WORLD OF SHORTS
a shortfilm magazine published by daazo.com â€“ the european shortfilm centre Short Films in Museums
the venice 2014 issue
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contributors contents 6
The city of love, water, and ﬁlmmakers – short films and emerging filmmakers, festivals and workshops in Venice
14 Mapping your Mind and Feeling your Film – the directors in the short film competition tell about their films in unusual ways
38 Festival shortcuts – how to submit with success – your extensive guide to a successful film festival strategy
50 Shorts of all colours and sizes – introducing platforms, festivals and initiatives with one common focus: the celebration of short films
62 Festival panorama – deadlines to look out for 2 WOSH by Daazo.com
Ádám Dobay Ádám works as a multi-platform writer, consultant and lecturer based in Budapest, Hungary, where he heads the online media company Cabbit Supreme.
In another life, you would be… less stressed. Your favourite thing in the world? When infinitely random elements combine into something entirely new. What do you look forward to most at a film festival? e cooldown period between screenings when you can just look at the landscape and let the experience sink in. Favourite short film on Daazo? I vividly remember Pici Pápai’s low-key father-daughter reunion sequence in her 2008 short Coming Out, the dialogue juxtaposed with the fun fair rides the pair go on. A simple idea that works really well and lays the emotional groundwork for the film, the cleverly misleading title becoming the cherry on top. First film-related memory? When it suddenly dawned on me what happens at the end of Hair and I burst into tears. I was five. Tarkovsky or Truﬀaut? A year when Stalker is not watched is a year wasted.
Lehel is a freelance illustrator with a degree in window dressing and he has a graphic designer past. His hand-drawn line works are usually combined with digitally created colours. He also makes screen prints. He enjoys melon and tuna sandwiches (although not together).
Noam is an award winning Los Angeles based ﬁlmmaker and founder of the boutique postproduction company Creative Rebellion.
Your best film festival? Karlovy Vary, because of the location.
In another life, you would be a… lead guitarist for a rock band.
In another life, I would be… wind on a seaside.
What do you look forward to most at a film festival? Being creatively inspired by beautiful and innovative films.
Your favourite thing in the world? Love.
Your best film festival? Sundance.
What moves you? My bicycle.
First film-related memory? Struggling to shoot my own short film on Hi8 Tape.
What makes you laugh? Red wine.
Tarkovsky or Truﬀaut? Truﬀaut.
Favourite short film on Daazo? Kulo City. First film-related memory? I was in kindergarten and I loved singing and dancing in the rain like Gene Kelly. Tarkovsky or Truﬀaut? I’m more of a Truﬀaut kind of person.
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SHORT FILM FRieNDS words by Zsuzsanna Deák
As I’m writing this, there is less than a week to go before the intensity, excitement and cultural roller coaster of the Venice film festival kicks oﬀ. As Rilke once wrote: “it is time. e summer was immense” – the holiday season has been great but now we are ready again to immerse ourselves in culture, and first and foremost in the world of films. Where better than Venice to do that? ose lucky enough to be there can enjoy a smooth transition between holiday and professional life: between screenings, one can stroll on the majestic beaches of the Lido, organise meetings at the grand Excelsior – the Lido’s famous hotel of old-fashioned glamour, an important festival venue –, or even take an early morning dip in the sea before the work day starts. In the first week of September, the eyes of the world are on Venice. e red carpet glamour and the artistic achievements celebrated here are the focus of entertainment media. Not many know, however, what an important role short films play at this festival. As director Alberto Barbera (whose best Venice memories you can find on page 12) told World of Shorts last year, shorts are “a full-fledged element of the programming” and indeed, the shorts selection here is reliably innovative, exciting and engaging every year. Being selected for Venice has launched the careers of many young filmmakers. Later in this issue, you can read two interviews with last year’s prize winners: we spoke to Shubhashish Bhutiani, whose deeply moving Kush won the best short film prize (page 10) and to the creator of the EFA-nominated Houses with Small Windows, Bülent Öztürk (page 36). is year’s short selection is represented by the ever-popular Mapping your Mind collection. Alongside the directors’ drawings, you can find a surprise novelty in this issue: the directors were asked to describe their films with the use of the five senses. e surprising, shocking, or simply poignant combinations of words and drawings can be found from page 13. Venice does not only show films: it also provides a cradle for new talent. You can find out all about the initiatives of the Biennale College – Cinema and the Writers’ Room on pages 32 and 34! Besides the programmes of the Venice Film Festival, this issue focuses on the importance of a good festival strategy. We attempted to gather useful advice on how to (and how not to!) manoeuvre in the maze of festivals and submissions. We gave space to three diﬀerent points of view: the filmmaker’s (Jean-Julien Collette, talking about his film Electric Indigo’s festival life on page 44), the festival director’s (Tampere’s Jukka-Pekka Laakso, page 42) and the filmmaker-turned-selector’s (Noam Kroll, page 48) to shed light on some of the mysteries people encounter when submitting their films to festivals. e advice of these experienced professionals is not to be taken lightly – even if they contradict each other sometimes! As always, we introduce a couple of short film festivals we feel do particularly well to foster the career of emerging filmmakers and to cultivate the short film format. Hamburg just celebrated its 30th anniversary, whilst Encounters in Bristol turns 20 this year. We tell you more about these great festivals on pages 58 and 61. You can also have a glance into the workings of the European Film Academy’s short film initiative (page 56) and finally, find our Festival Panorama (page 62) that – as many have told us – has become the faithful guide of filmmakers over the last few years. Enjoy Venice – if you can’t be there, do so through World of Shorts – and celebrate short films with us! WOSH by Daazo.com 5
Here we are again in Venice, the oldest and most regal ﬁlm festival in the world. The Biennale di Venezia – Cinema is famous for its star-studded carpets, surprising and innovative programme, and decadently beautiful locations – but it offers a lot more than this. It is a starting point for emerging ﬁlmmakers, a hub for training and education as well as a backdrop for meetings and creative processes resulting in more and more amazing ﬁlms.
e city of
illustration by Lehel Kovács
love, water, and
ﬁlmmakers e grand film festival of Venice 101., page 8 “playing darts in the dark” – an interview with award-winning short film director Shubhashish Bhutiani, page 10 e Director’s memories – Alberto Barbera’s most memorable moments, page 12 Mapping your Mind and Feeling your Film, page 14 Communicating a message with honesty and transparency – an interview with the creator of the Venice poster and opening sequence, Simone Massi, page 28 Short, but biutiful – the short films of Iñárritu, page 31 Driven towards the next step – an interview with Savina Neirotti, Head of Programme at the Biennale College – Cinema, page 32 Drop the budget, free yourself – a participant on the Venice Writers’ room, page 34 e necessity to open old wounds – an interview with European Film Award nominated director Bülent Öztürk, page 36
The grand film festival of Venice 101. words by Janka Pozsonyi
It never hurts to know a little more about the festival you’re attending. Who knows – you might end up at a very important event where these facts can work perfectly as conversation starters.
The festival was founded in 1932 as part of the Venice Biennale, which makes it the oldest international film festival in the world. The very first film to be screened here was Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
The head of jury this year is Alexandre Desplat, the world famous, six-time Academy nominated composer, who created scores for Roman Polanski, Terrence Malick, David Fincher and Wes Anderson among others.
One of the Jury members is Philip Gröning, who received the Special Jury Prize last year in Venice, with his 175 minutes long, brilliant drama called Die Frau des Polizisten.
The 9 jury members of the Venezia 71 section come from 8 different countries, whilst the Orizzonti section is judged by a completely different group of well-known filmmakers.
The Jury will give out the Golden Lion for Best Film, the Silver Lion for Best Director, the Grand Jury Prize, the Coppa Volpi for the Best Actor and Best Actress, the Marcello Mastroianni Award for Best New Young Actor or Actress, the Award for Best Screenplay and the Special Jury Prize.
The Coppa Volpi (Volpi Cup) is named after the founder of the festival, Count Giuseppe Volpi de Misurata. It’s the principal award the Jury gives out every year for actors and actresses.
The name of the Orizzonti selection (which includes the short film selection in Venice) means ’horizons’, which refers to the openness toward the new languages and trends in cinema.
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The director of this year’s opening feature (Birdman), Alejandro González Iñarritu was the member of the Venice jury in 2007. This year, the total number of the films the viewing commitee has watched is 3,377: 1,600 features and 1,777 shorts. From all of the selections, the shortest film lasts 6 minutes (3/105) and the longest, 233 minutes (Olive Kitteridge, TV-Mini-series). The number of female directors this year is 9 (out of the 122 directors of the 104 films in the Venezia 71, Orizzonti, Out of Competition and Venice Classics sections). In 1932 it was 2. At the first festival in 1932, no official prizes were given out – an audience referendum determined who was the “Most Convincing Director”, what was the “Most Amusing Film” and the “Most Touching Film” in Venice.
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“playing darts in the dark” interview by Zsuzsanna Deák
Shubhashish Bhutiani made his first film, submitted it to Venice, and won the Orizzonti best short film prize – just like that. Kush is the gripping and powerful story of a teacher, a bus chauffeur and a group of kids in India at a time when politics turn friends into enemies. Humanity, loyalty and camaraderie clash with cowardice and cruelty in this beautifully directed and photographed drama. I spoke with the director about the film, the way that lead to its making, and its afterlife.
Your short film Kush won the Orizzonti best short film award in Venice last year. What did you think when you found out that you had been selected for one of the most famous festivals in the world? How did you feel when you won? It’s hard to describe what it felt like. It’s basically my first film, and just sending it felt like playing darts in the dark. But at the same time I really believed in this film. It’s a story that had a huge impact on me, and I felt that it was something I needed to share. Getting in and winning both felt similar because at the time we didn’t really have an expectation of either happening. It was such an honour, and really gave the film a platform I couldn’t have imagined. How has your professional life changed since Venice? It’s hard for me to judge if my professional life has changed since Venice. I didn’t really have one before then. More people are interested in seeing what I want to do next, so we’ll see where it goes. Although Kush is your first film, it shows the work of a mature filmmaker. What is your background? I grew up in a small Himalayan town in India. I really loved literature at school, and was involved 10 WOSH by Daazo.com
in the theatre programme. We didn’t even have a cinema in the town, so we had to bring DVDs from home, borrow them from our teachers or worse, watch pirated movies (which I probably shouldn’t say!). I’ve loved films since I was a little kid, probably watching one a day ever since I can remember. I went to New York to study film at the School of Visual Arts where I started to learn the basics of filmmaking. At the end of the course, we made Kush. Who were your mentors? Filmmaking is so collaborative, and I’ve worked with some amazing people through the film. I’ve learnt so much from each of my team members. It’s probably been the time I’ve learnt the most. It would be futile for me to list each one of them because there are too many people who have made this film what it is. From the actors, cinematographer, editor, sound designer, and production team, every single one I can confidently say has contributed to this film in a huge way. It’s been a constant learning experience. What is the message you want to send with Kush? When I first heard it, the story just captivated me, and left a strong impression on me. It spoke to me on many different levels and resonated with me for so many years because I felt too many things to articulate, but at the same time I wanted to speak of the situation in a very simple way. It really felt like a film I needed to make. I think that talking about a specific message may simplify it, because I genuinely don’t think it’s just about one theme, one group of people, or one story.
