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About us

INDEPENDENT CINEMA is a Viennese non-profit organization founded in 2003 with the goal of presenting independent films and promote exceptional talent. To reach this objective, we have been organizing the annual short film festival VIENNA SHORTS since 2004 (called Vienna Independent Shorts until 2016).

Vienna Shorts takes place in late May/early June of each year. About 300 short films from all over the world are shown during the six festival days, which attract some 10,000 visitors and more than 600 accredited trade professionals. The festival is a qualifying festival for the Austrian Film Prize, the BAFTA, the European Film Awards, and the Academy Awards®. It is one of two EU-sponsored Austrian film festivals.

The association organizes film screenings, educational programs, and short film events the year round and in cooperation with various institutions not only from Austria but from all over the world. In 2014, this commitment was recognized with the Bank Austria Art Prize, the highest prize for art and culture organizers in Austria.

With Vienna Shorts, Independent Cinema is represented in the Forum österreichischer Filmfestivals (FÖFF, Forum of Austrian Film Festivals) as well as the Short Film Conference (SFC). Furthermore, it is active in international cooperations and networks such as the European Short Film Network (ESFN) and is part of the Q21 creative cluster at MuseumsQuartier Wien, one of the largest cultural structures in the world.

Milestones at a Glance

2004 – Fist edition of Vienna Independent Shorts (VIS)

2008 – First opening at Gartenbaukino with the short soccer film reel Eleven Minutes

2012 – Co-initiation of the category “Best Short Film” at the Austrian Film Award

2014 – Bank Austria Art Prize in the “International” category

2016 – Recognition as an Academy Award® Qualifying Festival and as part of the EU MEDIA program

2017 – Shortening of festival name to Vienna Shorts

2018 – Aufnahme als qualifizierendes Festival für den Europäischen Filmpreis

2019 – Recognition as a BAFTA Qualifying Festival

2020 – First ever realization of the festival as an Online Edition