Berlinale: Press Releases

Press Releases 2007

Berlinale Shorts

Jan 24, 2007:
Berlinale 2007: New Dynamics for the Short Film

All around the world and across the infinite universe of emotions: in two programmes, each just under 90 minutes, the Short Film Competition presents the most widely diverse range of cinematic ideas, styles and feelings. The new Short Film Competition at the Berlinale, which focuses more attention on the short film following the merging of the Competition and Panorama, will exhibit this short and splendid form with all its nuances.

16 films from 12 countries will be challenging for the awards in the Short Film Competition. Their fates are then to be decided by a three person international jury. The jury comprises the producers, Peace Anyiam-Fiberesima (Nigeria) and Riina Sildos (Estonia), and the Chinese director, Ning Ying. At the award ceremony on February 13, 8 p.m. at the Kino International, the Golden and the Silver Bear, the Prix UIP and a three month Berlin DAAD scholarship will be presented.

“We believe the short film to be an important art form in itself, and intend to underline this with the new structure”, commented Festival Director Dieter Kosslick. “This year’s selection stands out due to its impressive variety of forms and genres: from political documentaries through laconic comedies to clever satires, everything is represented.”

The programme aims to reflect the full diversity this cinematic form has to offer:

Paul McDermott from Australia, for example, tells the story of the melancholy experienced by a young girl with a poetic air and vivid colours in his animated film, The Girl Who Swallowed Bees. In contrast to this, the tone of Chilean Alejandro Fernandez Almendras’ film Lo que trae la lluvia (Along Comes the Rain) by Chilean film-maker Alejandro Fernandez Almendras who last year received the support of the World Cinema Fund, is quite different as he brings together impressions of a farmer’s life. From the Netherlands comes Daya Cahen who portrays Josef Stalin’s grandson, who lives his life trying to reflect Stalin's image to change public opinion on Stalin and even to pursue a political career (The Stalin That Was Played By Me). Gecko by Theresa von Eltz shows a mother and her son in a run-down caravan and a man who absolutely must stay… Rotten Apple, by the London based Bulgarian, Ralitza Petrova, throws the spotlight on a so-called “left-over family”. Scummy Man by Paul Fraser, also from Great Britain, entwines the fates of three low-lifes in the best tradition of “Trainspotting” with a large helping of humour as well as social critique. (See complete film list attached)

In general, the short film is fairly blossoming in the wake of the “democratisation” of the medium of film through digital recording and distribution techniques. Never before has it been so simple and inexpensive to shoot a film. On the other side, film makers have never before embraced “real” film material so consciously.

The Jury

Peace Anyiam-Fiberesima (Nigeria)

Qualified lawyer, Peace Anyiam-Fiberesima is today known as one of the most significant personalities in the African film industry. She founded the African Academy which presents all meaningful African film awards and is President of the African Movie Academy Awards. The boom in the Nigerian home video market is largely due to the efforts of Peace Anyiam-Fiberesima. Her successes of note as a producer include the films Blind Date and Fear of the Unknown 1 & 2.

Riina Sildos (Estonia)

Riina Sildos is equally versed in the economic and the artistic side of film making. She began as a film critic, became co-founder of the International Film Festival in Tallinn in 1998 and Managing Director of the Estonian Film Foundation from 2000 to 2003. Now a freelance producer she has worked on, amongst other things, the documentary Wounds of Afghanistan as well as the first Baltic animated feature film, Lotte from Gadgetville, the latter of which is being shown in this year’s Generation section.

Ning Ying (China)

Ning Ying is widely considered one of the greatest directing talents out of China. Her international successes include Love Beijing (2001), the final part of a trilogy about people in her home city, Peking. The film was shown at the Berlinale in the Forum section back in 2001. For the documentary, Railroad of Hope (Forum 2002), Ning Ying was awarded the “Grand Prix du Cinemá du Réel” in Paris. Two years ago, Ning Ying presented her most recent film Perpetual Motion at numerous international film festivals.

Short Film Competition 2007:

Annem sinema ögreniyor – My Mama Learns Cinema

Directed by Nesimi Yetik

Turkey, 3’ (IP)

The Girl Who Swallowed Bees

Directed by Paul McDermott

Australia, 8’ (WP)

La Lecon de Guitare – The Guitar Lesson

Directed by Martin Rit

France, 18’ (GP)


Directed by Jens Schillmöller

Germany, 9’ (WP)

Lo que trae la lluvia – Along Comes the Rain

Directed by Alejandro Fernandez Almendras

Chile, 13’ (IP)

Scummy Man

Directed by Paul Fraser

Great Britain, 16’ (WP)


Directed by Marcin Janos Krawczyk

Poland, 9’ (IP)

The Night Before Christmas

Directed by Sam Bassett

USA, 8’ (WP)


Directed by Arvin Chen

Taiwan-China/USA 11’ (WP)

Jegyzökönyv – Mansfeld Péter Emlekere

Court Record – In Memoriam Péter Manfeld

Directed by Zoltán Szilágyi Varga

Hungary, 7’ (WP)

Decroche – Pick up

Directed by Manuel Schapira

France, 16’ (WP)


Directed by Theresa von Eltz

Great Britain, 7’ (WP)

The Japanese Tradition: Shaiza

The Japanese Tradition: Apologies

Directed by Namikibashi (= Junji Kojima and Kentaro Kobayashi)

Japan, 3’ (IP)

The Stalin That Was Played By Me

Directed by Daya Cahen

Netherlands, 15’ (IP)

Raak – Contact

Directed by Hanro Smitsman

Netherlands, 10’ (IP)

Rotten Apple

Directed by Ralitza Petrova

Great Britain, 15’ (WP)

Press Office

January 24, 2007