Some Like It Short
Up-and-coming filmmakers from 21 countries will present their short films at the 36th FILMSCHOOLFEST MUNICH, dealing with desperate isolation, digital immigrants and daring girls.
From November 13 to 19th, film students from all over the world will present their latest short films, under this year's motto "Some Like It Short". A multifaceted program awaits the audience in Munich: Along with politically and socially relevant issue films, dealing with subjects like the refugee crisis, love in the digital age and the search for personal meaning in life, the selection also offers off-beat comedy and unusual experimental films that push the envelope in exciting ways. "I'm impressed at how seriously film students take socio-political topics," says festival director Diana Iljine, "and by how they play to the strengths of the short form."
Isolation is a key theme of many films at the 36th FILMSCHOOLFEST MUNICH. This isolation can take may different forms: The documentaries "Cinderella" from Russia and "Searching for Wives" from Singapore examine how difficult it has become to find a partner nowadays, sometimes in a witty way and sometimes in a tragic one. The search for the perfect partner and the difficulty of romantic relationships is at the center of Dutch doc "My Silicone Love", as well. Everard loves his life-size dolls, but sometimes he wishes he had a real woman, too. Other films portray people who feel quite confortable in their isolation, until external influences disrupt their safe space, such as in Swiss doc "Julian". In experimental drama "[Out of Fra]me", protagonist Paul falls out of the frame. He lives in formal, invisible isolation, in other words. This isolation told not only by plot of the film, but also by the framing of the scenes. We see feet, empty spaces, other people, but we never see Paul.
Three films examine the refugee issue from different points of view: Refugee crisis 2.0: Panic among the liberal residents. The main question is: How should Europe handle the refugee influx? The films in question are not documentaries, however, but dramatic shorts. In German production "Passenger", two young students are faced with the decision whether or not to take a possible refugee across the border. Pressing moral dilemmas intrude on their everyday First World lives. The situation in "Mayday Relay" is quite a bit less quotidian, in contrast: A father and his daughter get a mayday signal from a refugee boat on the high seas.
The young filmmakers have a lighter, funnier touch dealing with the digital world. In doc "Blessings", Finnish teen girls communicate almost exclusively via mobile phones, until they have to write a school report about education policy, causing them to debate face-to-face, too. Swiss doc "Digital Immigrants" deals with digital non-natives who dare to let the genie out of the electronic bottle at an advanced age. We find a darker look at the world in one of the opening films of the 36th FILMSCHOOLFEST MUNICH, Student Oscar winner "Invention of Trust", which depicts the power of the web to rob a person of control of his or her own life, and leave them fighting against a data black hole that threatens to destroy their entire life.
At a student film festival, of course, coming-of-age films are a staple. Our choice this year is very unique for one reason: Especially the up-and-coming female directors tackle the subjects of sexuality, physicality, and intimacy in an especially playful and unbridled manner: In animation film "Pussy", a coochie grows legs, in Israeli comedy "Mushkie", the protagonist gets back at her ex-lover with a very personalized quiche, and in "Woof!" from Australia, the girls fight back at the boys for humiliating one of them at a party.
At the end of the week, there are sizeable prizes to be won: €53,500 all in all, thanks to our longtime and new donors. This year will introduce an Audience Award donated by the Friends of FILMFEST MÜNCHEN, as well as an Animation Award donated by digital service provider zweiB. Another first is the "Female Filmmakers for a Better Future Award”. As it so happens, roughly half of our current crop of films were made by female directors. We hope thereby to make our own positive contribution to the gender debate ongoing in the film industry.
In addition to the packed film program, the 36th FILMSCHOOLFEST MUNICH will present the FILMSCHOOL LECTURES in the Red Cinema at Munich film school HFF: Under the title of "Celebrating 30 Years of La Fémis", we will honor legendary French film school La Fémis on Nov. 15. On Nov. 16, "Writers Rock!" offers advice to budding screenwriters. On Nov. 17, Prof. Henning Patzner will examine how social media, advertising and online porn keep people from going to the movies in his lecture entitled "Now! Fast! For Free!"
The gala opening of the 36th FILMSCHOOLFEST MUNICH will take place at Munich film school HFF on November 13th. The festival films will be screened in the Munich Film Museum, St. Jakobs-Platz 1, from Nov. 14 to 19. Around 60 young filmmakers from around the world will attend. You can find the complete festival program online as of Oct. 24 under filmschoolfest-munich.de. You can find a print program around Munich in copies of the for-free magazine In München as of Nov. 2.