Fokua : laburrago = Foco : más corto = Focus : shorter
Image: Imagen: Catdog, Ashmita Guha. Film winner NEST 2020.
This is another of those cross-cutting cycles enjoyed by those of us who are members of the shared screen, and that we wish to showcase in the programme for the first quarter. We’ve been demonstrating our interest in and support for short film for years now, and the cycle has become something of a fixture. Diversity of film length is another form of creative expression. The notion of the short film as a lesser format was quashed long ago. We’ve said this many times when comparing film to other arts: just as short stories have their place and their unquestionable masters, and just as miniature Japanese landscapes have gone down in the history of art without fear of being committed to the shadow of oil paintings of court life, so too the short film (or those under 60 minutes, on the border with feature productions) is a space with its own rules and its own possibilities and talents within.
Years back, we started looking at the LABO section of the Clermont-Ferrand Festival. Then came a week dedicated to short film that later turned into a month. We’re now in a whole new phase in which short film has a continued presence throughout our programme.
This ‘short universe’ has its very own space for short films: NEST, a section of the San Sebastián International Film Festival which we have been co-organising for more than a decade. Short films are also part of the Zabaltegi-Tabakalera section which sees films of all durations competing for the same prize.
Our first quarter programme includes around 50 short films ranging from silent through to contemporary, from shorts by Kimuak to the short sessions from Zineskola, and from Buñuel’s short pieces to NEST winning shorts from this year's SSIFF, and more.
Beyond this specific programme for the first three months of the year, what we most want to tell you is that short film is, and will continue be a constant on the Tabakalera screen. Short film doesn't need an exceptional place in the programme but rather a constant one. This is about respecting diversity, whether of duration, style or themes.
Short film is its own genre and space, whether as a starting point on a creative path, a place to come back to between one feature film and the next, or a unique and independent space.