Short and sweet

Roll up for the city’s most spectacular short film showcase, Interfilm, kicking off tonight at the Volksbühne and on through Nov 26 all over the city. Here's our rundown.

Image for Short and sweet
Roll up for the city’s most spectacular short film showcase. Interfilm is Berlin’s biggest and best shorts fest, bar none. This 33rd instalment features over 500 short films split into 60 programmes, playing at 10 cinemas across town. New for this year is a special focus on the USA. As you’d expect, some of the films being showcased are angry and politically charged. E.G. Bailey’s “New Neighbors” is a moving, disquieting portrait of an African-American mother determined to keep her family safe in a climate of heightened racial tension. It screens as part of a programme entitled ‘Travelling the Country – Stories from the Road’ (Nov 23 and 26), which also delves into the perennially thorny issues of gun violence and social inequality. Other titles take a more playful approach to tackling weighty subjects, such as Jonathan Browning’s “The Job”, which takes a satirical swipe at the immigration debate by flipping a clichéd depiction of migrant workers on its head. It’s just one highlight of the ‘Make It or Break It’ selection (Nov 23 and 26), which puts the notion of The American Dream under the microscope. Beyond the regional and competition strands you’d expect, there are also selections devoted to topics as diverse as Samuel Beckett, Karl Marx, zombies, and bicycles. Top titles we’ve seen thus far include “Meryem”, an unflinching portrait of a women’s army fighting IS in Kobani (‘Get Away’ – Nov 23); “Kleptomami”, which hilariously details the horrors of new motherhood (‘Daring and Dirty’ – Nov 23, 25, 26); and “Zarte Momente”, in which a cuddle party becomes a satire of Marxist theory (‘Kapital Kickoff’ – Nov 25 and 26). Also well worth checking out is an afternoon dedicated to pioneering stop-motion animators The Quay Brothers (Nov 26). 33. Interfilm Festival, Nov 20-26, various venues, see website for full programme