That was the Festival 2010!

We’re over the moon! With a record 16,000 festival-goers attending this year’s 26th International Short Film Festival Berlin, the busy week came to a triumphant close on Sunday 21st of November. Of interfilm’s 500 accredited guests, 130 were industry professionals, 123 international filmmakers and 126 German filmmakers.

Thanks to a legion of local and international festival-goers, the city was abuzz with festival atmosphere from Rosa Luxemburg Platz (home of the festival hub in Mitte) to Neukölln (location of the Passage cinema), and the festival centre at Roter Salon practically burst with inspiring short film exchanges day and night. Praise was heaped upon the high quality of festival films and congratulatory messages keep coming in from all over the world. The festival program was generously-proportioned to say the least, boasting some 450 films from 58 countries in 50 programs!

Prizes worth a total value of € 37,000 were awarded in six competition categories, including our first ever “Berlin Award” to honour the best film from Berlin. The first prize in the International Competition was scooped up by Stefan Leuchtenberg and Martin Wallner from Augsburg who made the stunning animation “A Lost and Found Box of Human Sensation”. Click here to see all the winners and prize sponsors.

Particular festival highlights proved to be the foreign focus programs from India and Ireland as well as the spotlight on animation featuring new work from China. We’re delighted to report that the variety of live film & music events were tremendously well received, from Formelwesen’s terrific show, to Stefan von Bothmer’s silent film concert and the live soundtracks performed by diverse musicians and DJs in the Sound and Vision program. And by all accounts interfilm’s first ever quiz night was a real blast.

ShortFriday at the Volksbühne attracted an astounding 2,500 short film aficionados to a formidable range of project presentations and screenings as well as a multi-media concert extravaganza, the Viral Video Awards ceremony, the “eject!” cult screening and festival party. The Viral Video Awards drew a phenomenal 20,000 online votes!

We’re thrilled at the success of our first-ever Pitch Me! happening on ShortFriday, that was alive with film project presentations, two open talks and spontaneous film screenings at “Your Screen”. Drawing a number of far-travelled filmmakers and industry newcomers, a great many raved about the informal and highly informative atmosphere: An afternoon of diverse and productive exchange that we look forward to recreating and elaborating on at next year’s festival.

KUKI – the 3rd International Short Film Festival for Children and Youth Berlin drew a total of 2,600 young (and not–so-young) cinema buffs to the movie theatres at Filmtheater am Friedrichshain. Of these, at least 1,100 were pupils who attended school programs with their classes. The most popular KUKI program proved to be the environmental program, “Naturally Film” which attracted a total of 650 cinema- goers. In addition to the opening matinee event with its 320-strong audience, the kindergarten program was literally bursting with 315 young children and their infectiously appreciative squeals and giggles.

The astounding success of this year’s festival is indebted to everyone who worked on it: Thank you to all our partners, prize sponsors and supporters, the guests who came from afar and from around the corner and last but not least, the hard-working, multi-tasking, fantastic interfilm team (pictured) who prepared and executed the festival with such grace and gusto!