interfilm 37 International Short Film Festival Berlin
16 - 21 November 2021

About the festival 2021: The program commission

interfilm is Berlin's largest and oldest short film festival. Every year in November, we fill a wide variety of venues throughout Berlin with a diverse program ranging from political concerns to artistic experimentation. More than 400 short films are selected for each festival and curated in the various sections. We have highly-endowed competitions as well as obscure special programs, regional focuses, film talks, workshops, concerts, parties and networking meetings as well as industry events. We are FFA- and OSCAR®-relevant. interfilm as a festival also includes KUKI, our festival for young audiences as well as a distribution, sales department & agency. We promote short film as a medium in schools and push the short format as exciting content for TV, streaming and cinema. With our supporting film subscription, we are also bringing the long-forgotten principle of the supporting film back to German cinemas.

Collective festival curation 2021: interfilm establishes a program commission. Thousands of short films are entrusted to us each year by filmmakers for consideration and curation, thousands of voices about the state of the world. The diversity of submitting filmmakers is now reflected in the curatorial work at interfilm, as important sections such as the competitions are now decided in curatorial teams, coordinated by the festival management. The directorship principle gives way to pluralistic openness. The curatorial concept of the festival will reflect the inherent openness of this approach, and the newly formed program commission understands its task as addressing the social discourses of our time in terms of aesthetics, form, and content.

Short film festival curators are observers on the front lines of (sur)reality. The complex nature of global interrelations is the object of their observation. Their task is to sensitize the audience to the results of their research in carefully composed program-portions and to heighten their interest in finding out increasingly more about the world in which they live.

Intricate world contexts and mediation strategies have permeated all aspects of interfilm for years. Working independently in the respective sections now converges with a collective consensus-building process in the tradition of a flat hierarchy: in the International Competition by Heinz Hermanns, Andrea Schwemmer, Sarah Dombrink and Matthias Groll, in the Documentary Competition by Moritz Lehr and Ingrid Beerbaum, in the German Competition by Patrick Thülig, Nastassja Kreft and Cord Dueppe. Other competitions, sections and special programs are also curated by teams. Whenever the view of our in-house curatorial teams reach their limits, we naturally open up the curation to external perspectives.

With a history of almost 40 years - click here for the festival archive - the festival has witnessed, cinematically-accompanied and reflected a rather significant part of recent history. From the squats in 1980s Kreuzberg to the great halls of the Volksbühne theatre or Babylon cinema, interfilm has enjoyed an eventful and moving history, and we want to expand on this with our program. Our curatorial work strives to open the audience's eyes to other, new and fascinating perspectives: artistic, political, social, cultural and technological. Our festival is conceived as a space to discuss these things, to interact with one another, and to exchange ideas.

We firmly believe in the inherent social potential of art in general and short film in particular. Hardly any other medium reacts so quickly and so concretely to social developments and at the same time offers such comprehensive artistic freedom. In our eyes, short film is ideally suited to reflect the discourse of our time, and we as a short film festival want to open up this discourse through short film and make it accessible to a broad audience.

Because: wherever you look, idiocy, despotism and persecution can be found in all strata of society; injustice and marginalization seem omnipresent. We want to take our audience with us, sensitize them and encourage them to examine injustice and take active action against it. We also want to encourage filmmakers worldwide to keep their eyes open and to direct their gaze, their cameras and all their artistic strengths towards stories that need to be told, that are too easily ignored in social discourse and that reinforce freedom across the globe.

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade!

Experience of interfilm 36 and KUKI 13 in lockdown 2020