Hamburg the Scene for Upcoming Short Film Festival

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Starting next month, the 24th International Hamburg ShortFilmFestival (ISFF)  will begin its 2008 program with screenings of 300 short films from 40 countries. The ISFF dedicates its yearly program to showcasing films that present challenging ideas and aesthetics, as well as offering profound new perspectives for its audience members.

The festival has yet to announce the full lineup of official selections for the 2008 program, however there will be a number of special programs that have been released. They include:

Yoffi! Yalla Bye! – Shorts from Israel
This year, after the recent programs on Iran and Lebanon, the Hamburg ISFF will take a closer look at Israel, the third country in the Middle East, which boasts a thriving short film scene. For quite a while now, Israeli films have been well represented in the Festival’s international competitions. Nine film schools regularly submit their graduates’ films, a staggering number for a country only marginally larger than Wales and with fewer inhabitants than London. By the same token, the country’s independent video art and film scene has also been attracting a lot of attention over recent years. Films in five programs touch upon the cultural and economic issues of immigration, questions about the ownership and use of land, the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians, the militarization of society, the country’s 60-year history marked by wars and internal struggle, or the experience of the Holocaust.

A Retrospective of “Münchner Gruppe”: In the beginning, the Münchner Gruppe consisted of Rudolf Thome, Klaus Lemke, Max Zihlmann, Peter Nestler, Jean-Marie Straub and Daniele Huillet. In the 1960ies, they protested against the rejection of their films and the nepotic academism of the “Young German Film”. Merely they were a group of guys who made films together for a while. Unless they were going to the cinema together, chasing chicks, playing pinball or drifting through the day like the protagonists of their films, that is. That’s what it was all about: Leading lives that were congruent, or at least compatible, with the films they were making, and vice versa.

A nostalgic look at people’s vision of the future can be taken in Today: Tomorrow’s Yesterday. Cities on the moon, household robots and flying cars? Rather, internet, mobile phones and American Idol instead.

Another program will introduce a number of aficionados of fields of their own choice, from chicken sexers to terrorism experts – the supposedly real life is full of unintentionally hilarious characters.

A Wall is a Screen
Despite running for five consecutive years, “A Wall is a Screen” still offers a unique experience every year. Once night is falling over Hamburg, we will be strolling the streets of the city with a mobile projector. For approximately two hours, any building front is a potential screen.

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Christopher P. Duffy

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