The medium of short film is conducive to experimental techniques, concise statements and compelling snapshots. Short films have lower production costs and are more accessible to emerging filmmakers. They are easy to watch and can have tremendous impact on an audience. However since the decline of theatrical shorts in the 1960s, short films are reliant on festivals to reach an audience.
On 3 October, for one night only, La Nuit du court métrage or The Night of short films tours 23 cities in Switzerland. The autumnal programme kicks off next week in Geneva at Cinemas Grütli before travelling to ten more cities and closing in Lausanne on 21 November. The five-course programme offers something for every palate and includes a unique category for the hosting city. Each category contains up to six shorts with a total running time of about an hour. CHF 27 buys a full price ticket and access to five hours of the best in contemporary short film.
The Best of Switzerland category showcases the cream of the crop from the international film festival circuit. Collectively, these shorts by Swiss filmmakers account for more than 100 official selections and prizes. Another remarkable category is Bang Bang I Shot You Down! Long Live the Western! —an homage to good old fashioned Westerns with a creative twist.
Carte Blanche FIFF is curated by Thierry Jobin of Fribourg International Film Festival. In 2014 FIFF introduced short films as a competitive category for the first time. FIFF offers prizes to support “film productions from Asia, Africa, Latin America and Eastern Europe” and “aims at making them visible worldwide and guarantees their distribution in Switzerland.” Carte Blanche FIFF presents six shorts from Madagascar, Iraq, Bhutan and Argentina, including La Reina, recipient of the Best Short Film award at both FIFF and Madrid International Film Festival.
Geneva’s unique category features the best in Swiss animation. This category is competitive and the audience will vote to award the best animated short film. The selection is programmed by Animatou International Animation Film Festival. Animatou “promotes an awareness of art films rarely screened in cinemas” and aims to attract spectators of all ages.
In honour of the 150th anniversary of Switzerland and Japan’s diplomatic relationship, Animatou will feature a special programme of Japanese animation, selections from Hiroshima International Animated Film Festival and a retrospective of Koji Yamamura, a pioneer in independent animation filmmaking. Tickets for the nine-day festival are available on a sliding scale. Animatou opens in Geneva alongside La Nuit du court métrage on 3 October.
For more information: www.nuitducourt.ch