The film is based on a true story. I heard this story from a teacher in my school who had been coming back from a field trip when the riots broke out against the Sikhs. I then spoke to everyone I could find, Sikh or not, to learn about what happened during the time. I read a lot of newspaper articles, blogs, and books on the experiences of people. These accounts from a variety of people formed the story into what it is. How was the public’s reaction in India? Since the film is a short, it didn’t get theatrical distribution. It’s been seen by people mostly at film clubs, and at various screenings. The reaction has been one where people genuinely connect to the story. It’s constantly invoked a discussion amongst the audience. It brings back painful memories to many people as the incident has shaped their lives to this day. Do such clashes still exist between the Sikhs and other groups in India? This incident is still an extremely sensitive issue in the country. While the violence had stopped a while ago, people still live with the repercussions. There are still court cases going on regarding these events. Did the children in the cast have any knowledge about discrimination themselves or was it something you had to explain to them? The way I approached the film was to say that how something as normal as a field trip can suddenly change so drastically. The film is set in a world where we don’t get information as fast as we do now, so we only act on what we know. And in the film all the kids know is that there’s trouble around, and one of their classmates is in danger. And that’s exactly what the kids in the bus were told. The situation doesn’t really matter, your friend is in danger, so you do what you have to. There is a strong and central female character in the film. I don’t know why this is an issue to many because I feel like I’m surrounded by strong women.
Unfortunately I live in a country that doesn’t have the best reputation for women to be in. It’s horrifying, and a lot needs to change. But from a personal point of view, my mother, teachers, friends and women I meet in day to day life are extremely strong. There are always going to be weak people or moments when people are weak but that has nothing to do with gender. What does the short film format mean to you? Will you make more shorts even if you have started making feature films? The short format is just another format in storytelling. I will keep trying to make movies, features and shorts alike. It’s all about the idea. If the idea is one I connect with, it doesn’t matter to me whether it’s 30 seconds or 2 hours. . WOSH by Daazo.com 11
1. The first time I attended the Festival. I was 26 years old, on compulsory military service in the Alps, and I received an invitation to attend the international seminar organized on the occasion of the world premiere of Novecento by Bernardo Bertolucci, in 1976. They put me at the Hotel Des Bains for three nights, the most beautiful and renowned hotel on the Lido. I was treated like a guest star, after ten months spent in a barracks!
5. One year later, on the same stage, with
2. The midnight screening of Indiana Jones by Steven Spielberg in 1981. The excitement was enormous, there was a rush to get the seats in the first row of la Sala Grande, the screening was punctuated with applause and a final triumph. The next day I could shake hands with Harrison Ford, who was very gentle and timid at that time.
6. The moment I met Erich Rohmer in his production office in Paris, trying to convince him to come to Venice and accept the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achieve-
Clint Eastwood who received the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the opening ceremony. It was his first time at the festival (that a few years earlier had rejected The Unforgettable, making him crazy). I had to go to Los Angeles, to the Malpaso Production office inside the Warner Bros Studios, and convince him to accept the award and show Space Cowboys in Venice as a world premiere.
World of Shorts asked Alberto Barbera, director of the 71st Venice Film Festival interview by Zsuzsanna Deák about his Venice Film Festival highlights.
3. The first day I went to Venice right after being appointed as Director of the festival in 1999. I took the “vaporetto” from the train station. It was a December day, with a wonderful sun and a mild temperature. The Canal Grande was crowded with boats and gondolas, and I thought that it was a totally unreal situation. I couldn’t believe that I was living a dream coming true. 4. The opening gala screening of my first year as Director of Venice. The film was Eyes Wide Shut. Stanley Kubrick passed away in March (four months before the release of the film), a few days after giving his approval to the presentation of the film in Venice. Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman were on stage for the opening ceremony, together with Bernardo Bertolucci who delivered a memorable speech in memory of Kubrick. Unforgettable. 12 WOSH by Daazo.com
ment. I was trembling with emotion, knowing that Rohmer had never attended a festival before. He was very kind, putting only a few conditions: staying in a small, anonymous hotel in Venice with his wife, far from the festival crowd, not being obliged to give a press conference and refusing to have photographers and cameramen during the ceremony.
7. The 70mm screening of The Master by Paul Thomas Anderson in 2012. We had to recover obsolete 70mm equipment from different theatres and archives in the world, build by hand new masks for the lenses of the projectors and spend days making screening tests. But the result was spectacular! I still treasure a message of gratitude from the filmmaker, saying that our screening was one of the best he ever got for his wonderful film. Memorable. .
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mind illustration by Lehel Kovács
The end of the summer is the most sensual time of the year, with the heavy scent of flowers and ripe fruit and a kind of decadence hanging in the air. On the Lido, the seagulls shriek, the sea splashes, the sand touches one’s bare feet and a riot of colours, noises and fragrances greets the visitor. This is why we decided to ask the filmmakers of the short sections in Venice this year to describe their films with the help of their senses. Before you see what they said, read our advice on how to use the five senses in film promotion.
The popular Mapping your Mind feature by World of Shorts also returns. To illustrate better the relationship between directors and their work, the filmmakers whose short films have been selected for the Orizzonti short film selection were asked to draw spontaneously something about their film, using a pencil and a piece of paper – or any other medium they could think of. Anything would do – a symbol, a landscape, fresh and raw, straight from their imaginations. WOSH by Daazo.com 15
HOW TO STAnd OuT FROM THe cROWd AT A FILM FeSTIVAL?
THe ROLe OF SenSeS In FILM pROMOTIOn words by Dóra Halász The aim of every filmmaker is to distribute their film that they have worked on for many months to as many people as possible. This however requires so much capital that it is very hard to finance from private resources. What are the best practices that can help bolster perception in film festivals? What do we call sensory marketing and why is it even more important to take into account our five senses? The role of senses have long been a neglected field in marketing, despite its ability to influence greatly consumer behaviour. We can get such additional information through our five senses that create different emotions. Sight as one form of sensing was considered very important even at the dawn of marketing communications. Therefore we can say that visual communication has so far played a major role in the sale of a product. However, researchers have proved that all five of our senses have a key role in our decision making. Finally your film made it, having made the official selection to a film festival. At such an event, all filmmakers are pursuing the highest number of viewers possible at the screening. How can you get their attention? Tips on how to stand out from the crowd of directors with the aid of sensory marketing: 1. Hand out visually intriguing flyers that are sure to catch the eyes of festival goers! Visual communication plays a major role in the sale of a film. everything that makes a film visible defines the sensory experience and perception, so it is crucial that we create attention grabbing communicational materials. Colour theory, typography, excellent photography and/or graphics are significant components of the film poster. 2. Host a tasting! We mainly feel taste through our taste buds but this is very closely related to our sense of smell. A lot of emotional stimuli tie us to it,
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therefore tasting cannot be overlooked when developing promotional material. Hand out bites that represent the film! This is a very cost effective piece of marketing and everyone will remember the tastes if you explain to them how they relate to a single scene or to the movie altogether! if you have a larger budget for promotional materials, you can make tasteable paper stripes! Pick significant scenes and pair them with tastes! This is guaranteed to be memorable. 3. Make them listen to the soundtrack! every day we experience countless different sounds and tunes that provide information of our surroundings. even in the womb we are in direct contact with the sound of heartbeat. Soundtracks and sound effects all play a crucial role in the sale of the film. An outstanding song or a highly effective noise can leave such a mark in viewers that they can recall it even after long periods of time and with emotional attachments. Hand out CDs with the film’s soundtrack! if you have enough time, put it on a portable device and while handing out flyers, offer the opportunity to the crowd to listen in on the songs. Obviously there will be many who are rushing or not interested about this approach, but don’t give up, because the ones who stop will definitely remember you! 4. Convey the scents! Fragrance marketing has taken a back seat compared to other sensory forms of marketing, but more and more people are noticing that consumers’ moods are greatly influenced by the environment they are in. Filmmakers have not been experimenting with smells and scents outside 4D movie theatres, so here is your chance to let your imagination run wild and capture the audience’s attention! Hand out flyers with the film’s signature scent or fabricate scent cards that you will hand out to the viewers before the screening. every scene will have a number and all the cards too. When the viewers see the number on the screen, they should smell the corresponding cards, therefore the scent that matches the scene! 5. Make your movie touchable! We contact our environment through our skin and we receive all sensory replies through it also. Touch complements sight so we can explore the objects that our skin contacts in even bigger detail. From the perspective of film promotion this is an untapped area. Make a poster or flyer from a material specific to the film, or create the main character out of different materials so that he can be touched and smelled at the premiere.
Pat Lechem Daily Bread
Touch: moisture Smell: dampness Sight: golden brown Hearing: water drops Taste: chocolate
Jonathan loves chocolate so he steals the last remaining piece in the jar.
Idan Hubel Israel
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Lâ€™attesa del maggio The Wait of May
Touch: snail slime Smell: rain Sight: grey Hearing: blackbird whistle Taste: bread
The month of May, the blackbird: they hide while they sing.
Simone Massi Italy
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Maryam Daily Bread
Touch: grainy Smell: wet soil Sight: blurry Hearing: echoes Taste: sour
A pregnant maid who was trying to take her mental disorder master to feel what itâ€™s like to have a Christmas mass.
Sidi Saleh Indonesia
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Castillo y el Armado
Touch: roughness Smell: fish Sight: seashore Hearing: seagulls Taste: bitter
On a windy night, Castillo faces his own brutality on the line of the fish hook.
Pedro Harres Brazil
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Touch: deep Smell: inviting Sight: infinite Hearing: hypnotic Taste: unfamiliar
Told from many perspectives and spanning generations, Era Apocrypha weaves through the lives of those living in a single house.
Brendan Sweeny USA
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Touch: powder Smell: dusk Sight: scheduled Hearing: reliable Taste: meat
Cameras pan through the streets and the wilderness of a town stripped of human life.
Carl-Johan Westrega Ëš rd Sweden
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La bambina Bache
Touch: sandpaper Smell: fresh petrol Sight: red Hearing: rock music Taste: bitter
Narges and her friend have just a few hours to find someone to take care of her baby for some days.
Ali Asgari Italy, Iran
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Touch: velvet Smell: organic Sight: black (and white) Hearing: concrete Taste: synthetic
Ferdinand Knapp is a venerated French actor whose dreams start to blur with reality.
Andrea Baldini France
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Touch: sticky Smell: like asphalt after a summer rain Sight: blurred lollipop Hearing: dogs barking Taste: bittersweet
A perfect girl for an imperfect role indicates a witty argumentation on proper parenting and on the abuses and sacrifices made in the name of art.
Adrian Sitaru Romania
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Fi Al Waqt Al Dae’a in Overtime
Touch: engraved Smell: amber Sight: blue Hearing: soulful (music) Taste: seasoned
A love match between a son and his father played out “in overtime” that reveals deep rooted secrets and the power they have on us.
Rami Yasin Jordan, Palestine
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CommU nIcat ing
a message with honesty and transparency
Simone Massi has created 15 award-winning animated short films in his native Italy. He has been the author of the opening sequence of the Venice Film Festival for the last three years. I asked him about his work for Venice, his short films and his inspirations. interview by Zsuzsanna Deák
Do you come up with the Venice opening sequences and posters alone or do you discuss them with the Venice directors? Both the poster and the opening sequence are commissioned works. With this kind of work it is even more important to be able to listen than to be able to speak. I started off with my ideas and then I changed and adjusted them accordingly.
career I was asked to create the opening sequence of the Venice Film Festival, I accepted and I did it in my own style and according to my abilities. That is, I made the opening sequence as if it were one of my films, and in the end we were all happy: I, as the author, as well as the director Alberto Barbera and the Venice Biennale, as the commissioners.
How did you choose the films in the Venice opening sequence? Are they personal favourites of yours? Yes, the images that I used come from some of the films that, for one reason or another, I love or feel particularly attached to.
