Over 300 Films to be Screened in the Fifth Edition of German Festival

A major highlight this year is a special German package from the internationally celebrated Berlinale Shorts

Published: 27th August 2015 05:51 AM  |   Last Updated: 27th August 2015 09:10 AM   |  A+A-


QUEEN'S ROAD: Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan presents the fifth edition of BISFF (Bangalore International Short Film Festival ). The fest will showcase over 300 films in competition from across over the world. A package from the internationally-celebrated Berlinale Shorts will be selected and presented by the curator Maike Mia Höhne.

Besides presenting the two-part package on Saturday and Sunday, and taking part in the Q&A sessions, Maike will sit on the jury for the national competition which will be an exclusive opportunity for local emerging/aspiring filmmakers eyeing the international arena.

Lalit Vachani who is a well-known documentary filmmaker will also sit on the jury. Lalit is in the city to present his film An Ordinary Election on August 27

Berlinale Shorts is one of the most important film festivals worldwide and was founded in 2007. Films of all varieties, focused and concentrated are screened here. The choice of form is completely open as animations, fictions and documentaries all compete for the Golden Bear.

With the Berlinale Shorts, aesthetic and formal renewals of contemporary art find a new space outside the white cube.

The Berlinale has showed works of, amongst others, Akram Zaatari, Christian Jankowski, Jennifer Reeder, Amit Dutta, David Oreilly and Momoko Seto. Often, independent productions allow radicalism and intransigence while achieving what was searched for; which is inevitable when shaping new cinematography.

The collection of Berlinale Shorts shows, amongst others, this year’s Golden and Silver Bear winners Hosanna and Bad at Dancing; Symbolic Threats, which was nominated Best European short film. Also Yúyú and Planet Sigma, winners of the Audi Short Film Award 2015.

Here is a summary of some of the films to be screened :

PLANETS by Momoko Seto

On planet Sigma, enormous creatures are trapped inside the ice. And then, all of a sudden explosions erupt from subterranean volcanoes. The ice begins to melt; a global warming concludes the giants’ deep slumber and new life begins. The creatures crawl forth, out of the ice. With the aid of slow motion, Seto fictionalises the unfolding of events. Liberated from time and space, she draws ever closer to the proceedings, in extreme close-ups.

Hosanna by Na Young-kil

Hosanna is an ancient cry of jubilation and entreaty, which according to the New Testament, was used by the crowds greeting Jesus when he rode into Jerusalem on a donkey. In a remote village in Korea, lives a boy with the power to heal. He can resurrect the dead. And that is exactly what he does. Curing people of death, he gives them back life. However, the new life doesn’t cure them.

Rejecting the chance proffered by rebirth, the fighting, killing and murder continue. They punish, spit upon and antagonise the boy. Refusing to be deterred, he goes his own way. The boy and the villagers move about in rigorously framed shots, practically devoid of emotion. There is no cry of jubilation.

Pebbles at your door by Vibeke Bryld

 Harmonia lived a happy life in North Korea, until one day in her early twenties, she realised the truth. A truth, she says, that she did not want to accept for many years: that which surrounds her is a fractured paradise. Late, but not too late she hopes, she sets out on the solitary path into the unknown, to the world beyond the narrow borders of the North Korean regime.

She flees via China to South Korea. It takes almost a year before she arrives. She comes too late. But there is no returning. Director Vibeke Bryld uses photographs and postcards to piece together Harmonia’s life.

Shadowland by John Skoog

Desolate landscapes are the protagonists here. Sound fragments dictate the direction. The drama could begin at any moment. During his travels through America’s West, filmmaker John Skoog discovered a new country. In Shadowland, one view of a Californian landscape chases another. Slowly, almost imperceptibly, the landscapes flow into each another. Deserts become forests become water, the street from a car, the river from a boat.

Shot on 16mm and in black and white, the montage induces an analogy that recalls the photographs of Ansel Adams and Alfred  Stieglitz. Shadowland is a sensual experimental arrangement in which the shift of perceived understanding occurs on a visual and auditory plane.  The places visited in the film were once used by Hollywood as substitutes for entirely different locations in the world. The journey is accompanied by a collage of sounds taken from early Hollywood films.

Dissonance by Till Nowak

What is reality and what is imagination? Who defines the boundaries? A gifted pianist's instrument reflects his emotion across dimensions of time and space.  His emotions travel too like his music. The man misses his daughter, is no longer allowed to see her. Had the man seen a doctor however, he would most likely have been diagnosed with a psychosis.

The wife is worried that the man who was once her husband is sinking ever deeper in a morass. What kind of world is this, that puts a smile on his face, while inspiring nothing but fear in her? The daughter has no fear. All that remains is longing. Reality and fantasy merge, flow into one another in this odyssey through time and space.

Take what you can carry by Matt


This is journey through day and night and night and day. Lilly has been living in Berlin for a while. She is a US American passing through. Lilly drifts between worlds and places. Looking for people and connections but remaining in the external. During rehearsals with the performance group Gob Squad, her thoughts and wishes thrive: words become actions. Back at the apartment, a letter from her home awaits her. Matt Porterfield calmly tells of the longing to arrive in quietly composed scenes.

Snapshot mon amour by Christian Bau

After the catastrophe in Fukushima, a new Japanese word came into being: Genpatsu-Rikon, a word pieced-together from the characters for ‘atom’ and ‘divorce’. In 2011, documentary filmmaker Christian Bau travels to the east coast of Japan to investigate this newly coined word. What did the filmmaker see? “I saw everything,” he responded.

Symbolic Threats by Mischa Leinkauf, Lutz Henke,Matthias Wermke

On the night of 22 July 2014, Matthias Wermke and Mischa Leinkauf hoist two white American flags on the Brooklyn Bridge in New York City. They take the US flags down and fold them in the prescribed orderly fashion.

Poetry or threat? An act of surrender or perhaps art? These were the theories that New York puzzled over last summer. How can one incident be interpreted in so many ways?

By means of press reports, Symbolic Threats allows the public at large to express their extreme disparity of interpretation. Inspired by the heated debate over the two flags that suddenly appeared on the towers of the bridge, the film asks what kind of societal scope art has in the present day.What happens when threatened freedom reinstates art with the element of danger? Who or what makes it into a threat? Are we safe in the city? What is next?

Event:   Curator Maike Mia Höhne presents Berlinale Shorts @ the Bengaluru International Short Film Festival Film Festival

Date:   August 29 to 30

Venue:  Suchitra Film Society

Delegate/Student passes available at Suchitra Film Society and the Bhavan

For further details: Please call the Bhavan: 2520 5305/6/7/8 or visit;


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