STATEMENT BY MAIKE MIA HÖHNE: BERLINALE SHORTS 2019

The selection of the Berlinale Shorts 2019 is an essence of current contemporary filmmaking. Power, visibility and knowledge have a significant influence on the possibility of participation. This year, our Berlinale Shorts‘ selection will take a close look at these integral elements, searching for new ways to create a worthwhile future together. You’re very welcome to watch the statement by Maike Mia Höhne, curator of Berlinale Shorts, and check all details regarding programmes, dates and times via the Berlinale website.

ONE YEAR AFTER THE AWARDS: A QUICK CHAT WITH RÉKA BUCSI, AUDI SHORT FILM AWARD 2018

We are almost there! Another year has gone by and the 69th Berlin International Film Festival is about to start. Before we begin sharing more details concerning the contributions of 2019 with you, we want to know how the winners of last year’s competition have been spending the time after their success in 2018. Check out the interview with Réka Bucsi, who won the Audi Short Film Award 2018 with Solar Walk.

We can’t wait to see her again in February: Don’t miss Réka Bucsis talk with Jeffrey Bowers, Senior Curator at Vimeo and part of the International Short Film Jury 2019. Meet them on February 10 at the Audi Berlinale Lounge, Marlene-Dietrich-Platz – just next to the Red Carpet. The panel is for free and open for everyone. 4:00 – 5:00 PM.

rekabucsi_2017
© Réka Bucsi

How has life been since last year’s Berlinale Shorts?

Life has been busy and exciting, I have been traveling almost all year. I took on some small animation projects, but I also had the opportunity to start focusing on my new personal film, which would not have been possible without winning the Audi Short Film Award last year. Winning an award at a festival like Berlinale as an animation filmmaker has been pretty special as it turns out.

What did winning the award mean to you personally?

The night I won the award, was very emotional for me. I never felt this much appreciation and love coming at me for my work all at once. It was very direct from many wonderful people, who’s work I admire and respect. It felt real and very surreal at the same time, and I got so much energy out of that night for a long time after. It also inspired me to take on a bigger project in the future and be confident about what I want to say and how I want to do that.

What are your plans for 2019?

My plans are to finish the preparations for my upcoming new film, and not take on smaller projects on the side. I am pretty excited about this year, and I would like to use my time and focus and just enjoy the freedom of writing and drawing my personal film as long as I have the opportunity to do that. I am also going to teach a little bit at Calarts, which is going to be a first for me, so that’s also something I am looking forward to.

At the 2019 edition of Berlinale Shorts, 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”.

ONE YEAR AFTER THE AWARDS: A QUICK CHAT WITH SAMUEL ISHIMWE, SILVER BEAR 2018

We are almost there! Another year has gone by and the 69th Berlin International Film Festival is about to start. Before we begin sharing more details concerning the contributions of 2019 with you, we want to know how the winners of last year’s competition have been spending the time after their success in 2018.

Check out the interview with Samuel Ishimwe, who won the Silver Bear Jury Prize (Short Film) 2018 with Imfura.

ishimwe_samuel

How has life been since last year’s Berlinale Shorts?

Life has been great career-wise, the Berlinale really shed a light on my film, after I travelled to multiple good festivals, and got to see how it interacts with different audiences.

What did winning the award mean to you personally?

It gave me a great feeling of acceptance and uplifted my confidence to continue shape my own cinematic accent.

What are your plans for 2019?

I want to end this year with a new film, a feature film – if it all goes as planned.

At the 2019 edition of Berlinale Shorts, 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”.

ONE YEAR AFTER THE AWARDS: A QUICK CHAT WITH INES MOLDAVSKY, GOLDEN BEAR 2018

We are almost there! Another year has gone by and the 69th Berlin International Film Festival is about to start. Before we begin sharing more details concerning the contributions of 2019 with you, we want to know how the winners of last year’s competition have been spending the time after their success in 2018.

Let’s start with Ines Moldavsky, who won the Golden Bear for the Best Short Film 2018 with The Men Behind the Wall.

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© Heinrich Völkel

How has life been since last year’s Berlinale Shorts?

I got to travel to many festivals all around the world to screen the film, and received great feedback from different audiences, of all ages, genders and nationalities. The film touched many people. It is highly exciting for me, to see how people who never lived the local political reality in Israel can still understand the film and identify with it; it seems the film actually deals with universal subjects which are very much on today’s agenda. I have also started running workshops at different art institutions where I got to present my earlier films. It is very encouraging to see how recognition of one of my films creates a new opportunity for earlier works, which haven’t got much attention until that moment.

What did winning the award mean to you personally?

