The pure beauty and heart of “Smile” captured the attention of every judge at FilmOneFest in 2013. Submitted by Finnish director Misko Iho, the short is both romantic and devastatingly honest; it manages to make a grand statement out of a simple story without feeling trite. Iho’s use of anamorphic grading and slow-motion capture give the film a dream-like quality that reflects the central character’s emotional reminiscence and state of mind, an expert use of cinematography in storytelling.
Reflecting on the title song crooned by Sinatra and the significance of the work, Iho told FilmOneFest, “I love cinema and especially films by Charles Chaplin. The song in this film was originally composed as an instrumental by Chaplin for his movie Modern Times. Even though John Turner and Geoffrey Parsons added the lyrics some twenty years later, I think they succeeded in finding just the right ones. The music, images and quote in the end all together reflect my philosophy towards life, and that’s why I feel that this is one of the most personal films I’ve done.”
“Smile” may bring you to tears, but it will remind you of the world’s beauty while it does. It was awarded a Jury Prize in 2013 and remains a FilmOneFest favorite.