Toyland by Jochen Freydank (2007) (Germany) (13m)

The idea of another Holocaust film, even a short, is not necessarily enthralling. But you will have a lump in the back of your throat by the end of Oscar-winning Toyland (Spielzeugland). Set in 1942, and co-written with Johann Bunners, Toyland is the name a German mother invents when her son asks where his Jewish neighbours are going. An ending reminiscent of Sophie's Choice makes it all worthwhile. Click on captions to bring up subtitles.



Balance by Christoph & Wolfgang Lauenstein ('89) (Germany) (7m)

One of those great short films that explore human nature, Balance is a classic Oscar winning animation from brothers Cristoph and Wolfgang Lauenstein. Five men are on a pivoting platform that requires they move in unison to remain in balance. However, when one of them brings up a chest from the unseen mist below it becomes apparent that, should they wish to, any one of them can slide the chest towards them and force the others to move.

High Maintenance by Philip Van (2006) (US/Germany) (9m)

A sci-fi short film and Sundance winner with a subtle A.I. feel to it, High Maintenance was written by Scot Simon Biggs and directed by American Philip Van, but produced in Germany. Van says, 'I aimed to make a film about the future but emblematic of our era' and thus we find an attractive middle-class couple at dinner, but with the woman failing to get the romantic responses she wants from her 'man'... could the film be added to my romance pages?

High Maintenance

The Raft by Jan Thüring (2004) (Germany) (12m) *

The Raft (Das Floß), a stop-motion animation from Jan Thüring finds two men lost at sea and starving of hunger. When a seagull leaves behind a fish their previous teamwork turns into a no-holds-barred fight. Throw in a shark and the return of the seagull along with fantastic animation and you have a very nice short movie. Perhaps the most impressive part of the animation is Thüring's rendering of the water.

The Raft

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