After so many years of being a starving-independent-subversive-experimental-struggling artist, it’s great to know that people can actually relate to my crazy ideas. There are soooooo many points during the process of making a film you say to yourself „I am fucking crazy. Why am I doing this? No one will ever get it“. So it’s great to know that people got it, it gives power to keep on going, to proceed with my artistic journey. Although I am still a struggling artist. Because art is always a struggle – both emotionally, because you are constantly analyzing yourself and your surroundings, and economically,  because there is never enough funding. Especially today, especially in Israel, especially with the current Minister of Culture, it is practically impossible to get funding for the type of films I make. But luckily enough, I have a very ascetic type of personality, so I am willing to keep struggling, and will continue in pursuing my creative ideas, even if everyone thinks I’m crazy, like they did in Israel when I was making this film.

What are your plans for 2019?

I am working simultaneously on another experimental documentary film and on a script for a fiction feature film. The documentary deals with gender roles in contemporary psychoanalysis and psychiatry, examining the diagnosis called Borderline Personality Disorder and its similarities to the fabled female hysteria. Yes, this one doesn’t deal with the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, but like in my previous film it deals with power relations between both genders, trying to expose injustices in current society, and once again using my own autobiographic story and persona. The feature film is a long-term project, and it deals with a young Israeli woman who wants to immigrate away from Israel because she is sick of the political reality, but doesn’t seem to succeed in getting a European passport, so in the meantime she drowns her sorrow in compulsive binge-eating and casual sexual encounters with the different macho types present in contemporary Israeli society, in which the gender roles are highly influenced by militarism.

At the 2019 edition of Berlinale Shorts, 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”.

 

 

BERLINALE SHORTS PARTY & FAREWELL MAIKE MIA HÖHNE

kohlberger party shorts
© It has to be lived once and dreamed twice – Rainer Kohlberger

We’re throwing a party to celebrate the best short films of the 69th Berlin International Film Festival 2019!

Let’s say goodbye to Maike Mia Höhne who has been the curator and head of Berlinale Shorts since the summer of 2007. From March 2019, she will be the artistic director of Hamburg International Short Film Festival.

Dance your feet off until the queen leaves the building!

DJs and friends behind the decks:
Chalafel
The Sorry Entertainer
Tropeninstitut / Bassito
Pet Shop Bears
Yeşim
Robert Beatz

Where: Säälchen, Holzmarktstr. 25, 10243 Berlin
When: Wednesday, February 13, 2019
Doors: 11pm
Entrance: 8€

Find us on facebook!

BERLINALE SHORTS: PROGRAMME COMPLETE FOR 2019

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Dynesti Williams. Rise. Regie/directors: Bárbara Wagner, Benjamin de Burca. Foto/photo: © Bárbara Wagner, Benjamin de Burca

At the 2019 edition of Berlinale Shorts, 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”.

This year’s competition includes works by Bárbara Wagner & Benjamin de Burca, Martín Rejtman, Luca Tóth, Rainer Kohlberger, Eva Könnemann, Flóra Anna Buda and Manuel Abramovich, among others. Al Mahatta by Eltayeb Mahdi and Crvene gumene čizme by Jasmila Žbanić will also be screened out of competition.

The films of the 2019 edition of the Berlinale Shorts’ international competition treat diverse aspects of power, visibility and knowledge, as integral elements in the section’s overarching examination of the nature of participation. “We need new role models and a multitude of stories if we are to create a viable future for all of us,” states curator Maike Mia Höhne, who has served as section head for Berlinale Shortssince 2007 and will be assuming the role of artistic director of the Hamburg International Short Film Festival from March 2019.

Rise by Wagner & de Burca, whose work will be featured at the Brazilian pavilion of this year’s Venice Biennale, documents POC artists with post-migrant backgrounds engaged in an act of self-empowerment through music and spoken word performance in Toronto’s underground scene. In Rainer Kohlberger’s dystopian experimental work It has to be lived once and dreamed twice, the voice of Annika Henderson awakens into the role of a new species after the extinction of humanity, while Flóra Anna Buda’s animated characters manage to liberate themselves from both capitalist and hetero-normative coercion in Entropia. Louis Fried’s Flexible Bodies tackles dreams of careerism and self-optimisation, and Manuel Abramovich also reveals aspects of the wider job world at Berlinale Shorts 2019 in Blue Boy– which features conversations with men earning a living as sex workers in Berlin. The three films Crvene gumene čizmeOmarska and Can’t You See Them? – Repeat. on the other hand focus on the post-war zone of Bosnia and Herzegovina. This latter part of the programme serves as a departure point for an examination of remembrance culture and the dynamics of participation in the writing of history.

