22nd International Competition of the Dresden Small Format Film Days – A Review

22nd International Competition of the Dresden Small Format Film Days – A Review

This weekend, the Dresden Schmalfilmtage took place for the 22nd time. The highlight was once again the International Competition on Saturday evening, which this year could again take place live in the engine hall of the Riesa Efau.

For the second time in a row, the competition, as well as all other programs of the Schmalfilmtage, was broadcast as a live stream.

From simple “homemade” nobudget films to experimental films with different artistic approaches to semi-professional productions by film schools, this year’s competition programme once again covered the entire range of current cinematic possibilities of 8 and 16 mm wide small format film. In addition to Super8 and 16mm films, “traffic III”, a film shot on double 8, also found its place in the program this year.

The screening took place in a mix of real film projection and digital projection, since the final version of many films, after digital editing and scoring, “only” exists digitally.

The wide range of these films, which could hardly be more different in approach and implementation in both technical and artistic ways, is well represented by this year’s award winners:

The jury prize went to the Super8 film Little Jack Has Bean by Michel Antoine Chappuis.

“The special Swiss humor, the interplay between real and surreal acting and especially the filming, which was very elaborate for Super 8” convinced the jury*. This is all the more remarkable since the film was made as part of the “straight8” competition, in which the films are shot on a single Super8 cartridge without subsequent film editing.

Conrad Veit and Charlotte Maria Kätzl received a special mention for Blastogenese X,which was shot on 16mm light sound film material.

“The interplay between costumes, the acting and the filming location, as well as the high quality of the black-and-white footage, is something we would particularly like to acknowledge,” said the jury*.

The film premiered in its long version of just under 30 minutes at this year’s Berlinale and “has been going through the roof ever since,” as presenter Jan Nordsieck emphasized in an interview with Conrad Veit. At the Schmalfilmtage, however, the short version was shown (which is also linked above).

*Quotes from the Facebook message of the Schmalfilmtage

The Audience Award was awarded twice this year:

The audience personally present in the engine hall on Saturday evening was most convinced by Inventaire by Joeri de Jongh. The film deals with the first lockdown in a playful way, using the inventory of his kitchen and the trick possibilities of the Super8 camera.

With the Online Audience Award, the 16mm film Tirana by Eva Claus, in which the filmmaker observes children and young people during their leisure activities on a pyramid-like building in the Albanian capital. This is surprising in that the film as a black-and-white film watching in peace – completely without sound – completely contradicts the usual Internet viewing habits.

Klaus Schreier

hört Platten, fotografiert Kleinbild, filmt Schmal und dilettiert in der Dunkelkammer und am Schneidetisch

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