Congratulations to the amazing winners of the Golden Bear for Best Short Film and the Silver Bear Jury Prize (Short Film) as well as the Audi Short Film Award!

Florian Fischer and Johannes Krell are overwhelmed by winning the Golden Bear for Best Short Film yesterday Photo by Heinrich Völkel

Florian Fischer and Johannes Krell won the Golden Bear for Best Short Film for ‚Umbra‘! 

Umbra: dark core of a sunspot, central shadow during a solar or lunar eclipse. ‘Umbrais dedicated to the ordinary and rare phenomena that occur in nature. These phenomena evoke familiar images such as shadows or reflections on the surface of water’, explain Florian Fischer and Johannes Krell. Formally and aesthetically complete, beautiful and consistent, Umbra has an irresistible arc of tension, a celebrated, not always definable and therefore all the more fascinating pull. The film can be read as an apocalyptic science fiction horror abstraction, as Kubrick Noir, so to speak. (Kubrick once mocked the fact that experimental film would never work on the big screen, and later shot the arguably most epic of all experimental films). Umbracan also be perceived as a meditation on space and its exploration. Or is it a fantasy about aliens travelling to our planet? The images we know of the moon’s surface are similarly abstract. To surrender oneself to Umbra and the emotions and associations it triggers means to begin a journey into space, and to grant space to the ephemeral.

Manuel Abramovich receiving the Silver Bear Jury Prize (Short Film) for ‚Blue Boy‘

Manuel Abramovich won the Silver Bear Jury Prize (Short Film) for ‚Blue Boy‘!

Young men from all over the world have been meeting at the Blue Boy Bar in Berlin for forty years. According to their website, this is where the city’s lonely hearts, business people and tourists go. One after another, several young men take a seat at the bar, look into the camera and listen to themselves. A contract has been settled, the terms are read aloud. It allows the filmmaker to use the interviews as he sees fit. The men are paid for it. The men tell the filmmaker about their job, they are sex workers. As we observe them, a multitude of questions arise. Their eyes are like a mirror of our society.

The Audi Short Film Award for ‚Rise‘ by Bárbara Wagner and Benjamin de Burca

Bárbara Wagner and Benjamin de Burca won the Audi Short Film Award for ‚Rise‘!

Young, gifted and black! In an act of self-empowerment, a group of young Black people, mainly first and second generation immigrants from the Caribbean, have occupied the public space of the Toronto underground to perform their agitprop concept of edutainment – poets, rappers, singers and musicians. This vital, experimental documentary perceives rhythm, text and dance as forms of creative work that collectively reflect and comment about their identities. Diverse voices come together in a cultural dialogue that includes both traditional and contemporary elements of Black music. The structure and script of the film is based on the edutainment concept created by hip hop artist KRS-One. Also involved are members of the group R.I.S.E. (Reaching Intelligent Souls Everywhere), who organize a weekly poetry slam in suburban community institutions in Toronto.

The Filmmakers of Berlinale Shorts 2019

Photos by Heinrich Völkel

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