The short film is radical and independent, at times controversial, disturbing, testing the limits of our comprehension. It is as multi-layered as the possibilities offered by its creation. It can be an open-ended question, a bold thesis, a sketched thought or a carefully staged drama. The short film often carries the seed of the stylistic and thematic characteristics that will later become the signature style of the artist. The much smaller production budget requires uncompromising exploration and contributes to the formation of an individual style.
Since 1955, the Berlinale awards the Golden and the Silver Bear for short films, since 2003 with a dedicated international jury, which developed out of the Panorama Short Film Jury, founded in 1990. In 2006 the short film programmes of Competition and Panorama were merged into a single section. With the introduction of a separate section, the festival management wanted to underscore the importance of short films for the film industry in general.