Brand new visual identity of Short Waves Festival: Time for a change

Since 2009, Short Waves Festival has been continuously bringing the audiences closer to short cinematography, creating a platform designed for exchange of thoughts, experiences and impressions associated with short films. For years, the festival has been developing, rebranding, evolving and trying to find its own space, identity, and crowd.

2020 brought us a major revolution, not only within the realm of film event organizing, but also in terms of perception of the world we self-create, and the one produced by the cinematic lens. Organization of the festival’s 12. edition was unexpectedly brought to a halt, only a week before the scheduled March date. Despite that, we returned recharged with fresh energy and presented the first summer edition of Short Waves in August, in a hybrid format: in Poznań and online. Taught by experience, and with newly gained priceless knowledge on how to organize a film festival in a new reality, among restrictions and intensified safety measures, we decided to move the festival to warmer months for good. 13. edition (14-20.06.2021) is going to be held during 7 days of June consisting of over 70 events hosted across the urban space of Poznań: over 250 films, including 88 competition pictures, about 50 guests from Poland and abroad, as well as the online program.

Today, after 13 years, Short Waves Festival is one of the most important Polish festivals presenting short films from all over the world, while taking a stand on important issues – it’s conscious, open, accessible and diverse. It’s a constellation of film events that diminish the artificially constructed borders between the domains of cinema and art, initiate social dialogue, and set new trends. We continually aim to keep up with short cinema, a medium that is constantly on the move and sets new challenges for us, trying to capture its essence in our programs and selections.

Years of experience and passion for short cinema. Hybrid format – innovative and adjusted to new reality. New headquarters (in 2021 we have moved Ad Arte Foundation and Short Waves Festival to CK Zamek). Fresh perspective, new prospects. Changes – hence the new identification.

New visual identity of Short Waves Festival was designed by branding & digital design studio Uniforma from Poznań, Poland.

Szymon Stemplewski, President and Co-Founder of Ad Arte Foundation, Short Waves Festival organizer – I always say that, for me, the most important aspect of short cinema is the creators’ eagerness to take risks, redefine what already exists, and find links that have not occurred to anyone else before or seemed too bold. Our primary task, as a festival that brings these phenomena to a fairly wide audience, is to find a format that will let them thrive. In order to spark interest, which seems essential to get someone to engage with something different or new, we have always intended to create visuals that are going to be an appealing invitation. Fresh, powerful, genuine. The arrival of Short Waves coincided with the launch of Studio Uniforma, our longtime partner whose team is well acquainted with our character and dynamic. I’m glad that our new visual identity was constructed by them and I hope it’s going to stir as much excitement among our attendees as it did among our team members.

Emilia Mazik, Festival Director – Short films are often the first to express the changes occurring in our world, and create a language that is unique to them. Our festival has always been open to the new, we’ve been following trends since the very beginning, and we are trying to challenge the schematic ways of film event perception.We have a young team, we collaborate with hundreds of creators and artists, who are far from unimaginative. Last year has proved on a global scale that, there are processes that might affect the film industry suddenly and unexpectedly, and completely redefine it, just like they redefined our lives. For that reason, I think it’s good to be open to changes and try to seek solutions – just like when all of us had to give in and move all our activities online. Our new visual identity puts an emphasis on the festival’s feistiness and its urban character, entering into a dialogue with the gradually depleting Internet aesthetics.

Short Waves Festival 2021

motto: Mirror Mirror

The woman depicted on the poster is Matilde – heroine of Mundo (Chile, 2020), a documentary short film directed by Ana Edwards from this year’s official selection – International Competition.

Since 2016, when Short Waves Festival has started to take a more distinct shape and a specified format, each year we select a motto – a main theme that defines the character of every edition. This year, we have chosen an idiom – Mirror Mirror. Why? There are multiple answers. It is first and foremost our new normal, our experiences, changes, and different reality that make us examine ourselves more intently. The pandemic has significantly intensified the Internet immersion and the dual functioning in online/offline mode.

We are also not afraid of literality – the mirror not only reflects reality, but creates it as well – just like films that present the complexity of being here and now. The motif of a mirrored reflection inside a pendant that is a core of a poster illustrating the 13. edition of Short Waves Festival and Mirror Mirror motto, takes a closer look at contemporary humans – layered and extreme: bored and intrigued, narcissistic and uncertain, lonely and surrounded by people, introverted and extroverted. In reference to the program itself, the focus theme is going to be explored in three film programs, presenting post-pandemic cinema, the search for new spirituality, attempt at rationalizing the reality, and the recurring theme of film as a production tool of the seemingly invisible. The educational program, also inspired by the festival focus, Fair Play, is intended to tame the online space as well – through workshops on body positivity, online data protection and combating hate speech. The hybrid format of Short Waves, second in the festival history: offline in Poznań and online everywhere, presents two ways of experiencing cinema, which both await in June during the 13. edition of Short Waves Festival, an international short film festival.

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