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Hamburg short film fest awards

AWARD WINNERS 2008
A week packed with 300 short films ended on Monday June 9th in Hamburg. The 24th International Short Film Festival screened 214 of almost 4.000 submitted short films in the competitive categories and a further 100 films in non-competitive special programmes. Overall more than 30.000 euros of prize-money were poured out. Apart from a large number of accreditated guests and a high number of interesting films it were especially the many filmmakers and guests from Israel who came for the special programme "Yoffi! Yalla Bye!" that shaped this year's festival. Due to the wave of summer heat almost 1.000 people gathered together at our open air event A Wall is a Screen. See you next June again!

INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION
Jury: Netalie Braun, Bren O'Callaghan, Jens Eder, Miranda Pennell, Holger Tepe.

JURY AWARD: 3.000 EUROS

Puppet Boy, Johannes Nyholm, Sweden 2008, short fiction, 26:36 min.

Jury substantiation
A disturbing and comic reflection on obsession and self-loathing that delivers an unsettling experience for the viewer. What at first appears to be an interview with a reclusive animator develops into a mirthless sequence of humiliations and an exploration of the human condition in the spirit of Gogol. In an inventive and brilliant way the film shifts between fiction and documentary, claymation and live action, evoking feelings of both repulsion and compassion in the viewer. Brilliant.

FRANÇOIS ODE AWARD: 1.500 EUROS

Josh, Govinda van Maele, Luxembourg 2007, short fiction, 14:40 min.

Jury substantiation
With great precision and truthfulness the film presents the story of the missed opportunity to free oneself from a repressing life situation. Within 14 minutes the director suggests a complex and believable small-town microcosm full of boredom and lack of ambition, racial and gender resentment. In combination with excellent acting it is exactly the detailed representation of a specific milieu that allows for a deeper understanding of a wider human bewilderment.



SPECIAL MENTION:

Mumbler, Marc Roels und Wim Reygaert, Belgium 2007, short fiction, 22 min.

Silence, Sivaroj Kongsakul, Thailand 2007, short fiction, 17:45 min.

Going to sleep is something absolutely certain in life, Paolo Pennuti, Italy 2007, documentary, 20 min.

AUDIENCE AWARD: 1.500 EUROS

Puppet Boy, Johannes Nyholm, Sweden 2008, short fiction, 26:36 min.

NO BUDGET COMPETITION
Jury: Mirna Belina, Ezra Eeman, Ben Rivers.

JURY AWARD: 2.000 EUROS

Kempinski, Neil Beloufa, France / Mali 2007, experimental documentary, 13:58 min.

Jury substantiation:
The jury found this the most surprising work. In the darkness of Kempinski the future becomes present. Time and space are rendered ambiguous. A true no-budget work posed between documentary and science fiction.

SPECIAL MENTION:

Sunshine State (Extended Forecast), Christopher Harris, USA 2007, experimental film, 8 min.
The biggest story ever told through a pinhole.

Super Smile, Effie Wu, Germany 2007, experimental film, 4:48 min.
An amazing single take. We challenge you to take your eyes off Effie Wu.

Night Sweat, Siegfried A. Fruhauf, Austria 2008, experimental film, 9:40 min.
An unsettling study of light and darkness. Using the limitations of the medium to create something entirely cinematic.


AUDIENCE AWARD: ex aequo 750 EUROS

Yours Truly, Osbert Parker, England 2008, animation, 8 min.

The Big Contentment, Clemens Kogler and Karo Szmit, Austria 2007, experimental film, 3:57 min.

GERMAN COMPETITION
Jury: Ergun Çankaya, Dr. Annette Scholz, Björn Vosgerau.

PILSNER URQUELL INNOVATION AWARD 2008 FOR A GERMAN SHORT FILM: 2.000 EUROS

On the Line, Reto Caffi, Germany / Switzerland 2007, short fiction, 29:45 min.

Jury substantiation
An unlucky hero who ends up committing a great crime against the love of his life. Director Reto Caffi follows his characters in an extremely precise and sensitive manner. The powerful performance and the mature realisation result in an impressive film, emotionally enthralling and captivating until the very end.

SPECIAL MENTION:

Brainbirth control, Jan Riesenbeck, Germany 2007, short fiction, 9:15 min.
A breathtaking and highly amusing reflection on today's rhythm of life, accelerated to the point of absurdity. Self-deprecating and poignant.

Morbus Bechterev, Lola Randl and Rainer Egger, Germany / Austria 2007, short fiction, 11 min.
Narrated in a light tone and so closely observed the viewer can hardly distinguish performance from real life. A charming character portrait and a study of the art of running circles around oneself.

JURY PRIZE OF THE HAMBURG CULTURAL FOUNDATION: 2.000 EUROS

Illusion, Burhan Qurbani and Fabian Gasmia, Germany 2007, short fiction, 9:10 min.

Jury substantiation
A common occurrence: somebody loses his job. "Illusion" traces the resultant loss of control and the slow sinking into loneliness in a poetic and moving style. The nuanced directing and a brilliant leading actress light up the screen and give this film a special sparkle.

AUDIENCE AWARD OF THE HAMBURG CULTURAL FOUNDATION: 1.500 EUROS

The Rat Train Robbery, Jim Lacy and Kathrin Albers, Germany 2008, animation, 8:56 min.

THREE-MINUTE QUICKIE COMPETITION
AUDIENCE AWARD: 1.000 EUROS

Nothing's There, René Schöttler and Markus Schaefer, Germany 2008, dokumentary / short fiction, 3 min.