When is a poster/opening sequence good? When it’s very recognisable and easy to remember but at the same time not liked by everyone – or when it’s beautiful, but conformist? The work I’ve done for Venice is first and foremost an attempt to communicate; it was asked of me, and I did my best to be as honest and transparent as possible. This is the only way I know how to do a good job. Then, if the communication attempt fails, we must have the humility to consider that it could also be our fault. Commissioner, author, public: if they want to understand each other, everyone must do their part and do their best.
Why did you choose the last frame of Francois Truffaut’s The 400 Blows as the main inspiration for this year’s festival poster? I had in mind a child and flying fish, and then, as I worked on the poster, I was asked to make changes that brought my child closer to Truffaut’s. Many film festivals have opening sequences that are repetitive and boring - some of them go on too long, others are like adverts for computer software. How do you find the right balance to make sure your work is captivating? What do you have to be careful about? In all honesty I have not asked myself too many questions. When after 18 years of my filmmaking 28 WOSH by Daazo.com
How is your work different when you make a short film, and when you create the opening sequence for the festival? In fact there is very little difference – the only difference compared to my other works is the use of colour instead of black and white, and that the rhythm is faster.
Do you think it is a statement from Venice that it has chosen such a traditional form of filmmaking for its opening sequence and poster? I cannot say exactly, and it’s not my place to interpret the thoughts of others. I can only say that I am glad that the organisers of such a big and important festival thought of me, the animator who has always remained in the little village where he was born and who has never done anything to get noticed.
You do all your animations manually. What do you think - will you ever use digital techniques? I don’t think so – I don’t see the point. How do you feel when your animation opens the oldest film festival in the world? It’s a strange and funny feeling. I feel like an illegal passenger aboard a ship: I laugh with happiness and at the same time I look around as if at any moment the police could come to get me.
Top and middle left : The Wait of May.
Selected for Orizzonti, out of competition, in 2014 Which one of your many prizes is the Bottom left : Still image from the opening sequence of most important to you? Why? the Venice Film Festival Right: Venice 2014 – the ofﬁcial poster My first prize, which I won in Siena seventeen years ago. Then the international awards in Krok, Hiroshima, Zagreb and Stuttgart, What is your best Venice moment/memory? and finally the David di Donatello and the Silver Nighttime, the moment when the lights are Ribbon (Nastro d’Argento). I know that these are switched off and you walk in silence with your the most important awards because when I eyes cast down and a hand raised to loosen received them my legs and my voice trembled. your tie. .
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Short, but biutiful
text by Janka Pozsonyi
This year’s opening feature in Venice is the wonderfully surreal-looking Birdman by the great Alejandro González Iñárritu, the well-known director of 21 Grams, Babel and Biutiful. He is a regular at all the giant film festivals, receiving great awards and constant visits from the top-notch, A-list actors and actresses in his movies. His success is undeniable.
Well, guess what? Besides his rapidly growing fame and fortune, he is still making shorts for various sketch films from time to time, showing the skeptical film industry that 12 minutes are just the right length for an experimental modern dance project, 10 minutes for recalling one of the darkest tragedies of mankind, and only 4 minutes for picturing a young girl’s burden. And let’s not forget his humorous and thrilling commercials for different sports brands and fast cars, but since Daazo doesn’t have an interest in the clothes-andfabulous-rides business (yet! who knows what the future holds...), I’m just making a note here that they are cool and fun, and all of them are a mustsee. But only after the following three goodies! In Naran Ja Iñárritu decided to unite the passion and the intensity of modern dancers with the traditional VHS technique and a completely disfigured sound design. The strange voices, the cracks, snaps, and the ruined sound of their steps are all mixed together into a hypnotic soundtrack, and that’s what he completes with the editing, and building up a repetitive and dreamy narrative. Of course, understanding the “story” is another thing. I think besides the real art geeks and the experts in the abstract art of modern dance, a “regular” film and art lover (just as I am) will find it a bit more difficult to understand the
characters and their motives, but besides that, it’s a really interesting and unusual piece of art. Mexico is a completely different story. It’s uncomfortable, shocking and terribly sad. Iñárritu made it as one of the episodes of 11’09’01’, the film that tries to picture the horrifying day of 9/11, from the point of view of different cultures and their directors. 10 minutes of remembering, mourning and praying. Just as in Naran Ja, the sounds, Naran Ja, production company: the noises are the most The Amoveo Company important elements in the whole film. From the tragedy itself we only get short glances settled in a painful blackness, but the voice of praying people and reporters, last messages and crash sounds Mexico, production company: Zeta Film are overwhelming and more powerful than any image. Not an easy short, but worth watching. And finally, Anna. He directed it as an episode in To Each His Own Cinema (or as the Anna, production company: French would say Chacun Cannes Film Festival son cinéma: une déclaration d’amour au granc écran, but let’s just stick with the shorter, English title for this time), a film made out of 33 shorts, for the 60th Cannes Film Festival. We could fill an entire WOSH with the importance of anthologies like this, but for now let’s just say that his fellow directors were the Coens, Wim Wenders, Roman Polanski, David Lynch etc. – the list is phenomenal. Each of them depicts their feelings towards the world of cinema, and Iñárritu chooses a young girl with a passion for cinema as his main character. Without any spoilers, fate doesn’t make it easy for her to fulfill her painful passion. It’s a one take love letter to cinema, and a must see for every single Anna out there. . WOSH by Daazo.com 31
step interview by Zsuzsanna Deák
The Biennale College – Cinema, a training and delevopment initiative, is part of the Venice Biennale. I spoke to Head of Programme Savina Neirotti about its origins, objectives and the success stories it helped to create over the last three years.
What is the story of the Biennale College – Cinema initiative? The idea of creating a Biennale College for all the arts at the Venice Biennale came directly from the President, Paolo Baratta. He then asked the Director of the Film Festival Alberto Barbera to build this initiative, and Alberto asked me to design a project that could help filmmakers from all over the world. How is the Biennale College – Cinema different to other similar programmes (for example the Berlinale World Cinema Fund)? Well, it’s a College, a training and development initiative, not a Fund. I would say it is a very different thing from the World Cinema Fund. 12 Teams of directors and producers develop a micro-budget feature film idea through 3 workshops and then 3 of them actually have access to €150,000 to produce it. Why should every filmmaker consider applying to the programme? 32 WOSH by Daazo.com
I’m not sure everyone should apply, but what I can say is that for first and second time filmmakers it is an incredible opportunity to develop, produce and showcase a feature film at the Venice Film festival in less than a year! I believe it is an extraordinary learning experience. What is the financial background of the initiative? It is promoted by the Biennale di Venezia and sponsored by Gucci. This is the third year of the Biennale College – Cinema. How has the programme evolved over these last three years? What has changed since last year? Training initiatives need to evolve constantly, so what we did is continuously improve the didactic aspects of the programme, adding trainers, experts, and fine-tuning the follow up etc… How would you summarise all that happened this year? The films are almost ready now, they are colour grading, sound mixing… the highlight is thinking that just one year ago, at this time, these films were represented by an 8-page treatment, and they have gone so far since then. Then we have the teams, so driven! Not to speak about the group of tutors and trainers, always available to give guidance. Honestly, a great year. Please tell me about the projects that have been realised this year! How was their reception and what is their afterlife like? The first three films of the Biennale College – Cinema have had more success than we could expect: they are still travelling the world at festivals and being picked up for distribution. Memphis, after being at Sundance, was just recently in Karlovy Vary and is being distributed in the States this summer. Mary is Happy won all the possible awards in Thailand and beyond, becoming a cult movie in its own territory. And the Italian movie, Yuri Esposito, was praised by many American critics including the Time magazine’s own critic. But there is much more to say, all is
H. directed by Rania Attieh and Daniel Garcia Two women, each named Helen, live mirrored lives of one another in their small town of Troy, NY. The first Helen is in her 60s, lives with her husband Roy, and takes care of a small, extremely lifelike baby doll called a ‘Reborn Doll,’ who she has named Henry. Helen treats Henry oddly at times, as if it is a real baby, often to the dismay of her husband. Across the town is another Helen. She is in her 30s, lives and works on art with her partner Alex, and is four months pregnant. One night, something falls out of the sky and explodes over the town. in the aftermath of this event, bizarre and unexplainable things begin to happen.
BLOOD CeLLS directed by Joseph Bull and Luke Seomore ells Blood C
Short Ski n
Britain, the present. Adam was expected to grow up and settle into the security of his family’s farm. The Foot and Mouth livestock epidemic of 2001 destroyed all of that. He has spent the years since on the nomadic fringes of British society, cycling through transitory jobs and transitory relationships, adrift from his family and past. When his younger brother Aiden reaches out to him to announce the birth of his first child, there is an ultimatum attached: come home now, or never come home again. Adam embarks on a journey home that is at once tortured and exhilarating, a panoramic tour through the broken and beautiful margins of Britain. SHORT SKIN directed by Duccio Chiarini
documented step by step our Facebook page or our website. And I can anticipate that the three films we will see this September in Venice: Short Skin, Blood Cells and H. are going to travel far. Please tell me about the workshops and programmes you are going to do in your next edition! Selection for the third edition is taking place in August, and will be announced at the Festival in September. There will be as usual a first workshop in the first 10 days of October were the teams will meet with more than 16 experts from all over the world, covering all the aspects of filmmaking, from script, to producing, to marketing. This workshop is extremely intense and sets the basis for all the development work. After this workshop there will be 12 projects ready to start their journey, and 3 of them will be immediately produced!
Short Skin is the story of edoardo, a 17-year-old boy from Pisa, with a medical condition that prevents him from experiencing any sexual satisfaction be it by himself or with a girl. it is summertime and edoardo and his best friend try to experience their own rite of passage and lose their virginities. But it is also during this period that edoardo discovers that life, like sex, is very complicated as he is faced not only with problems of his own but those of his family as well. This is the story of dealing with one’s fears and becoming a man.
What are your best memories of these three years? There are many good memories, every time that we move with the projects towards the next step, since there are many obstacles and there is very little time… But I guess for me the best moment is a private one, when I see the first cuts and I usually am amazed at what has been accomplished. . Read our interview with this year’s Biennale College – Cinema participants on the World of Shorts blog: blog.daazo.com
WOSH by Daazo.com 33
Venice changed me as a filmmaker. no, it really did. Let me back up a bit.
