Berlinale Shorts 2014: Noah Is a Woman; and the Darkroom, a Cinema - The 64th Berlin International Film Festival


Berlinale Shorts 2014: Noah Is a Woman; and the Darkroom, a Cinema - The 64th Berlin International Film Festival

Diandra Forrest in Afronauts von/by Frances Bodomo © Joshua James Richards

Diandra Forrest in Afronauts von/by Frances Bodomo © Joshua James Richards


In 2014, 25 films from 21 countries will be competing for the Golden Bear for Best Short Film and the Silver Bear Jury Prize: fictional, documentary, experimental, essayistic and animated films all have an equal chance. Almost a third of these productions is not digital but was shot on film or focuses on the medium of film as a vehicle. A tendency reflected in the fact that independent laboratories around the world have again begun to develop film themselves. Evidently there is a desire to find reassurance in the "real thing". Moreover, a sense of mourning pervades the entire programme. The need to deal with death puts inner landscapes on the screen - and they range between extremes: from groups of men clenching pump guns against their chests (Tant qu'il nous reste des fusils à pompe / As Long as Shotguns Remain), and naked women running with broad smiles through Macao's pristine nature (Taprobana), to parents from the Cuban countryside trying to comprehend their twelve-year-old son's suicide (Un Paraíso / A Paradise).

In 1955, Heinz Sielmann won the first Small Gold Medal for Best Short Film at the Berlinale for his work Die Zimmerleute des Waldes (Woodpecker). In 2014, Ulu Braun, winner of the German Short Film Prize 2013 for Best Experimental Film (FORST, Berlinale Shorts 2013), will present his new work, BIRDS. His poetic approach unites nature and urban life, enabling us to see parallels that would otherwise be lost in the momentum of our lives. Frieder Schlaich, director, producer and distributor (Filmgalerie 451: Schlingensief, Herzog and many others), travels with Patti Smith to Jean Genet's grave in Larache to make good a promise. The South African ensemble with Pauline Malefane and Mark Dornford-May, Golden Bear winners with U Carmen eKhayelitsha in 2005, are back with a modern adaptation of Benjamin Britten's "Noye's Fludde": Unogumbe. Here Noah is a woman; and the ark's construction, set against the townships. Mahdi Fleifel (A World Not Ours, Panorama 2013) will present his hybrid documentary Xenos, in which he reunites in Athens with his friends who have fled Lebanon.

The International Short Film Jury awards a Golden and a Silver Bear, the DAAD Short Film Prize as well as the Berlin Short Film Nominee for the European Film Awards. This year's winners will be picked by: the Indonesian director Edwin, who last participated in the Berlinale Competition 2012 with Postcards from the Zoo; Nuno Rodrigues, artistic director of the Vila do Conde short film festival and founder of Agência - Portuguese Short Film Agency; as well as Lebanese curator Christine Tohme.


Berlinale Shorts 2014

Title Director Country Length  
Afronauts Frances Bodomo USA 13' IP
BIRDS Ulu Braun Germany 15' WP
La Casona (The Big House) Juliette Touin Cuba 25' IP
darkroom Billy Roisz Austria 13' WP
Do serca Twego (To Thy Heart) Ewa Borysewicz Poland 10' IP
Im Tekhayekh, Ha'Olam Yekhayekh Elekha (Smile, and the World Will Smile Back) Familie al-Haddad/Ehab Tarabieh/Yoav Gross Israel / Palestinian Territories 21' WP
Kamakura (Snow Hut) Yoriko Mizushiri Japan 5' WP
LABORAT Guillaume Cailleau Germany 21' WP
Marc Jacobs Sam de Jong Netherlands 17' WP
Om Amira Najy Esmail Egypt 25' IP
Optical Sound Elke Groen/Christian Neubacher Austria 11' WP
Person to Person Dustin Guy Defa USA 18' IP
Raconte-moi des salades (Salad Days) Olias Barco Belgium / France 10' WP
As Rosas Brancas (The White Roses) Diogo Costa Amarante Portugal / USA 20' WP
Sky Lines Nadine Poulain Serbia 10' IP
Solo te puedo mostrar el color (I Can Only Show You the Color) Fernando Vílchez Rodríguez Peru 26' WP
Symphony no. 42 Réka Bucsi Hungary 10' WP
Tant qu'il nous reste des fusils à pompe (As Long As Shotguns Remain) Caroline Poggi/Jonathan Vinel France 30' WP
Taprobana Gabriel Abrantes Portugal / Sri Lanka / Denmark 24' WP
Three Stones for Jean Genet Frieder Schlaich Germany 7' WP
Unogumbe (Noye's Fludde) Mark Dornford-May South Africa 35' EP
Un Paraíso (A Paradise) Jayisha Patel Cuba 14' WP
Washingtonia Konstantina Kotzamani Greece 24' WP
WONDER Mirai Mizue France / Japan 8' WP
Xenos Mahdi Fleifel Denmark / United Kingdom 13' WP

*WP = World premiere, IP = International premiere

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