Unlike the United States, where independent feature length films rule the festival circuit, Europe has a longstanding tradition of celebrating and supporting short, experimental films. Last week, coinciding with SXSW Film Festival, Pulp Lab Europe was on-site at the Go Short Film Festival(Nijmegen, The Netherlands)—an international short film festival from 3/14 to 3/18.
Go Short featured competitions in four different categories: European films, Dutch films, Breaking Shorts and a focus category dedicated annually to a new generation of filmmakers in a European country—this year, that country was Poland. Film Promotion Agency highlighted five Polish films that were selected for the Breaking Ground competitive. Go Short also screened the products of the 48 Hour Film Project—a collaborative project taking place in various festivals around the world which randomly assembles filmmakers and crews to write, direct and edit a short film in 48 hours. The eleven films created for the Nijmegen edition of this contest can be seen here.
Standout films in competition were Claes by Martina Carlstedt; a Swedish documentary about a reclusive pensioner whose greatest wish is to make it outside of his apartment to the town cinema nearby. Felix by Anselm Belser, a German production, wins the award for the shortest short film every made. Clocking in at only 40 seconds, it’s a black and white filmed tale about a badly behaved child in a supermarket. Inbetweener by Erik Bäfving, a Swedish documentary, uses the illustrations, agenda pages and photographs of a son attempting to piece together the motivations behind his father’s suicide decades earlier. Another documentary, Supercargo by Christoph Schwarz—Austrian this time—tells the story of a man who filmed his solitary journey on a freight ship from Europe to China that was on autopilot, and who began to film his journey to feel less alone.
In addition to screening 324 films, the Go Short festival featured a robust lineup of panels and parties, with several fascinating lectures on the impact of sound in film. Jaap Kooijman, an associate professor of Media Studies at the University of Amsterdam and author of Fabricating the Absolute Fake, looked at the work of such directors as Spike Jonze and Jonathan Glazer in a presentation entitled, Well, You Can Tell by the way I Use My Walk; The Aesthetics and Politics of the Music Video. The esteemed Dutch composer Fons Merkies gave an interesting talk on the potential of music to completely overtake the direction and the mood of a film, while the NBF (Dutch Association for Film and TV professionals), sponsored a seminar educating filmmakers on the different ways to secure music rights, or create original soundtracks for their films.
All in all, it was a whirlwind of a festival jampacked with inspiring sounds, images, and conversations, leaving us with just one desire after the Go Short film festival: to go again!
Go Short International Film Festival
March 14-18, 2012
Nijmegen, The Netherlands
1 LUXMariënburg 38-39
2 FESTIVAL PAVILIONMariënburgplein
3 EXPO CENTERKlein Mariënburg 24
4 EXTRAPOOL Tweede Walstraat 5
5 MERLEYNHertogstraat 13
6 WUNDERBARBloemerstraat 24
7 BIBLIOTHEEK DE MARIËNBURGMariënburg 29
8 BART KUNST IN HUISZiekerstraat 87