The International Short Film Jury for 2019 is composed of US-American Jeffrey Bowers, Senior Curator at Vimeo, Croatia’s Vanja Kaludjercic, Director of Acquisitions at MUBI, and Koyo Kouoh, founder and artistic director of RAW Material Company from Senegal.

Films at Berlinale Shorts 2019:

All on a Mardi Gras Day, Michal Pietrzyk, USA, 22’ (IP)
Al Mahatta, Eltayeb Mahdi, Sudan, 16’, 1989 (out of competition)
Blue Boy, Manuel Abramovich, Argentina, Germany, 19’ (WP)
Can’t You See Them? – Repeat., Clarissa Thieme, Germany, Bosnia and Herzegovina, 9’ (WP)
Crvene gumene čizme, Jasmila Žbanić, Bosnia and Herzegovina, 18’, 2000 (out of competition)
Entropia, Flóra Anna Buda, Hungary, 10’ (WP)
Flexible Bodies, Louis Fried, Germany, 19’ (WP)
Héctor, Victoria Giesen Carvajal, Chile, 19’ (WP)
How to Breathe in Kern County, Chris Filippone, USA, 9’ (WP)
It has to be lived once and dreamed twice, Rainer Kohlberger, Germany, Austria, 28’ (WP)
Kingdom, Tan Wei Keong, Singapore, 5’ (IP)
Leyenda dorada, Chema García Ibarra, Ion de Sosa, Spain, 11’ (WP)
Lidérc úr, Luca Tóth, Hungary, France, 19’ (WP)
Mot Khu Dat Tot, Pham Ngoc Lan, Vietnam, 19’ (WP)
Në Mes, Samir Karahoda, Kosovo, 15’ (WP)
Omarska, Varun Sasindran, France, 19’ (WP)
Past Perfect, Jorge Jácome, Portugal, 23’ (WP)
Prendre feu, Michaël Soyez, France, 26’ (WP)
Rang Mahal, Prantik Basu, India, 27’ (IP)
Rise, Bárbara Wagner, Benjamin de Burca, Brazil, Canada, USA, 20’ (IP)here
Shakti, Martín Rejtman, Argentina, Chile, 19’ (WP)
The Spirit Keepers of Makuta’ay, Yen-Chao Lin, Canada, 11’ (WP)
Splash, Shen Jie, China, 9’ (WP)
Suc de síndria, Irene Moray, Spain, 22’ (WP)
Umbra, Florian Fischer, Johannes Krell, Germany, 20’ (WP)
Welt an Bord, Eva Könnemann, Germany, 29’ (WP)

You can find the german version of our press release here

INTERNATIONAL SHORT FILM JURY 2019

Exciting news! Senior Curator and Vimeo programmer from the USA, Jeffrey Bowers; MUBI’s Director of Acquisitions, Vanja Kaludjercic from Croatia; and Koyo Kouoh, founding artistic director of RAW Material Company from Senegal, make up the International Short Film Jury in 2019. They will award the Golden and the Silver Bear as well as the Audi Short Film Award. In addition, they will nominate the Berlin Short Film Candidate for the European Film Awards 2019.

Maike Mia Höhne, who has been the curator and head of Berlinale Shorts since 2007, comments: “I am looking forward to intercultural perspectives, which will lead to multilayered ways of reading.”

THE INTERNATIONAL SHORT FILM JURY 2019

Bild könnte enthalten: 3 Personen, Personen, die lachen, Text

Jeffrey Bowers (USA)
Jeffrey Bowers is a Senior Curator at Vimeo, where his responsibilities include selecting Staff Picks, managing Staff Pick Premieres, Staff Pick Awards and Vimeo’s Best of the Year awards. His background includes programming features and shorts for the Tribeca Film Festival, Hamptons International Film Festival, and Rooftop Films. He also co-curated VICE media’s VICE Shorts, where he wrote the short film column, “I’m Short, Not Stupid”. Bowers has served on juries and participated in speaking engagements at places like the Toronto International Film Festival, SXSW Film Festival, Slamdance Film Festival, Palm Springs International ShortFest, Guanajuato Film Festival, and IFP (Independent Feature Project) in New York.

Vanja Kaludjercic (Croatia)
Vanja Kaludjercic works for the curated streaming platform MUBI as Director of Acquisitions. Previously, she was part of the International Film Festival Rotterdam where she headed the Masterclasses & Talks section. She has also worked as director of the Holland Film Meeting of the Netherlands Film Festival, as head of industry at Les Arcs European Film Festival, and established the Paris Co-Production Village in 2014. As a programmer, she has worked for the Sarajevo Film Festival, Paris-based Cinéma du Réel and CPH:DOX. Outside of festivals, Kaludjercic has also teamed up with Slovenia-based distribution outfit Demiurg and Paris-based sales and production company Coproduction Office.

