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© Angel Blue Sweet Wings - Chick Strand | Academy Film Archive

15 Years of VIS Vienna Shorts — 109 Films from 27 Countries in Competition

Academy Film Archive and Martha Colburn in the Spotlight—New Festival Pass

VIS Vienna Shorts turns 15! Starting on May 29, Vienna’s International Festival for Short Film, Animation & Music Video will once again celebrate its “raucous blend of cinema art and wild jamboree” (profil). 109 films from 27 countries were selected this year from a pool of more than 4,000 submissions. In five categories they will be vyingfor prize money, residencies, and three slots on the Academy Award ® longlist.

More than three thirds of the competition films will premiere in Austria between May
29 and June 4, among them new works by known greats like Don Hertzfeldt (US) or
Siegfried A. Fruhauf (AT) as well as internationally acclaimed works like the Berlinale Award-winning “Solar Walk” by Réka Bucsi (HU) or “Los Desheredados” by Goya Award winner Laura Ferrés (ES). Along with films by shooting stars like Niki Lindroth von Bahr (SE) or Nikita Diakur (DE), several high-caliber new discoveries will be fielded as well.

Out of competition, VIS will show about 200 other films with a running time of up to 30 minutes in solo retrospectives, live performances, and curated programs. The venues are Gartenbaukino, Filmmuseum, Halle G and the frei_raum Q21 exhibition space at MuseumsQuartier as well as METRO Kinokulturhaus, which also houses the Festivalzentrum. The so-called MUK.lounge of the adjacent Music and Arts University of the City of Vienna will serve as the venue for the festival’s first 360-degree film competition “VR the World” with synchronized screenings.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, which presents the annual Academy Awards ® , will play an important role in this year’s festival: The Academy Film Archive in cooperation with the Austrian Film Museum will guest with restored films in a three-part program entitled “The Academy & the Avant-Garde,” curated and presented by Mark Toscano (US), who is more knowledgeable and passionate about the Archive’s work than anyone.

Two more Spotlights are dedicated to two “incorruptible filmmakers”: the artist
Martha Colburn (US/NL), who is seen as one of the most subversive and original voices of contemporary political animation, and the Expanded Cinema pioneer Ernst Schmidt jr. (AT), a discerning and astute mind (with a repertoire of countless radical filmic statements) who would have turned 80 this year. The screenings of Ernst Schmidt jr.’s works are presented in cooperation with sixpackfilm. Martha Colburn will be present for the duration of her retrospective.

This anniversary edition of VIS also has several special items up its sleeve: On Thursday, April 19, at 5 p.m., a limited number of festival passes will be sold for 33 euros (student price: 25 euros). They will be valid for almost 60 programs (all competition segments, the Spotlights, all curated programs, and the Midnight Movies) and give access to additional perks and concessions for one accompanying person. For more information about the festival pass, visit www.viennashorts.com.

  • Media representatives can get accreditation for free VIS 2018 access. If you wish to cover the festival, please fill out the accreditation form on our website www.viennashorts.com until May 15.
  • Additional press material can be found in our website’s press section. If you have further questions or interview requests, please contact us at presse(at)viennashorts.com

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VIS Vienna Shorts was founded in 2004 as a student initiative. Now Austria’s leading short film, animation, and music video festival, VIS is particularly focused on new narrative styles, innovative methods, and sociopolitical subject matter. Since its relaunch in 2010, the festival has had an annual thematic focus and has featured special retrospectives of important filmmakers in addition to various competition categories (Fiction & Documentary, Animation Avantgarde, the National Competition, Screensessions, VR the World).

>> Bank Austria International Art Award 2014 
>> Austria’s only Oscar ® -Qualifying Festival since 2016 
>> Admission to the EU MEDIA Program 2016 

Each year, the festival presents about 300 films in more than 50 screenings in various venues across Vienna (METRO Kinokulturhaus, Filmmuseum, Gartenbaukino, and others) and attracts roughly 100,000 film enthusiasts and numerous industry experts every week. We offer satellite events (panels, master classes) and separate industry formats for more than 500 accredited guests—one fourth of them from abroad.

“The great short film festival Vienna Shorts pulls out all the stops with broad perspectives and formal diversity . . . Condensed narration and shortness—qualities that all films in this festival share—make for a unique approach and commentary on a form that has taken on an increasingly significant role in our everyday lives.”
(Falter, May 2017)

VIS is headquartered in the MuseumsQuartier Vienna. In recent years, it has presented several exhibition and installation formats focused on the moving image in the series “Expanded,” such as “Living Waterfalls” by the German media artist Robert Seidel at the MQ courtyard or “U/TROPIA,” a show, put on at Künstlerhaus in cooperation with the Vienna Festival, that mixed the filmed history of media with African colonial history. In 2018, the frei_raum Q21 exhibition space presented the film exhibition “shaping democracy – the republic in 24 frames per century” on the occasion of the one-hundredth anniversary of the Republic of Austria, which is on view until June 3 at the MuseumsQuartier.