Last Friday, the first international Super8 competition took place at the Bremen Film Festival in the traditional City 46 municipal cinema . According to the organizer, over 40 films were submitted, of which 19 films from different European countries and Singapore (1 film) were shown in the competition.
The films were shown in two blocks:
In the first block, twelve films were projected as digital scans with a digital projector. Most of this film was shot on Vision3 color negative stock, but there was also scanned found footage and film shot on reversal stock. Digital post-production was common to all 12 films.
Seven Super8 reversal originals were projected the traditional way with a film projector, with the sound being played back more or less synchronously, some separately from the digital source, or played back in the classic way from the magnetic edge track of the Super8 film via the cinema system (1 film was completely silent) .
A Bauer T600 with 150 W halogen light output was available as a projector, which was set up in the middle of the auditorium. Of course, the image size and light intensity that could be projected did not come close to that of the projector, but this difference was not so disturbing due to the division into the two presentation blocks. However, the sound of all films with a magnetic edge track came out of the cinema sound system astonishingly quietly and thinly. This can be done better!
Jan, longtime projectionist at City46, with practical experience in analogue projection from 8mm small format film to 70mm plate systems
What was striking was the large proportion of films (five) that were originally shot for the Straight8 competition or the film festival in Neuchatel, Switzerland. These are films that, according to the rules of these competitions, are “edited” in the camera without any subsequent processing and have to manage with the time required for a Super8 cartridge thanks to the most exact timing possible.
Moderator Andre Feldmann led the evening in a humorous manner and after each film asked the filmmakers, most of whom were personally present, to come on stage for a film talk, so that the winners were not determined until after midnight.
The winners were chosen by the audience, due to the same number of votes, the first and third prizes were awarded twice:
“Zyklus” by E va Matz and Jonas Schmieta
This film has the special feature that it was originally made in 2021 for Super8 meets Literature – a Super8 art project of the Bremen Film Festival – and was chosen as the winner there as an analogue screened, uncut original reversal film in combination with live music and live spoken-in text. The digitized version was shown at this year’s Super8 competition, with the text spoken in the studio and the sequence of images slightly altered in some cases (dubbed as “directors’ cut” during the film discussion). There was no music in the new version, instead the soundtrack was supplemented with finely dosed noise effects. (The linked film is the original live version from 2021)
Dirty Sally by Ross McClure
A professional film production on Vision negatives for the Straight 8 competition that appears to have spared little expense or effort to convincingly reproduce a 1970s crime film look à la Dirty Harry.
Astern of Gunnar Grah, Andreas Kersten and Florian Rau
The film won first prize in the Super8 competition at the 2019 Filmfest Weiterstadt. Further information about the film and the filmmaker can be found in this filmkorn article . The film was shown as a Super8 original with magnetic sound.
Modern dance performance in one long plan sequence in black and white and without sound. It is astonishing that this very bulky film – as the first of the seven original films projected analogously – was awarded a prize by the audience. Alex Beriault also works with 16mm film.
Pact of Marlon Math
Marlon Alberto Math is studying at the Film University Babelsberg Konrad Wolf (animation) and, according to his own statement, annoys his lecturers by always wanting to shoot on real film .
His film, which tells of a pact with the devil, is reminiscent of the films of Jan Svankmeier with its actors acting in stop-motion technique and was created in expressionistically illuminated black and white on Tri-X reversal material. However, a digital scan was shown, as editing and other post-production was done digitally.
The first international Super8 competition in Bremen was a long, but nevertheless entertaining event, which showed an interesting cross-section of current small format film creations. Many thanks to the Filmfest and City46 teams, especially to Alfred and Jan!