Find the list of films and short descriptions for the Student and Independent Short Films that will be competing for the Jinxi Ancient Water Town Award for Best Short Films at the 2019 WATER TOWNS EFAF.


Nominees for the Jinxi Ancient Water Town Prize 

 Best Student Short Films

“Bird Window Collisions at Duke Kunshan University” (2018)

Director: Julie Mao

Run time: 4 minutes 44

Language: English

The DKU Campus is located in a wetland ecosystem; it has integrated many environmental initiatives. However, many birds are colliding with the architectural features of campus. How to help migrant birds to avoid collisions with DKU windows?


“Human Wildlife Conflict: India and China” (2018)

Director: Kelley Reardon

Run time: 5 minutes 23

Language: English

Two nations, two species; Tigers and Pandas. By establishing conservation programs on these two species an umbrella effect happens. Other species and whole ecosystems can be recovered. By working with communities in India and China this initiative can have important effects on conservation programs.


“Water” (2018)

Director: Xiaolin Xie

Run time: 4 minutes 31

Language: English

Jiujiang, the filmmaker’s hometown in Guangdong, has a main river. It contributes to the life and culture there. However, water pollution is also the most severe problem there. The river became dark and smelly, forcing people to move away from it. Fortunately, the government is taking actions on controlling water pollution. The filmmaker believes that the main river would turn back to clean and odorless in the near future.


“Sharks: Feared and Food” (2018)

Director: Kameron Schroeder

Run time: 4 minutes 50

Language: English

This film follows my personal passion for sharks and the issues that are endangering their populations today. The film explores the surprising reasons for the recent decline in shark populations. Additionally, signs of hope due to recent changes in legislation and activism from people are discussed.


“Light” (2018)

Director: Hanwei Xu

Run time: 1 minutes 46

Language: English

Light is a short clip trying to reveal the solid waste disposal problem of the modern entertainment industry. The fans like to use one-time glow sticks to show their love, but it can be a wasteful behavior.


“Balloon Man Carbon Footprint” (2018)

Directors: Catherine Brenner, Uros Osmokrovic, Xuchen Gong, Xinyue Lu, Weili Wu

Run time: 7 minutes 47

Language: English

Balloon man is a shot film that explores how daily human activity impacts the global carbon cycle. The balloons provide a visual way to quantify an otherwise invisible consequence of human dependence on fossil fuels. The film hopes to bring awareness to the human-caused imbalances in the carbon cycle and motivate action toward a sustainable future.


“Confession of Anthropocene-aholic” (2018)

Director: Du Yinan


Run time: 4 minutes

Language: N/A

Stop motion animation on my reflections about what is human, nature, and the ethics of the environment.


“Bery’s One Week” (2018)

Director: Beryl Wang

Run time: 3 minutes 58

Language: English

We can’t avoid using plastic products, but at least we can use less. I collected all the plastic products I consumed in one week. I was shocked by the large amount so I made some short interviews to see other’s opinion. The answers are almost same. Plastics consumption is the thing we have to reflect on.


Best Independent Short Film


“Junk” (2015)

Director: Walter Tournier

Country: Uruguay

Run time: 5 minutes

Language: N/A

A short animated film made with scrap metal, that traces memories of life in a world in transformation. (Out of competition)


“Monsoon (III)” (2016)

Director: Mike Olbinski

Country: United States

Run time: 7 minutes 40

Language: N/A

74 days on the road close to 200,000 frames on the making of this environmental film. But to a storm chaser, none of this really means anything. Sure there were days when nothing was remotely possible to chase, but most of the time the monsoon can be found in the far corners of Arizona. Strong downbursts of rain, building clouds, lightning…and yes, dust storms. Haboobs. Dust storms. Rolling walls of dirt and sand engulfing the deserts and even cities. Coming off the heels of filming Vortices in the spring, with monster super-cells and tornadoes, the monsoon is a totally different beast and you’d think it would be less exciting. I don’t know…


“Konagxeka: The story of the Maxakali’s Flood” (2016)

Director: Isael Maxakali e Charles Bicalho

Country: Brazil

Run time: 12 minutes 50

Language: Maxakali (English subtitles)

Konãgxeka in the maxakali indigenous language means “big water”. It’s the maxakali version of the great flood. As a punishment because of selfishness and greed of men, the yãmîy spirits send the “big water”. It is an indigenous film. One of the directors is representative of the Maxakali indigenous people in the state of Minas Gerais, southeast Brazil. The movie is in Maxakali language, with subtitles. The illustrations for the film were made by indigenous Maxakali during workshops held at Aldeia Verde (Maxakali Green Village).


