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The short film is the form of today

Wong Ping (Wong Ping's Fables 1), Vincent Meessen (Ultramarine) and Nina Fischer and Maroan el Sani (Freedom of Movement) are the proud winners of the Ammodo Tiger Short Competition 2019. But what is it that attracts filmmakers to making short films? Four participants explain. “We live short films.”

Written by Maricke Nieuwdorp

Wong Ping (Wong Ping's Fables 1), Vincent Meessen (Ultramarine) and Nina Fischer and Maroan el Sani (Freedom of Movement) are the proud winners of the Ammodo Tiger Short Award – and a money prize of €5,000. Their films are part of the Ammodo Tiger Short Competition 2019, an IFFR-programme presenting 24 short films from around the world.

The Ammodo Tiger Short Competition celebrates the experimental short films in IFFR's Bright Future section. Sometimes they come in the form of an intimate documentary, other times it’s an experimental film poem. The only similarity: a run time of maximum sixty minutes. The winners go home with an award, yet there are no losers in this context. Because there is hardly any mutual competition in the world of short films.

“We’re not competing. We’ve been on the sidelines too long, in the margins, the fringe”, says Mike Hoolboom, who is a guest at the IFFR with his family portrait 27 thoughts about my father. He explains the attraction of the short form: “All of the earliest movies were short. Short is also the form of today. Our attention span is short, we travel, text, shop, buy and sell to each other. We have a screen life, fragmented dreams and eat half-hearted breakfasts; we líve short films.” The Ammodo Tiger Short Competition is made up of all sorts of films: experimental, poetic and artistic. Hoolboom sees that as a plus: “Our irregular movies create irregular audiences, don’t you think?”

Our irregular movies create irregular audiences, don’t you think?” – Mike Hoolboom

João Vladimiro entered the competition with his film Anteu. Anteu is a playful fiction film in which a teenage boy is the only survivor left behind in his native village. Vladimiro especially praises the diversity of the Ammodo Tiger Short Competition: “The films are all unique. I can sympathise with one film, while I can learn a lot from the other. Moreover, I felt that the IFFR audience understood my film well.”

 

Zeno van den Broek, in competition with his abstract, audiovisual film Paranon, sees the short film as his ideal playground: “To me, short films are a perfect for performing research and for working with time and duration in a totally different way than I would do in a feature-length film. It enables a filmmaker to focus more on non-narrative forms and the perception of sound and image.”

 

 

Reetu Sattar, with her film Lost Tune, presents a cinematic sound performance as a protest to social transformations, art censorship and polarisation in her home country of Bangladesh. As a lover of multiple art forms – film, theatre, or a mix of both – she’s convinced that a short film offers something extra: “A short film is like a shell that one can find on the coastline. You hold it close to your ear and just listen to the sound of the sea. A short film offers the chance to see and hear details that you might miss in feature films.”

 

 

Short film on IFFR Unleashed

IFFR Unleashed also highlights short film. You can find here two additional programmes to the festival, existing of film by filmmakers with new work at IFFR 2019. In the Voices Short programme, you'll find Tiger Short Award winner La isla by Dominga Sotomayor and Katarzyna Klimkiewicz, Tomek Popakul's surrealist animated short Ziegenort and El juego by Benjamin Naishtat. The Bright Future Short programme pays attention to the more experimental short films. This programme exists of Kreis Wr.Neustadt by Johann Lurf, Ico Costa's Nyo vweta Nafta, filmed on 16mm, James N. Kienitz Wilkins' documentary-style detective B-ROLL with Andre and an artistic search for identity in Duke & Battersby's Dear Lorde.

Photo in header: Still: Wong Ping's Fables 1