Highlights ShortFriday & Pitch me! & Eject @ Volksbühne

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Doku interfilm Table Quiz 2012

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Festival Opening Ceremony 13.11. Volksbühne Berlin

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KUKI Festival Opening

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Preparing interfilm Festival / interfilm Office

9. Nov. 2012 - Students from SAE Institute Berlin visiting us right before the festival (german language):

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Kingdom Director David Downes and the musical culture of eating


by David Downes, New Zealand 2012, 12min, animation

Kingdom is shown in the International Contest in the programme Animated 1 - Transformations.

David, please introduce yourself.

I'm a filmmaker and composer from New Zealand. I started working in the late 1980s as a composer for contemporary theatre and dance, producing short experimental films in my spare time. I saw film as a natural extension of my music work. In 2000 I taught myself 3D animation and started making 3d animated films. I currently hold the position of Jack C Richards/Creative New Zealand Composer In Residence at the New Zealand School of Music.

Music seems to be an essential part of your animation films. In your opinion, what is the relation of picture and sound?

Music is very important to me. I enjoy films in which the music plays an essential part of the overall experience. When I make films I like the music and the imagery to inform each other and essentially occupy a singular creative space.

Kingdom examines social upbringing in connection with the culture of eating. What did you have in mind when you had the idea for the film? What is your opinion on these topics?

Kingdom was originally a commission to compose a piece of music for New Zealand piano trio 'NZTrio'. I have had a long standing fascination with psychology and my initial idea was to portray an 'archetypal trio' of mother, father and child. I wanted to explore the ways in which food can influence family relationships. I became interested in the 'language' of food consumption through Canadian author Margaret Visser's descriptions of the family meal as the arena in which many of our darkest fears and desires are played out. The acknowledgement of death as sustenance for life has traditionally been a catalyst to deep spiritual awakening. The contemporary approach however, seems to be a rather fierce systematic management of denial in the face of an underlying sense of absurdity and chaos. I wanted Kingdom to explore the boundary between these conscious and unconscious worlds.

If this interview with David Downes got you curious, you should visit the programme Animated 1 - Transformations. The director is travelling all the way from New Zealand to answer all your questions personally.

Priyanka Rungta about her viral video and the fascination of Calcutta

Let Calcutta Surprise You

by Priyanka Rungta and Kritika Malhotra, India 2011, 3:00 min, viral

Let Calcutta Surprise You is shown in the competition Viral Video Award.

Priyanka, please introduce yourself.

My name is Priyanka Rungta and I am the founder/director of a software company called Navigators Software ( based out of Kolkata, India. This company is primarily engaged in the business of developing web applications and ecommerce solutions. I was born and brought up in Calcutta (now renamed Kolkata), West Bengal - one of the creative hubs in our country, India. I am not primarily in the business of movie making, this is a hobby. I'm passionately fond of the creative arts and am fortunate that I have the opportunity to dabble in them once in a while.
The creative director of the film Kritika Malhotra is the founder of 100 Watts Design Studio ( based out of Kolkata. She studied design at the prestigious National institute of Design, Ahmedabad and is passionate about design as well as experimental art.

The whole clip Let Calcutta Surprise You works exclusively with the shadows of hands. Can you tell us more about the artists you worked with? Was it an existing group or did you cast the artists for your film?

Yes, the entire film was a play with hand shadows. The brilliant artists who created these dramatic shadows are a famous pair named Amar and Sabhyasachi  Sen. Interestingly, the word Sabhyasachi is another name for Arjun, the hero of our epic Mahabharat - who could wield the bow with both hands. They are from Kolkata as well and are one of the world's best hand shadowgraphers.

Was it technically complicated to convert this kind of art into a film?

No, it wasnt technically complicated - we used the white canvas screen behind which they normally perform their act and filmed it directly. Amar Sen's brilliant and talented son, Arko was responsible for handling the camera. Of course, the actions themselves, the shadows, have to be created painstakingly to involve the highest level of detail. If you notice the scene in the Maidan (the park), a dog is being walked and its tail is wagging. Creating this detail is certainly not easy - but that is the brilliance of the movie!

What was your approach with regards to content? What side of Calcutta did you try to show?

The content was put together by our team including our talented creative director Kritika Malhotra. We brainstormed on what Calcutta meant to its natives as well as to its visitors. We knew we had only 2-3 minutes to make its viewer connect to the soul of the city - so we internally decided the 5-7 things that could create the connection. We narrowed it down from a list of nearly12 - 15, and fine tuned it.
We've shown the very heart and soul of Calcutta - the city which is the boiling pot of India's thoughts. There is a saying 'What Bengal thinks today, India thinks tomorrow' - and one of aspects that show this is the importance given to its people who we've shown in the film (Nobel Laureates Mother Teresa, Rabindranath Tagore, sportsman Sourav Ganguly). We've wanted to show the intrinsic thread that binds the city together - the skyline, its people, the festivals and of course it food which is loved by all those who visit the city.

Here you can watch all clips of the Viral Video Award and thereby codecide the winner.

Maarten Koopman and his revenge on the waiting loop

One Moment Please

by Maarten Koopman, Netherlands 2011, 6 min, short fiction, animation

One Moment Please is shown in the New Dutch Animation programme.

Maarten, please introduce yourself.

Maarten Koopman. Animator, composer, painter. Born and living in Amsterdam, Holland. I make my movies because no one else makes them the way I want them to be. I teach animation at the St. Joost Academy in Breda, Holland.

