Berlin hatches shorts section


Short films are getting a boost at this year's Berlin International Film Festival.

Berlinale organizers are merging the short-film programs of the Competition and Panorama sections to create a new section — Short Film Competition — in a move the festival says will focus more attention on the form.

The 16 films chosen from 12 countries will compete for Golden and Silver Berlinale Bears as well as European distributors' Prix UIP Award and a three-month scholarship at Berlin's artist-in-residence program, the DAAD.

"We believe the short film to be an important art form in itself and intend to underline this with the new structure," festival director Dieter Kosslick said. "This year's selection stands out due to its impressive variety of forms and genres: from political documentaries through laconic comedies to clever satires, everything is represented."

A three-person jury made up of Nigerian film producer Peace Anyiam-Fiberesima, Chinese director Ning Ying and Estonian producer Riina Sildos will choose the winners, which will be honored Feb. 13 at a ceremony at the Kino International Theater in Berlin.

A complete list of the 2007 Berlinale Short Film Competition titles follows.

"My Mama Learns Cinema" — Nesimi Yetik (Turkey); "The Girl Who Swallowed Bees" — Paul McDermott (Australia); "The Guitar Lesson" — Martin Rit (France); "Bus" — Jens Schillmoeller (Germany); "Along Comes the Rain" — Alejandro Fernandez Almendras (Chile); "Scummy Man" — Paul Fraser (U.K.); "Rendez-vous" — Marcin Janos Krawczyk (Poland); "The Night Before Christmas" — Sam Bassett (U.S.); "Mei" — Arvin Chen (Taiwan-China/U.S.); "Court Record — In Memoriam Peter Manfeld" — Zoltan Szilagyi Varga (Hungary); "Pick up" — Manuel Schapira (France); "Gecko" — Theresa von Eltz (U.K.); "The Japanese Tradition: Apologies" — Junji Kojima and Kentaro Kobayashi (Japan); "The Stalin That Was Played by Me" — Daya Cahen (Netherlands); "Contact" — Hanro Smitsman (Netherlands); and "Rotten Apple" — Ralitza Petrova (U.K.)