The European Film Awards are the European equivalent to the American Oscars. Every year, the European Film Academy awards a prize for the best short film. 29 festivals (including Berlinale, the Venice IFF, the Locarno Film Festival, and – since 2020 – Kurzfilmtage) submit the choices of their respective juries to the Academy. We are excited to showcase some of the most remarkable works in European short filmmaking with a selection of films that were shortlisted in 2021.
The Martyr Fernando Pomares / Spain 2020 / 18'14" / DCP / colour / Arabic/Catalan / Fic
Lina is a Syrian woman who lives in a refugee camp with her daughter. Her voice narrates the story of her two brothers, Jammal and Khaled, as they illegally cross a border to enter into a western country. Khaled is wounded by a bullet. Moving forward, their journey will become a very difficult task where dreams, expectations, and religion all blend together. «The Martyr» mixes its characters’ emotions with the irony of a cruel and absurd outcome that ultimately questions their dignity as human beings.
Memories Kristin Johannessen / Sweden 2021 / 13'38" / DCP / Swedish / Doc
Years after recovering from a delusional disorder and OCD, Kristin Johannessen finds her old digital cameras while clearing out her childhood room. She lived there during her illness and used to record film for hours a day. These films were not meant as documentation, they just served for her to calm down. The day after filming, everything would be deleted to make space for new films.
A newly married woman lives with her in-laws while her husband works in the neighbouring country, Greece. One day, he discovers a corpse and the whole small town finds itself in a battle to get coverage on national television.
Bartholomew Whisper went to the doctor today. There he met administrators keen on experimental surgery and lonely MRI machines. At least the growing hole in his head was becoming quite beautiful.
In Flow of Words Eliane Esther Bots / Netherlands 2021 / 22'17" / DCP / colour / Serbian/Croatian/Bosnian/English / Doc
«In Flow of Words» follows the narratives of three interpreters of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. They had to interpret shocking testimonies from witnesses, victims, and perpetrators, without ever allowing their own emotions and personal histories to be present. Contrary to their position at the tribunal, this film places their voices and experiences centre stage.
A short film is not just a shorter film. Shorts are a distinct art form, which we showcase at our annual festival.
Short films come in all shapes and genres, and how long – or short – they are, varies quite a bit. Simpler production processes allow filmmakers to capture the zeitgeist and quickly respond to trends. Shorts can be entertaining or surprising, they can analyse society, take a political stance, or offer glimpses of worlds unknown to us.
We compile our short films into thematic programmes or specific sections, such as our competitions, paying close attention to the selection and sequence of films in each programme. All you need to enjoy short films is an open mind for new discoveries and surprises.
Internationale Kurzfilmtage Winterthur is Switzerland’s major short film festival. For six days every November, we transform the city into a dynamic short film hub.
Kurzfilmtage offers discoveries for everyone: our thoughtfully compiled thematic programmes address current events or topics that our curators are passionate about. The competition programmes showcase the latest filmmaking from around the globe, while installations, performances, and other specials highlight the diversity of audiovisual forms. And a programme of special events including concerts, readings, and more enhance the festival experience.
The programme of the 27th Internationale Kurzfilmtage Winterthur, held 7–12 November 2023, will be revealed on 18 October. Tickets also go on sale on this date and will be available online and from the Tourist Information at Winterthur’s train station.