Koyo Kouoh (Senegal)
In addition to her work as founder and artistic director of RAW Material Company in Senegal, Koyo Kouoh has been responsible for a huge variety of international exhibitions, including “Saving Bruce Lee: African and Arab Cinema in the Era of Soviet Cultural Diplomacy” at Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin, co-curated with Rasha Salti. She was a curator of the 1:54 FORUM Contemporary African Art Fair in London and New York, as well as a member of several curatorial teams for documenta 12 (2007) and documenta 13 (2012). Kouoh was the curator of the 37th EVA International, Ireland’s Biennial (2016). In 2018 she participated in the 57th edition of Carnegie International with the exhibition “Dig Where You Stand”. Her published works include “Word!Word?Word! Issa Samb and the Undecipherable Form” (2013), “Condition Report on Building Art Institutions in Africa” (2012) and “Chronicle of a Revolt: Photographs of a Season of Protest” (2012).

THE AWARDS

The films in the Berlinale Shorts competition compete for the following awards:

  • Golden Bear for Best Short Film
    The winner of the Golden Bear qualifies for being eligible for next year’s short film Oscar®.
  • Silver Bear Jury Prize (Short Film)
  • Audi Short Film Award, endowed with € 20,000, enabled by Audi
  • the Berlin Short Film Candidate for the European Film Awards
    The winning film is the Berlin candidate for the category „European Short Film“.

 

The german version of our press release you can find here:

AN INTERVIEW WITH VERGINE KEATON ABOUT ‚LE TIGRE DE TASMANIE‘

It’s been more than a week since the impressing closing event of Berlinale, the award ceronomy, and we are still gladly looking back on all the great films that were part of the Berlinale Shorts Programme. Let us get a deeper insight in the new work of Vergine Keaton!

Born in Lyon, France in 1981, the filmmaker studied graphic design and film. Her short film ‚je criais contre la vie. ou pour elle.‘ (2007) was screened at countless festivals including Cannes as part of the ACID official selection. She followed it with ‚Marzevan‘ which was shown at Les Sommets du cinéma d’animation in Montreal, in Belo Horizonte, at Animanima and Riverside. At this year’s Berlinale Vergine Keaton presents her new film ‚Le Tigre de Tasmanie‚:

‚A thylacine, also known as Tasmanian tiger, paces back and forth inside a zoo. The footage dates back to the 1930s. The last Tasmanian tiger passed away in 1936 – Benjamin. A glacier is gradually melting, there’s no stopping it. Everything is white. Fire follows ice, in the form of an erupting volcano. The forests buckle and collapse under the burden of the lava that spreads out on top of them. Nature exceeds the edges of the screen and reinvents itself. Keaton’s images take their bearings from Romantic-era painting and Symbolism. The sounds of the French musical collective Les Marquises, situated somewhere between neofolk and industrial, underscore the chance of the new inherent in the destruction: dark, sinister, driving, unique and fantastic. Can, must nature empower itself in order to pre-empt its own extinction?‘ (Maike Mia Höhne)

vergine_keaton_portrait
Vergine Keaton © Marie Rouge

What is your ambition in the film?

I wanted to work on increasing acuity: by the repetition of motifs, by the change of scale, I was aiming at gradually seeing the slightest movements and materials in the image. In other words, I wanted detail to become an event. See nature, its power, its character, infinitely lively. None of these forms seem frozen or permanent.

 What do you like about the short form?

Short movies enable working on rapid and brutal forms. I also like the possibility it leaves for experimentation and research during the shooting phase.

 What are your future plans?

I would like to promote the idea of exhausting movements and images. I would love to spread this idea to a longer period. Right now, I am working on an installation about Dante’s ‚Inferno‘ and I just started writing an animated feature film.

The Tasmanian Tiger_2
Still from ‚Le Tigre de Tasmanie‘

TERRIBLE IDEAL: YOUTH

Adults and children at the same time, young people are confronted with a tradition that (still) does not belong to them. Between rebellion and joy, two parallel beings coexist within that temporary limbo that is the young body. Limbo or paradise? „The places of memory are the cities of others,“ writes Maike Mia Höhne when presenting the programme of the Berlinale Shorts 2018.

