30th FILMFEST DRESDEN: 2,200 Entries Ready for Selection in the Festival’s Anniversary Edition
Over 2,200 short films have been submitted to the Competition sections of the 30th Filmfest Dresden, or 200 more than in the previous year. These include 1,407 fiction films, 508 animation films, 114 experimental films and 180 documentaries.
The Viewing and Selection Committees are readying themselves to view 410 productions for the National Competition and 1,556 works for the International Competition. 54 co-productions verify the current trend for having international networks in the short film scene. The frontrunner countries for submissions include Germany (532), France (283), Spain (141), Great Britain (127) and the USA (125). There are also quite a few exotic entrants from among the 97 production countries, such as those from the Faroe Islands, Benin, Oman, Qatar, Ruanda and Réunion.
"We’re delighted to receive so many entries yet again. For us, getting more than 2,200 film submissions demonstrates how much we are valued and appreciated on both the national and international short film scenes. And the high number of animation films gives a further boost to our festival profile. Right now, the submissions form both the selection basis and the source material for planning the programmes in the 2018 festival edition. The Viewing and Selection Committees will take this amazing pool of films to choose the Competition nominations, as well as for parts of the various special programmes," as Sylke Gottlebe, Director of Filmfest Dresden, outlined.
New Viewing and Selection Committees in the Starting Blocks
The decisions on which works will be selected from the entries for screening at the 30th Filmfest Dresden, running from 17 to 22 April 2018, will occupy the ten-member Viewing and Selection Committees until the end of January. The nominations for the International Competition will be selected by the long-term committee members Anne Gaschütz (Filmfest Dresden festival coordinator) and Danny Mellenthin (filmmaker) as well as by three new members: The animator and curator Susann Arnold, the film journalist Ricardo Brunn and the animated filmmaker David Buob, who are about to start their first ever round of selections. Likewise, a newly filled committee is adjudicating the National Competition entries. In addition to Festival Director Sylke Gottlebe, the seasoned members Mandy Müller (puppet and cartoon animator) and Frank Pawella (art historian) are being supported by the new committee faces of Linda Kujawski (drama expert) and Steffi Karn (media educator) in the selection work.
A total of 31,400 filmic minutes are awaiting the adept judgements of these (short) film experts and cineastes.
Frank Pawella, who has been a member of the committee since 2009, spoke about his past experience and what he expects this time around: "By looking at something intensively, this can tell you more about an object than the overall view does at times. And it’s a very similar situation with short film. For me, the charm and appeal of short film is found especially in the brevity and compactness of its storylines. And regardless of whether this concerns a brief encounter, a frail voice or a bleak scenario, a good short film manages to reveal more than what we just see. So as you can imagine I’m already looking forward to viewing a few such gems among the submissions. But equally so, to the intensive and often insightful post-viewing discussions we have together in the committee, which to some extent can provide the first highlights after a long and quite lonely viewing marathon at times."
The new committee member David Buob is also looking forward to the task ahead: "The one aspect that has really surprised me so far is the unbelievable range and diversity of the films submitted, even if of course they are not all to my taste, or able to take whatever criticism I might have. But I realise that my colleagues in the committee see things with a completely different eye, and I’m already looking forward to the intensive and interesting discussions we’ll have. And I’m sure that the huge range of expressive techniques and other possibilities embodied in short animated and fiction films will be reflected in the film programmes we select for Filmfest Dresden."
Festival motif illustrating special programme focus on "Europe"
The festival’s campaign motif, which has again been designed by the graphic artist Keiko Hoshino for the SUBdesign agency, visually embraces the central theme of the 30th Filmfest Dresden. In a subtle and associative way, it contextualises the programme focus on "Europe", which is addressing the political and social upheavals that our European home is undergoing at present, as well as its societal changes.
The special programme will cast a light on the "turbulent fringes" of Europe, revealing breaches to and new definitions of its borders in a cinematic context and exploring the European visions of the future.
The festival’s own anniversary, having being founded before the collapse of East Germany, represents the impulse for this spotlight on Europe. With the festival’s 30-year history providing parallels to the formal aesthetic development of short film itself. The focus here is on the question: Which impact has digitisation and the expansion of the EU to the East had on the filmmakers?