hands on hard body” is actually based on a true story as that kind of promotion is actually banned due to people dying in real life due to it. A lot of the social media challenges that the media reports on are hoaxes but they were also around before social media was a thing as that is what teenagers are like.

A great example of taking a seemingly normal situation in a contest and escalating the stakes and tension until it becomes so tense to the point it hurts to actually watch from stress.


Film details:

Director: Zoel Aeschbacher

Producers: Elena Tatti, Nelson Ghrenassia

Screenwriters: Gania Latroche, Zoel Aeschbacher

Cinematographer: Dino Berguglia

Editor: Youri Tchao-Debats

Premiere Status: Australian Premiere

Origin: France, Switzerland (2022)


Language: French with English subtitles

Genre: Comedy, Drama, Thriller






A conceptual documentary/found footage type film where ultimately humans prove there is nothing they will not try and have sex with given time and initiative. At least work out if there is going to be a contact injury when you stick your junk into an orifice! Nope, not even that!

If anything the sex part is kind of just a throwaway part right at the end of this as it spends the rest of the time building the atmosphere and background of the alien life forms arriving on earth. If anything I would think people would be more fearful and trying to destroy them rather than trying to hook up.

There is not really narration or any consistent storyline and it is designed to look like it is pieced together after the fact which works quite well given the subject matter.

This could easily fit in with a sci-fi shorts program if you disregard the sex aspect and just label it as an experiment.


Film details:

Director: Fredrik S. Hana

Producer: Cathrine Wespestad

Screenwriters: Fredrik S. Hana, Jamie Turville

Cinematographer: Christer Runde

Composers: Anders Hana, Nils Viken

Editor: Fredrik S. Hana

Costume Designers: Fredrik S. Hana, Michael Wallin

Production Designers: Fredrik S. Hana, Michael Wallin

Origin: Norway (2022)


Language: Finnish, French, German, Latvian, Portuguese with English subtitles

Genre: Experimental, Horror, Sci-Fi



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Writer, photographer, artist and music fan from Melbourne, Australia.

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