This is a film still from ARTHUR KING - CHANGING LANDSCAPE by Brian Canning & Sam Johnson at Cheap Cuts Doc Fest 2020.

Cheap Cuts Doc Fest 2020 – Take Two Shorts #3

Logging in for the last day of Cheap Cuts Doc Fest 2020? To help you find your way around, we’re recommending some short film pairings that might excite you. > Buy your Festival Pass at where 60+ short films are available on demand [until 05 JUL].


Twitter @radiantcircus | Instagram @radiantcircus


One of the challenges of taking a festival online is whether films have sufficient opportunity to breathe on more restrictive screen estate. For this pair of recommendations we look at two short docs where headphones – and as big a screen as you can muster – are essential to convey their intimate sounds.

Our first recommendation is ARTHUR KING: CHANGING LANDSCAPES (2019, 19mins) by Brian Canning & Sam Johnson which screens in the JOURNEYS strand and is in competition for the UNCONVENTIONAL STORYTELLING award (sponsored this year by RADIANT CIRCUS).

The film documents the creation of a large-scale sound and light installation by the LA-based collective, Arthur King. We see the recording of sound and video footage as a team of white boiler-suited artists tap, bang and stir their way around the Wauters Farm in rural Idaho, the source, setting and eventual stage for their performance (for which we appear to be the only audience).

Far from a mere ‘making of’ documentary, immersive cinematography and stunning sound design create a fully three dimensional sense of place where the art appears as alchemy. CHANGING LANDSCAPES is a beautiful artwork of an artwork – the (Arthur) king of special features? – where headphones are absolutely essential.

[There’s a beautiful sequence in ARTHUR KING: CHANGING LANDSCAPES where the fireflies rise from the fields making it a great pairing with ANCORA LUCCIOLE (aka STILL FIREFLIES) by María Elorza.]

> Book your #CheapCuts2020 Festival Pass HERE <

This is a film still from THE TOUGH (2019, 14 mins) by Marcin Polar screening at Cheap Cuts Doc Fest 2020.
THE TOUGH by Marcin Polar at Cheap Cuts Doc Fest 2020.

From the open air, we go deep underground… Watching a human being swallowed up by rock is surely one of the strangest experiences of this year’s festival.

THE TOUGH (2019, 14 mins) by Marcin Polar – also in the JOURNEYS strand, this time in competition for the Best International Documentary award – features mind-spinning camera work as the filmmaker follows a lone spelunker as he explores a cave system high in the Polish Tatra Mountains.

If the sampled sounds of CHANGING LANDSCAPES transported you to the wide open spaces of Idaho, the soundscape for THE TOUGH will literally have you holding your breath. ‘Tight squeeze’ doesn’t even come close… Asthmatics be warned: have your inhaler ready!


This is a film still from ANCORA LUCCIOLE by María Elorza at Cheap Cuts 2020.
ANCORA LUCCIOLE by María Elorza at Cheap Cuts Doc Fest 2020.

RADIANT CIRCUS is delighted to be joining Cheap Cuts Doc Fest 2020 as a judge and award sponsor for this year’s Unconventional Storytelling strand.

> Book your #CheapCuts2020 Festival Pass HERE <

Main featured image: ARTHUR KING: CHANGING LANDSCAPES (2019, 19mins) by Brian Canning & Sam Johnson at Cheap Cuts Doc Fest 2020.

This is an image of the poster for the Cheap Cuts Documentary Film Festival 2020 Edition.

SIGN UP to our newsletter // SUBSCRIBE at Patreon

RADIANT CIRCUS is supported entirely by readers’ monthly subscriptions. Subscribers get our unique listings emailed as well as other great rewards. They are a dedicated community of adventurous film fans supporting what they love so that many more can discover it. With enough subscribers backing us, we will be able to: 1) keep listing far into the future, 2) expand our content & coverage, 3) recruit & reward new writers, & 4) create beautiful things.

Subscribe now at


*THE SMALL PRINT: As accurate as we could make it. Apologies for any errors. Updates & corrections will be made to the online version. Event dates/times are subject to change by the venue/organiser. We try to only list events you can book for at the time of posting: however, some events may already be sold out. Please click quickly! We don’t filter by age/certification: all readers & subscribers should be 18+.