The festival portal THIS IS SHORT—a collaborative streaming project of four European short film festivals—handed out the prizes in the joint online competition New Point Of View yesterday, Monday evening. The jury’s top prize of 4,000 euros went to Belgian artist Eva Giolo for “Flowers blooming in our throats” (IT 2020) about the role of gestures and physical touch in the aftermath of lockdown. The second prize of 2,000 euros in the 23-film competition went to Swiss Loïc Hobi, who tells the story of a violent Internet user from the perspective of an algorithm in “New Gods (Les Nouveaux Dieux)” (CH/FR 2020). THIS IS SHORT is still active until June 30—including the winning films and an extensive finale.
The four-member jury—consisting of web cinema pioneer Nora Barry (US), artist Matt Carter (UK), filmmaker Yuyan Wang (CN), and curator Mariangela Martínez Restrepo (CO)—chose Giolo’s documentary exploration because it “encapsulated the complexity and intensity of relationships between people, objects, the passage of time, gestures, and daily perceptions of light, sound, and more.” Hobi’s film, in turn, testifies to “a young man’s difficulty to communicate in a time of communication” and moves “the tragic virtual story into raw potential reality.” The awards were presented Monday at an online gala on the eve of the shortest night of the year.
>I THIS IS a success – Audience Award for “The Problem of the Hydra“
June 30 marks the end of the first edition of THIS IS SHORT, which has thrilled audiences in 55 countries (with up to 250 views per day) for three months with nearly 300 short films and a daily renewed program curated especially for the platform. In the European competition New Point Of View, which deliberately focused on the presentation in a digital context or the examination of online culture and had films from 20 countries in the line-up, the audience chose “The Problem of the Hydra“ by Finnish artist Maija Tammi via online voting as audience favourite.
In addition to the competition, top-class European programming was offered, which was available in different categories and intervals, and in the final week of the project, the full range of films as well as the winning films were once again on offer for short film enjoyment. The offer was rounded off in the past weeks by seven dedicated industry talks as well as the possibility to also attend the online platforms of the four participating festivals with only one access. The four participating festivals are the Go Short Festival in Nijmegen (NL), the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen (DE), the Vienna Shorts festival (AT) and the Short Waves festival in Poznan (PL), which just ended on June 20. Together, the festivals form the European Short Film Network (ESFN).
>I THIS IS European, solidary & promising for the future
The goal of the ESFN members is to work closely together on the online level, but also to support each other’s analog activities. “The ESFN does not want to replace the analog festival with a digital version, but to enrich and complement it,” the festivals said in a joint statement. “In doing so, THIS IS SHORT proved to be a truly collaborative European vision, at a time when the need to think Europe and the European film and festival landscape together is more relevant and necessary than ever. Also as a network, we are convinced that we can only meet the challenges ahead together and should look to the future in solidarity and cooperation.”
THIS IS SHORT is to be relaunched in 2022 in a renewed form.
New Point Of View – European Online Competition
Main Prize (4,000 euros)
Flowers blooming in our throats by Eva Giolo,, IT 2020, 9 min
Runner-up (2,000 euros)
Les Nouveaux Dieux (New Gods) by Loïc Hobi, CH/FR 2020, 19 min
Audience Award (2,000 euros)
The Problem of the Hydra by Maija Tammi, FI 2020, 10 min