FILMSTILL 2
Still from ‚T.R.A.P‘

Ready for the ritual and the game, the three characters of T.R.A.P (Manque La Banca, Argentina) cross a secret jungle, they dirty their boots in the mud, they make their way through the reeds, perhaps with the intention of conquering a city, that city of others. They are not casually dressed (wearing costumes?) as medieval warriors. They walk and play in the jungle, they visit a grave, they kiss. Is that a parallel world or an ideal world? The idyllic jungle is over, they talk about the present, they get into a car. On the radio, the voice of a journalist: news about the Santiago Maldonado case, dead in a river, killed by (para)police repression in the immense cold of Patagonia. The young warriors of „T.R.A.P“ can no longer be innocent. Something disquiet them. Something awakened them. It is the clash between the ideal universe and the brutal reality. That is: youth.

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Still from ‚Imfura‘

In „Imfura“ (Samuel Ishimwe, Rwanda) there is also a young man and he is called Gisa. Gisa visits the village of his (dead) mother to witness a dispute surrounding an inheritance: nothing more than the ruins of a house destroyed during the genocide. Ruins in the jungle. Away from sentimental images, Samuel Ishimwe (cameraman, director and editor of the film) accompanies his protagonist with serenity and patience. And trusting that only filming those spaces, those landscapes, those faces, will reveal something about that dead mother, whom Gisa never knew. There is not much that can be told about her, they say to Gisa, but the memory is in his body, they also tell him. To exorcise the past he must visit the present. He has to witness a celebration, accompany the fishermen in their work, he has to witness the (exemplary) civic-legal debate about the inheritance, he has to wander around. Simply be there and be part. During youth, past and future mean present. Samuel Ishimwe trusts on the idea that cinema is the art of present.

City of Tales Stills 1 - Arash Nassiri

There is no city in „City of Tales“, (Arash Nassiri, France) or, if there is one, it is imaginary, fictional, hybrid, and its name is spelled in Persian, although we are in Los Angeles. It is night, and it seems like an eternal night. A group of young people seem to prepare a night ambush, armed only with flashlights. But this colorful night is not magic. Although yes what happens. Linguistic colonization? Poetic justice? Young African-Americans are rapping, but in Persian, with a marked doubtful pronunciation; they have their headphones on, they are standing outside a mini-market, and they are singing memories (of others) of the Tehran of the 1960s and 1970s. A taxi driver repeats, while driving, sentences in Persian. Is he learning the language or is he possessed? Arash Nassiri tells it in a conversation with the spectators after the screening: several urbanizations and buildings of the Tehran from 1960-1970 were built in the image and likeness of the Los Angeles of that time. In some cases even architects from USA were hired. In this film, for one night, the memories and sounds of the past invade the streets and images of the present, in the city of others.

(Alejo Franzetti)

 

IDEAL TERRIBLE: JUVENTUD

Adultos y niños al mismo tiempo, los jóvenes se confrontan con una tradición que (aún) no les pertenece. Entre la rebelión y la alegría, dos seres paralelos conviven dentro de ese limbo pasajero que es el cuerpo joven. ¿Limbo o paraíso?

„Los lugares de la memoria son las ciudades de los otros“, escribe Maike Mia Höhne al presentar el programa de los Berlinale Shorts 2018.

Listos para el ritual y el juego, los tres personajes de “T.R.A.P” (Manque La Banca, Argentina) atraviesan una jungla secreta, ensucian sus botas en el lodo, se abren paso entre los juncos, quizás con la intención de conquistar una ciudad, esa ciudad de los otros. No casualmente están vestidos (¿Disfrazados?) como guerreros medievales. Caminan y juegan en la jungla, visitan una tumba, se besan. ¿Es un mundo paralelo o un mundo ideal? La jungla idílica se termina, se habla del presente, se suben a un auto. En la radio, la voz de un locutor: noticias del caso Santiago Maldonado, muerto en un río, asesinado por la represión (para)policial en el frío inmenso de la Patagonia. Los jóvenes guerreros de “T.R.A.P” ya no pueden ser inocentes. Algo los inquieta. Algo los despabila. Es el choque entre el universo ideal y la realidad brutal. Es decir: la juventud.

En “Imfura” (Samuel Ishimwe, Ruanda) también hay un joven y se llama Gisa. Gisa visita el pueblo de su madre (muerta) para ser testigo de una disputa alrededor de una herencia: nada más que las ruinas de una casa destruida durante el genocidio. Ruinas en la jungla. Alejado de imágenes sentimentalistas, Samuel Ishimwe (camarógrafo, director y montajista del film) acompaña a su protagonista con serenidad y paciencia. Y confiando en que solo filmando esos espacios, esos paisajes, esos rostros, podrá revelarse algo sobre esa madre muerta, a quien Gisa jamás conoció. No hay mucho que pueda contarse sobre ella, le dicen a Gisa, pero la memoria está en tu cuerpo, le dicen también. Para exorcizar el pasado tiene que visitar el presente. Debe presenciar un festejo, acompañar a los pescadores en su trabajo, tiene que presenciar un debate cívico-jurídico (ejemplar), tiene que recorrer. Simplemente estar ahí y formar parte. Durante la juventud, pasado y futuro significan presente. En “Imfura”, Samuel Ishimwe  confía en que el cine es el arte del presente.

