American Shorts


Is it possible to have an intimate encounter while maintaining a social distance? How thin is the line between friendship and desire? What can you use blocks for, apart from playing with your kids? What could go wrong when you invite your friends over to watch porn together?

Viewers of the American Shorts section—created together with the Cinemaforum festival—will get answers to these questions and more. Short films have so far been missing at the American Film Festival, even though they are very often an oasis of freedom for young filmmakers, who use them to tell stories about the contemporary United States (and the world in general) in a mischievous, bold, and often humorous way. The encounter between a corporate executive and a window washer in Morgan Krantz’s Squeegee is absurd and grotesque but so very relevant during the pandemic. Meanwhile, the protagonists in Sophie Kargman’s Query discover that a conversation about sexuality can be translated into practice in a surprising way. Every mother will surely be able to recognize an episode from her own life in Bridget Moloney’s existential comedy Blocks (starring the 2019 Indie Star Award winner Mark Webber as the father). The influence of the #metoo movement is clear in Jessie Kahnweiler’s He’s the One, where a date very quickly turns into an oppressive situation.


USA 2020 / 11’

An existential comedy about the mother of two young children who begins to spontaneously vomit plastic toy blocks.

director: Bridget Moloney
coloration: colour


USA 2020 / 14’

Caramel is a coming-of-age story about an 18-year-old teenager, Eric, who inadvertently discovers his mom’s immoral past on the day before his grandfather’s funeral. Will he embrace her past and stand up for her?

director: Shange Zhang
coloration: colour


USA 2020 / 10’

Marco cuts class to spend the afternoon with his boyfriend, Graham. Things do not go as planned.

director: Matthew Puccini
coloration: colour

He's the One

USA 2020 / 10’

Girl meets guy and falls head over heels, but a shocking discovery forces her to question everything. A dark comedy about falling in love with the one person you’re supposed to hate.

director: Jessie Kahnweiler
coloration: colour

Little Chief

USA 2020 / 12’

The lives of a Native woman and a troubled young boy intersect over the course of a school day on a reservation in Oklahoma.

director: Erica Tremblay
coloration: colour


USA 2020 / 11’

A Mennonite woman reverts to a secret language when her best friend begins the rites of marriage.

director: Cameron Nelson
coloration: colour


USA 2020 / 9’

A leisurely day belies its uninvited end as Jay and Alex, best friends and roommates, challenge one another on their opinions of sexuality.

director: Sophie Kargman
coloration: colour


USA 2020 / 10’

A high-powered female executive has an erotic rendezvous with a high-rise window-washer on the opposite side of her office window. A funny and poignant portrait of intimacy in the time of social distance. 

director: Morgan Kranz
coloration: colour


USA 2019 / 15’

Hearing impaired, homeless Gala escapes from a man who continuously abuses her. One night, after a brutal attack, she finds the strength to stand up one last time and starts walking. She has no clue where this survival walk will end up and change her life forever!

director: Aycil Yeltan
coloration: colour
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