A dead whale on a beach. A giant on a country road at night. Bubbling water in a fish pond. Like never before this year’s international competition for short fiction and documentary films represents the attitude that the artist John Baldessari once made his motto: no more boring art! So Tom Waits tells stories from Baldessari’s life, we meet Jack Nicholson in Tanzania, we watch how animals are reanimated and day conquers night. About 2,000 admissions were viewed for this part of the competition alone, 26 films from 18 countries were chosen. The films’ narrative foundation allows experiments in realisation, as well as distinctive artistic hand writing and arbitrary narrative stances. Apparently short films need ever more space for development, which we gladly provide.
Doris Bauer & Marija Milovanovic
This year the international competition Animation Avantgarde takes place for the fourth time in cooperation with ASIFA Austria and features a particularly accentuated profile. Take note: the programme shows animations as well as experimental films and has always had the objective of breaking through classic genre categorisation. We viewed numerous submissions and travelled to many international festivals during the selection process, finally selecting 30 films from 14 countries. Hereby the typical animation and experimental film clichés shouldn’t be perpetuated, instead the word “avant-garde” emphasises the diversity of forms: a pioneer must always risk experiments. The programme will showcase films that really appear to be innovative and unconventional. Animation Avantgarde is different.
Thomas Renoldner & Wiktoria Pelzer
Let’s sharpen our view, shift it from political to private, from past to present, from rural idyll to big city hell. We observe people performing and protesting, choking and exploring, singing and musing, and doing absolutely nothing. The cross-section of Austrian short films is simultaneously a cross-section of the home land and its capital city – and cross-sectioning can be painful at times. 19 films in three 80-minute programmes are up for several prizes, including for the first time the prize of the youth jury, who specifically looked at the national short film scene. About 300 films, both independent submissions and from a university-context, were viewed for selection, and it is wonderful to see how alive and diverse the Austrian scene has become.
Michael Reutz & Alexandra Valent
A new competition in cooperation with Screensessions and Poolinale shows just how much potential lies within the music video as an art form. The brut im Künstlerhaus serves as the screening location, the audience goes into a horizontal position, the screens hang from the ceiling – and then we will present the best music videos as an “expanded cinema” experience.
Christoph Etzlsdorfer & Marco Celeghin