No hay ciudad en “City of Tales”, (Arash Nassiri, Francia) o, si la hay, es imaginaria, ficticia, híbrida, y su nombre se pronuncia en Persa, aunque estemos en Los Angeles. Es de noche, y pareciera una noche eterna. Un grupo de jóvenes pareciera preparar una emboscada nocturna, simplemente armados con linternas. Pero esta noche colorida no es mágica. Aunque sí lo que sucede. ¿Colonización lingüística? ¿Justicia poética? Jóvenes afro-americanos rapean, pero en Persa, con una pronunciación marcadamente dudosa; tienen los auriculares puestos, están parados a la salida de un minimercado, y cantan recuerdos (de otros) de la Teheran de los años 1960 y 1970. Un taxista repite, mientras maneja, oraciones en Persa. ¿Aprende el idioma o está poseído? Arash Nassiri lo cuenta en una conversación con el público luego de la proyección: varias urbanizaciones y edificios de la Teheran de 1960-1970 fueron construidos a imagen y semejanza de la Los Angeles de ese entonces. En algunos casos se contrató incluso directamente a arquitectos norteamericanos. En este film, por una noche, los recuerdos y sonidos del pasado invaden las imágenes y las calles del presente, en la ciudad de los otros.

(Alejo Franzetti)

SAMUEL ISHIMWE ABOUT HIS FILM „IMFURA“

Samuel Ishimwe won the Silver Bear Jury Price (Short Film) with his work „Imfura„. Even though the festival is already over – we won’t hesitate and provide you with an interview of the filmmaker.

Born in Rwanda in 1991, Samuel Ishimwe worked as a journalist and photographer and attended several film workshops. His short films have been screened at various festivals including Durban International Film Festival in South Africa. In June 2017 the filmmaker completed a film degree at the Geneva School of Art and Design (HEAD). With „Imfura“ it is Samuels first time at Berlinale.

‘My mum left me when I was a baby, she never saw a celebration, and she’ll never see one. Oh generation of god.’ In Kinyarwanda „Imfura“ means first-born, the noble one, gentleman. Gisa, a young man, travels to his mother’s village. He never got to know her, since she disappeared in the genocide. Gisa wants to comprehend, to remember, so he meets those who remain. Much has changed. Various chants and rituals guide him in his search. The memory is inside him, the midwife says, has always been with him. He is not alone. He is alone however when he is suddenly forced to choose a position in a fight over an inheritance, a shell of a house. The ruins represent the visible remains of the genocide. The film’s hybrid form, its fusion of documentary and staged material, gives it a great sense of immediacy. Imfura is the first Rwandan production to be included in the competition of Berlinale Shorts. (Maike Mia Höhne)

Imfura_Still_2
Still from „Imfura“

What is your ambition in the film?

When I wrote the film I was living for the first time outside my country Rwanda. In the loneliness and quietness of Switzerland I was able to reflect on myself and people close to me in a deeper perspective for the first time. The goal was to express this perspective through the film, in the most dignifying and poetic way possible.

What do you like about the short form?

The great thing about short form is that it challenges the filmmaker to do something different and unique in order to stand out from thousands of other filmmaker making short films. The short form gives the freedom to explore the beauty in simplicity.

What are your future plans?

I’m currently developing a feature film which will share the cast, locations and environment with my short film „Imfura“. I developed a special relationship with the people I made my short film with and I want to create more with them.

Ishimwe_Samuel
Samuel Ishimwe

EGBERT HÖRMANN ÜBER „ONDE O VERÃO VAI (EPISÓDIOS DA JUVENTUDE)“

Ach ja, diese Jugend! Onkel Oscar Wilde witzelte zwar, dass „das Problem mit der Jugend ist, dass sie an die Jungen verschwendet ist“, andererseits hat er älteren Semestern auch keinen Trost anzubieten: „Sobald die Leute alt genug sind, es besser zu wissen, wissen sie überhaupt nichts mehr.“ Jaja, die Erwachsenen wissen alles über das Leben, außer wie man eines führt. Verlassen wir also getrost die soziologisierende und pädagogisierende Talkshow-Runde (niemand ist hier unter 40plus) zum Thema „Die Zukunft unserer Jugend“ und geben uns einem Film hin, der das Innenleben und die Befindlichkeit dieses Lebensabschnitts ganz wunderbar erforscht.

