|BEST SHORT FILM
A beautiful kingdom. An eerie howling in the woods. The hunter Frederick is sent to catch the mysterious Squonk once and for all…
Detailed Synopsis Little Caspar is afraid of an ugly moth in the dark. Then his grandfather tells him the story of the Squonk. Every spring, an ugly monster appears in the most beautiful of all beautiful countries. With its eerie howling in the woods, the Squonk robs people of their sleep. The brave hunter Frederick sets out to catch the beast. But his spear only hits a flower. More flowers disarm even his most skillful traps. Soon Frederick doesn’t know what to do. Then he secretly observes how the other animals of the forest fearfully flee into the undergrowth. Lonely and all by himself, the Squonk sits at a pond and cries. Absorbed in grief, he does not notice how shining, beautiful flowers grow from his tears. He only has eyes for his disfigured reflection in the water. Frederick forms a puppet in the Squonks image and lures his prey into the trap: The Squonk cautiously approaches the supposed companion – and suddenly finds himself in a net, wriggling two feet above the ground!
No sooner has the hunter marveled at his howling catch than the Squonk disappears, dissolving into tears. All that remains is a puddle on the ground, from which soon grows the tallest and most beautiful flower in the forest.
The grandfather finishes the story and steps outside to water a huge flower. In the Moonlight, we recognize him as the aged Frederick. Without the Squonk, spring has never returned to the forest. The once beautiful kingdom has turned into a barren wasteland…
DIRECTOR BIOGRAPHY – MIKE BOTHE
Mike Bothe has been working in commercial film for 15 years. He started as a designer and VFX artist and is now at home in the dark post-production basements and grading suites of Berlin as a freelance colorist for clients from all over the world. “The Squonk” is his first live-action short film as a director.
When we first came across the old folk tale of the “Squonk” in 2010, we were immediately touched and desperately wanted to bring the tale of the lonely monster to the screen. Full of enthusiasm, we began building models, designing costumes and fine-tuning the script. We wanted to design each tree individually, to create an eerie, fantastic squonk forest. To do this, we resorted to a mix of studio builds, miniature models and digital set extensions. We never imagined the scale of the project. That in the end over 300 team members would be involved in our little fairy tale. That it would take more than ten years for “The Squonk” to see the light of day.
But now that the film is finally finished, we very much hope that we can infect as many young and old viewers as possible with our enthusiasm for fairy tales and for the “Squonk”.