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

Experience of interfilm 36 and KUKI 13 in lockdown 2020

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade!

The longest and most extraordinary festival in interfilm's and KUKI's history was a tremendous success: Over 18,800 digital cinema seats were filled! This gets close to a regular edition (in numbers at least) and we therefore owe a huge thank you to all our viewers.

None of this would have been possible without a reliable digital platform. Special thanks go to our partner Sooner, without whom we would not have managed such a smoothly-run digital festival, especially since the "smart lockdown" was announced just 10 days before the festival was due to begin. We had to reshuffle the festival in the blink of an eye, reallocating budgets, tasking departments with entirely new roles and  cancelling all travel arrangements.

Such a radical restructuring of the festival is of course only possible if one's supporting institutions continue to stand by them. Therefore our heartfelt thanks also go to all our festival partners, funders and sponsors, first and foremost Medienboard Berlin Brandenburg, Creative Europe MEDIA and the German Federal Foreign Office!

The interfilm & KUKI team mastered this challenging year and the peculiar circumstances with flying colours. With glittery outfits, disco lights and confetti, we celebrated the start and end of the respective digital editions separately and yet (virtually) together.

The experiences we were able to make in the digital realm will surely serve us well in the near and distant future.  But even if the digital floodgates have now been cranked open, the bottom line remains the same: interfilm and KUKI are film festivals.

Film festivals belong in the cinema, to be shared and experienced by crowds of people interacting and exchanging. Therefore, our priority is and will continue to be focussed on striving for on-site experiences.

Incidentally, to support the cinemas, 20 percent of the proceeds from Sooner and interfilm will go to the cinemas originally scheduled for the festival.

But the most important thing about a film festival are the films themselves. Here, too, we must express our deepest gratitude to the filmmakers who made it possible for us to present their films in a digital context, who made themselves available for digital Q&As, who participated in our digital networking events, and who encouraged us in these uncertain times.

interfilm awarded prizes worth more than a total of 40,000 euros. We are particularly delighted by the strong resonance that many of the award-winner's received in their respective countries, for example in the Philippines ("Tarang") and in Hong Kong ("1 a.m. in Hong Kong") - click here for the laudations.

INTERFORUM masterclasses and panels are still online, as are the ceremonies for the opening and awards events and the Decolonial x interfilm Short Film Walk through Berlin's history of European and German colonialism.

The 13th KUKI Film Festival for Children and Youth also managed to produce a stupendous first-ever digital edition and streamed its 12 short film programs to more than 100 schools! KUKI transformed classrooms into festival cinemas for around 5,000 children and teenagers in schools and daycare centers all over Berlin and Brandenburg. All programs featured lively film talks and interviews with filmmakers, heaps of confetti, and the beating of a corona-pinata - making the KUKI Festival spirit really come alive.

And while we are super pleased with our first digital festival edition, we really can't wait to (hopefully) hold a physical festival once again next year at our cool cinemas with lively audiences, crazy parties, too many drinks and wonderfully irritating & inspiring talks.

About interfilm and the Festival

interfilm Berlin organises the Berlin International Short Film Festival as well as interfilm Short Film Distribution. Established in 1982, the festival has years of experience and a growing number of contacts in the international cultural and short film sectors. This has enabled interfilm to forge ongoing links with several significant institutions and hold frequent, regular events, testifying to the festival’s success at bringing the short film format to an ever wider audience.

interfilm’s goal is to search out skilled and creative filmmakers and bring their work together -  presenting them in an international, culturally political framework in order to best facilitate the exchange of imaginative ideas. interfilm offers a wide variety of short live-action, animation and documentaries to enthusiastic audiences who value the short film format in its own right.  

The International Short Film Festival

interfilm has established itself as one of the most important short film festivals in Europe. It is the second oldest German short film festival (after Oberhausen), and is recognised as the second most significant and oldest international film festival in Berlin after the Berlinale. More than 7.000 films with a maximum running time of 20 minutes are submitted each year. Of those, approximately 500 films are selected and organised into different thematic programs. These include; international, German, animation, documentary and children’s films. 'Focus On' highlights productions from specific countries or regions. Beyond that there are also special sections devoted to areas such as music videos, commercials, experimental films, historical films and retrospectives.

interfilm: Oscar® Qualifying Festival: In 2018 the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Los Angeles has declared interfilm an Academy Award® Qualifying Festival - read more

interfilm Berlin Short Film Distribution

The interfilm distribution portfolio currently comprises around 300 films. We place equal importance on distributing both 90 minute short film programs and individual shorts shown before a feature film. Our films are hired out to cinemas, television stations, cultural institutions and internet platforms. interfilm distribution's DVD sector is continually expanding, mostly for use in public spaces such as subway trains, waiting rooms and on mobile entertainment devices. This format is particularly suited to exploiting extremely short films and interfilm has a great selection at hand.