A Mission Statement
“What does a festival need to have? A good idea, a good program and a secret that combines idea and program in a mysterious way.”
Quoting French philosopher Roland Barthes, short film is that form of presence that leaves nothing else to say than: “This is it!” Barthes describes the short form as capturing life in its minutiae, its tenuity in the sense of all that’s slight, insubstantial, inconsequential. That feeling of being captured on an emotional, intellectual or instinctive level is the one VIS Vienna Shorts has been aiming for since 2004 by putting together a courageous programme and a clear attitude. Every year at the end of May/beginning of June, the festival is all about international short films with a maximum length of 30 minutes, always capturing experiences in and outside of the cinema, presenting the new and old in a lively way, showing connections within.
VIS wants to create tension and encourage fantasies, pique people’s curiosity and incite discussions, in short: generate the desire for short films. No matter if fiction or documentary films, animated or experimental work—at best, the experience of watching a film doesn’t end with the credits rolling and the festival represents enrichment for both the local audience as well as international short filmmaking. “The small form is suited for failing as well as any other”, film theorist Volker Pantenburg once said. But it also offers the possibility to be completely captured by it.