The GRAND OFF World Independent Film Awards has announced the nominated short films that will vie for awards at a glittering ceremony to be held on Saturday 27th November in Warsaw, Poland. Representing some of the very best independent shorts from across the world, 52 films from 32 countries will compete in 9 categories that include Best Fiction, Best Documentary and Best Animation. The aim of GRAND OFF is to draw attention to some of the very best films made by independent filmmakers whilst honouring their work, talent and dedication.

    Highlights of the nominees include the Arena (Dir. João Salaviza, Portugal) - a winner of the Short Film Palme D'Or at the 2009 Cannes Festival - a powerful tale set in the blazing Portuguese heat as a man under house arrest tries to deal with the local kids who are taunting him. The latest film from legendary US animator Bill Plympton - a two time Academy Award nominee - will also be shown with The Cow Who Wanted To Be A Hamburger (Dir. Bill Plympton, USA) displaying his usual anarchic sense of humour and style. GRAND OFF will also make a monkey out of some filmmakers when it screens fascinating documentary Capucine (Dir. Luis Nieto, France/Japan) in which the director tracks a scientist attempting to teach primates how to make films. Including the remarkable moment when a film made by one of these ‘apeteurs' is selected for a major film festival, it's an engaging piece of work that shows at least some filmmakers will be prepared to work for peanuts.

    Other highlights include the dark British mystery film Things We Leave Behind (Dir. Andrew Brand, UK), the powerful and disturbing story of a refugee in the emotionally gripping Polish film Hanoi/Warsaw (Dir. Katarzyna Klimkiewicz, Poland) and the weird and wonderful coming-of-age tale Jenny and the Worm (Dir. Ian Clark, UK)

    The winning films will be selected by a jury of industry professionals from across the world. Representing filmmakers, journalists, academics, programmers and festival directors from numerous film institutions, they will be spending the next few weeks feverishly watching films and selecting their favourites in anticipation of the coming ceremony,

    GRAND OFF Festival Director Witold Kon said:

    "We're delighted that we had such an amazing response to the awards with more than 800 films submitted. It was a difficult task to choose the nominees as the quality of independent filmmaking is at an all time high, but we're all very pleased with those that have been selected. The judges will certainly have a difficult time in choosing their favourites. Yet, with so many brilliant films, they'll have an extremely good time as well."
    The GRAND OFF Award Ceremony will be the culmination of a week of screenings across Warsaw. Screenings will include the nominated films, some specially curated programmes and a Lifetime Achievement Award to be presented to the legendary Polish director Krzysztof Zanussi. GRAND OFF hopes to welcome the majority of nominated filmmakers over the final weekend to enjoy the city of Warsaw and the work of their peers.