Pre-selection committee statement

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Our goal in making this selection has been to put together a diverse program, balancing various genres, techniques, gender identities, and ethnicities, as well as a broad representation in front and behind the cameras. This is important work and, as the biggest platform for short film in Norway, a responsibility The Short Film Festival must take seriously.

The program must mirror and show what’s happening in the world of short film, and even though the majority of this year’s content is from Europe and USA, the rest of the world is well represented.

Despite being a mostly harmonious committee, we have been through the ringer with many great discussions and reflections, all leading to what we see as a program representing several cinematic preferences. Like last year, we notice how strong the classical drama still stands in the short film format. There are plenty of great films and filmmakers who clearly aspire to tell longer stories on film, and many are without a doubt very strong, but we would love to see more makers challenging the story and taking advantage for the genre’s unique format and its possibilities. We might miss a little more playfulness in this year’s submissions, but we feel we’ve put together a very strong program from the around 350 international submissions. In addition, we have traveled to other festivals and taken some titles home with us, so hopefully you will find the line-up as strong and balanced as we do.

This year’s selection will bring you stories of social and political importance around issues like a woman’s place in the home, tolerance and acceptance, LGBTQ+ rights, the refugee crisis, and Brexit, but we’ve also included some humor and slightly absurd films.
Have you ever seen a giant penis in space?? Neither have we – and here you get two!

Kathleen McInnis is a film strategist/publicist and festival programmer/curator, and helps emerging world-cinema filmmakers merge their creative and business development from the global film festival circuit. She works to expand filmmaker networks, broaden and cultivate audience and raise profile for both the films and filmmakers at festivals such as Sundance, Berlin, Toronto and Karlovy Vary. For nearly 30 years as programmer and curator, Kathleen has helped discover emerging filmmakers from around the globe at festivals such as Seattle, Slamdance, Palm Springs Shorts, Aspen and Toronto. She is currently the Curator of SIFF’s New Works-In-Progress Forum and program consults for short films at Tribeca Film Festival.

Maximillian van Aertryck collaborates with Axel Danielson under the banner of Plattform Produktion. Together they direct and produce both feature length documentaries and short films. Their short films have premiered in the official competitions of Berlin, Cannes, Sundance and Toronto, earning several awards. Their recent short film, “Ten Meter Tower”, has been seen by millions through the New York Times’ website and was shortlisted for the Best Short Documentary Academy Award. Their films aim to have a critical and humorous approach and are distinguishable through their minimalistic style, as well as theme-based rather than plot-driven narratives.

Vanja Ødegård (b. 1987) is in her 5th year at the Norwegian Short Film Festival as guest and festival coordinator and programmer, and has this year had a bigger role as programmer with special program and International Competition. She has a masters degree in Film Studies from NTNU and has previously been Festival Director for Oslo/Fusion Film Festival, as well as worked with several other film festivals.

Bard Ydén is the editor for the Norwegian Short Film Festival and has worked with film festivals since 2003. From 2007 to 2016 he was the Festival Director for Oslo/Fusion Film Festival, and resumes this role in 2019. He has programmed for several international festivals and has extensive jury experience. He was one of the founders of The Faroe Islands’ Minority Film Festival in 2016, and is this year involved in the organizing of the Startup-program for the Berlinale, Berlinale Horizon EFM Startups.

Atli Bjarnason (b. 1989) is the press and market cordinator at the Norwegian Short Film Festival. He has a Mastes degree in Media from the University of Oslo and has previously worked as a film distributor fro Another World Entertainment and Selmer Media. He has in addition worked as a journalist and film critic and has written for NATT&DAG, Montages and Rushprint.