The 14th edition with close to 350 films, two live acts and Golden Nights - A shorter name, a third Oscar® category, and a Honorary Committee
Change requires trust - and in the past year Austria's largest festival for short film, animation and music video saw several changes: The name was reduced to VIS VIENNA SHORTS and the duration of the Festival and the number of programs have been streamlined. Along with this - despite a turbulent autumn - finances and staff have been consolidated. The 14th edition of the festival starts on June 1, with 347 movies in four venues, including, for the first time, the Fimcasino. Entitled Trust Me, the focus deals with the notion of trust.
In recent months, great confidence in the work of the festival was evident, particularly on an international level: For the second time in a row, the EU is supporting VIS with funds from the MEDIA program - a wonderful acknowledgment of the potential and good work of the festival. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences (after adding the festival to the list of the Oscar Qualifying Festivals 2016) in turn, recently accepted VIS for a third category - short documentaries. In the future, three films from Vienna will thus be sent out to the Oscar ® long list.
With pleasure, we also welcome prominent support from other sources: This year, director and actor Karl Markovics, manager and industry expert Marijana Stoisits (Vienna Film Commission), and the renowned Belgian artist Anouk De Clercq form a Honorary Committee that supports the festival in its ideals and to the best of its abilities. We are deeply honored by the trust invested in VIS from renowned representatives of the industry.
FOCUS "TRUST ME" - 100 COMPETITION FILMS & 100 FILM GUESTS
Among recent socio-political issues, a constant loss of confidence is noticeable, which is reflected in isolated filter bubbles, extremist thinking and proto fascist trends. In this context, the tempting appeal to trust me can represent a form of reassurance, an instinctive promise without content, or a desired confirmation of power. In our case, the motto should be understood as an invitation to temporarily abandon the doubts and see the canvas as a place of contemplation. Together with the Uppsals Short film festival (SE) and the ZubrOFFka Festival in Bialystok (PL), we try to approach nuances in the concept of trust in historical and contemporary (short film) cinema, with specifically curated film programs and a debate of the Salon in Gesellschaft at the Ruby hotel.
The organization of a cultural event requires a trusting relationship between team, audience, artists and supporters: This year, more than 80 people are involved in the organization of the festival, some in permanent employment, some on a contractual basis, and some as interns or volunteers. Despite the cuts, up to 10,000 interested visitors are expected for almost 350 carefully selected films, including 100 works in 4 competition categories. Around 100 film guests, as well as many international representatives from the industry will, once again, ensure a lively exchange at the festival. A big "Thank You" for the confidence placed in the festival goes to all first time as well as long-standing partners, funding authorities, and sponsors.
4 COMPETITIONS, 2 LIVE-ACTS & GOLDEN NIGHTS
The four competition categories of Fiction & Documentary, Animation Avantgarde, National Competition and Screensessions are at the heart of the festival and present a focused and diverse picture of current Austrian and international short films. The films, including award-winning work from Rotterdam, Berlin and Sundance, compete for the favor of jury and audience and for a total prize of almost 20,000 euros.
As part of Screensessions, the combination of music video-screenings followed by live concerts, we are pleased to announce this year's cooperation with the donaufestival: With VENTIL plays BULLETPROOF we look forward to an extraordinary evening at the METRO Kinokulturhaus. In the next few months, this commissioned work will also be presented in Poland and Canada. A second live act will be performed by Japanese artist Makino Takashi: The Austrian premiere of his globally successful performance Space Noise 3D will take place at Rhiz, a concert venue instead of a movie theater. The performance, as well as a film screening during the previous evening, was developed in co-operation with Filmmuseum and sixpackfilm, and makes up one-third of the Spotlight series. Two more of this year's Spotlight Stars are Jacqueline Lentzou (GR) and Alexandre Larose (CA).
The Golden Nights (Les Nuits en or) are another highlight of this year's festival. 33 short films that were nominated as the best of the year by their respective national academies (César, Oscar, BAFTA, etc.) will be presented in cooperation with the Akademie des Österreichischen Films. A Matinée and two marathon screenings with free admission will attract luscious overload. Other highlights include the Midnight Movies, the kijvis program for children and youth, guest programs from Kiev and Uppsala, as well as exhibitions (by jury guest Lucia Cavalchini as well as guest artists Céline Devaux and Brecht Evens), an extensive talk series with workshop discussions and panels titled VIS Academy, organized in cooperation with the Vienna Film Commission. The Salon in Gesellschaft, a debate about confidence in the state, promises to become a very special one - with German historian Philipp Blom and Israeli filmmaker Helen Yanovsky (The Boy from H2), among others.
AGENCY WITH FILMFABRIK, CAT ANNIVERSARY & SUBWAY ZOETROPE
The Vienna Shorts Agency attends to the realization, distribution and communication of short film throughout the year - formally independent but in close collaboration with the festival. In its third year of existence it reaches nearly 9,500 visitors at a total of 31 events. 240 short films were shown at eight international and 23 Austrian events. Another 13 events are planned by the end of the year. Among the upcoming events are three major projects: On June 23, a selection of primarily Austrian short films will be presented on the premises of the F23.wir.fabriken (the former coffin manufacture Atzgersdorf) now transformed into the FILMFABRIK (film factory) as part of the WIR SIND WIEN.FESTIVAL. The 5th birthday of the CAT VIDEO FESTIVAL VIENNA will be celebrated with a special weekend at the end of the frame[o]ut Festival (25-26 August). In addition, there will be four programs at the Natural History Museum (14 October and 11 November) on the occasion of the autumn exhibition "Cats & Dogs". Last but not least, the Vienna underground will soon become a place of visual art in the public space: the concept of a "Subway Zoetrope" received a grant of 100,000 euros at this year's tender by SHIFT (a program of the city of Vienna to promote innovative arts in Vienna). Challenge accepted!