12th edition of Vienna Independent Shorts begins

The 12th edition of Vienna Independent Shorts (VIS) begins today in the Austrian capital. Going under the banner of ‘State of the Art’ VIS will attempt to examine the current state of the short film world and look at how the cinema and art worlds become increasingly intertwined.

VIS will also have its four usual competition categories, with more than 100 films competing for the prizes to be awarded by jury and audience with prize money of more than 20,000 euros. In the International Competitions for Fiction and Documentary a number of stand-out European films will compete. These include Trece Si Prin Perete (It Can Pass Through The Walls) (Dir. Radu Jude, Romania, 2014). The latest film from Jude – already known for his multi-award winning short The Tube With A Hat (Dir. Radu Jude, Romania, 2006) and features such as the recent multi-award winner Aferim! – is a solid example of ‘Romanian New Wave’ filmmaking as a granddaughter stays with her grandfather. Told in a single shot, the film blends the banal with the spiritual and it’s ultimately a languid but moving affair. Another director known for their features will be represented as Claire Denis’ short Voilà L'enchaînement (Dir. Claire Denis, France, 2014) – about a mixed race relationship – will also screen. Other films in the competition will include the much lauded documentary Shipwreck (Morgan Knibbe, Netherlands, 2014) , the winner at last year’s 2Annas Film Festival The Satanic Thicket (Dir. Willy Hans, Germany, 2014) and the stunning and Sundance awarded Polish documentary Obiekt (Object) (Dir. Paulina Skibińska, Poland, 2014)

VIS competitions will also be held for Avant-Garde animation and the best shorts from Austria which will include the devastatingly brilliant short Die Jacke (The Jacket) (Dir. Patrick Vollrath, Austria, 2014). The festival will hold an Austrian Music Video competition now in its third year.

One of the festival highlights are the so-called Midnight Movies and VIS will bring forth three evenings for the absurd, the pornographic and the frightening. The festival’s special guest will be animator Don Hertzfeldt who is fresh off a Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival for his film World Of Tomorrow. (Dir. Don Hertzfeld, USA, 2014). There will be an extensive retrospective of his work as well as a three-hour master class at the Austrian Film Museum. 

At VIS you can also find Children's and Youth Section, an internationally curated programme by the Finnish Tampere International Short Film Festival, the Portuguese IndieLisboa and the Spanish Punto y Raya festivals, discussions and industry insider events, a live performance and pop-up Gallery of the Scottish Screen Bandita at the METRO Kinokulturhaus and an open screening that celebrates the comedy hero Peter Sellers. 

VIS continues until May 31st

26 May 2015, by Laurence Boyce