27 films from 20 countries will be competing for the Golden Bear and Silver Bear Jury Prize, the DAAD Short Film Award, and a short film nomination for the European Film Prize.

The programme includes 22 world premieres, five international premieres, and one film out of competition: Ossama Mohammed’s Khutwa Khutwa (Step by Step) from 1979.

The Golden and Silver Bears for Best Short Film will be presented at the Award Ceremony in the Berlinale Palast on Saturday, February 16, 2013. This year’s members of the International Short Film Jury are quite diverse: Spanish director Javier Fesser, Korean programmer and director of the Asian Film Fund Hong Hyosook, and German curator Susanne Pfeffer.

Javier Fesser (Spain)
Spanish director Javier Fesser’s film career began with a bang: Both of his first works, Aquel Ritmillo (1995) and El Secdleto de la Tlompeta (1996) are still the two most often awarded Spanish short films of all time. His comedies P. Tinto’s Miracle (1998) and Clever & Smart (2003) were box office hits in Spain. His short film Binta y la gran idea was nominated for an Oscar in 2007. With Camino (2008), a film about Opus Dei, Javier Fesser switched to drama, creating a film that sparked international controversy and won six Goya Awards, among other distinctions. Javier Fesser is currently working on a 3D sequel to Clever & Smart.

Hong Hyosook (Republic of Korea)
Hong Hyosook was one of the founders of the Women Film Group and represents the Seoul Visual Collective. As a documentary cinematographer, her works include Doomealee, A New School is Opening (1995), On-Line: An Inside View of Korean Independent Film (1997, Berlinale Forum 1998), and Reclaiming Our Names (1998) which were presented at numerous international film festivals. In 1997 she started to work at the Busan International Film Festival, where she currently is curator of the “Wide Angle” section, Documentary and Short Films, and Director of the Asian Cinema Fund (ACF).

Susanne Pfeffer (Germany)
Art historian Susanne Pfeffer works internationally as a freelance curator. From 2007 to 2012 she was chief curator at the KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin, as well as a curator and advisor for MOMA PS1 in New York. From 2004 to 2006 she was artistic director at Künstlerhaus Bremen. She has also been a guest curator for the São Paulo Art Biennial, the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw and the Museion Bozen, among others. Susanne Pfeffer has been the editor of numerous artist monographs and exhibition catalogues. In 2009 she was honoured by the AICA USA with an award for her exhibition “Kenneth Anger”.

The Middle East, West Africa, and a remarkably strong year for Germany, opulent fictional works and wild animations – these are the cornerstones of this year’s selection. Well represented are also documentary films that do more than just re-examine the relationship between image and content.

In 1979 Ossama Mohammed made his graduation film Khutwa Khutwa at the film academy in Moscow. In a village in Syria, he accompanied young men who are caught between religious and political ideologies. Fascinated by the power of authority, many of them choose to become soldiers.

The uprisings in Syria have been raging for over a year now. Mario Rizzi (Berlinale Shorts 2008, Impermanent) lived for weeks with Syrian refugees in Camp Zaatari in Jordan. A kaleidoscope of a time spent in waiting: Al Intithar.

Only by collaborating closely with the protagonists was artist Köken Ergun able to follow preparations in his film Aşura, the Shiite’s highest day of commemoration, until the final and most sensitive moment: when everyone participating is asked to weep and wail publicly for the hero in chorus.

A heterotopia in Caracas, a place that symptomatically reflects social circumstances. The video artist cylixe encounters in Una Ciudad En Una Ciudad residents of the tallest squat on earth. How does ownership work if nobody owns the property?

In 2012, artist Rachel Mayeri shot a film expressly for chimpanzees and later showed it to some in a zoo. How the caged apes at the zoo respond to their relatives moving freely in space can be seen in Primate Cinema: Apes as Family.

A coup de couteau denté von Clément Decaudin

Japanese artist Hirofumi Nakamoto works in the opposite direction – he catches hermit crabs that live only on a certain island in Japan and then lets them out in his hotel room. A contemporary behavioural study: The Silent Passenger.

Kwaku Ananse by Akosua Adoma Owusu recounts a tale from Ghana: The spider wants and collects all bits of wisdom but ultimately the vessel breaks – the young woman has to face up to her father’s polygamous life but in the end encounters herself.

In About Ndugu by David Muñoz, a black boy is looking for a new wife for his American foster father and hopes his grandmother might be the right one. In the French entry La Fugue by Jean Bernard Marlin, a social worker believes that only if he does a good enough job, will his charge be able to begin a new life. The perspective is an open space. And Korean filmmaker Joung Yumi (Berlinale Shorts 2010, Math Test) fills it with her animation Love Games. New formal means are explored by artist Ulu Braun in his video collage Forst, creating – as does Xenia Lesniewski in Hypozentrum – an associative space in a black box.

From February 11 to 15, an extensive film discussion series will be held following the 4-PM screenings of the Berlinale Shorts in CinemaxX 5:
A coup de couteau denté, Clément Decaudin, France, 12’ (WP)
Al Intithar, Mario Rizzi, Italy/United Arab Emirates, 30’ (WP)
About Ndugu, David Muñoz, Spain, 15’ (WP)
Aşura, Köken Ergun, Turkey/Germany, 22’ (WP)
Ba Bi Lun Shao Nian, Zhou Yan, People’s Republic of China, 25’ (WP)
Beshivhey Hayom, Oren Adaf, Israel, 19’ (WP)
Between Regularity and Irregularity, Masahiro Tsutani, Japan, 8’ (WP)
Die ruhe bleibt, Stefan Kriekhaus, Germany, 14’ (WP)
ECHO, Merlin Flügel, Germany, 5’ (WP)
Forst, Ulu Braun, Germany, 10’ (WP)
Hypozentrum, Xenia Lesniewski, Germany, 15’ (WP)
Ja, kada sam bila klinac, bila sam klinka, Ivana Todorovic, Serbia, 30’ (WP)
Khutwa Khutwa (Step by Step), Ossama Mohammed, Syria, 22’
Kwaku Ananse, Akosua Adoma Owusu, Ghana/Mexico/USA, 26’ (WP)
La Fugue, Jean-Bernard Marlin, France, 22’ (WP)
Love Games, Yumi Joung, Republic of Korea, 15’ (IP)
Misterio, Chema García Ibarra, Spain, 12’ (IP)
Primate Cinema: Apes as Family, Rachel Mayeri, Scotland/USA, 11’ (IP)
SANCTITY, Ahd Kamel, France, 37’ (IP)
Ta av mig, Victor Lindgren, Sweden, 15’ (WP)
Tabatô, João Viana, Portugal, 13’ (WP)
The Silent Passenger, Hirofumi Nakamoto, Japan, 14’ (WP)
Traumfrau, Oliver Schwarz, Switzerland, 20’ (IP)
Una Ciudad En Una Ciudad, cylixe, Germany, 18’ (WP)
Utan titel, Leontine Arvidsson, Sweden, 4’ (WP)
UZUSHIO -Seto Current-, Naoto Kawamoto, Japan, 10’ (WP)
Whaled Women, Ewa Einhorn/Jeuno JE Kim, Sweden, 9’ (WP)
2011 12 30, Leontine Arvidsson, Sweden, 3’ (WP)

(WP = World Premiere, IP = International Premiere)