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Guest Picks #1: Elisa Sednaoui

The celebrated Italian-Egyptian actress, filmmaker and model recommends her favourite shortfilms and launches our new Guest Picks section.

We are happy to launch our new Guest Picks section: a column where actors and actress, editors, writers, film critics, people from the film industry, talents from publishing and creativity worlds, will select the most exciting, upsetting, moving or thought-provoking short films to showcase to our international audience. This week, we are pleased to present Elisa Sednaoui, our first “guest editor”, who has chosen and commented three beautiful shortfilms not to be missed.

Elisa appeared in various films such as Eastern DriftLa Baie du renardBus PalladiumLes Gamins, and Remember Now. As well as in fashion campaigns for Chanel Eyewear, Giorgio Armani and Roberto Cavalli. In 2013, she created the Elisa Sednaoui Foundation, dedicated to promoting creative learning, and after-school initiatives for kids.

[ONLINE PREVIEW] Dulce Dolor (The Sweetest Blow) by Moisés Aisemberg (MEX, 2014). A 7-day exclusive on Good Short Films. Read our full review, here.

What really stroke you in this short? It tackles the complexity and contradictions that govern our love and sexual life in a refreshing, honest and unexpected way. I thought the actors really succeeded in taking us in this journey with them and we really connect with them and their struggle. It is an original story with that very Mexican romantic cynicism.

How did you come across it? Moises worked on the documentary “Kullu Taman (Everything is Good) Martina Gili and I have been directing in Egypt so we became friends and he showed to me to get feedback.

What did it make you feel? It inspires me to have more empathy towards the different needs we all have as humans. More understanding, less judgment for the complexity of it. More acceptance of ourselves and the others. Less prejudice. More flexibility.

Diary, by Tim Hetherington – (UK, 2010). Read our full review, here.

What really stroke you in this short? The intimacy. I really feel like I’m on the journey with the director. We are all with him, in the quest, in the struggle, in the distance, in the hope, in the fear, in the contrast, in the silence, in the vortex. I love its visual experimental style, the beautiful shots and the editing, all the tools that he uses to explore the connection between the western world and war zones the director has visited as a photojournalist. Travel memories are for me exactly this: impressions, seconds, frames, smells, sounds and connections between apparently un-connectable things or places. 

How did you come across it? My co-director Martina Gili suggested to watch it. 

What did it make you feel? I gave me a sense of connection. A sense of desolation for how the world works and yet I am filled with hope. Hope that our humanity will find the connection, will finally turn around to be together and better. Even though I don’t usually travel to war zones and I’m not a journalist, I do feel like I belong to different worlds.

The Six Dollar Fifty Man, by Mark Albiston & Louis Sutherland – (New Zealand, 2009). Read our full review, here.

What really stroke you in this short? The face of the lead actor. The cinematography, the storytelling, the soundtrack are compelling. The struggle of this child is endearing. I can identify with him. Children can be mean and when we feel lonely we invent parallel dimensions which keep us going. 

How did you come across it? At the 2011 edition of the “Corto in Bra Internazional Film Festival”, Bra is my hometown in Italy. I was one of the judges on that edition. This short won. 

What did it make you feel? That shrinking in the heart of when you suffer along with the stories’  heroes, and the utopian hope to be able to help and protect the children close to me from this kind of pain, that I experienced myself as a child, of alienation from the rest of the group and being misunderstood and not accepted also by the adults for who we really are. 

In the photo, Elisa Sednaoui at the opening ceremony of Festival du Cinéma Américain de Deauville, France (Francois Durand / Getty Images).

By Marie Winckler & Tommaso Fagioli

Tommaso Fagioli

Tommaso Fagioli

Founder @ Good Short Films. Fond of great stories, great thinkers, great food. My motto is: your motto.

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