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“Say Goodbye to the Story”: Leitmotif of the Berlinale Shorts

27 films from 22 countries will be competing for the Golden Bear and Silver Bear Jury Prize, the DAAD Short Film Award and a short film nomination for the European Film Prize.

German actress Sandra Hüller, Palestinian artist Emily Jacir as well as filmmaker David OReilly will be picking the winners in 2012:

International Short Film Jury:

Sandra Hüller (Germany)

After ten years in the business, renowned and prize-winning actress of the screen and stage Sandra Hüller already boasts a remarkably wide repertoire of roles. She has performed regularly in theatres since 2006, in both classic and modern pieces. For her first major film role in Hans-Christian Schmid’s Requiem she won the Silver Bear for Best Actress at the Berlinale in 2006 as well as the German Film Prize. In 2011 she performed in two Berlinale films: Brownian Movement (2010, directed by Nanouk Leopold - Forum); and Über uns das All (Above Us Only Sky, 2011, directed by Jan Schomburg - Panorama).

Emily Jacir (Palestine)

Emily Jacir, one of the Arab world's leading contemporary artists, works in a variety of media, including installation, performance, social intervention, photography, film and video. She has exhibited her works throughout the world and been honored many times for her artistic achievements including a Golden Lion at the 2007 Venice Biennale. Jacir is currently leading the Home Workspace in Beirut where she has created the curriculum and programming for 2011-2012. She is also preparing a new work for the dOCUMENTA (13) that opens this June.

David OReilly (Ireland)

The Irish-born filmmaker, now based in California, is known for his groundbreaking contemporary 3D animation. He has received over 75 awards for his short films that have been shown worldwide at more than 200 festivals. His first festival was at the Berlinale 2008, where he presented RGB XYZ. At the 2009 Berlinale he won the Golden Bear for Best Short Film with Please Say Something. His latest short film, The External World, screened at Venice (2010) and Sundance (2011), and went on to win numerous awards.

The desire to tell stories elegantly and with lightness is strong. Moreover, the ease with which rules of narration are explored, flouted, rejected and re-embraced attests to the growing self-confidence that this short form has developed in recent years.

From the start, the animated films by Atsushi Wada, Mariola Brillowska, Sun Xun & Akihito Izuhara depart from the real world and demand the viewer’s undivided attention. They are meditative, poetic, brutal and true.

Documentary films such as Licuri Surf, Utsikter, Panchabhuta, while never forgetting that they are short films, find a language and editing style of their own to reflect on their individual themes.

In Loxoro, Claudia Llosa (Golden Bear 2009  for La Teta Asustada - The Milk of Sorrow) accompanies the search of a mother for her daughter into the milieu of transsexuals in Peru – Loxoro is their language, their longing to find a place for themselves. In the film Say Goodbye to the Story (ATT 1/11), Christoph Schlingensief has his cast repeat a scene in the shower so often, and without breaks, until they are completely exhausted. Domination and desperation - a dance: explosive and ecstatic.  Murder is a means to an end. Charlotte Rampling’s excursion into the past and present brings to mind the question of ethics. Memories of those who were different than everyone else at school is the point of departure for Ad balloon by Lee Woo-jung. Also the second Korean entry, Mah-Chui, tells a universal story about hierarchical pressures and the need to reinforce one’s moral stance through one’s actions.

Gentrification does not spare any country or city on this planet: in southern China, wastelands have also become immense objects of speculation. Woven into the classic love story between a gangster and a prostitute we follow the course of a river in Shi Luo Zhi Di until it ends in red. Khavn de la Cruz deconstructs this often recounted tale of love between a similar couple in Pusong Wazak!, and explores in fleeting images the likelihood of dying too early from the violence so omnipresent in the Philippines today.

In all their reflections, these works never overlook the sensual character of film and the magic of the cinema. It is the physical experience of film - such as quintessential to music - and how it literally transcends itself as mere carrier of information that makes these selected works so remarkable.

Due to the political events in Hungary, the Berlinale Shorts is presenting a special screening on February 18, 2012 at the Haus der Berliner Festspiele: Magyarország 2011 (Hungary 2011) – an omnibus film, which reflects also in its aesthetics, the radical political and social developments in this crisis-ridden country. The directors of the work are Ágnes Kocsis, Márta Mészáros, Bence Fliegauf, Miklós Jancsó, and others. Following the screening, Béla Tarr will conduct a discussion on the current situation in Hungary.

From February 10 to 12, 2012 there will be press screenings of the short films in CinemaxX 5 & 3. The discussion series “Berlinale Shorts Go Spoken Word” will be held following the Berlinale Shorts’ regular screenings in CinemaxX 5 from February 13 to 17, 2012.

Berlinale Shorts 2012:

Ad balloon, Lee Woo-jung, Republic of Korea, 24’ (IP)

An das Morgengrauen, Mariola Brillowska, Germany, 3’ (WP)

Ein Mädchen Namens Yssabeau, Rosana Cuellar, Germany / Mexico, 18’ (DP)

Enakkum Oru Per, Suba Sivakumaran, USA / Sri Lanka, 12’ (WP)

Erotic Fragments No. 1, 2, 3, Anucha Boonyawatana, Thailand, 7’ (IP) Gurehto Rabitto, Atsushi Wada, France, 7’ (WP)

impossible exchange, Mahmoud Hojeij, Lebanon, 10’ (WP)

Karrabing! Low Tide Turning, Liza Johnson, Elizabeth A. Povinelli, Australia, 14’ (WP)

La Santa, Mauricio López Fernández, Chile, 14’ (WP)

LI.LI.TA.AL., Akihito Izuhara, Japan, 8’ (WP)

Licuri Surf, Guile Martins, Brazil, 15’ (IP)

Loxoro, Claudia Llosa, Spanien / Peru / Argentine / USA, 19’ (IP)

Mah-Chui, Kim Souk-young, Republic of Korea, 23’ (IP)

Nostalgia, Gustavo Rondón Córdova, Venezuela, 30’ (WP)

Panchabhuta, Mohan Kumar Valasala, India, 16’ (WP)

PUSONG WAZAK! Isa Na Namang Kwento Ng Pag-ibig Sa Pagitan Ng Isang Kriminal at Isang Puta, Khavn De La Cruz, Philippines, 15’ (WP)

Rafa, João Salaviza, Portugal / France, 25’ (WP)

Say Goodbye to the Story (ATT 1/11), Christoph Schlingensief, Germany, 23’ (WP)

Shi Luo Zhi Di, Zhou Yan, People’s Republic of China, 25’ (WP)

Strauß.ok, Jeanne Faust, Germany, 5’ (WP)

The End, Barcelo, France, 17’ (WP)

The Man that Got Away, Trevor Anderson, Canada, 25’ (WP)

Utsikter, Marcus Harrling, Moa Geistrand, Sweden, 12’ (WP)

Uzushio, Naoto Kawamoto, Japan, 6’ (WP)

Vilaine Fille Mauvais Garçon, Justine Triet, France, 30’ (IP)

Yi chang ge ming zhong hai wei lai de ji ding yi de xing wei, Sun Xun, People’s Republic of China, 12’ (WP)

zounk!, Billy Roisz, Austria, 6’ (WP)

Berlinale Shorts Special 2012:

Magyarország 2011, András Jeles, Ágnes Kocsis, Ferenc Török, Simon Szabó, Márta Mészáros, Péter Forgács, László Siroki, György Pálfi, Bence Fliegauf, András Salamon, Miklós Jancsó, Ungarn, 75' (IP)

presented by Béla Tarr

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