As the world was mourning the pope and God’s Rottweiler had not yet been unleashed upon the congregation, the selection committee for the International Competition was rejoicing about the abundance of high-quality shorts from all over the world they had just feasted their eyes on.
Soon afterwards, white smoke was rising from the chimneys of the Hamburg Filmhaus and the gathered crowd cheered ecstatically while our most distinguished representatives, red-eyed and exhausted yet vibrant and elated, slowly strode onto the balcony to bring tidings of great joy: After hours of debating, eight programmes full of shorts had been selected from the almost 2,000 entries.
Two of them will win jury awards and one will win the audience award (to fulfil our democratic obligations), but all of them have to be seen to be believed.
NO BUDGET COMPETITION
In times of upheaval and catastrophes, NoBudget was deluged by individual imaginary scenarios that stirred our open minds. While watching we lost ourselves between artificial wonderlands and harmonised mass-media landscapes. By conventional methods processes got rearranged into ordered compositions, while many ideas neutralised each other. High-speed mass-assembly units accelerated the films so they oftentimes ended even before an image had been formed. Only rarely did ultra-subjective perceptions appear without having to rely on slightly musty mythical clichés. Home-made constructions of quest and recognition revealed themselves.
A NoBudget event remains unstable, irritating, enriching and opens perspectives on alien realities. Those not afraid of being confronted with such a surreal event should seize this once-in-a-lifetime chance.
MADE IN GERMANY
Our Made in Germany competition offers just what the title promises – about 20 German shorts in three programmes, from home-made dramas to abstract animations, from glossy productions to cutting-edge student films. Plastic romances meet future star actors, metropolis meets countryside, boy meets girl, or boy, or both, or the other way around.
Take a tour of the blooming landscapes of the Federal Republic of Short Film and exert your basic democratic rights by helping us find a deserving winner for our audience award.
MADE IN HAMBURG
Super Size Us: two programmes full of short films made in Hamburg and presented by the Hamburg Cultural Foundation. Morgan Spurlock showed us that hamburgers will make you fat – we’ll show you what kind of films Hamburgers make.
Those of you still agile enough to reach one of our theatres will be responsible for choosing the worthy recipient of our Hanse Short audience award worth 1,500 Euros. But, of course, you don’t have to do it all yourself: a knowledgeable jury has been chosen to find another winner for the Hanse Short jury award endowed with the same prize money.
THREE MINUTE QUICKIE
The Three-Minute Quickie has always been a huge favourite with audiences and filmmakers alike. Each year, we set a topic and ask filmmakers to come up with a film which mustn’t exceed three minutes in length. And for this year we came up with something really outlandish: »Football«.
Kevin Keegan once said, »I don't think there is anybody bigger or smaller than Maradona.« We think there is nothing shorter or funnier than a short film about football, and this is why we decided to give the term »spectator sport« a whole new meaning. This year’s Three-Minute Quickie competition will be all about balls, feet, shorts, nets and cheers. The boys done good.
SPECIAL PROGRAMME »REDUKTION«
The International Short Film Festival Hamburg has a long-standing tradition of working with reduction processes: reduced film lengths, reduced budgets and concise artistic ideas have always shaped our programmes. So this year we decided to have a closer look at how reduction processes are made visible in short films.
Our special programme entitled »Reduction« will be demonstrating how aesthetic devices and plots are reduced and, on a narrative level, how people or entire Hollywood epics can be reduced to next to nothing. It presents films ranging from aesthetic experiments to short dramas reflecting on life with reduced means. But not to worry: it won’t all be bleak minimalism. After all, the basic principle of a joke is to reduce a complicated narrative to a punch line.
SPECIAL PROGRAMME »FOCUS IRAN«
This year’s extensive regional focus will be looking at short films from Iran. The roguish films our programmers have compiled with the help of the Iranian Young Cinema Society present a picture of Iranian filmmaking far removed from the realistic depictions of poverty in remote rural areas and the idiosyncratic characters we have come to appreciate so much at the ISFF over the last years.
It appears that shorts especially give filmmakers in Iran a medium for dealing with subjects such as prostitution, drugs or the relations between the sexes, without coming into conflict with the state’s censors. Our five programmes of recent Iranian shorts present a filmmaking tradition coming to terms artistically with a very diverse urban society.
A WALL IS A SCREEN
In order to watch films, we’ll be leaving the cinema. The walls of the urban jungle will be our screens and our projections will become reality. Cinema will be reduced to its bare essentials: watching and experiencing film. This cinematic stroll through Hamburg’s city centre will start on Thursday, 9 June, and Saturday, 11 June at 10.15 p.m. at the Karstadt department store in Mönckebergstraße near the main train station.