Tell Me about Yourself so that I Can Understand the World

“Art, and film in particular, allows us to see the world through different eyes. It helps us to experience reality through someone else’s perception, to rethink it and to find our place within it,” says Anna Henckel-Donnersmarck, section head and curator of Berlinale Shorts. “At the same time, it requires a sounding board, an audience, so that what is said can find its echo and continue to reverberate.”

Each of the 20 films in the 2021 Berlinale Shorts takes its own approach to reality: Some look into colonial history and find new ways to interpret it (Al motociclista no le cabe la felicidad en el traje, Strange Object, One Hundred Steps). Others oppose political violence (International Dawn Chorus Day) and right-wing terror to prevent us from forgetting (Deine Strasse). They confront trauma in individual bodies and families to find answers (A Love Song in Spanish, Nanu Tudor). They must process our society (Vadim na progulke, Das Glitzern im Barbieblut, One Thousand and One Attempts to Be an Ocean) or challenge its institutions (Rehearsal). There is a great longing to understand (Zonder Meer) and to be understood (Easter Eggs, Si t’as un coeur, Xia Wu Guo Qu Le Yi Ban, Les Attendants, More Happiness). It is possible to imagine a new togetherness (Luz de Presença, Blastogenese X); the windows to the future are wide open (Ventana).

The 20 short films from 16 countries feature different formal languages ​​and range from fictional formats to experimental films, animations, hybrid and documentary forms.

Bárbara Wagner and Benjamin de Burca (2019 Audi Short Film Award), Diogo Costa Amarante (2017 Golden Bear for Best Short Film), Sasha Svirsky and Ulu Braun are all returning to Berlinale Shorts with new works. Zhang Dalei, Güzin Kar, Truong Minh Quý, Ana Elena Tejera and John Greyson are known for their feature-length films. Charlotte Maria Kätzl, Conrad Veit and Wang Yuyan are coming to film from fine art, Émilie Vandenameele from the theatre.

All the films are nominated for the Golden Bear for Best Short Film and the Silver Bear Jury Prize (Short Film). In addition, the Berlin Short Film Candidate for the European Film Awards will be chosen. The award winners are being decided by an international jury of three and will be announced during the online Industry Event in early March. The award ceremony will take place in front of a live audience during the Berlinale Summer Special in June.

The Berlinale Shorts blog (https://shortsblog.berlinale.de/) is continuing its tradition of interviewing the filmmakers and inviting members of the selection committee and the Berlinale Shorts team to share their thoughts on the films.

Films in Berlinale Shorts

*World premiere is used to indicate that these films have not been shown to an audience yet. Since they will be available in online screenings to a professional audience (industry and press) only, they will keep their status World premiere until they will be presented publicly in cinemas or at festivals.

*International premiere is used to indicate that these films have not been shown outside their country of origin yet. Since they will be available in online screenings to a professional audience (industry and press) only, they will keep their status International premiere until they will be presented publicly in cinemas or at festivals.

Al motociclista no le cabe la felicidad en el traje (Motorcyclist’s Happiness Won’t Fit Into His Suit)
Mexico, 10’
by Gabriel Herrera
with David Illiescas, Ángel Morales, Lisandro Robles, Ulises Robles, Estefanía Guerrero, Joel Ramirez
*World premiere

Les Attendants (The Men Who Wait)
France / Singapore, 15’
by Truong Minh Quý
with Gérard Thomas, Jean-François Geneste, Souleymane Sanogo
*World premiere

Blastogenese X (Blastogenesis X)
Germany, 27’
by Conrad Veit, Charlotte Maria Kätzl
with Charlotte Maria Kätzl, Conrad Veit, Juraj Černák
*World premiere

Deine Strasse (Your Street)
Switzerland, 7’
by Güzin Kar
with Sibylle Berg
*International premiere

Easter Eggs
Belgium / France / Netherlands, 15’
by Nicolas Keppens
*International premiere

Das Glitzern im Barbieblut (Glittering Barbieblood)
Germany, 27’
by Ulu Braun
with Gina-Lisa Maiwald, Mietze Maiwald, Dietlind Sommer, Milan Braun
*World premiere

International Dawn Chorus Day
Canada, 15’
by John Greyson
with Shady Habash, Sarah Hegazi
*World premiere

A Love Song in Spanish
France / Panama, 24’
by Ana Elena Tejera
with Yolanda Mathieu, Candido Ríos
*World premiere

Luz de Presença (A Present Light)
Portugal, 19’
by Diogo Costa Amarante
with Diana Neves Silva, João Castro, Gustavo Sumpta, Luís Miguel Cintra, Fernando Soares
*World premiere

More Happiness
USA, 13’
by Livia Huang
with Tina Wonglu, Joyce Keokham, Rui Ying Lu
*World premiere

Nanu Tudor (My Uncle Tudor)
Belgium / Portugal / Hungary, 20’
by Olga Lucovnicova
*World premiere

One Hundred Steps
France / Germany 31’
by Bárbara Wagner, Benjamin de Burca
with Eabha Bourke, Mona Boutchebak, Malachy Bourke, Bob Quinn, Hakim Hamadouche
*International premiere

One Thousand and One Attempts to Be an Ocean
France, 11’
by Wang Yuyan
*World premiere

Rehearsal
Nigeria, 14’
by Michael Omonua
with Ruby Akubueze, Brutus Richard, Amanda Oruh, Chimezie Imo
*World premiere

Si t’as un coeur (Young Hearts)
France, 22’
by Émilie Vandenameele
with Artus Antonini, Mathilde Le Borgne, Arthur Velten, Lucie Vincentelli
*World premiere

Strange Object
United Kingdom, 15’
by Miranda Pennell
*International premiere

Vadim na progulke (Vadim on a Walk)
Russian Federation, 8’
by Sasha Svirsky
*World premiere

Ventana (Window)
USA, 11’
by Edgar Jorge Baralt
with Edgar Jorge Baralt, Christina C Nguyen
*World premiere

Xia Wu Guo Qu Le Yi Ban (Day Is Done)
People’s Republic of China, 24’
by Zhang Dalei
with Kong Weiyi, Zhang Chen, Guo Yanyun, Zhao Hua, Hao Mengfu, Li Xuejian
*World premiere

Zonder Meer
Belgium, 14’
by Meltse Van Coillie
with Lucie Wyns, Jeroom Smeyers, Lone Genar, Eva Binon, Patrick Vervueren
*International premiere


Press Office
February 9, 2021

photo: Lucie Vincentelli in Si t’as un coeur (Young Hearts)by Émilie Vandenameele© Still: Juliette Barrat / L’Endroit

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