Berlinale Shorts

Jan 14, 2020
On the Freedom Not to Take Away Your Freedom
Berlinale Shorts Presents its Programme and the International Short Film Jury 2020

The Berlinale was founded 70 years ago as a “Showcase of the Free World”. What does freedom look like today? How do you preserve your freedom to be free? This is one of the reoccurring questions of the Berlinale Shorts competition 2020.

This year, Berlinale Shorts is entering a new chapter. After Maike Mia Höhne headed the section for twelve years, Anna Henckel-Donnersmarck has now taken over the position as curator and section head and presents her first programme.

“The short form enjoys a special freedom, it sets its own rules,” says Henckel-Donnersmarck. “It operates outside the conventional distribution chains and doesn’t need to please the expectations of a market. Its special magic unfolds once established viewing habits are left behind. We are very much looking forward to sharing this magic with the audience.”

The total of 24 films from 18 countries flow through a broad spectrum of topics and aesthetics. They invite to reflect, inspire and discuss:

In 1988, Gabriele Stötzer took the liberty and asked her friends in the East German city of Erfurt to dance in ecstasy at self-chosen locations (Veitstanz/Feixtanz). Some 22 years later, virtual soldiers try to desert within a computer game and thus undermine the social rules of gaming and war (How to Disappear). Both small and large moments of refusal (HaMa'azin, Filipiñana, Girl and Body, So We live, Inflorescence) are searched for as well as the concrete feeling of freedom that was taken away by a prison sentence (Huntsville Station).

Death and disappearance are also themes that run throughout the programme (Gumnaam Din, À l'entrée de la nuit). Idiosyncratic mourning rituals provide comfort and create a sense of community (T, Playback. Ensayo de una despedida, Écume) as well as constitute a form of confrontation with the present (Union County, Atkūrimas) and past (Cause of Death) of our society.

And then there are all of the cinematic worlds that lift the veil of reality (Genius Loci, Celle qui porte la pluie) or create their own universes (It Wasn't the Right Mountain, Mohammad, Stump the Guesser, My Galactic Twin Galaction).

Setting one’s own aesthetic rules opens up cinematic spaces of thought (2008, Aletsch Negative, A Demonstration). A form of freedom that can be bliss.

Films of the Berlinale Shorts 2020

2008, Blake Williams, Canada, 12’ (IP)
À l'entrée de la nuit, Anton Bialas, France, 19’ (WP)
Aletsch Negative, Laurence Bonvin, Switzerland, 12’ (IP)
Atkūrimas, Laurynas Bareisa, Lithuania, 13’ (WP)
Cause of Death, Jyoti Mistry, South Africa / Austria, 20’ (WP)
Celle qui porte la pluie, Marianne Métivier, Canada, 17’ (IP)
A Demonstration, Sasha Litvintseva, Beny Wagner, Germany / Netherlands / United Kingdom, 25’ (WP)
Écume, Omar Elhamy, Canada, 28’ (WP)
Filipiñana, Rafael Manuel, Philippines / United Kingdom, 24’ (WP)
Genius Loci, Adrien Mérigeau, France, 16’ (IP)
Girl and Body, Charlotte Mars, Australia, 19’ (IP)
Gumnaam Din, Ekta Mittal, India, 29’ (IP)
HaMa'azin, Omer Sterenberg, Israel, 11’ (IP)
How to Disappear, Robin Klengel, Leonhard Müllner, Michael Stumpf, Austria, 21’ (WP)
Huntsville Station, Jamie Meltzer, Chris Filippone, USA, 14’ (WP)
Inflorescence, Nicolaas Schmidt, Germany, 8’ (WP)
It Wasn't the Right Mountain, Mohammad, Mili Pecherer, France, 29’ (WP)
My Galactic Twin Galaction, Sasha Svirsky, Russian Federation, 7’ (WP)
Playback. Ensayo de una despedida, Agustina Comedi, Argentina, 14’ (IP)
So We Live, Rand Abou Fakher, Belgium, 16’ (WP)
Stump the Guesser, Guy Maddin, Evan Johnson, Galen Johnson, Canada, 19’ (WP)
T, Keisha Rae Witherspoon, USA, 14’ (IP)
Union County, Adam Meeks, USA, 14’ (WP)
Veitstanz/Feixtanz, Gabriele Stötzer, GDR, 25’, 1988 (out of competition)

This year, Berlinale Shorts will be playing not only at CinemaxX and Colosseum, but also at Cubix and Zoo Palast. At Zoo Palast, the screenings will be enriched with more extensive Q&As, inviting the audience to participate – following the slogan “shorts take their time”.

Special screenings for the press and accredited professionals will take place on February 22 and 23, 2020 at Cubix.

For members of the press, all five programmes of Berlinale Shorts will be presented in a row already on February 4, 2020 at Arsenal 2. The official premieres will begin on Monday, February 24, 2020.

The International Short Film Jury

Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese, Réka Bucsi and Fatma Çolakoğlu

Hungarian animation filmmaker Réka Bucsi, Turkish curator Fatma Çolakoğlu and filmmaker Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese from Lesotho are the International Short Film Jury of Berlinale Shorts 2020.

Réka Bucsi’s (Hungary) magical-surreal animated films Symphony no. 42, LOVE and Solar Walk celebrated their premieres at the Berlinale Shorts, were shown at festivals worldwide (Sundance, SXSW, Annecy, Pictoplasma, etc.) and won over 50 prizes. For Solar Walk, she received the Audi Short Film Award 2018 at the Berlinale. This film is based on a 45-minute film symphony, a work which she realised on behalf of and in collaboration with the Aarhus Jazz Orchestra. Bucsi received both a BA and a MA from Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design. Her clients include Adult Swim, FX Networks or Cartoon Network. She lives and works in Budapest.

Fatma Çolakoğlu (Turkey) has been a curator for exhibitions as well as for film and video art for 15 years now. In 2005, she established the film department of the Istanbul Modern - Museum of Contemporary Art. Subsequently, she was responsible for the film and video programme of Pera Film and headed the communications department of the Pera Museum in Istanbul. Today, Çolakoğlu is associate director for research and programming at SALT in Istanbul. Çolakoğlu received her BA in film history and production from Emerson College in the USA and her MA in Theatre Directing from Goldsmiths, University of London.

Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese is a filmmaker and artist from Lesotho, currently based in Berlin. He works also as an author, director and cinematographer. His award-winning short films and video art works have been presented internationally. Mosese’s long film essay Mother, I am Suffocating. This is My Last Film About You. celebrated its premiere in 2019 at the Berlinale Forum. His feature film This Is Not A Burial, It's A Resurrection was screened at the International Film Festivals in Venice and Rotterdam, the Museum of Modern Art “MOMA” as well as at the Sundance Film Festival.

Mosese is an alumnus of Berlinale Talents (2012) and was a participant of the “Focus Features Africa First”, the “Realness Screenwriter’s Residency”, the “Final Cut Venice” and “Venice Biennale Cinema College” as well as “Cannes L’Atelier”.

The International Short Film Jury awards the following Prizes:

  • Golden Bear for Best Short Film
    (The winner of the Golden Bear qualifies for being eligible for next year's short film Oscar)
  • Silver Bear Jury Prize (Short Film)
  • Audi Short Film Award, endowed with 20,000 €
  • The Berlin Short Film Candidate for the European Film Awards
    (The winning film is the Berlin candidate for the category “European Short Film”.)

Press Office
January 14, 2020