FREE YOURSELF words by รdรกm Dobay illustration by Lehel Kovรกcs 34 WOSH by Daazo.com
In 2012, I was selected to be a participant in Writer’s Room, a one-year-long cross-platform training programme run by TorinoFilmLab – in itself a wonderful, perspective-broadening experience to be told at another time. With my participation I joined the ranks of the TFL alumni, a colourful selection of fellow writers, directors, producers, audience designers, story editors and various other creative professionals hand picked at one point in time for one of TFL’s many training programmes. As it happens, TFL holds a multiple-day, themed Alumni Meeting each year as part of one of the major film festivals. That year, the theme was low budget filmmaking and the venue was the 69th Venice Film Festival. TFL held an online competition that required not only being quick to answer low budget film trivia, but actually shooting a short Swede – a no-budget reimagining of a film with the most basic materials around. Which led to the creation of the Sweded trailer for The Blair Witch Project, shot in low light with an entry-level DSLR recruiting my mustachioed actor friend to play a transgender protagonist, sobbing and panicking in close-up in a small patch of green vegetation in downtown Budapest with tourists passing by in the background. It was as no-budget as it gets, but it got me first place in the competition and a ticket to the TFL Alumni Meeting. When I least expected it, Venice became sort of a therapeutic process. You see, as I left the amateur filmmaking realm of my teen years and started working in professional productions, for many years I had in my mind this ideal of high-budget filmmaking that I was striving to achieve. An ideal where everything is created by crews of many dozens of people, over a course of years, delivering one unified vision, optimised for the big screen. And an ideal that kept getting shattered and shattered again in the ever-darkening landscape of film financing that befell my region during the recession, something we have yet to recover from. The number of works I was commissioned for that were halted during
production, never to be made, was alarming and disheartening at the same time. Venice gave me a new perspective on all that. Seeing the shorts in the Horizons (Orizzonti) segment, from Ming-liang Tsai’s superbly minimalistic Diamond Sutra, to Bansulli (The Flute) from Min Bham of the up-andcoming Nepalese independent film scene, reminded me of that feeling I first had fifteen years before, when I first picked up a camera in order to make something that told a story. But it wasn’t just the feeling. The TFLorganized case study presentations ranging from low all the way down to micro budget showed me how to approach all this from a down-to-earth, practical standpoint. Director Katrín Olafsdóttir’s experimental approach to making the best of her surroundings, or Guneet Monga’s cheerfully energetic retelling of her many adventures in producing independent films in India made me recognise and start to get beyond my perfection paralysis. Strolling down the narrow side streets of the Lido in between sessions and screenings, I couldn’t help but wonder. Why wait for the endless rounds of trying to get features financed back at home? Why exactly haven’t I just picked up a camera and shot something for the sake of shooting something in these past years? When I landed back in Budapest, I called up my long-time writing partner as well as a number of our actor friends. “Wouldn’t you guys like to just go and do something?” We now meet every couple of months to produce yet another couple of episodes of our web show Hungarian Smörgasbord, a random assortment of sketches true to the no-budget fashion, distributed freely on YouTube. Just filmmaking at its core, doing it for the sheer feeling of creating that something that tells a story. If anything, I have Venice to thank for that. . WOSH by Daazo.com 35
The necessity to
open old wounds interview by Janka Pozsonyi
The multi-cultural talent, Bülent Öztürk bravely adapted his mother’s staggering childhood story in Houses with Small Windows which was selected for the Orizzonti Short Film section in Venice last year, and won him an eFA Short nomination as well. I asked him about dealing with a personal story that represents an unsolved cultural and political situation.
Houses with Small Windows makes a strong statement about the family traditions of the Kurdish southeast of Turkey, while being incredibly personal at the same time. Please tell us a bit about the film and the story. In 2011 I graduated from the RITS film school in Brussels. Shortly thereafter there was an earthquake in eastern Turkey, near the Iranian border. I immediately decided to go there and make a documentary, Waiting. For this documentary, I followed two teenagers. One of them, Eso, a girl of 13, I admired a lot. A year later I got the news that she would be married off by her family. I had to think of my mother. I knew she was given away to the family of my father at a young age. The news of Eso made me restless, I had to do something. I decided to make a documentary about my mother. I planned a 10-day shooting. But for my mother it was too hard. On the fourth day she crashed emotionally, she couldn’t continue. That was when I found out that she had been only seven when she was given away. 36 WOSH by Daazo.com
My crew and I decided that we wouldn’t return to Belgium without a project: Houses with Small Windows was filmed in the five remaining days. How did you deal with the feelings that came up while you had to be objective and focused as a director at the same time? Because the story was so intimate, personal and sensitive, I was extremely motivated. As an outsider, this subject is difficult to understand, but I know the story and the culture very well. I felt it was important that the story was told credibly. That’s why I wanted to do it. Because of the time pressure, I couldn’t find actors for my film. But I thought: play is less important than credibility. It was difficult to find local people who wanted to participate. Luckily I got help from my friend, my assistant, my niece, and my sister-in-law who all played a part in the film. I had to leave my emotions behind; I found it a challenge to make something universal from this local story. You have southeast Turkish origins, but you’re living and working in Belgium. Do you think that your multi-cultural background affected your artistic point of view? Yes, I enjoy the different cultures in me. As a Kurdish child, my teacher at a Turkish school beat me because I couldn’t get the words out.
I didn’t know the Turkish language. I’ve always had trouble with the words, therefore, I preferred images. Even when I came to Belgium, and again had to deal with a language I didn’t understand, I observed a lot. I mix the observations I made and put them in my work. The exuberant, emotional images are more from Turkey and the rather distant, modest ones, from Belgium. I am now trying to put my observations in stories in a minimalistic way. Did your film get any reaction from the audience in Turkey or the Turkish community in Belgium? What was the public’s opinion? Did you get any feedback from people/organisations? The reactions were different. In general, it was considered a strong short film. I had no great expectations of the reactions from Turkey, since it’s a country that is in a kind of denial of its past. In my family, on my mother’s side, people asked: why does Bülent find it necessary to open old wounds? My mother said: that’s Bülent. I think my mother’s family feels guilt. They want to forget. But, in this way, horrible things can keep on repeating. I think forgetting is impossible until we confront ourselves with the past. Your film was recognised and awarded in Venice, one of the greatest and oldest festivals in the world. What did the EFA Short nomination mean for you after your success in Venice? I was very happy that I was selected for the short film competition Orizzonti. The jury finds authenticity in words and pictures very important. It was a dream to win the prize. It gave me appreciation and recognition as a director, for which I’m very happy. But mostly it has encouraged me to raise more topics that the world is not aware of. Here in Belgium, after my short film, several articles appeared about honour killings. I got the chance to tell that they are not only happening in the southeast of Turkey. Around the world there are about 5,000 women murdered in honour killings each year. I am very pleased that the subject received attention. 15 minutes is just the right amount of time for telling a touching yet strong story. What does the short film format mean to you?
Because the film was made with very limited resources, in a very short time, I also wanted to keep the length limited. It was a challenge for me to make my viewers feel touched in fifteen minutes. Judging from the reactions of people who have been to screenings of my film, I think I did it.
Houses with Small Windows
Do you like to watch other directors’ short films as an inspiration? Have you seen the other films in your section or any outstanding shorts recently? I haven’t seen short films for inspiration because I was not prepared for making a short film. Shooting Houses With Small Windows was an impulsive, emotional decision that I made. Since I went to festivals with it, I have come in contact with the short film genre. I recently saw a beautiful, powerful short film, Horse, by Yvonne McDevitt. Do you see yourself making more short films in the future, besides making feature films? Yes, sure. But first it’s time for my feature film Blue Silence, which I have been working on for two years. We’ll submit for production aid at the VAF (Flanders Audiovisual Fund) in September. At the same time, I am also working on a short film, Dirty Green, which will also have a length of fifteen minutes. What would be your main advice for a young filmmaker who is making their first short film? I think they have to choose a subject they know very well. That will help them a lot. And, maybe a little cliché, but still: read books and watch movies. . WOSH by Daazo.com 37
Festival shortcuts how to
submit with success illustration by Lehel Kovács
Your ﬁlm is ﬁnished – now you need a guide to the maze of the festival world. We are here to make sure that you and your ﬁlm are ready to enter this labyrinth. Turn the page to ﬁnd useful tricks and tips, success stories, advice from festival directors and much more!
9 Steps to a successful submission, page 40 Doing your film’s distribution unprofessionally? – We show you how not to, page 41 e Good, the Bad and the Selected, page 42 Living the festival life, shaken but not stirred – the festival life of Electric Indigo, page 44 Organising festival life is a full time job – Réka Bucsi tells about her experiences, page 46 Should you despair when your film gets rejected from a festival? e answer is no, page 48 WOSH by Daazo.com 39
9 STEPS TO A
SUCCESSFUL SUBMISSION – by Daazo Festival Strategy System What do you need to consider when you want to submit your film to a festival? Find our bunch of useful tips below. TIP NR. 1: Collect all the information about the film in one folder – this way, it is easier to search for the data you need.
TIP NR. 2: Check your internet connection, it is really bothersome when in the middle of the uploading process your connection gets interrupted and you have to sit in front of the screen for hours.
ONCE YOU ARE READY TO SUBMIT Read the rules and regulations carefully and consider the following: Deadline If it has passed then it is done for this year. You can try it next year! Entry fee If you only have a small budget for festival entries, search for free festivals. You can use reelport, shortfilmdepot, festhome etc. and find a lot of festivals with free submission. What kind of films does the festival accept? feature / short / documentary / music video experimental / animation / drama / live action / not dubbed What kind of theme do they want to receive? A lot of festivals have a specific topic or focus every year. You have to consider this before you submit. Is your film eligible for the technical criteria? It is important to submit the eligible preview copy and have an adequate screening copy. Consider the following criteria: Length / Technique / Codec / PAL or NTSC system Sound / Aspect ratio / Frames Per Second Does the festival require premiere status? If you want to submit to a festival that requires a world / international / national / regional / city premiere, you have to make sure your film doesn’t get screened elsewhere within these locations! Are you a student or not? Lots of festivals grant discount for students, and there are festivals only for students too.
1. If the festival insists that you mail them a DVD or Blu-Ray copy, don’t forget to send it with all the additional material requested! 2. Make sure you fill out the entire entry form – not just the mandatory fields. It could be a great help for the festival organisers! 3. Never leave the submission for the last day! Anything that can go wrong will (or at least, might) go wrong: the upload, the unexpected details, time zone differences, misspelling, materials forgotten – due to all these, you might run out of time. 4. Make quality time to submit your film, don’t hurry. This way, you can be sure you have sent everything that is needed. 5. Does the festival offer workshops or professional training? As they say: two birds with one stone... 6. Is there a film market? You can meet distributors and producers and if they find your film interesting anything can happen! 7. The process does not end with the sending. It ends when you get the result of your entry. Don’t forget to check back on the status of your submission!
If all this seems too much, consider using Daazo’s Festival Strategy System! Check it out at daazo.com/fss! 40 WOSH by Daazo.com
Doing your film’s distribution unprofessionally? We SHOW YOu HOW nOT TO. words by Genovéva Petrovits
You think that the greatest thing that has happened to your ﬁlm is that it is done. This is partly true, but it’s even better when it is seen by its best audience which starts with festival screenings. But to achieve that you have to make sure you don’t make the following nine mistakes:
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.
Starting to submit your ﬁlm to festivals without having a 12-month-long festival strategy plan. instead, have an A, B or even a C plan. Keep the premiere status of your ﬁlm for a speciﬁc festival which can later on boost the afterlife of your ﬁlm. Filter, select, prioritise! Using Google translate for translating the subtitles or press material. As an independent ﬁlmmaker, you might run out of money for the subtitling of your ﬁlm. But a bad text gives a terrible ﬁrst impression of your ﬁlm. Make sure the translation is professional. Opening a festival submission website once a week and starting to apply to festivals which have an approaching deadline. Again, it’s the worst strategy if your submissions depend on approaching festival deadlines. Keep thinking in terms of a long-term strategy, festival submission websites have to be the tool which can help you to complete more quickly what you have previously determined for the whole year. Forgetting that you are the person responsible for your ﬁlm’s afterlife and success. Give your ﬁlm all its chances and work hard on its afterlife – or commission somebody to manage your ﬁlm’s festival strategy and distribution! Make sure that this person or company is there to help you to achieve your professional goals. Unrealistically high expectations. if you expect too much, there is a great chance that you will be disappointed and you will quit the ﬁlm industry without achieving your goals and dreams. Stay realistic! Thinking that festival screenings mean that your ﬁlm will get the chance to be theatrically distributed. Nope. There’s a lot of work to do there too. Think in terms of distribution strategy! Festivals are there to allow you to ﬁnd a buyer. if you don’t succeed, you can still self-distribute your ﬁlm. Leaving the application to the very last day before the application deadline. Submit early! it also means that most of the time you’ll pay the early-bird submission fees. Forgetting to send the DVD or the screening link to the festival. Remember that programmers deal with thousands of applications. They will almost never send you a reminder. Make sure you send everything together required for the application. Not being constructive, not believing in success. Create a festival strategy – it can help you to reach new audiences, to gain more visibility, to go further on the long and difﬁcult journey to become an outstanding ﬁlmmaker.
