Less than 70 days are left before the 17th edition of Internationale Kurzfilmtage Winterthur kicks off six days of short films,
including the highly coveted competition programmes. The title of the special programme series focus is «Independent Cinema USA».
The number of films submitted for the national and international competition has been rising continuously over the
past few years, and this year we have seen more films submitted than ever before: over 5,000 shorts from a total of
101 countries are currently being viewed by the festival’s programming committee. The final selection will be
announced at the beginning of October, which is also when Switzerland’s most important short film festival will
reveal all the facets of its rich programme. But one thing after another: apart from the competition programmes,
some curating for the special programmes has been done already and here are some of the highlights.
Programme Focus: Independent Cinema USA
American cinema has played a leading role ever since the first days of film, and Hollywood with its glamorous
studios and enviable budgets has been the industry’s everlasting focal point. But this is not what Kurzfilmtage will
be focusing on; instead the festival will look at that part of American filmmaking that established itself far away
from all the razzmatazz. The name of this year’s programme focus is Independent Cinema USA, and consists of six
thematic and three historical programmes. In spite of (or exactly because of) the films’ low budgets, we can look
forward to experiencing a truly archetypal style of cinematic expression.
Social critique and cinematic time travel through the US
Some of the highlights in the Independent Cinema USA programme: Sympathy for the Anti Hero, for instance, takes a
look at the rebel, the loser and the outsider, indispensable characters for every generation of American cinema. The
festival will pay tribute to these allegedly true heroes! Paranoia I and II takes a swipe at the paranoid mindset of
American society – once in a historical look at the 16mm propaganda film collection of Dennis Nyback, and once in a
highly contemporary programme with works by the likes of Spike Jonze, who reveal the American citizen as
someone who fuels his own paranoia with masterful skill. In Adam Yauch: Homage to Homeboy the festival looks at
a man who, as a member of the Beastie Boys, not just wrote music history. As the first short film festival ever,
Kurzfilmtage are dedicating an entire programme to Yauch and will look at his film works. Yauch was the director of
various Beastie Boys music videos and the roots of his alter ego, the filmmaker Nathaniel Hörnblowér, can be traced
all the way back to Switzerland.
Distinguished Cuban guests straight from the Venice Biennale
The second look across the pond is dedicated to Cuba. A country, which to this day is tightly linked to American
history. And here, again, the festival will avoid resorting to stereotypes. At the centre of the special programme
Cuba I is the «International Film and Television School of San Antonio de los Banos» (EICTV), without which there
would not be such a rich supply and great variety of Cuban short films. The focus of Cuba II is dedicated to Armando
Capó Ramos, and Kurzfilmtage are especially pleased to present Humberto Diaz – the Cuban artist who is currently
representing his country at the Venice Biennale. Diaz is coming to Winterthur for two months for an «Artist in
Residence» visit, which is made possible by Internationale Kurzfilmtage Winterthur in collaboration with
knoerle & baettig contemporary and Villa Sträuli. It is at the latter that Diaz can enjoy the time and the space to
develop his work. The gallery knoerle & baettig contemporary is dedicating an exhibition to Diaz. The opening will
take place on 4 October 2013.
Strange Days – a love triangle between Winterthur, Vienna and Hamburg
«Strange Days», the science fiction film by Kathryn Bigelow, is the glowing namesake for the project of International Kurzfilmtage Winterthur, Vienna Independent Shorts and the International Short Film Festival Hamburg.
The concept: one title and one topic, for which every festival curates its own programme, which is then shown at all
three festivals. The three programmes have already been screened with great success in Hamburg and Vienna, and
now it’s Winterthur’s turn in November.
Religious Rituals – faith, spirituality and occultism
From the initiation rites of tribal societies via the rituals of traditional religions to the secular rites of modern
capitalist society: Rituals I and II offer a look at the rituals of our times. The short film is the ideal means to portray a
ritual as a self-contained dramatic process, and to simultaneously reflect on it critically or ironically.
Urban-Think Tank – acrobatic entertainment about informal urban research
This special programme is dedicated to the «Urban-Think Tank (U-TT)» collective and is shown once only on the last
day of the festival (10 November). U-TT documents and designs cities, and in so doing blurs the boundaries
between various creative endeavours, among other things by producing films. Alfredo Brillembourg and Hubert
Klumpner, who both teach Architecture and Urban Development at ETH Zurich and are the co-directors of U-TT,
transform the cinema into an auditorium and hold a prize draw including short films and a performance, from which
we can expect anything but boredom.
Shorts for the Little Ones and a taste of festival life for youths
Together with the Magic Lantern, Kurzfilmtage is putting together a programme suitable for 6-to 12-year-olds called
Shorts for the Little Ones. For youths , Kurzfilmtage are offering heavily reduced prices for a programme with a
special introduction that is aimed at school classes (ages 12 to 20). In addition, youths will have their films judged
by the youth jury, and can thereby get a taste of festival life.
Winterthur’s cult and culture autumn
On Friday night, V/H/S invites all horror aficionados to the first late-night screening, and on Saturday night the actual
nocturne programme takes place at Sulzer-Halle – the nocturne might not yet be legendary in Winterthur, but it has
long been cult. In the unique atmosphere of the former factory building, Kurzfilmtage are this year showing the
programmes Western: A Fistful of Shorts and Dismissed. Typically and uniquely for Winterthur, the festival can also
boast a new venue at the Schützenwiese stadium: the home of the Winterthur football club will be turned into an
open-air cinema for the special programme We Are Football. And even the supporting events in 2013 are all
Winterthur: together with the city’s most important cultural institutions, Kurzfilmtage will contribute to the city’s
«Culture Autumn» event with various cultural activities. «Culture Autumn» kicks off on 6 September 2013, and the
International Short Film Festival Winterthur can next be experienced at the Zurich Film Festival – with a curated
short film programme and the new festival trailer, which is directed by a woman for the second time only.
The advanced ticket sale starts on 9 October 2013 via www.kurzfilmtage.ch