Hamburg International ShortFilmFestival
The Hamburg International Short Film Festival has its roots in the independent filmmaking scene. The Festival first took place in 1985 under the title NoBudget, a name which clearly defined the Festival’s mission. In 1994 it received its current name. Since it was founded, it has always been the Festival’s aim to rise to the challenge presented by new developments and changing parameters in technology, society, and aesthetics.
For this reason the Hamburg International Short Film Festival always presents new, unknown, unusual, or contradictory productions. This allows us to constantly monitor Festival-goers’ viewing habits, as well as offering them new perspectives. Experience has taught us that there is a direct relationship between independent production and the ability of a short film to challenge its audience’s pre-conceived ideas about how a film functions or should function – in other words, the more independent the filmmakers are, the more challenging their work is. And because the filmmakers work by-and-large independently of outside production firms, the short film possesses a much greater potential for expression than feature-length films or television drama. In addition to this, the short film’s brevity focuses the audience’s attention on the central aspects of the film and highlights it's main concerns.
These qualities make the short film into an independent art form, which is engaged in a constant dialogue with both the societal framework which informs it and the other forms of medial expression it coexists alongside. The main objective of the Hamburg International Short Film Festival is to emphasise this potential and – most importantly – to provide a forum for the short film.
Ever since its foundation, it has been a further aim of the festival to advance the proliferation of short films in general. This has been especially succesful, since the festival is organised by the KurzFilmAgentur Hamburg e.V.. By housing the archive, theatrical distribution, and sales departments, as well as the festival itself all under one roof, the ShortFilmAgency is able to create considerable synergy effects which enhance the work with and for the short film.
By presenting an enormous range of international short film productions, the Festival is able to offer its visitors an incredibly varied forum and serves as an ever-popular meeting place for filmmakers from both Germany and abroad.
The Festival stages several competitions which present a selection of recent national and international short films. In addition to the competitions, the Festival offers special one-off programmes that take a closer look at chosen topics. These topics range from social observations or retrospectives of individual filmmakers to film genres or films from certain regions or countries. Technical, aesthetical or formal developments are also examined at irregular intervals.
Alongside the film programmes, the International Short Film Festival Hamburg regularly organises a wide range of extra activities, such as seminars, workshops, or panels on special topics. Some of these special events take place in cooperation with other organisation like the Hamburg Film Fund or MEDIA desk.