Berlinale Shorts entered the second round as its own section and offered its audience a rich and diverse programme of works by young and established filmmakers from around the world, covering the full spectrum of the short-film repertoire in terms of content and form, proving that length is no measure of quality and that short films can captivate viewers. We spoke with curator Maike Mia Höhne about her experiences putting the programme together, short films that ask questions, and current creative trends in the scene.
Since 2007, Berlinale Shorts has been an independent section. Has this changed the amount of attention short films receive at the Berlinale? Have you noticed reactions since you took up your post in summer 2007?
The reactions we have received so far have all been very positive. But I think we first have to wait until the festival to be able to say more about it. Personally I am excited about our selection, which in my opinion is very special. But we’ll see how the viewers judge… Besides that, the Berlinale has awarded the Golden Bear for the best short film since 1955, so the festival has had its eye on this type of cinema for a long time.
In the section’s online profile, it’s stressed that it’s less costly to produce a short film than a feature-length film. That doesn’t make the selection process any easier, if you start with such a vast offering of films. Do short films have to meet special requirements to be able to take part in the festival?
First of all, a film first has to be captivating. If it captivates us – for whatever reason – you’ve got a basis for discussion. Or you can say, “I don’t have anything to say about it, but the film does something to me.” If either is the case, the film joins the short list.