The festival is about to begin: starting Tuesday, everything in and around the Casino Theatre will be about short films. The visitors of Internationale Kurzfilmtage Winterthur, the short film festival of Switzerland, can expect exciting competition programmes, carefully curated special programmes and a supporting programme for the industry and general public.

At the 17th edition, competition programmes will once again run side by side with diverse special programmes. The International Competition has an impressive thematic range and an exceptionally large number of submissions from non-European countries. The Swiss Competition “CHurzfilm” shows that Switzerland continues to have a lively short film scene, which increasingly deals with topics beyond the folkloric. The special programmes as always aim to place topics in a broader cultural context. “Film history is just as important as contemporary films, social issues, a close look at institutions or retrospectives on filmmakers and artists”, says John Canciani, the festival’s artistic director. The focus of this year’s special programmes is on “Independent Cinema USA”, a compilation of films far away from Hollywood. In addition, Kurzfilmtage will look at Cuba, deal with religious and spiritual rituals in two programme blocks, present the project “Strange Days” together with Vienna Independent Shorts and Internationales KurzFilmFestival Hamburg, invite you to late-night and deadly midnight screenings, show a programme for football lovers at the Schützenwiese stadium, and offer children and youths specially tailored programmes.

Independent Cinema USA (Prayer, 2002)

The first edition for the new management team
The new artistic director John Canciani and administrative director Remo Longhi are looking forward to their first edition of the festival in their new roles with confidence: “We can count on an experienced team that is made up of motivated people with plenty of know-how,” says Remo Longhi. In addition to the tried and tested approaches of the past 16 years, the two have also embarked on a few new initiatives: together with Villa Sträuli and the knoerle & baettig contemporary gallery, Kurzfilmtage is for the first time hosting an “Artist in Residence”: the Cuban artist Humberto Díaz has been in Winterthur since mid-September, and he will be a member of the festival jury as well as exhibit his art here. As a part of the “Art and Cinema” project, there will also be an exhibition by the photographer Luca Zanier and a video installation by Alexandra Navratil. And even in the area of sustainability, the festival is taking a new approach: the festival now covers 100% of its electricity needs with solar-generated power and is thereby contributing to renewable energy production (certified by Stadtwerk Winterthur).

All of the festivals power demand is supplied by solar power. Markus Sägesser, director of Stadtwerk Winterthur, hands over the certificate to Remo Longhi.

Supporting programmes for everyone: industry meets public
Kurzfilmtage is a festival for both the industry and the general public – and as a result both can expect a comprehensive supporting programme. At the “Producers’ Day 2013”, for instance, members of the industry can discuss “The Value of a Short Film”, and new Swiss talents will convene for the 6th Swiss Film School Day. Here, the five top Bachelor’s courses in Switzerland will showcase their latest short film productions. These screenings are also open to audiences outside the film industry, free of charge. In addition, the public can also enjoy panel discussions on the special programmes “Independent Cinema USA” and “Cuba”, film talks with the film archivist Dennis Nyback and the curator Jed Repfogel (a must for 16mm lovers!) as well as with Armando Capó Ramos. The champion filmmaker of the New York gay community, Tom Kalin, will hold a master class, and the artist collective Urban-Think Tank of ETH Zurich will transform the cinema into an auditorium with an unconventional lecture on architecture. At the latest by nightfall, the industry and the public will meet in the Lounge in the Casino Theatre, where music and dance will be offered every night – sometimes together with a film-retro-quiz, sometimes accompanied by DJs. Across all days of the festival, the organisers expect around 16,000 admissions.

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