WOSH by Daazo.com 41
Good, the and the BAD,
The director of the Tampere Film Festival unveils some of the mysteries behind the selection process and sheds light on the reasons for some things that often puzzle filmmakers.
SELECTED words by Jukka-Pekka Laakso
The selection process of film festivals is always a mystery to filmmakers. Surely the selected films are not the best ones of those submitted to a festival: that is SO obvious. Why is the same film selected for dozens of festivals? Is that proof of its quality? Why do festivals need several months between the submission deadline and the start of the festival? Why do festival people not give straight answers when a film is not selected? Why is there no good feedback? Why can the curators (or programmers as they are also called) not be clear about what kind of films they want? These are valid questions, and they should be answered. Some of them can even be answered. The answers might not be satisfactory, but more exchange of ideas between filmmakers and festivals is definitely good for both parties. Of course, in addition to the above-mentioned questions, what any filmmaker would like to know is how to increase their chances of getting selected. I, and we at Tampere Film Festival do believe that we should explain what the selection process looks like from our perspective. I do not think it makes the disappointment of not being selected less painful, but maybe it can make filmmakers think more about how and where to submit. This way they might be more successful with 42 WOSH by Daazo.com
their applications, and maybe our work will also be made easier. The following is my personal point of view. Some of my thoughts might be common knowledge to everyone involved in selection processes, but they definitely represent first and foremost my opinions and guidelines. The first thing for filmmakers to know is that when you hear that your film was good enough for the festival, but just did not get selected, it is, or at least it can be true. And if we knew precisely what we want, we would make the damned film ourselves. We need filmmakers to surprise us, that is why we are so vague. There are a lot of good films around and for a festival the pool of “good enough” films is usually a lot bigger than the amount of films and film minutes one can fit in a competition. A competition at a film festival is not just a collection of the best films and it is not the best 40, 50 or 60 films from those submitted. When one puts together a festival, the combination of films expresses something that is important for the festival. Our idea in Tampere is to show the whole world of filmmaking in one competition programme of about 60 films. We also want to look into the world we live in through the films. In practical terms, we try to find interesting,
good films from all corners of the world, different genres and films that show new ways to use cinema. That also means that well made fictions, even about important issues, made in the Western world do not always make it, because there are just too many of them. It is no secret, just mathematics, that a documentary film, especially from a country with small output of films has a better chance to make it to our competition than a European fiction. But still there are more fiction and European films in total, because the output of “good” European fiction films is so big. Filmmakers sometimes wonder why there is so much time between the submission deadline and the announcement of the results. The reason is numbers. A typical short film festival like Tampere gets about 5,000 films every year, and many of them arrive close to the deadline. If an average film is 15 minutes long, one can do the sums and figure out how much time is needed to watch all the films and make a decision. Numbers also is the main reason why the filmmakers don’t often get feedback on their films. Surely it would be easy to tell why a film has not been selected, what was wrong in it, was it the script or directing, or the actors? Again to give good, honest feedback even about one film takes quite a lot of time and if you start giving feedback, there is no time for anything else. Actually the sheer number of films is the cause for many of the issues that irritate filmmakers – including the matter of entry fees. Many festivals, Tampere included, have introduced an entry fee recently. We understand that filmmakers do not have budgets to pay a lot to festivals (although they have done so for a long time for festivals in the USA). For us at Tampere, the entry fee is a reaction to the development of submitting through online platforms. It is definitely good that submitting is easier and cheaper now than it was few years ago, but it
means that film festivals carry the cost of handling the vast numbers. It does not console the filmmakers today that our fee (€8) for submission is still way less than the postage costs and the price of a videocassette, which they would have spent a few years ago. But we need more people to work on the submissions. We do watch every film and want to treat them fairly, and want people with expertise to do the selection. I have tried to explain a few irritations from our side. But to finish, a little advice to filmmakers on how to increase the possibility of getting selected: – Do not wait until the deadline, submit as early as possible. Don’t get caught in the last days’ rush. – After submission, check that the whole film is there and it looks and sounds like it should. – Do not send an e-mail explaining that we can have your film if it is not taken by Cannes/Berlin or some other festival that requires premieres. You have to decide between festivals, a submission is a commitment. – Do not send Vimeo links of trailers of the film, submit the film as required. – Do not put a lot of effort in accompanying material (making-of docs, praise from other festivals etc.) It’s the film that counts. – If you see me at a festival and give me a DVD of the film, and I show interest, you still have to submit the film. And first and foremost: do not get disappointed if your film is not selected. There are so many film festivals with so many curators or programmers with individual tastes and idiosyncrasies, that if your film is really good, someone will pick it up and after one festival it will be noted by the others. There is no international conspiracy of curators (at least not in the world of cinema) who decide what is a “good” film. . WOSH by Daazo.com 43
Back in the heyday of videotape, I used to make VHS copies of my short films patiently, one by one, with two VcRs oddly connected one to the other. These were the prehistoric days of the Internet, when we couldn’t find any decent information about film festivals on the Web. Thanks to a film festival book that I had found in a Frisco bookstore some years before, I started to submit my end of studies short film. I did eventually get into a few nice festivals; maybe it helped that at that time the competition wasn’t so fierce, as festivals didn’t receive thousands of entries like they do today. words by Jean-Julien Collette
It is also true that I haven’t yet been among the chosen ones to be part of my Fab Four (Cannes, Sundance, Berlin and Venice). Does this make my short films or my method a failure? Of course not. Time after time I have waited with clammy shaking hands for the good news, that I had finally made it. And then BANG! My film ended up being rejected. Some people tried to comfort me, because they heard that I nearly nailed it, but I used to say: “who remembers about the ones finishing 2nd in the Tour de France?” I did get angry and frustrated like thousands of aspiring filmmakers. But I have realised that, at the end of the day, it’s just a big lottery; festivals receive thousands of entries, and it’s only a handful of people, all very human and with their personal taste, that are going to judge your piece of art.
Living the festival life,
shaken but I learned to promote my films the hard way all through the DVD era and into the digital one: asking many dumb questions of festival programmers, sending my short film to too many festivals (often the wrong ones – I’ve still got to realise I don’t make video art or experimental films) and learning along the process when was the right moment to send my short. Of course, there are a few distributors who do a great job at promoting your film to festivals, and who, like a chess master, juggle with times and schedules while respecting the world and regional premieres. Why did I decide to do it all myself then? For a simple reason: I didn’t have any budget to pay someone else. After many years of practice, I have become more and more skilled at it; now my films have been selected for more than 600 festivals in 50 different countries, and have won more than 120 awards, including at Palm Spring Shorts and the Prague Short Film Festival. 44 WOSH by Daazo.com
If you are a dedicated filmmaker, you want to spend as much time polishing your project artistically as finding the right audience. Of course, it all depends on the quality of the product. You’re not going to fool people that what you have is Belgian chocolate when in fact your piece of work barely contains real cocoa. But if what you have in your hands is decently made, and if you know how to handle the market, then you might be able to build a bigger audience around your films than someone with a better product who doesn’t know how to communicate it. If knowing your target audience is important, so is knowing your target festival. Some film festivals just don’t care about shorts as they see them as by-products, while other festivals will select more than 200 shorts, and you will find yours lost in the shuffle in between programme N°56 (family and migrants) and programme N°57 (all about love). And then you’ve got what I call the “Black Pudding Fair”; you find yourself in the middle of nowhere, presenting your short film to a packed assembly (the whole village in fact), yet
not stirred they actually care about your film, and they say that it has changed their lives (or maybe not, maybe they punch you in the face — but still it feels so good to be special sometimes). Where am I today? I am currently applying all my know-how to distribute Electric Indigo, my latest short film, a coming-of-age drama depicting the life of a little girl, Indigo, who never knew her mother and whose only reference is the love of two heterosexual fathers united by the bonds of a “non-carnal” marriage. One curious anecdote: at the beginning of its festival career, a big French TV channel refused to buy Electric Indigo because, following the violent extreme right-wing demonstrations against gay marriage in France, they didn’t want to take any chances and make a political statement. I didn’t quite understand their reasoning at the time, because I was sure that my two characters were clearly straight: they get married to escape from any emotional commitment with women, and consequently treat them in a misogynistic way. I was subtly trying, I thought, to reflect men-
women relationships nowadays. I started to think that maybe I had, without knowing it, made a fascist film against gay marriage. A few months later, the film was selected for some important gay and lesbian film festivals and it won the Best Short Award at the Madrid International LGBT Film Festival. Members of the jury told me not to worry, the film was not at all homophobic, on the contrary, it was a postmodern look at love, sex and education in a pluralistic society. Electric Indigo still has one more year to go on the festival circuit before I can submit it to the online competitions. But as it stands there are still a few countries immune to my cinema, such as Sweden, Norway, Finland and Japan. Repeatedly, across the years, my films haven’t reached their potential there. On the other hand, for the first time one of my films has been successful in Taiwan. As a film director, it’s very interesting to try to decipher the reasons why a certain audience is more receptive to certain themes, sensibilities or types of humour. But sometimes it goes beyond your understanding, and that’s when you have to let it go and let your work speak for itself. . WOSH by Daazo.com 45
is a full time job
someone comes up to me after a screening, asks a question, or compliments the film. Also by meeting other filmmakers I always gather a lot of inspiration.
interview by Dániel Deák
Réka Bucsi is one of the most successful short film makers in Hungary. Her animation Symphony No. 42 has had numerous festival appearances. She works together with Daazo to manage the festival life of her film and here she shares her experiences with World of Shorts.
What’s the worst thing about festival submissions? That it is a full-time job and you cannot focus on your next project. It takes a lot of time to sort out and search for festivals, to keep contact when you are selected, and track the screening copy of your film.
What is the biggest mistake a filmmaker can make regarding festival submissions? The biggest mistake is not believing in selection. Anything can happen, it is not predictable. The more festivals you try, the better your chances. It’s very important to do some research about which festival requests that your film has an international premier there, so you can choose where to submit first, otherwise you might get restricted because of another local premier you had earlier. Also, it is very hard to manage festival distribution on your own. It’s almost a full-time job if you want to do it properly.
What is your guess, how many festivals are there in the world? 3,000. (There are in fact more than 15,000 festivals all around the world – editor.)
What is your best festival experience? My best festival experience is always the reaction of the audience. It’s exciting to sit and hear the people’s reactions. I am always very happy if
And how many do you think you have to choose from them to submit your film to? 300. How much time have you saved with our Festival Strategy System? Well, the System helps a lot in sorting out the festivals that fit your profile the best. There are many different festivals, with different outputs. Your goal should depend on your film and how it is received. It saves a lot of time if you already know what to search for and what is worth the entry fee. .
