© Big Bridge (Simón Vélez)

Prologue

In the sixteenth edition of our festival, everything revolves around the audacity and the will to change. Under the motto COURAGE! we have been on the lookout for positive visions for the future and social utopias from which strong communities and a sense of collaboration can develop without having to fall back on simplistic or corrosive concepts.

We used the motto in this year’s festival very deliberately: On the one hand, we are convinced that short films are an excellent medium to reflect cultural, aesthetic, and social developments and, on the other, a festival like ours always builds on the foundation of a common vision and a strong communal fabric. Some first steps toward change have already been made: We are returning to Stadtkino im Künstlerhaus for the first time in three years; and this year marks the first time we are presenting films at the nearby Burg Kino; we fortify our cooperation with the Austrian Film Museum, and boost our industry events and foster international industry cooperation in our first year as a qualifying event for the European Film Award.

In our new constellation as festival codirectors, we want to take this opportunity to thank our excellent team, with many new faces, who never faltered even in times when the road was rocky. We also thank all those who accompanied us for years and have left us with a sound structure to build on. Our gratitude goes out to all funding bodies, sponsors, and cooperation partners, many of whom have been with us for many years. Onward, into a shared future—courage!

Doris Bauer & Daniel Ebner
Festival Directors