“Kuwoi Wujan” (2018)

Director: Jose Luis Cote

Country: Colombia

Run time: 4 minutes 55

Language: Jiw (English subtitles)

This film portrays the myth of creation of the Jiw people. The Jiw is a nomadic Amazonian community of Southern Colombia. The story tells the close relationship the Jiw have with nature, the forces of good and bad are in constant struggle. It is located also in context with Western presence in their territories.


“Nukak: Still Waiting” (2018)

Director: Jose Luis Cote

Country: Colombia

Run time: 8 minutes 15

Language: Nukak Maku (English subtitles)

The Nukak Maku are one of the last peoples contacted in the Amazon, it was in 1988 that first contact happened. During the last three decades much of their knowledge has been lost. This film is the result of collective memory exercises that intend to reconnect the Nukak with their ancestral knowledge. The message is for the new generations that are missing the value of being one with the land. All was produced in the jungle, all material and cultural production developed of their relationship with the land.


“A Dream of Myanmar” (2018)

Director: Marta Trela

Country: Germany

Run time: 3 minutes 57

Language: N/A

A country that has been sleeping for a long time wakes up. With cameras in hand we try to capture the stunning nature and unique culture of this beautiful country before it changes irreversibly. On one hand exploring Myanmar feels like stumbling into a living edition of the National Geographic: elephants leading processions of novice monks through dusty towns, a fruit seller carrying a basket of mangoes on her head: a fulfilment of the oriental fantasies of the West. On the other- a country embracing its newly won identity rushing headlong into the future to catch up with the rest of the world


“Primitives” (Nativos) (2017)

Director: Edwin Manuel Noh Cen

Country: Mexico

Run time: 7 minutes 43

Language: Maya (English subtitles)

This short film shares, with a peculiar creative lens, the perspective of a young Maya man about the Western society that surround his people. He critiques the situation with an alternate narrative – as if the Maya people were the dominant culture, and Westerners the oppressed minority.


“The Millers” (2018)

Director: Erin Espelie

Country: United States

Run time: 15 minutes 30

Language: N/A

The future of the Earth may depend upon these creatures, Tenebrio molitor, the only species known to digest polystyrene.


“Homeland: Stories from Sanjiangyuan” (2018)

Director: Liu Zhuang

Country: China

Run time: 7 minutes 07

Language: Mandarin (English subtitles)

On April 10, 2018, the Nyanpo Yuzee National Park was permanently closed due to environmental degradation. In the face of climate change and environmental degradation, the herdsmen of the four groups of Longge Village began to protect their land, spontaneously. See it through their own eyes and photo lenses.


“Wandering Plastic Bottles” / “Let Plastic Bottles No Longer Wander” (2018)

Director: Haiyan Su

Country: China

Run time: 5 minutes / 6 minutes 27

Language: Mandarin (English subtitles)

This is a short video series (upper & lower) about where to go around the plastic bottles. Through tracking 12 bottles and doing experiments, such as street voting and expert interpretation interviews, the film illuminates the ways everyone’s classification of waste, plastic recycling and recycling economy can improve.


“Water Lily: Birth of the Lotus” (2015)

Director: Justine Cunha, Alexandra Batina, Clementine Delcourt, Margaux Lahuppe, Pascal Miller

Country: France

Run time: 8 minutes 29

Language: N/A

(Out of competition) 

A botanist looses his way in the forest. He collects samples and illustrates his findings, until he sees a delightful Water Lily. This short animation film tells an invented Japanese tale about the birth of the lotus flower.


“Round in Circles” (2015)

Director: Cuhna Justine

Country: France

Run time: 1 minute 04

Language: N/A

Experimental film on the sun, water, and color. Stop motion animation.


Note. Other student films submitted will be screened in the *student film program.