Symphony No. 42 has been selected for the following festivals / Berlinale Shorts Competition, 64th internationale Filmfestspiele Berlin / Byron Bay international Film Festival Australia / BUFF: international Children and Young People’s Film Festival – Malmö, Sweden / Féte de le anim – France / 38th Hong Kong international Film Festival HKiFF / Creative Mornings Budapest Friss Hús Film Festival 2.0 / internationales Filmfestival Contravision, Berlin / Ashland independent Film Festival Monstronale Festival Germany / 21st Titanic Film Festival / Skepto international Film Festival / Athens international Film + Video Festival (Ohio) / 26. Filmfest Dresden / Nashville Film Festival / Cinema Perpetuum Mobile – Minsk, Belarus / 11th indieLisboa - Lisbon international independent Film Festival / Mediawave – Hungary / 10th Pisctoplasma Berlin Conference & Festival / Sehnsüchte international Film Festival – Germany / Bangkok international Student Film Festival / Anifilm – Trebon / Maryland international Film Festival / 11th Green Film Festival in Seoul – Korea / Rooftop Films Summer Series – Manhattan, / Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, Staten island / 3. Kyiv Film Festival 46 international WOSH by Short Daazo.com / Animation Avantgarde Competition Vienna / Animafest Zagreb
/ 30. internationales KurzFilmFestival Hamburg / TAAFi Toronto Animation Arts Festival international – Canada / Annecy international Animation Film Festival / Fest Anca international Animation Festival – Slovakia / Schnongs studentisches Kurzfilm Festival – Germany / Rabbitfest, italy / Womanation, Rhode island / 7th international Animated Film Festival Animator – Poland / FMK international Short Film Festival – italy / Anima Mundi Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo – Brazil / Guanajuato international Film Festival – Mexico / Supertoon international Animation Festival – Croatia / Lago Film Fest – italy / Melbourne international Film Festival / Hiroshima international Animation Festival / Sao Paulo international Short Film Festival / SeSiFF Korea / 41st Telluride Film Festival / Fantoche, Switzerland / Festival Siciliambiente – Sicily / Tenerife Shorts, Santa Cruz de Tenerife / encounters Short Film and Animation Festival, Bristol / Festival international du court métrage de Lille Lille international Short Film Festival – France / Milwaukee Film Festival / international Animated Film Festival KROK / Moscow – Tver – Myshkin – Uglich – Yaroslavl / international Animation Festival in Wiesbaden, Germany
… and received the following awards: / 38th Hong Kong international Film Festival / HKiFF – Special Mention for Best Short Film / Friss Hús Film Festival 2.0 Hungary – Grand Prix for Best Film / Monstronal Festival Germany – Best Film Grand Prix / Skepto international Film Festival italy – Audience Award / Cinema Perpetuum Mobile, Minsk, Belarus – Best Animation Grand Prix / 11th indieLisboa, Lisbon international independent Film Festival – Honorable Mention for Best Animation / Mediawave, Hungary – Best Hungarian Animation / Sehsüchte international Film Festival, Germany – Special Mention for Animation / Anifilm, Trebon – Special Jury Mention / 3. Kyiv international Short Film Festival – Best Film of the Festival, Audience Award / Animation Avantgarde Competition Vienna – Audience Award / Schnongs Festival Germany – 3rd Prize for best film / Womanation, Rhode island – Honorable Mention / 7th international Animated Film Festival Animator – Poland – Silver Pegasus Award / FMK international Short Film Festival – italy – Best Animated Short and Audience Award / Lago Film Fest – italy – Special Mention / Melbourne international Film Festival – Best Animation Short
when your film gets rejected from a festival?
The answer is
no. words by Noam Kroll
One of the worst feelings for filmmakers is the disappointment that surrounds the opening of a dreaded rejection letter from a film festival. Many of us feel that festivals are the key to our success and growth as filmmakers, and naturally when we don’t get accepted it can be a tough pill to swallow.
vals, and I can certainly understand how disappointing it can be. It really wasn’t until this year when I started working as a programmer that I truly understood the submission process – including the massive amount of films that come in, and the extremely hard decisions that need to be made in order to take thousands of films and cherry pick a few dozen of them to fill out programming blocks.
This year, I have been fortunate enough to have been brought on board as the short film programmer for an excellent festival here in Los Angeles (DFFLA), and after having to send out my share of rejection notices, it really put things in perspective for me.
Why Films Get Rejected
I’ve directed a number of short films and have had them screen at a number of festivals, and have even taken home some awards. But I’ve also had many of those same films rejected from festi-
Festivals of all shapes and sizes receive a staggering amount of submissions, and there are only a handful of slots open, meaning a very low percentage of films are accepted to any given
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Most filmmakers incorrectly assume that if their film was rejected, it was a direct result of their film itself not being strong enough. This could not be further from the truth.
festival. Also, most film festivals aim to have a well rounded programme that consists of films of various genres, styles, and formats. This means that your odds of getting can be even further reduced, since your film likely only applies to one or two categories and those categories may have an abundance of submissions that year. For instance if you submit your short horror film to a festival that only has 6 slots available in their horror programme, ultimately your odds of getting in into that particular festival are pretty slim. This is especially relevant if that year the festival happens to get loads of horror submissions, which of course makes getting accepted that much more difficult. Your film might simply be too long to fit into a programme, or it has already premiered (and the festival is looking for premiere status), or perhaps another film was already selected that deals with a similar subject matter. Festivals will always send out a rejection letter telling you that “so many amazing films couldn’t fit into the programme this year”. Having now programmed for a festival, I know just how true these statements are. There were some incredibly powerful and moving films that I screened for this year’s festival that couldn’t make the cut for various reasons – none of which had anything to do with the overall quality of the work. Even major award winning films don’t get into many of the festivals that they apply to, so don’t be discouraged when you start getting rejected – it comes with the territory. Just remember that all it takes is one great festival to give you an acceptance letter and it will make the journey worth it.
ing your submissions. If you have an experimental genre film, go after genre festivals. Or if you have a documentary, submit it to as many documentary-centric festivals as possible. Following this simple principle will mean your film has a much better shot of getting in, as there will be many more categories open for your film to potentially be programmed in. Something else that you can do is attempt to have festivals curate your film once it has already premiered. Rather than submitting blindly through withoutabox, e-mail festival programmers directly and let them know your film is having a successful festival run. Most film festivals are looking for a number of popular films that they can curate, so once you’ve been accepted to at least one notable festival you can really use that to your advantage. And lastly, for any of you short film makers out there – make sure that the runtime of your film is reasonable. If your short is over 15–20 minutes long, it is going to be quite difficult to program so try to keep your runtime to a minimum and find ways to tell your story economically. In my opinion 6–12 minutes for a short film is the optimal sweet spot, but there are certainly exceptions to this rule. Final Thoughts
While the festival circuit can be daunting to approach, the best thing you can do is simply get out there and make the absolute best film that you can make. When it’s just right, submit it to as many targeted festivals as you can, and then leverage your success to appeal to more festivals as the year goes on. .
Beating The Odds
There are many ways to improve your odds of getting into a festival, but probably the most important thing that you can do involves target-
You can read more of Noam’s articles on his blog www.noamkroll.com
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50 WOSH by Daazo.com
Festivals, awards, special platforms, and social media disguised as a playful gadget with colourful ﬁlters – short ﬁlms are constantly surrounded with attention. We, the short ﬁlm fanatics (festival manager, ﬁlm journalist, head of press and PR, veteran ﬁlm director, and distributor) all have something to share.
illustration by Lehel Kovács
Shorts of all
interForum: Pitches, Impulses, Berlin – a platform for new encounters, page 52 Filling the gap – introducing Cineuropa’s new shorts platform, page 54 Short matters! – an overview of the EFA Short Film initiative, page 56 is is 30 – a festival report from Hamburg, page 58 Fair and square – our favourite Instagram shots, page 60 Encounters leads the way for its 20th anniversary edition, page 61 Festival panorama, page 62 WOSH by Daazo.com 51
Pitches, Impulses, Berlin interview by Dániel Deák
Interfilm is one of the most well-known short film events, with a carefully selected short film line-up, cool parties – and important professional programmes. Daazo – World of Shorts – the provider of the winning project’s festival management service – teamed up with its new section interForum, which allows young talents to pitch their ideas and enlarge their networks. On this occasion we talked to Nele Luise Fritzsche, the head of the interForum section. She explained why it is worth taking part and how they want to help the work of the winners.
Why did you decide to launch interForum as a side programme of the interfilm festival? The International Short Film Festival interfilm has had lots of events for the international guests and short film enthusiasts in Berlin for years. There were different ideas, different concepts connected to the structure of the festival. However, last year, together with Alexander Stein, Heinz Hermanns and Matthias Groll, we decided to create a new section of the festival which would gather the very different offers for professional visitors. It was a challenge that would lead us to a very fruitful debut of a new young platform for encounter and exchange. The short film scene has become very crowded with pitch forums in the past few years. 52 WOSH by Daazo.com
What makes interForum unique among its competitors? Interfilm has always had a reputation for being a festival with a very open, welcoming and engaging atmosphere. There are no barriers to actually meeting and talking with renowned filmmakers of the short film industry. In addition, as a capital and a culturally active and flourishing city, Berlin has a lot to offer. Thus, interfilm becomes an exciting ground for emerging artists and young talents. For me personally, I am fond of the idea of creating a space during the festival where lots of international guests meet together with locals. It’s an open doors atmosphere, where everyone can come and go. InterForum is still young, so this is the time to experiment with what we have and what we might be able to create within the new section. What kind of filmmakers do you concentrate on? The ones just before their debut feature or undiscovered talents. InterForum is a fringe programme of the interfilm festival which welcomes all enthusiastic guests. It is focused on the encounter. Every year’s programme is different. And who we can offer most to depends on the programme, which is itself closely related to the film programming of the festival edition. I work very closely together with our artistic director and the curators to integrate our guests into interForum’s agenda. Some years, there might be more for very young and emerging filmmakers and some years we
might have a programme which could be interesting for established short film makers.
mean interfilm will distribute the films of the interForum participants.
What are your long-term goals with this programme? InterForum definitely has the potential to establish itself as a platform for new encounters and thus new inspiration and impulse. The big short film market is and stays in Clermont-Ferrand. However, Berlin is extremely vibrant and there will always be plenty of possibilities to create cooperations and new projects.
This year you organise the 30th edition of Short Film Festival interfilm Berlin. What specialities are there on the menu? We will continue to focus on script on behalf of the Script Pitch, so after Sergio Barrejon and Razvan Radulescu, we will have Zara Waldebäck as a guest lecturer who is an expert in creative storytelling. In addition, I am very happy about the cooperation with Shortfilm AG and their magazine short report who will do a panel at interForum discussing short film as an independent art genre.
How do you follow the afterlife of the participants? Are you able to track and foster their careers? Can you help them as a distributor, too? I keep in touch with the finalists. Some of them have made impressive progress after their participation at the Script Pitch. Jasmine Alakari, for example, was selected for Berlinale Talents with her short film project and Bella Szederkényi even won the Robert Bosch prize with her pitched idea. We always present the projects to our distribution and sales colleagues but, since they work independently from us, it doesn’t necessarily
How would you summarise in one sentence why a filmmaker should apply to your pitch session? Be inspired by both the festival’s faceted film selection, interForum’s manifold programme and the enthusiastic and encouraging agenda of the Script Pitch, carry along the craziness of 5 days’ intense work on your project and enjoy fresh encounters and new impulses in the very centre of Berlin. .
