Cannes 2022: the stand-out short films


The Water Murmurs (China, 15 mins) — SHORT FILM PALME D’OR
Dir: Jianying Chen
Inspired by French poet Charles Baudelaire’s ’The Jewels’, The Water Murmurs explores the raw human emotion that emerges when the locals of a small riverside town are forced to flee their homes after an unexpected asteroid hits the earth. Shooting on 35mm and digital to capture both the grainy textures of the sea-salted and rocky atmosphere as well as the crisp landscape and horizon, DoP Xi Bing captures the sombreness of a faded future with blues and greens that give this short a distinctly Tarkovskian feel. Contact: /


A Conspiracy Man (It, 19 mins) — FIRST PRIZE
Dir: Valerio Ferrara
“BillGatesIsReptillia” is Antonio’s (Lucio Patanè) password for every account. He’s a barber who bothers his clients with biblical preaching and obsesses over the streetlamps flickering an average number of seven times, ascribing coincidence as a sinister government ploy, for who knows to what end. A scene with the protagonist locked up in a cell with four random strangers is a crafty portrayal of how easily a wildfire of misinformation can spread within echo chambers online but, after the first few jokes, the film loses its comedic momentum with its repetition of on-the-nose satirical dialogue. Nonetheless, Ferrara’s timely and unique take on a working class man’s search for autonomy in conspiracy theories is deserving of the €15,000 grant. Contact:


Ice Merchants (Port-UK-Fr, 14 mins) — LEITZ CINE DISCOVERY PRIZE
Dir: João Gonzalez
Gonzalez’s silent animation follows the daily working life of a father and his son as they journey from their house on a cliff to the village below to sell ice to locals. The film is an insight into Gonzalez’s exploration of his daydreams, with a scratchy graphite texture similar to that of Japanese Edo art but with a lucid saturated colour palette doubling as a code red warning against climate change. Ice Merchants is a moving depiction of the nature of family connection. Contact: /



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Alexandria Slater

Alexandria Slater

Multimedia Journalism Graduate. Lancashire Telegraph reporter. Freelance film critic.