Pre-selection committee statement

Forhåndskomite

This year’s films take us through counties like Agder, Finnmark, and Oslo, and all the way to Iran. We’re in the countryside, in the stables, in the pub, in high rises, in nature, and public pools. The settings are very varied.
Many of the films touch on our current focus on identity; how we define ourselves, and how we are defined and seen by others – be it gender, ethnicity, sexuality or religion. These factors are crucial in the protagonists’ interaction with the world, and vice versa. Strong conventions are often a source of fear and insecurity, or rebellion. Are we really supposed to do labia plasty? Why isn’t the man the one to cover himself? Is everything just a game with meaningless rules?

Even though several films are about groups of people, the individual is in focus. This makes one wonder if the personal angst has shifted focus away from the bigger world, which undoubtedly has plenty of challenges in this age. Some of the films touch upon climate change and technology, but it’s noticeable how few there are. The body is an important element for others, and it’s not necessarily “perfect”. It is sexual and desirable, but also a subject of brutal violence. Limbs are chopped off, other parts gets a soul, and perhaps a face. It can be pretty funny.
We meet numerous couples, some part ways while other relationships seem to last forever. In addition we meet adults and children, and adult children in relation to each other. Plus some reindeer, a few goats, a dog, a donkey, farm animals, and a songbird…

Several of the films are financed by national or regional funds, some look very expensive, but that being said, there are a lot of new, exciting voices and unpretentious expressions in this year’s line-up. An interesting short film has something to say and is short – it’s got nothing to do with budget or equipment.
We must point out that there has been a lot of long short films, which has made the selection process challenging. We could easily have expanded to two more programs, just as good as the six we have, but this would mean that the festival have to expand to one more day, with what that means economically and with political goodwill.

4 out of 5 films ended up not making the cut, but this also makes Grimstad a desirable festival. We want to express our gratitude for all submissions, and congratulations to those who are taking part in the 42nd Short Film Festival.

Now it is your turn to watch and enjoy, laugh, cry, get scared and disgusted, to think, to love and to loathe – we wish you all a great screening and a wonderful festival!

All best,
Siw, Torunn og Magnus

Siw Angell-Olsen studied documentary directing at NISS in 1997/1999. She’s worked in film and television for over 20 years and for 5 years she was the director of the short film festival KORT at KINOKINO in Sandnes. She has worked as a production manager and location manager for several short films, TV-shows and feature films. The last few years she has worked as a producer at GOfilm AS, where she among others produced the short film Hvalagapet, which won Terje Vigen award last year at Grimstad, and has been screened at several festivals abroad like the Berlinale and The Chicago International Children’s Film Festival. (Photo: Siv Sivertsen)

Torunn Nyen has been active in the Norwegian film and TV industry for nearly 50 years. Nyen has been involved in the organization of The Norwegian Short Film Festival every year since 1980: from 1994 to 2011 she served as managing director, and as artistic director from 2011 to 2015. She still works for The Norwegian Short Film Festival as a curator, while also contributing to Norwegian festivals Movies on War in Elverum, Factory Light Festival in Slemmestad, and Short Riga in Latvia, among others.
(Photo: Odd Rudjord)

Magnus Mork has a BA in Media Arts from University of London and a BA in Film Directing from Göteborg University (now Valand Academy). He has made several short films, among them Flatmates, which was awarded the Golden Chair in Grimstad, and Burger, which won the Special Jury Award for Direction and Ensemble Acting at Sundance Film Festival. In 2017 he founded the production collective Alternativet with fellow filmmakers Mariken Halle, Guro Bruusgaard and Katja Eyde Jacobsen.