The entire program, pretty please!

"Which film is recommended?"; "Which block should I watch?" - There is only one answer to all those frequently asked questions: Who doesn't watch the entire selection has missed the most interesting part!

For curator Maike Mia Höhne and her team the selection of short films isn't a question of "good" or "bad". Regarding genre, format, language, theme and duration the most important thing is to connect all the different works to one coherent program.

Although the shorts present themselves every year as a composition of matching sounds, one is able to draw parallels between them and their content despite their very different style. A pleasure, especially if you pay close attention. It starts with little things that can be easily overlooked. Berlinale Shorts III for example shows four films that pick captivity and imprisonment as their central theme but it happens in a way that might not be easily identifiable for the viewer. Only after reflecting about the selection of these four particular films in a very specific order one starts to grasp the complete picture and thus the notes and chords the entire symphony is made of.

Every block and every complete program forms its own particular film and story. To look only at individual and separate works would be like trying to listen to single notes of a symphony. As beautiful as those singles sounds may be, without the overall composition there is no melody.

Schedule in the Berlinale Shorts' office (Foto: Daniel Pook)
At first glance, some films may appear rather uneventful or lengthy to an extend that one could find provocative. Only after watching the selection in its entirety the answer to the question why these films were chosen becomes clear. This year's motto "Say goodbye to the story" presents itself in many different colors and facets. Some of them pin the viewer to his seat, others seem extremely banal and their particularity doesn't reveal itself right away.

But they are all experiences nonetheless. Unique, distinct, idiosyncratic. Some films stir up positive feelings, others evoke negative ones. Every film expresses the motto "Say goodbye to the story" differently, and if you have seen all the shorts in 2012, you are able to reflect upon this motif personally based on the wide range of interpretations.

The Shorts are offering the viewer the possibility to broaden his horizon for films and motion pictures like no other Berlinale section. The program's selection and structure allows the audience to be affected by a variety of work and forms of expression within the duration of one feature length film.

(Translation: Raphael Keric / Photos: Daniel Pook)