Four Columbia Shorts Screen at 2021 Portland International Film Festival

BY Felix van Kann, February 9, 2021

Still from Anita

Four short films by Columbia filmmakers are set to screen in the Shorts Selection at the Portland International Film Festival from March 5 to March 14, 2021. They are AnitaForeigner (Forastera), and Trumpet, —all as part of the Shorts Block 5 program—and Entre tú y Milagros, which will play in the Shorts Block 2 program as well as on opening night.


Anita, written and directed by alumna Sushma Khadepaun '20 and co-produced by alumna Sasha John '17,  follows a young Indian living in the US who returns to India for her sister’s wedding. She counts on her husband’s support to announce some great news. All excited, her family immediately assumes Anita is having a baby, but their joy is short-lived. Anita found a new job. Anita was one of the films selected for the Gotham Awards' Student Short Film Showcase earlier this month. The film had its world premiere in the Orizzonti Short Film Section of the Venice Film Festival last year and was selected as a 2020 National Board of Review Student Grant winner.

Still from Foreigner

In Foreigner, written and directed by student Lucía Aleñar Iglesias and produced by alumna Marta Cruañas Compés '20, Antonia spends a meaningful summer in Mallorca. She comes to recognize the latent similarities between her and her dead grandmother and discovers a power over her mourning grandfather. She can’t resist playing dress-up, but it becomes unclear who is inhabiting who. The short was recently selected for the Cannes Film Festival's Cinéfondation Residency, which takes place from March to June and was part of the festival’s 2020 official selection as one of ten projects for the Semaine de la Critique.

Still from Trumpet

Trumpet, written, directed and produced by student Kevin Haefelin, tells the story of a Japanese trumpet player on a cultural pilgrimage to discover New York City jazz who experiences a hell of a night after being lost in Brooklyn. Trumpet recently won the Audience Award for Best Short Film at the Max Ophüls Prize Film Festival, the Jury Award for Best Comedy Short at the Long Beach International Film Festival and the Maverick Award at Woodstock Film Festival 2020. In addition, Haefelin was also interviewed about his work by Film Fest Magazine.

Still from Entre tú y Milagros

In Entre tú y Milagros, directed by alumna Mariana Saffon '19, written by Saffon and alumna Nathalie Álvarez Mesén '19 and produced by Saffon and student Jorge Granados Ross, 15-year-old Milagros’ world still revolves around her mother’s affection. An unexpected encounter with death will make her question her own existence. It won the prestigious Orizzonti Best Short Film Award at last year’s Venice Film Festival. After winning the Best Narrative Short Film award at the 28th Hamptons International Film Festival, the film is qualified to participate in the Academy Awards. 


A program of Northwest Film Center & Portland Art Museum, Portland International Film Festival (PIFF) centers on both artists and cinematic storytellers who are bold enough to interrupt the status quo, and focus on those changing for whom, by whom, and how cinematic stories are told. Featuring ten days of over 80+ films, programs, events, and drive-in experiences with work from over 34 countries, PIFF 44 is a fest that celebrates the ever-changing connection between cinematic creators and audiences.