Let us introduce you to the Chinese director Shen Jie, who is participating in this year’s Berlinale Shorts competition.
Born in Shanghai, China in 1989, he graduated from the Shanghai Institute of Technology in 2012. His short films have screened at film festivals around the world including in Venice, Sakhalin, Tampere, Annecy and Zagreb. He lives and works in Shanghai.
The camera falls into the water. A man without arms stands at the edge of the pool and fishes the diving goggles out of his trousers with his foot. Like an animal, he bites the hand of a woman standing next to him. A package is opened. A jump in the water, followed by a splash! It is the exploding of a bomb, marking the transition of life to death. With a precise montage of a few sound elements, animated images and framing, Shen Jie tells of borderlines and possibilities. Who holds whom and when? The linear narrative is suspended. Urgency and restlessness are inherent features of the film. The images are inspired by the work of British painter David Hockney whose famous work, ‘Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures)’ was auctioned in November 2018 – at a price that has never before been paid for the work of a living artist.
Shen Jie belongs to a young generation of independent animation filmmakers in China who are gaining international acclaim.
What is your ambition in the film?
I’d like to try a more abstract way to narrate a little story.
What do you like about the short form?
I think short form works well for some extreme expressions. Less running time actually gives me more room to experiment. I would, of course, like to try a longer form, if I have a suitable idea for it.
What are your future plans?
I’m making a new short film. And I recently started to write poems and some little stories. Currently no any more detailed future plan.
24 films from 17 countries will be competing for the Golden and Silver Bear, the Audi Short Film Award, endowed with 20,000 euros, and a nomination as “Berlin Short Film Candidate for the European Film Awards 2019”.