One Moment Please is about a guy, who has to waste his time in the waiting loop. How did you get the idea of translating this ordinary annoyance into something creative? What is the purpose of your film; revenge, criticism or just fun?

I got the idea while hangin’ on the telephone waiting for the right connection, doodling away on a newspaper. The purpose of my film is revenge and criticism and fun. I guess a lot of people do recognize the situation and can understand the reaction of the poor man (although I hope not too many people will shoot themselves in the end…).

Your film basically shows a newspaper that somebody is drawing on. Why did you choose this way of presentation and how long did the animation work take you?

I choose a newspaper because I think more people have a newspaper or magazine in front of them while calling a company than a blank piece of  paper. It also gave me the opportunity to do funny things with text and pictures.

Animation veteran Michaela Pavlatova on her film Tram and erotic fantasies


by Michaela Pavlatova, Czech Republic/France 2012, 7 min, short fiction, animation.

Tram is shown in the international competition in the programme Love, Sex and Confusion as well as the live event Sound & Vision III.

Michaela, please introduce yourself.

Michaela Pavlatova, animation director from Czech Republic, making animation shorts (and also some live actions) for about 25 years. Still loving it. I love the freedom of creating a new universe, I love to play with movement, timing, music. I like to provoke a little bit.

A female tram driver overwhelmed by her erotic desires.  How did you come up with that idea? While sitting in a tram?

Tram is a part of a French project Sexperiencies about female erotic fantasies. The Idea came with the music, with the rhythm. Becoming the tram conductor was my child dream – but at that time it was innocent. (My other dream was to work in the Butchery (to sell Fleisch) because I like to touch fresh meat.) For me - Tram is more funny and provocative than erotic film. But many people find it more disturbing than funny. Fortunately some find it funny, (and provocative and erotic.)

You used a unique animation style, very playful and mostly black-and-white. Why?

From grey scale colors of daily routine emerge pink colors of erotic fantasies. I wanted to keep the design of the film simple and primitive, like the story is.

What is the film’s statement?


"Funfactory" with Florian Lukas - Parodying media in "Berlin Beats"


by Chino Rubio, Germany 2012, 2 min.

Funfactory is shown in the programme Berlin Beats

Please introduce yourself.

Kolja Brandt is cinematographer. Since 1998 he works for cinema, viral spots and music videos. In 2009 he won the German Film Awards for best camera with the film Nordwand. Rain Kencana is editor and also does commercials and music videos. Together they are Chino Rubio. They love to work uncomplicated and artistically free. They are interested in stories that are touching and artistically ambitious. While Rain Kencana focuses on dance, Kolja Brandt is fascinated by human stories and social tragedies.

Your film shows a critical approach to the film industry. What exactly are you aiming at? What is your statement?

Funfactory can be understood as a parody. It is mainly about human cliches in films that are universally accepted, constantly repeated cinematically by the media and are perceived real by the viewers. In Funfactory these roles are switched to teach to profit-oriented film industry a little lesson.

You were able to engage a prominent actor,  Florian Lukas, for Funfactory. How did this cooperation come about?

Kolja Brandt and Florian Lukas met on the set of Nordwand. Since then they are good friends and passionate climbers. Florian felt like doing the story and was open for experiments. A funny fact is that while the prearrangements took place, he already mentioned that he is up to everything but a dancing robot. Since then we couldn’t stop thinking about the cyborgs. 

- More cyborgs in Berlin Beats !

Oleg Serdyuk from Ukraine about his clip OIL and attitudes towards ecological issues in his country


von Oleg Serdyuk, Ukraine 2012, 2 min, short fiction, music video clip, animation

Competition: Green Screen, programme: The Global Update.


Please introduce yourself
My name is Oleg Serdiuk, I live and work in Kharkiv, Ukraine. I work as a programmer and I make some music as well. I started making videos not so long ago, because it just seemed a good idea to me to make video clips for my music projects by myself. We have formed a creative team with a friend of mine, Olexander Kratinov, who specializes in graphics and visual effects.

Your film criticizes the way human kind treats nature. What is your message?

To start with, it is important to say that we live in a country, where the topic of ecology and environmental protection is not popular at all. Ukrainian society is cynical and it doesn’t believe in any social or ecological initiatives. It is normal to think that if anyone starts addressing the topic of ecology, it means that his or her only goal is to make some profit. This point of view is deliberately spread in society, because it is convenient for the authorities. It gives them an opportunity not to think about ecological issues still not having any problems with public opinion.

Besides that, Ukraine experiences strong influence of another country, a huge empire, which has been built on the oil resources. In this empire the indifference of society to the ecological problems, irresponsibility towards nature and unwillingness to change anything in the situation are the norm. This topic really bothers us. Our film is a warning. We need to change something; otherwise we will end up in something really tragic.

OIL is very stylish and abstract. Why did you choose this special approach to your topic?

Our friends from Grafprom studio (, who were consulting us during the filming process, were the ones to suggest that mode of visual presentation of the topic. Initially, our idea was to film a girl in a dress, with miniature cities on it. But this idea was more difficult to implement technically, that was why we all have agreed upon the approach that is presented in our video.

To my mind, the abstract and sharp mode of presenting the idea that we have finally chosen helped to convey the message in a more dramatic way.

In November you will be our guest in Berlin. What do you expect of the International Short Film Festival?

It is a real pleasure that our film was selected for the festival programme, though it was a big surprise for us. Surely, we are in anticipation of a great number of wonderful films, and at the same time we are looking forward to meeting interesting people. Moreover, seeing your own film on a big screen should be an extremely exciting event.