The Berlinale Shorts is celebrating its birthday. In the section’s fifth year, the films being presented are elegant and eloquent in both form and content. They consistently and subversively question, evade, vary and expand the many possible paths open to cinema. The films leave new marks in the cinematic landscape, and show that there are no boundaries that cannot be overcome, and no formal rules that cannot be breached. For it is in breaching them that the offer for discourse arises. The films move with agility between forms and appropriate genres. Classification no longer comes easily – neither with respect to genre or time: past, future or pretend? Catharsis is more important than a new ideology.

In Scenes From The Suburbs, Spike Jonze expands the music video into a film without abandoning the structure of a clip. The future has become reality. And the threat lies in the proximity of the military. Memories of a past summer.

Peter Conelly from Belgium tells in Back by 6 of the poetry of the Nouvelle Vague, with a dose of the absurd and the instruction to be home by six. In Tomorrow Everything Will Be Alright Lebanese artist Akram Zaatari never even leaves the house, letting everything happen in a chat on an analogue typewriter. Two men from Romania want to leave their homes in a tale of flight from 1986: in Apele Tac by Anca Miruna Lăzărescu.

Video and performance artist Christian Jankowski arranges for Nam June Paik’s studio in Korea to be given a good scrub in Cleaning up the Studio. And Korean filmmaker Park Chan-wook (Old Boy) and his brother Park Chan-kyong make a film that finds images and rituals to tell of the transitions between life and death. All shot on an iPhone. How does life feel after having been buried alive in an earthquake? La calma by Fernando Vilchez from Peru approaches this experience in an essayistic work. And then there’s cinema direct from Israel: Susya by Dani Rosenberg and Yoav Gross. For the first time in 25 years, two Palestinians return to their home village that has been an Israel archaeological excavation for years now. They buy an admission ticket and yet soldiers follow their every move: a depiction of the conflict in miniature. Moments are recounted by omissions in the dialogue, not the images: in 15 iulie by Cristi Iftime from Romania, La Ducha by Maria Jose San Martin from Chile and Erdö by György Mór Kárpáti from Hungary. Last but not least, there’s Sudsanan by Pimpaka Towira from Thailand. How do you let go of an old love and so rid yourself of all anger?

25 films from 21 countries will be competing for the Golden Bear and Silver Bear (Grand Prix of the Jury), the DAAD Short Film Prize and a nomination for the EFA Short Film Prize.

In 2011, US-American photographer and filmmaker Nan Goldin, Israeli filmmaker and director of the Sam Spiegel Film and Television School Renen Schorr as well as Tunisian director and producer Ibrahim Letaief will select the winners of the Berlinale Shorts. The awards will be presented on Saturday, February 19.

From February 11 to 13, there will be press screenings of the short films in CinemaxX 5 & 3. The discussion series “Berlinale Shorts Go Arsenal” will be held in Arsenal 2 from February 15 to 17.

Berlinale Shorts 2011:

15 iulie, Cristi Iftime, Romania, 12’ (WP)
Apele Tac, Anca Miruna Lăzărescu, Germany/Romania, 31’ (WP)
Ashley/Amber, Rebecca R. Rojer, USA, 22’ (WP)
Återfödelsen, Hugo Lilja, Sweden, 28’ (IP)
Back by 6, Peter Connelly, Belgium, 28’ (WP)
Cleaning up the Studio, Christian Jankowski, Republic of Korea, 10’ (IP)
Erdő, György Mór Kárpáti, Hungary, 12’ (WP)
Fragen an meinen Vater, Konrad Mühe, Germany, 11’ (WP)
Green Crayons, Kazik Radwanski, Canada, 10’   (IP)
Heavy Heads, Helena Frank, Denmark, 8’ (WP)
La Calma, Fernando Vílchez Rodríguez, Peru, 20’ (WP)
La Ducha, Maria Jose San Martin, Chile, 10’ (IP)
PARANMANJANG, PARKing CHANce (PARK Chan-wook, PARK Chan-kyong), Park Chan-wook, Park Chan-kyong, Republic of Korea, 33’ (IP)
Pera Berbangê, Arin Inan Arslan, Turkey, 15’ (WP)
Planet Z, Momoko Seto, France, 10’ (WP)
Pu-Seo-Jin Bam, Yang Hyo-joo, Republic of Korea, 23’ (IP)
Rao Yi Sheng, Alexej Tchernyi, Wu Zhi, Germany, 7’ (WP)
Scenes From The Suburbs, Spike Jonze, USA, 28’ (WP)
Sju dagar i skogen, Peter Larsson, Sweden, 6’ (IP)
Stick Climbing, Daniel Zimmermann, Austria/Switzerland, 14’ (IP)
Sudsanan, Pimpaka Towira, Thailand, 30’ (IP)
Susya, Dani Rosenberg, Yoav Gross, Israel/Palestinian Territories, 15’ (WP)
Świteź, Kamil Polak, Poland, 21’ (WP)
Tomorrow Everything Will Be Alright, Akram Zaatari, Lebanon/Great Britain, 7’ (IP)
Woman Waiting, Antoine Bourges, Canada, 15’ (IP)