“Equality is the keyword”: Berlinale Shorts begins

With the Berlin International Film Festival getting underway, the A-List Festival is attracting an enthusiastic audience of both public and industry professionals eager to see new shorts from across the world. With an eclectic selection of films (which you can read about HERE), Berlin promises a chance for the shorts to stand out amongst the sea of features.

 Cineuropa Shorts asked the Berlinale Shorts curator Maike Mia Höhne to tell us a little bit more about the programme that will be offered in 2016

“Placed together, the films at Berlinale Shorts 2016 constitute one body of work, a cinematic essay,” she explains to us. “Reaching beyond the individual film, it provides scope for a greater endeavour: the longing to land. While some return, others will never arrive. At places as in Jin Zhi Xia Mao and A Man Returnedor in relationships as in Bai Niao or Reluctantly Queer.

Less content-related, but formal, there is a wide range of different materials. Berlinale Shorts 2016 faces progress: How will it show tomorrow, when flaws in the digital image are no longer visible – what will the time machine of 2020 look like? Many films return to old techniques: Vintage Print for example illuminates a 19th century photograph anew, Balada de um Batráquio is filmed on 8mm, but there are also interesting mix forms, such as Notre Héritage, a composition of 1990s pornographic videos, animated details and very clear, modern shots in a quiet French neighborhood.”

Cineuropa Shorts also asked Höhne about what makes Berlin special amongst the way other A-List Film Festivals and the way they try anbd highlight their shorts. She told us

“The Berlinale gives a lot of space to short films: there are screenings on each of the ten days, attracting more than 1000 viewers.  We also have special programmes, such as cross section compilations and we bring short films to the “Kiez-Kinos”, small Indie cinemas in Berlin’s neighborhoods (called Kiez), reaching the local audience. The Golden and Silver Short film Bears are awarded at the same ceremony as all other films in competition. Equality is the keyword.”

Last year Cineuropa Shorts also published it’s annual Top 5 European Shorts of 2015, and Maike Mia Höhne was sadly unable to take part at the time. But as Berlin begins she offers her favourite films that came to prominence over the last year or so. Her choices include the wry yet politically charged art project./ film Symbolic Threats and As Long As Shotguns Remains, a previous winner of the Golden Bear at Berlin. The directors of the film, Caroline Poggi & Jonathan Vinel, will return to this year’s festival with the above mentioned short Notre Héritage

Maike Mia Höhne (Curator, Berlinale Shorts, Germany)

Symbolic Threats (Dirs. Wermke/ Henke / Leinkauf, Germany)

Démontable (Dir. Douwe Dijkstra, The Netherlands)

Bad At Dancing (Dir. Joanna Arnow, USA)

As Long As Shotguns Remains [Tant Qu’il Nous Reste Des Fusil À Pompe] (Dirs. Caroline Poggi & Jonathan Vinel, France) 

Das Offenbare Geheimnis (Dir. Eva Könnemann, Germany)

12 February 2016, by Laurence Boyce