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From My Desert

2019, animated film, 14 minutes


Director, Animator, Editor, Scriptwriter: Veneta Androva

Music: Nadia D’Aló & Benedikt Frey

Voice: Una Hepburn

FROM MY DESERT is the winner of the following awards

Part of the programme ‘Emerging Artists – Contemporary Experimental Films And Video Art From Germany’ Vol 5, curated by Sarah Adam, Anne Gaschütz, Carsten Aschmann, Tobias Hering and Anne Turek. Organized by AG Kurzfilm – German Short Film Association in collaboration with German Films.


Nominee For German Short Film Award 2020 in category ‘Animated film up to 30 minutes’

Winner of Critics’ Jury Award, 25FPS 16th International Experimental Film and Video Festival, Zagreb (HRV)

FROM MY DESERT accompanies a young investor into the freeport in Geneva to a meeting arranged by his art dealer to review the terms and conditions of his most recent asset. When the purchase contract is concluded, the artwork will be stored in the tax-free zone for the next several years, until its market value increase makes a resale lucrative. Through labyrinthine aisles in the style of computer games, the computer-generated character moves through the strictly secured warehouse, built to preserve the anonymity of its customers, to a private, air-conditioned showroom. There, the investor meets the famous portrait of Martin Luther (1528) by Lucas Cranach the Elder.

“He was exhilarated about this first meeting. This kind of investment was new to him. Tangible assets were not his main forte, but since 2008 the art market had become more stable and profitable choice. He opened the heavy bullet-proof door to the private viewing room. […] He was mounted on the wall and illuminated by various spotlights. On this occasion, they saw each other for the first time. “Oh yeah, you’re all mine now,” said the investor out loud. […] He looked him deep in his eyes and was so impressed at how vividly they were painted. […]”

However, what’s supposed to be simply a tangible asset turns out to be so much more. Suddenly, the investor thinks he hears the painting speak, then he receives a friendly smile from Luther. A budding friendship begins between the investor and the reformer, they talk about “typical guy stuff” – such as how to use political power and loyalty to get ahead, and let others do the work while pursuing own interests. Soon, the young investor develops unknown erotic feelings for the serious and manly-looking Martin. Whenever he can, he visits him for a tête-à-tête in the “dark room”. However, Martin’s attention expires when the investor, who can’t bear the thought of losing his “beautiful prisoner”, becomes weak and loses sight of the common goal: the profitable resale.

Intelligent and with humor, Veneta Androva traces the grotesque absurdity of an art market that has degenerated into pure speculation and the questionable role of freeports, conjuring up the mutual attraction of “Protestant ethics and the spirit of capitalism” (as in the famous work of Max Weber published in 1905), and amalgamates in the hand-painted, animated portrait of “Martin” – in the installation it is already located in the transport box instead of in the museum – digital animation and painting.

Text: Eva Scharrer

The film has been screened and exhibited at the following:

From Universe to Universe, group show at Feldbusch Wiesner Rudolph Gallery, Berlin (DE)


On tour with with ‘German Short Film Award. In Cinema’ 

The House That Mum Built, Santos 32, London (UK)

Medienhaus Hannover with ‘Emerging Artists’ program (DE)

Golden Ger Film Festival with ‘Emerging Artists’ program in cooperation with Goethe Institut (MN)

Al Este International Film Festival – Peru with ‘Emerging Artists’ program (PE)

Il Cinemino, with ‘Emerging Artists’ program (IT)

68. International Short Film Festival Oberhausen with ‘Emerging Artists’ program (DE)


Porto/Post/Doc Film And Media Festival with ‘Emerging Artists’ program (PT)

22. Izmir Short Film Festival with ‘Emerging Artists’ program (TR)

3rd Istanbul International Experimental Film Festival with ‘Emerging Artists’ program (TR)

FEST – New Directors | New Films Festival Official Selection ‘Sylver Lynx Animation Competition’ (PT)

Goethe Institut Brasilien Recife, online screening with ‘Emerging Artists’ program

Noass – Waterpieces INTERNATIONAL VIDEO AND CONTEMPORARY ART FESTIVAL with ‘Emerging Artists’ program (LV)

Short Film Corner Cannes Court Métrage, Festival Des Cannes, with ‘Emerging Artists’ program, Cannes (FR)

Videoabend Kurze Emotionen curated short film program, screened at Motorenhalle. Projektzentrum für zeitgenössische Kunst, Dresden (DE)

Screening at SAC – Spazio Arte Contemporanea with ‘Emerging Artists program, Livorno (IT)

Clermont-Ferrand with ‘Emerging Artists’ program, online short film market (FR)

Molodist Kyiv International Film Festival with ‘Emerging Artists’ program (UKR)

Stuttgarter Filmwinter – Festival For Expanded Media with ‘Emerging Artists’ program (DE)


KFFK/Short Film Festival Cologne Nr. 14 Official Selection Competition (DE)

16th 25FPS International Experimental Film And Video Festival Official Selection Competition (HR)

LINOLEUM Contemporary Animation And Media Art Festival Official Selection (UKR)

BOOM, 48 Stunden Neukölln (DE)


International Leipzig Festival For Documentary And Animated Film Official Selection German Short Film Competition (DE)

I ENGINEER, group exhibition at Leipziger Baumwollspinnerei, WERKSCHAU Halle 12, Leipzig (DE)

Monitoring, Kassel Documentary Film And Video Festival (DE)

BAZA Award for Contemporary Art, group exhibition at Sofia City Art Gallery (BG)

Perfekte Zustände, group exhibition, Berlin (DE)