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„Onde o Verao vai (episodios da juventude)“

Ein zärtlicher, zu nichts verpflichtender, wie aus der Zeit gefallener (völlig handyfreier!) bukolischer Sommertag. Süßer Vogel Jugend … Vier junge Männer und zwei junge Frauen machen einen Ausflug zu einem kleinen Fluss in einem Wäldchen. Nichts Besonderes geschieht, und dennoch alles. Ein konventioneller Plot ist nicht zu erkennen. „Onde o Verao vai (episodios da juventude)“ von David Vicente ist ein lyrisches Filmpoem, so als hätten sich Eric Rohmer, André Téchiné und ein altersmilder Robert Bresson (der in seinen letzten Filmen nur noch junge „Modelle“ – wie er seine SchauspielerInnen nannte – einsetzte) zusammengetan, um das Aroma, die Essenz eines bestimmten jugendlichen, flüchtigen Zustandes in dem Bewusstsein einzufangen, dass es kein Entkommen aus der Falle der Zeit gibt. Den Tag also einfach in goldene Splitter zerschlagen … Träge Verspieltheit also, eine Art süßer Betäubung, ein Schuss Überdruss und auch Langeweile, drängendes Verlangen und eine alles, auch die Natur animistisch durchdringende Erotik. Steht diese Gruppe etwa kurz vor der Einschiffung nach Kythera, der Insel der Liebe (wie auf den entsprechenden Gemälden von Watteau)? Auf diesen sorgfältig komponierten Tableaux vivants fällt aber auch der Schatten des Sündenfalls, die anstehende abendliche Vertreibung aus diesem Paradies. Hier wird nicht viel geredet, da teilt der Film bezüglich der menschlichen Sprache den Pessimismus Bressons, wie er am radikalsten in „Le diable probablement“ zum Ausdruck kommt. So bewegen sich diese jungen Menschen hin zu einer unbekannten Zukunft, und die dunklen und die hellen Augenblicke werden vorüberziehen und vielleicht ein Geheimnis enthüllen, dessen Namen sie noch nicht kennen …

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Die Einschiffung nach Kythera
Jean-Antoine Watteau, 1710

PRIZES OF THE INTERNATIONAL SHORT FILM JURY 2018

Congratulations to our wonderful winners of the Golden Bear for Best Short Film and the Silver Bear Jury Prize (Short Film), the Audi Short Film Award as well as the Berlin Short Film Nominee for the European Film Awards!

 

Berlinale Shorts Kurzfilmwettbewerb 2018

Impressive Ines Moldavsky got the Golden Bear for Best Short Film with „The Men Behind the Wall“!

„Everything could be so simple if she weren‘t in Isreal and the guys nearby that Tinder suggests in search mode weren‘t in the Westbank. Israeli filmmaker Ines Moldavsky makes herself the subject of her own investigation.“ (Maike Mia Höhne / Curator of Berlinale Shorts)

Berlinale Shorts Kurzfilmwettbewerb 2018

Silver Bear Jury Prize (Short Film) for the first Rwandan production in the competition of Berlinale Shorts: „IMFURA“ by Samuel Ishimwe!

“In the loneliness and quietness of Switzerland I was able to reflect on myself and people close to me. The goal in the film was to express this perspective in the most dignifying and poetic way possible.“ (Samuel Ishimwe)

Berlinale Shorts Kurzfilmwettbewerb 2018

Congrats! Audi Short Film Award 2018, endowed with € 20,000, enabled by Audi for “Solar Walk” by Réka Bucsi.

„It was to make a movie, that just gets the viewer out of their skin for the time they are watching it. I wanted to create a careless journey through mind and space.” (Réka Bucsi)

Berlinale Shorts Kurzfilmwettbewerb 2018

The Berlin Short Film Nominee for the European Film Award 2018 goes to “Burkina Brandenburg Komplex” by Ulu Braun!

„A presumably African village, inhabited by Germans. The Film describes a geographical construction that makes use of “our” medial and collective image of Africa and puts it to the test through inaccuracies.” (Ulu Braun)

 

© All pictures by Heinrich Völkel

AN INTERVIEW WITH BÁRBARA WAGNER AND BENJAMIN DE BURCA ABOUT „TERREMOTO SANTO“

Bárbara Wagner and Benjamin de Burca are back at Berlinale Shorts and gave us an impression of their ambition in the new film and told us about future projects.

