The festival segments at a glance


VIS Vienna Shorts awards films in six competitive categories: Fiction & Documentary contains a selection of international narrative and documentary shorts, Animation Avantgarde features international innovative short animation films whereas the National Competition is conceived as a showcase of current Austrian short film-making, no matter if fiction, animation or documentary. 2013 also brought the creation of a new competition, debuting the Austrian music video award. The 15th edition of the festival in 2018 debuts the brand new competition segment VR the world dedicated to virtual reality and 360° films.

To spice things up, Très Chic features national and international films with absurd and peculiar humour. The best film is awarded by the audience.

Here's what we're looking for in each competition.

"Solipsist", Andrew Thomas Huang. Strange Days 2013


Each year, one topic is ever present in the festival's program. Curated programs allow a deeper insight and new perspectives, as well as encouraging discussions on specific content and films.

Joint program: Starting with Strange Days in 2013, the focus program will continuously be put together with two partner festivals and shown at each venue.

"The External World", David OReilly. Spotlight 2013


A unique approach, a conspicuous will for composition, historic achievements or simply a host of impressive films: VIS has paid tribute to those great exponents of the short film form, who left their mark on the international festival scene with their exceptional works, either recently or over many years. Since the festival's beginnings, the works of international artist such as David OReilly (IRL), Miranda July (USA), Jerzy Kucia (Poland), Chantal Akerman (Belgium), as well as Miranda Pennell, Paul Bush, Ben Rivers and Semiconductor (all from the UK) were presented in retrospectives. Austrian short film makers presented in this context are Virgil Widrich, Mara Mattuschka, Hubert Sielecki, Lotte Schreiber/Norbert Pfaffenbichler, Thomas Draschan and Nicolas Mahler.

Artists in Residence: Collaborating with Q21 (MuseumsQuartier), we invite one to two artists each year to exhibit and work in Vienna for a couple of months.

Special programs

Besides the thematic focus, special programs are dedicated to specific contents in a certain form (such as lectures, film programs and discussions) or invite you to push the boundaries with our new fixture Midnight Movies: The flashy, saucy program PopPorn suggests that porn is not always the just porn, while Très chic celebrates recent absurdities from the short film scene.


Expanded Cinema, cinema that goes beyond the confines of the cinema building. Unconventional projection spaces make audiovisual works tangible and sharpen one's view by breaking through the usual context, thus enabling a new approach. And sometimes the audience even goes into a horizontal position and the screens hang from the ceiling.


Both the opening and closing ceremonies are held as gala events, showing premieres and awarded films.

Kinder programmieren 2015 © Pablo Á. Mendivil

kijvis film education

Children and teenagers are among the most frequent consumers of short films. However, what is often missing is a critical reflection about what is seen, an intense confrontation with the medium film and the possibilities that if offers off the beaten track of mainstream. This is where kijvis situates its film education projects. 

The film education projects are supported by long-time partners such as sixpackfilm, the Austrian Filmmuseum, ASIFA Austria, SOS Kinderdorf and by a range of schools and dedicated teachers. We provide teaching materials and host talks and discussions with the filmmakers. 

Location Tour 2013

VIS Industry

A festival doesn't just live off its films, but feeds even more on the discussion about them. With support from the Vienna Film Commission, VIS is putting on a series of lectures, workshops, film education programmes and networking events each year. Furthermore, the location tour is another highlight for our guests: It presents the film city Vienna and in the best case should spark an interest for return visits to the city as a filming location.