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words by Elisa Cimino
Cineuropa Shorts – the new Cineuropa website exclusively dedicated to short films – was born at the end of June this year. The project had been in the air for some time. At Cineuropa we did agree that too little space was reserved for short films, not only on our website, but in general in the international film press. On the one side we were frustrated as we were not able to dedicate more space to the short film universe on our pages. On the other, we heard many short film festival programmers and short film makers complaining about how little interest they managed to arouse among the film press. We understood it was time to create something new and to give the European short film scene the visibility it deserves. We decided to create a new platform with a new design, although it is quite similar to the Cineuropa portal. Like its older brother, Cineuropa Shorts provides its readers with news about film festivals, deadlines for submissions, awards and film reviews, interviews with filmmakers, producers and festival directors, as well as videos and trailers. Alongside this, Cineuropa Shorts presents an agenda section, where readers 54 WOSH by Daazo.com
Cineuropa has launched Cineuropa Shorts, a new website exclusively dedicated to european short films and film festivals. elisa Cimino – editor in chief – tells us about the intentions behind the creation of this new platform.
can find a list of the upcoming short film festivals as well as deadlines for applications to festivals, pitching sessions and grants. Cineuropa Shorts aims to be an interesting portal for cinemagoers and short film enthusiasts but also a useful tool for filmmakers and for all the people involved in the short film industry. The short film market does exist, and we want to talk about it. The reception was immediately good. After only two weeks of activity the platform already registered a few hundred visits per day, and the number has been increasing since then. The short film industry warmly welcomed Cineuropa Shorts – we received many messages of appreciation and we immediately started setting up partnerships with film festivals. The first successful partnership was a three-way collaboration with Lago Film Fest and Nisimazine. The Nisimazine team of five young journalists flew to Lago Revine, near Treviso in Italy, the beautiful village where since 2004 the Lago film Fest takes place. The young critics covered almost all the short films in competition with
film reviews and interviews with directors, which were published on Cineuropa Shorts and sent viral through social media. I flew to Italy as well to meet our new partners and enjoy the amazing atmosphere in Lago, and it was awesome. This experience coincides exactly with what Cineuropa Shorts intends to build – a network of people working for the same goal, which is to create space for good quality short films and help them to circulate and to be seen. Two other partnerships of which I’m very proud were established with the Lviv International Short Film Festival Wiz-Art in Ukraine (in July) and La Guarimba in Calabria, South Italy (in August). The former, with the slogan “Stronger Than Weapons”, decided to organise their festival despite the highly unstable situation of the country. Besides the international competition, the Lviv film festival showcased the short films composing the documentary project Babylon’13, shot during the Maidan uprising by Ukrainian filmmakers. La Guarimba too is an expression of resistance, a festival that manages to survive without public funds and without political support. In a region, the Calabria, mostly known for the mafia, the artistic director Giulio Vita and his resourceful team managed to transform the tiny village of Amantea into a capital of cinema that was able to attract around 7,000 people from all around the world and show around 500 short films in only 8 days. The involvement of the local community, the strong use of communication tools and social media and creative partnerships are the ingredients of the La Guarimba strategy. There is an impressive energy behind these events, and collaborating with these people is truly inspiring. This is our approach: writing about these great examples of cultural activism. Europe is full of short film festivals and events that exist thanks to their creators’ energy and dedication, and they deserve greater visibility. We want to help them and we want, of course, to promote films and filmmakers. We believe that short film is an astounding art form. In only a few minutes, short films can tell stories, spread
messages, and make us laugh or cry. Their messages hit our brain immediately and remain there for a long time. You don’t necessarily need 90+ minutes to shock or provoke your mind. Moreover, short films can have brilliant photography and amazing techniques when it comes to animation or video art. Short films can be fabulous artistic pieces, where I personally usually see true innovation. Also important for us at Cineuropa is the fact that short films are usually the first steps in a feature film director’s career. It is important for us to observe these careers from the beginning and see their evolution. It is an extremely important phase. Many long feature film directors – think Radu Jude, Olias Barco or Miguel Gomes – alternate the direction of short films and long feature films. It looks like a concession they make to themselves, a short parenthesis where they can do what they want without the need of a big budget, important external supports and consequent compromises. It is an act of artistic and intellectual freedom. I had the chance to meet Olias Barco after the première of his short film Raconte Moi des Salades this year in Berlin. According to him long and short films are completely equal, except that shorts don’t entail all the financial complications of a long film. It was absolutely normal for him to do a short after his film Kill Me Please that won the Marco Aurelio d’Oro in Rome. As Barco puts it, “it is like a novelist who switches between writing novels and short stories”. This is something that the international film press usually neglects. Cineuropa Shorts aims to fill this gap. .
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MaTTERS! an overview of the EFA Short Film initiative words by Pascal Edelmann
ever since 1998, when portuguese actress Maria de Medeiros and her Greek colleague Stelios Mainas presented the first “european Short Film” award to Marie paccou for her animated 5-minute short un jour at the 11th european Film Awards in London’s Old Vic Theatre, short films have been an essential part of the european Film Awards. now presented in co-operation with 15 partner festivals – each of which nominates one short film – the eFA Short Film Initiative has long been an established item on the annual international short film agenda.
Short films allow for creative experiments and provocation and invite artists to play with cinematic styles – among the films nominated in this category over the years have been documentary, fiction, experimental and animation films. Stefan Arsenijevic, who won Slovenia its only European Film Award so far with (A) Torsion in 2003, says, “It meant entering the big film world.” He next participated in the omnibus project Lost & Found before shooting his first feature Love and Other Crimes which premiered at the Berlin IFF and won Best Director in Sofia. The short film award has gone twice to France, Hungary, Ireland, Italy and Poland and once to Belgium, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Romania, Slovenia, Spain and UK. Among the winners and nominees have been students, newcomers and established film artists. In 2002 the award went to 10 Minutes, made by a film student from Sarajevo, Ahmed Imamovic, who continued making Go West (2005) and Belvedere (2010). Another winner was Eduardo Chapero-Jackson (Alumbramiento, 2007) who later made Verbo which 56 WOSH by Daazo.com
received three nominations for the Spanish Goya awards and the documentary Los mundos sutiles which also received a s– odlino 2013 v he M Goya nomination. Ruben for tin Saraje y r o A St inated Östlund who has just won Nom the jury prize of Cannes’ Un Certain Regard section was nominated twice: in 2005 for Autobiographical Scene Number 6882 and in 2011 for Incident by a Bank. Documentary veteran Marcel Łoziński won two awards: a special mention at the 1993 European Film Awards for 89 mm from Europe about the different track width of Europe compared to the former Soviet Union, and the Short Film Award 2009 for Poste restante. Monty Python member Terry Gilliam, famous for films such as Time Bandits, Brazil, The Fisher King and 12 Monkeys came back with the short The Wholly Family which won him the 2011 European Short Film Award. The short film initiative is organised by the European Film Academy and EFA Productions in co-operation with a series of film festivals throughout Europe. They range from big A-festivals like Berlin or Venice to specialised short fests like Grimstad, Vila do Conde or ClermontFerrand and at each of these festivals an independent jury presents one of the European short films in competition with a nomination in the short film category of the European Film Awards. The 3,000 members of the European Film Academy then get to watch all nominated films and it is they who vote for the overall winner, who is presented at the annual European Film Awards Ceremony.
WINNERS OF THE EUROPEAN SHORT FILM AWARD 1998 UN JOUR, France Written & directed by Marie Paccou Produced by Claude Huhardeaux 1999 BENVENUTO IN SAN SALVARIO, italy Directed by enrico Verra Written by enrico Verra & Mario Ponti, in collaboration with Lucia Moisio Produced by Dune e Associati 2000 A MI GÓLYÁNK, Hungary Written & directed by Livia Gyarmathy Produced by Zsuzsa Böszörményi
2010 Film hort Velli) S A eF en é s the FA/R z win re: e iewica (pictu k m zaw a Kli rzyn Wars KataHanoi – for
2001 JE T’AIME JOHN WAYNE, UK Directed by Toby MacDonald Written by Luke Ponte Produced by Luke Morris 2002 10 MINUTA, Bosnia & Herzegovina Directed by Ahmed imamovi ´ Written by Srdjan Vuletic & Ahmed imamovic Produced by Jasmin Durakovic´
To be considered for a nomination, a 2003 (A)TORZIJA, Slovenia Directed by Stefan Arsenijevic ´ short film has to screen in competition Written by Abdulah Sidran Produced by Jure Kosak at any of the participating festivals, not exceed a running time of 30 minutes and 2004 J’ATTENDRAI LE SUIVANT, France Directed by Philippe Orreindy match the genre regulations of the respecWritten by Thomas Gaudin & Philippe Orreindy tive festival. To be eligible a director must be Produced by eric Pattedoie & Caroline Perchaud born in Europe or hold a European passport; 2005 UNDRESSING MY MOTHER, ireland Written & directed by Ken Wardrop European, as used by the European Film Produced by Kristin Brook Larsen & Andrew Freedman Academy, encompasses both EU and non-EU, 2006 BEFORE DAWN, Hungary and includes Israeli and Palestinian. Directed by Bálint Kenyeres Written by Bálint Kenyeres & György Réder Produced by Bálint Kenyeres & András Muhi
During the past thirteen years, the interest in the 2007 ALUMBRAMIENTO, Spain short film initiative and this collection of short Written & directed by eduardo Chapero-Jackson films has constantly been increasing. The nomiProduced by Pepe Jordana nated films go through a series of 50 screenings 2008 FRANKIE, ireland across the world. From Helsinki to Hong Kong, from Written & directed by Darren Thornton Produced by Colette Farrell Colombia to Kosovo, we are proud to draw world2009 POSTE RESTANTE, Poland wide attention to these short films and their creators. . www.europeanfilmacademy.org www.europeanfilmawards.eu
You can read an interview with Bülent Öztürk, director of the best European short film nominated by Venice in 2013 on page 36. pARTIcIpATInG FeSTIVALS: Berlin international Film Festival (Germany) encounters Short Film and Animation Festival Bristol (UK) international Short Film Festival Clermont-Ferrand (France) Cork Film Festival (ireland) international Short Film Festival in Drama (Greece) Film Fest Gent (Belgium) Norwegian Short Film Festival Grimstad (Norway) Krakow Film Festival (Poland) Festival del film Locarno (Switzerland) international Film Festival Rotterdam (the Netherlands) Sarajevo Film Festival (Bosnia & Herzegovina) Tampere Film Festival (Finland) Valladolid international Film Festival (Spain) Venice Film Festival (italy) Curtas Vila do Conde international Film Festival (Portugal)
Written& directed by Marcel Łozin ´ski Produced by Dorota Roszkowska
2010 HANOI – WARSZAWA, Poland Written & directed by Katarzyna Klimkiewicz Produced by Bogusław Kisielewski 2011 THE WHOLLY FAMILY, italy Written & directed by Terry Gilliam Produced by Gabriele Oricchio & Amy Gilliam 2012 SUPERMAN, SPIDERMAN OR BATMAN, Romania Directed by Tudor Giurgiu written by Doru Lupeanu Produced by Bogdan Craciun 2013 DOOD VAN EEN SCHADUW, Belgium/France Written & directed by Tom Van Avermaet Produced by ellen De Waele
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This is words by Alexei Dimitriev
The thirtieth edition of the Hamburg International Short Film Festival – told from a director’s point of view
Arriving here is always pleasant: after a driver picks you up in a fancy black car and you have the usual conversation about the weather and why most people like Hamburg more than Munich, you end up at the festival centre located in Kolbenhof, an old factory, where you have your first beer of the day with some of the earlybird guests. After 30 years in business, the festival has accumulated a number of dedicated guests that visit every edition. And if, for some reason, one of the usual suspects is missing – there is a message or a present due. Like the hilarious one from John Smith which already made the rounds online before the festival started. The first night kicks off with the opening ceremony in Zeise Kino, where after a cuba libre or two you are ready for some speeches and a spectrum of shorts from this year’s programme. Then the madness starts, as the crowd goes back to Kolbenhof and you find yourself running to the bar to get another round of refreshing beverages, deciding whether you want a pizza or a toastie and having a thousand conversations with old and new friends. As Radiohead once pointed out – meeting people is easy. It’s a very important part of any festival which some of them neglect. Hamburg does it properly: the staff make you feel at home and 58 WOSH by Daazo.com
included, strangers being introduced, hands being shaken, talks being talked. And it is not an easy thing to achieve with around 500 guests. Yes, 500 guests from all over the world. This is one of the best proofs for Hamburg’s outstanding position in the festival world. The programming is always solid: strong International Competition, experimental No Budget screenings, panoramic German programmes and an entertaining Three-Minute Quickie. This is already more than enough, but it’s not all. There is Mo&Friese – a side festival for kids. And you can decide how to watch the films: in one of the 7 cinemas, in the unbelievably well-run video library, or go open air. Which brings us to another Hamburg special: A Wall is a Screen – a project that originated here 12 years ago, where they show films on different buildings in the city while travelling from one spot to another with a migrating flock of people. Besides the screenings Hamburg also offers tons of other film-related events ranging from workshops and panels, always very well put together, to exhibitions and installations – like the fantastic piece Night Blooming Flower by Karl Nussbaum and encompassing fantastic performances, for example Makino Takashi’s dazzling work together with musicians from Hamburg.
