The competition program is the most important point of the whole festival program, showing not only the latest trends in short films, but also presenting diverse, fresh and intriguing productions, both in terms of narrative and visual aspect. Short Waves Festival offers as many as 5 competition categories: International Competition, Polish Competition, Polish Experimental Film Competition, Dances with Camera, Urban View. About 100 films from all over the world compete for the financial prizes which are decided not only by the Jury consisting of international film industry professionals but also by the festival audience and the Youth Jury.
The non-competition program is a series of thematic screenings, possible to see in cinemas or outdoors in open-air spaces. In this section you will find, among others, screenings of films nominated for prestigious awards such as BAFTA Awards or European Film Awards. In this section we will find, among other things, screenings of films nominated for prestigious awards, such as BAFTA Awards or European Film Awards; entertainment strand, i.e. a bit more commercial side of a short film offering such screenings as Musical Shorts or Queer Shorts; film selections intended for specific age groups – children with their parents, teenagers or seniors during joint meetings at SWF for Kids, Teen Shorts and senior programs; or a series of evening screenings taking place in the festival club with presentation of music videos and films putting in a party-dance mood.
Film selections dedicated every year to a selected country or geographical region, as well as retrospectives of the most interesting young filmmakers, prominent film talents, and schools or art and film institutions. Short Waves Festival in the previous years took the audience on a journey to South-West Asia, Lebanon or Austria and presented a cross-section of works by Tomasz Popakul or Laurynas Bareisa, a curatorial set of video-art from sixpackfilm agency or engaged hybrid productions from Kino Rebelde.
Beyond Cinema section is, on the one hand, a comprehensively designed event in which the main role is played by films and the context for their viewing was selected with particular precision, and on the other hand – a free combination of audiovisual art, music and collective experiencing of film impressions. The audience, leaving the cinema hall, has a chance to experience an unusual formula of watching a short film, e.g. during Random Garden Cinema – film meetings in private gardens of Poznań inhabitants, whose location is kept secret from the audience until the screening, or audiovisual events exploring film and music boundaries, which in the past years were presented through projects such as Kino Forma or Rainer Kohlberger’s live-act.