Born in Brasilia, Brazil in 1980, Bárbara Wagner graduated from the Dutch Art Institute in Arnhem in 2012. Since 2011 Bárbara has been collaborating with Benjamin de Burca, who was born in Munich, Germany in 1975 and studied fine art at the Glasgow School of Art and the University of Ulster. Their work has featured at festivals and in exhibitions including at VideoBrasil, the Panorama de Arte Brasileira and the Biennale, all in São Paulo, and at the 2017 Skulptur Projekte Münster. Now based in Recife, Brazil, their collaborative film „Estás vendo coisas“ screened in the 2017 Berlinale Shorts.

This year the filmmaker duo is back with their new work „Terremoto Santo“ – A film about the historically Pernambuco state in the northeast of Brasil that was characterised agriculturally by the sugarcane industry. Today there is a new sector in the economy: various evangelical Christian groups are on the rise. The mantra of the evangelicals is the attainment of improvements in one’s personal and economic situations through adherence to an extreme religious practice. „Terremoto Santo“ focuses on a young generation of priests, producers and singers who hail from a rural area and make gospel music. The filmmakers take into account the environment of the protagonists in order to make ethics, morality and life visible in an aesthetic agglomeration.

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Still from „Terremoto Santo“

What is your ambition in the film?

We are interested in cinema as a form of conversation, which means we don’t think of our films as being ‚about‘ a subject, but ‚in a negotiation with‘ the players of the music genre we are looking at. In ‚Terremoto Santo‘ (as was also the case in ‚Estás Vendo Coisas‘, 67th Berlinale Shorts) we come closer to artists of a young generation who are transforming popular traditions into a contemporary social-media oriented phenomenon. It’s a musical informed by the aesthetics of Gospel songs in a moment when we see the rise of the evangelic church reflected in a massive shift of values in Brazilian society. If it’s important to talk about them, it’s even more crucial to be able to talk to them.

What do you like about the short form?

The nature of short films suits the experimentation we are trying to develop in our practice between visual art and cinema. So, it’s more about how our works reach people whether they are in a museum or in a cinema than about the duration of the short form: a bad film can seem long, while a good film can seem too short regardless of the length it has.

What are your future plans?

We are soon joining a group of poets who are changing how hiphop is perceived in Canada in the production of a new short film that will be exhibited in Front International in July. Back in Brazil, we are further developing a script that might result in a more operatic piece… a feature maybe?

EVC_Barbara Wagner_Benjamin de Burca_01_photo by Alumia Produção
Benjamin de Burca and Bárbara Wagner

 

 

AN INTERVIEW WITH PAYAL KAPADIA ABOUT „AND WHAT IS THE SUMMER SAYING“

Let us introduce you to the indian director Payal Kapadia, who is participating in this year’s Berlinale Shorts competition.

Born in Mumbai, India in 1986, she is a filmmaker who initially studied economics and worked in advertising before, in 2012, taking up a degree in film directing at the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) in Pune. Payals short films have already screened at various festivals including the Cinéfondation at the 2017 Festival de Cannes. With her shortfilm „And What Is the Summer Saying„, the director is represented for the first time at Berlinale Shorts.

The film tells the story of an indian village: The summer has its own songs. Whispering softly, they make their way to us from the depths of the jungle. Once a tiger prowled the village. The father doesn’t tell his son about this, as he holds him tight. In calm takes that concede the jungle its beauty, stature and deep serenity, the images move between the immediate and the totality, between the all-too-human and the awareness of the gods who will protect the village. The stories that the villagers tell the director follow a similar order in their sequencing. One leads to the next by association, thus opening up a village cosmos in which the old coexists with the new. Suddenly they appear, the forest creatures – only to vanish the next moment. A strange smoke exudes from the ground, like a dream from a bygone era. ‘People only sing, when they are in love with someone,’ the woman whispers – the day is done. For a brief moment the film is bathed once again in colour.

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Still from „And What Is the Summer Saying“

What is your ambition in the film?

I am interested in that which is not easily seen or cannot be spoken about in the open. Secret desires, anxieties, and unspoken love are difficult for women to openly talk about in India. But if you sit quietly, waiting for the wind in the courtyard of the village, you might hear a whisper of a long lost love. I spent many days in this village, waiting for the wind to bring with it some strands of stories like leaves that fall in the forest floor.

What do you like about the short form?

What is exciting about the short film format is that it’s closest to poetry. Like a haiku, or a short poem, that has seemingly unrelated lines – where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. It doesn’t need to be explained. You look it at it, as it is. No need to ask: ‚And then?‘

What are your future plans?

The short format really excites me as it is so flexible and open. I am looking forward to try out the possibilities in feature films but also expanding to a cinematic experience which is not limited to the cinema.

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Payal Kapadia

„And What Is the Summer Saying“ will be screened several times during the Festival. Check the Dates here!