ARTE SHORT FILM AWARD
Jury: Mado Le Fur
6.000 euros (Acquisition of the film and broadcast as part of arte's short film programme)

Interior. Scara de bloc, Ciprian Alexandrescu, Rumania 2007, short fiction, 15:49 min.

Jury substantiation
With sensitivity and compassion, but also with a great sense of humour, the film describes how one event brings together the most diverse residents of a building who had been complete strangers before. The young filmmaker from Romania and the brilliant actors involved manage to give extraordinary power to a simple story with a satirical view on society. The Arte award goes to "Interior. Scara de Bloc' by Ciprian Alexandrescu.

ZDF DOKUKANAL - BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT
Jury: Angelika Hoffmann, Andrea Windisch
2.000 euros (Acquisition of the film and boradcast on ZDFdokukanal)

Automotive Action Painting (Car Painting), George Barber, England 2007, experimental dokumentary, 6 min.

Jury substantiation
The jury was not only impressed by Barber's unusual and dynamic painting technique, where cars drive through 'puddles of paint', but also the by the contrasting stillness of the camera. From a bird's eye view, the audience observes a two-dimensional image gradually emerging, while the actual composition of the image is purely random. However, it is precisely this randomness that builds up the suspense with which the spectators follow the development of the image. An entertaining document of artistic design truly in the tradition of action painting, in this case automotive action painting.

MUSIC IN SHORTS AWARD: 2.000 EUROS EACH
Jury: Christian Buß, Wiebke Colmorgen, Horst Rickels

international
Passage, Karl Lemieux, Canada 2007, short fiction, 15 min.
A lot of pills are popped in this film, but this does not result in colourful visions. The painful end to four young people's dirty weekend is presented in stark black-and-white images, and this bitter outcome is anticipated in a very clever and unobtrusive way in the score's monochrome cascades of sound. The monotony of the rhythms lends a disturbingly subdued hue to the characters' ecstasy. "The Passage" is an example of great narrative cinema in the short format and excellently proves that music can be used as a narrative element in its own right.

national
Rauschen & Brausen I, Daniel Burghardt, Germany 2007, experimental film, 4:52 min. Sound: Gerriet K. Sharma
The world is in ruins, and it's being put back together, but in a most unconventional way. "Rauschen und Brausen I" takes fragments of reality and reassembles them in a fascinating way to form a seemingly unending jigsaw puzzle. The score's electronic white noise accompanies these images of "rebuilding", while counteracting them at the same time. The film may not manage to see the rigour of its formal approach through to the very end, but it remains a brilliant example for a dialectical arrangement of image and music.

SPECIAL MENTION:
Petzold's Whistle, Olaf Held, Germany 2008, short fiction, 5:33 min.
What starts off as a debilitating background noise is transformed into a study in techno in a workman's head. An amusing and illuminating little film about how sound does not only shape music, but can also produce images.

Trabalenguas para una casa vaciá (World Puzzle for an Empty House), Gabriel Herrera Torres, Mexico 2008, short fiction, 12:15 min.
This film impressively presents a 90-year old man's living space as an extension of his own body. The ingeniously thought through score made up of music by Mozart, Ligeti and Berio deconstructed by scraping, shoving and shuffling noises creates a very organic overall impression and a portrait of life itself.



MO&FRIESE CHILDREN'S SHORT FILM FESTIVAL

FRIESE-AWARD: 1.250 EUROS (children's jury between 8 and 10 years)

Great Travellers, Andrey Sudilovsky, Russian Federation 2006, short fiction, 18:40 min.
Friese's Children's Jury chose ’Great Travellers' by Andrey Sudilovsky for its realism, it was the only film that could happen like that in reality, it was emotionally good and fascinating. The actors were good and courageous. The film was exciting and full of twists and turns. ’Great Travellers' tells us about cooperation, friendship, fun; but also about feeling homesick and the anxiety of not coming back home.

MO-AWARD: 1.250 EUROS (children's jury between 11 and 13 years)

The Last Things, Levan Akin, Sweden 2007, short fiction, 20 min.
The winning film touched us deeply. Even before getting to know the title the film creates a suspenseful, mysterious and depressing atmosphere. With its very first pictures the film plays with the audience's expectations and delivers a suprising turning point. Our favourite is a very well done short film which is artistically and emotionally convincing in dealing with loss, death, guilt, and mourning. The most important factors for our decision are the wonderful and talented actors and the intense pictures. The story is exciting, visionary and intense and we would love to see more of it!

HIGH FIVE!
SHORT FILM COMPETITION: 300 EUROS
1. PRIZE: Eene, meene, Miste..., Milena Glück, Germany 2008, short fiction, 4 min.
For Mo and Friese's ’Give me 5!' competition, both Juries agreed to crown ’Eene, meene, Miste ...' by Milena Glück as their winning film: We think that the competition's topic ’one's favourite place', has been shown incomparably well and sensitively. We consider the idea of showing a dog's favourite place to be entertaining, surprising and exciting.

2. PRIZE: Der Lieblingsplatz, Jonathan Schaller, Germany 2007, short fiction, 5:30 min.
As the second best film of Mo and Friese's ’Give me 5!' competition we chose ’Der Lieblingsplatz' by Jonathan Schaller. His film inspired us due to its surprising wit, good score and exciting turns. We have perceived the film as being intense, suspenseful and manifold.

3. PRIZE: 2050-Schulausflug ins All, Leonie Stegmüller and the AG Multimedia Nördlingen, Germany 2007, animation, 7:29 min.
The film takes us on a journey to extraordinary places in outer space. According to the filmmakers, favourite places are to be found in one's dreams. We, the jury, agreed that the directors managed to realize the topic in a laudably surprising, modern and visionary way.

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Chatelin Bruno
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