VIS 2017 Festival Preview

VIS 2017 Festival Preview

June 1, 2017


The 14th edition of VIS Vienna Shorts, taking place June 1-6, will present 347 short films, consolidated into 45 programmes.

The core of the festival is the competition with altogether 100 short films and videos, divided into four sections. Many attributes can be used to describe these films, but they are at least entertaining, critical, political and unconventional, dealing with topics from a coup d’état to karaoke and a gold fish pool. While the Fiction & Documentary, Animation Avantgarde and National Competition branches consist of films that competed in such notable festivals as Berlin, Cannes, Rotterdam, Clermont-Ferrand, Sundance or Cinéma du Réel – Nyo Vweta Naftaand Wannabe, among some others, even came back with accolades – the Muvis & Screensessions section also includes also enthusiastically received piece for Radiohead´s Daydreaming, directed by none other than Paul Thomas Anderson. For the full competition list visit the VIS website.

Vienna Shorts is still the only Academy Award-qualifying film festival in Austria. Last year’s launch of this appointment proved very successful, since the VIS pick Ennemis Intérieurs went from Vienna to the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, where it eventually lost the Oscar for the best live action short film to Sing. Apparently the Academy was happy with the outcome, since they invited VIS to contribute to all three categories. Thus now competition films – with the exception of music videos – will, among other prizes, compete also for a place on the Oscar long lists for best live action, animation and documentary short film.

Ennemis Intérieurs and an audience favourite from last year, Ten Meter Tower, will also take part in this year’s festival edition. As examples of films dealing with trust issues, fear and release, they are natural choices for the focus programme, aptly titled Trust me. The goal of the film programme, which will be further enhanced with a panel discussion, is to initiate thinking processes about the current stability of conventions, laws and institutions as well as an insight into why the search for solutions so often leads to extremism.

Although the majority of the films will be presented by their respective filmmakers, VIS especially concentrates on a selected group of artists. A Spotlight will be directed on the technical and intuitive time-based projects of Alexandre Larose, the excessive avant-garde work of Makino Takashi and the narrative films of rising star Jacqueline Lentzou. We will as well have the opportunity to discover artists in residence Ross Hogg, Duncan Cowles, Céline Devaux and Brecht Evens. With the exception of Lentzou all are involved in the festival also beyond the screenings. While Larose will give a masterclass and a frame of his film Le Corps Humain is the basis of the festival design, Makino will stop at a concert location to present his touring live 3D performance Space Noise. Hogg and Cowles together made several witty trailers for VIS 2017 and another duet, Devaux and Evens, is behind the exhibition Cozy Continent.

Special programmes will include a film education programme for children and youth, wonderfully bizarre guest programmes, presenting 100 films in 100 minutes and a selection of avant-garde classics, as well as a tour through the festival circuit. But also the Golden Nights, a marathon screening (part 1, part 2, part 3) of  films that won national film awards in 33 countries, and of course the Midnight Movies, a cult programme, which will again lead the masses into three nights to remember, full of humour, and horror. Nocturnal animals are also cordially invited to the parties. And whoever will look for additional activities during the day, can visit further exhibitions, performances and talks.

VIS is indeed a film festival you’ll want to experience. Trust me.

Miha Veingerl