Hamburg is known for its outstanding films and once again the selection committees succeeded in choosing fantastic films, many of which had their premiere in Hamburg. The No Budget competition especially is the place to watch films if you want to know which filmmakers are the ones to keep an eye out for. Here are some personal favourites from this year’s shorts (including some of the more obvious ones): Recycled by Lei Lei, Symphony no. 42 by Réka Bucsi, darkroom by Billy Roisz, The Claustrum by Jay Rosenblatt, and Emergency Calls by Hannes Vartiainen and Pekka Veikkolainen. But then again films are not everything. After they are finished (which is a very cocky statement when there is a 30 Hour Short Film Marathon in
the programme) the music starts. The Beatles were right to play here as Hamburg is insanely musical. This year’s highlight was a secret anniversary party in the smallest room with the tiniest dance floor and the biggest selection of vinyl singles. You are always surprised how fast time flies when one of the team members asks you if you have a ticket for the award ceremony. This is a thing to see: a very low-key and relaxed bit of fun that keeps you sitting in a crowded steamy room while Matthias Mueller and Christoph Girardet get yet another ARTE award. And then there is an all-night party where you will promise to come back next year, baptise somebody’s child or move here forever. And you do come back. . WOSH by Daazo.com 59
Dániel Deák THe JOuRNeY Travelling 1,300 km to Cannes is always an adventure. But with stacks of magazines, bicycles and many other things (belongings of beloved friends and colleagues) it was my favourite journey ever with Daazo co-founder Zoltán. it represents the essence of Daazo: mixing enthusiasm with professionalism and creative solutions.
Daazo is on instagram, and we enjoy sharing our best memories with our followers. Here is a selection of a few snapshots that are particularly important to us.
Dóra Halász THe BeST TeAm OF THRee CHICKS i didn’t work at Daazo when this picture was taken but everybody knew this fantastic super trio at the time. Zsuzsanna Deák, Cristina Grosan, Anita Libor, you are amazing!
Zsuzsanna Deák uNexPeCTeD SHOWeR IN CANNeS This photo of filmmaker Cristina Grosan and producer Dora Nedeczky, taken in Cannes in 2012, captures the excitement and reckless happiness that fills you when you are in the centre of the film universe.
Diana Nagy THeRe IS ALWAYS A FIRST TIme... This photo was taken at the Friss Hús 2014, my first film festival as the member of the Daazo Team. i love the redness of it, it is as lively as my days at Daazo!
Janka Pozsonyi TeRRACe WITH A VIeW After a long and exhausting day at the Short Film Corner, we got an invitation to the cocktail hour of the Polish Film institute, at the Grand Hotel of Cannes. Tasty finger food, chilled wine, and a ridiculously gorgeous view welcomed us up there.
60 WOSH by Daazo.com
Dorka Csáky SummeR ImPReSSIONS i was writing about the use of senses in films, the thunder rumbled, the sun was shining, and the smell of the rain nearby melted into the scent of the lavender fields.
ENCOUNTERS leads the way for its
interview by Kellie Hasbury
European Film Awards and the Academy Awards in the USA. The award winners will be announced on Saturday 20th September during the festival weekend and the competition will culminate in a screening of the award winning films on Sunday 21st September. “We have put together a retrospective of 20 short films that set the benchmark for creativity, diversity and impact in short film since Encounters Festival began, which will show in a free Perpetual Cinema so you can drop in at any time and catch them in a cinema in the Watershed in Bristol, which also acts as our industry hub. The retrospective is accompanied by a 20th Anniversary Publication and other special events, which will include the UK premier of the film version of Vinyl Requiem – an impressive music and film event conceived by sound artist Philip Jeck and visual artist Lol Sargent in 1992 to mark the beginning of the era that saw the change from analogue to digital.
now the grand old age of 20, encounters Short Film and Animation Festival is still seen as a world leader in the curation of short films and a platform to discover talent from all over the world. This year’s festival takes place from 16th – 21st September in Bristol, uK. With 250 films shown during the six days of the event from 80 countries and a redesigned Industry Forum, World of Shorts talked to new festival director debbi Lander about what this year and the future 20 have in store.
“Encounters Festival has always been a leading light in the world of short film, bringing in both live action and animation, so this year we will be celebrating its successes and looking at how short film will evolve in the future.
“We have split the Industry Forum into three strands over an intensive three day event to lay the foundations for developing a cross sector offer to the industry and extending to film, interactive and moving image. The idea is for the forum to combine high level masterclasses, panel discussions and industry film screenings with labs, symposia and networking opportunities designed to connect filmmakers to the wider film industry. More than ever we are looking to engage audiences from complimentary industries such as gaming, feature films, moving image production and marketing. Encounters Festival winners in the three main categories will qualify for the British Academy Awards, Cartoon d’Or,
“Each day of the Industry Forum is structured around a theme, Fusion on Wednesday, Festivals on Thursday and Form on Friday. These will explore the integration of short film into film, media and culture, give filmmakers the opportunity to experiment with the tech of the future and give useful advice on how to build a career in film. We are hoping that more than ever we will attract talent spotters looking to engage filmmakers as well as our festival alumni from the last 20 Encounters Festivals. “Fusion particularly will bring in elements of gaming such as a Rovio: The Genesis of a phenomenon, which is a case study detailing how this simple app became a global phenomenon which in turn became an industry leader in animation. We are also partnering with the Bristol Festival of Ideas to deliver thought provoking talks which will explore the crossover between film, media and society.” . WOSH by Daazo.com 61
Festivals are our expertise. We travel to them, we meet programmers and explore each festivalâ€™s taste in Â´OP Thatâ€™s just one reason why itâ€™s a wise choice to use our new submission service, so you can just lean back and let us do the work. For now we thought it would be nice of us to share a handy little guide to a selection of festivals that are coming up shortly. Take a look, and if you would like us to submit your short to these festivals, head over to daazo.com/fss for more info.
Leeds International Film Festival (United Kingdom, Leeds)
September 19, 2014
November 5â€“20, 2014
Foyle Film Festival (Ireland, Derry)
September 30, 2014
November 19â€“23, 2014
Torino Film Festival (Italy, Turin)
September 12, 2014
November 21â€“29, 2014
. ZUBROFFKA International Short Film Festival (Poland, BiaĂ–ystok)
September 1, 2014
December 3â€“7, 2014
Flickerfest International Short Film Festival (Australia, Bondi Beach)
September 19, 2014
-DQXDU\ 9â€“18, 2015
Angers Film Festival (France, Angers)
October 15, 2014
-DQXDU\ 16â€“25, 2015
Slamdance Film Festival (USA, Utah â€“ Park City)
October 16, 2014
-DQXDU\ 23â€“29, 2015
International Film Festival Rotterdam (Netherlands, Rotterdam)
September 1, 2014
-DQXDU\Â¨ )HEUXDU\ 2015
-DQXDU\Â¨ )HEUXDU\ 2015
Clermont-Ferrand Short Film Festival (France, Clermont-Ferrand)
October 6, 2014 IRUÂ´OPV FRPSOHWHGLQ4)
Talent campus/ workshop
Oscar/ EFA/BAFTA qualifying
7KH)HVWLYDO3DQRUDPDâ€“ EURXJKWWR\RXE\'DD]RÂV)HVWLYDO6WUDWHJ\6\VWHP 62 WOSH by Daazo.com
Berlin International Film Festival (Germany, Berlin)
to be announced in September 2014
February 5–15, 2015
Tampere Film Festival (Finland, Tampere)
December 1, 2014
March 4–8, 2015
International Short Film Week Regensburg (Germany, Regensburg)
October 19, 2014
March 18–25, 2015
Ann Arbor Film Festival (USA, Michigan – Ann Arbor)
November 1, 2014
March 24–29, 2015
Aspen Shortsfest (USA, Colorado – Aspen)
December 31, 2014
April 7–12, 2015
Go Short International Short Film Festival (Netherlands, Nijmegen)
November 21, 2014
April 8–12, 2015
Filmfest Dresden (Germany, Dresden)
to be announced
April 14–19, 2015
Brussels Short Film Festival (Belgium, Brussels)
January 28, 2015
April 23 – May 3, 2015
International Short Film Festival Oberhausen (Germany, Oberhausen)
January 13, 2015
April 30 – May 5, 2015
Rome Independent Film Festival (Italy, Rome)
December 15, 2014
in April 2015
Skepto International Film Festival (Italy, Cagliari)
December 4, 2014
in April 2015
Vienna Independent Shorts (Austria, Vienna)
January 4, 2015
May 26–31, 2015
Talent campus/ workshop
Oscar/ EFA/BAFTA qualifying
WOSH by Daazo.com 63
WORLD OF SHORTS publisher: Dániel Deák I firstname.lastname@example.org editor in chief: Zsuzsanna Deák I email@example.com art director and graphic design: Tünde Kálmán daazo graphic design: Krisztina Jávorszki founding designer of WOSH: Cristina Grosan head of advertising: Genovéva Petrovits I firstname.lastname@example.org World of Shorts authors: Dániel Deák, Zsuzsanna Deák, Dóra Halász, Diana Nagy, Genovéva Petrovits, Janka Pozsonyi contributors: elisa Cimino, Alexei Dimitriev, Ádám Dobay, Pascal edelmann, Kellie Hasbury, Jean-Julien Collette, Noam Kroll, Jukka-Pekka Laakso thanks: Clive Allnutt, Anita Libor, Angela Savoldi cover image and illustrations: Lehel Kovács I www.kolehel.com You can also ﬁnd this magazine online on: www.issuu.com/daazo/docs/venice2014 World of Shorts magazine is published by Daazo Film and Media Ltd. Published in Hungary, August 2014. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part is forbidden save with the written permission of the publishers. www.daazo.com I email@example.com
iSSN 2064-2105 (Online) iSSN 2064-2113 (Print) Daazo.com – the European Shortfilm Centre is supported by the MEDIA programme of the EU. is material does not necessarily represent the views and opinions of the EU. is magazine was printed on recycled paper. 64 WOSH by Daazo.com
World of Shorts (WOSH), the magazine published by Daazo.