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Thirty-three and Going Strong
by Marinell Haegelin

“I Ain't Goin’ Out Like That” – Cypress Hill’s 1993 American hip-hop song echoed in my head throughout the 33rd Internationales Kurz(Short)FilmFestival’s (IKFF) Opening Ceremony jamboree. Zeise Kino’s foyer comfortably accommodated guests mingling and sipping complimentary begrüßen (welcome) drinks: bubbly Sekt (wine), orange juice, and/or mineral water in any combination or alone. By 19:45 the festival’s darling, Austrian comedian Ruth Rockenschaub, began addressing the audience. With her dry comedic humor, she mentioned crowd funding in “deepest Africa” in juxtaposition with IKFF’s funding cuts from the Kulturbehörde (cultural authority). The cuts are difficult to understand, since IKFF is ranked worldwide among the top ten (more than 228) short film festivals.

Dr. Carsten Brosda, Hamburg’s latest Kulturminister, delivered his prepared speech at the speed of lightning; trying to understand was challenging even for Germans. Fleeing the stage, Ms. Rockenschaub nicely blocked his way, putting Brosda under a “money microscope” just long enough to make him wiggle. The first two shorties was a charming Mo&Friese selection, VLOED (FLOOD) reminding audiences about puberty’s ordeals, followed by THE HOLLOW COIN, from the newly named Deframed (NoBudget) Competition.

Co-directors Sven Schwarz and Birgit Glombitza gave facts and details pertaining to this year’s FOCUS UK, films, and how the NoBudget name change is due primarily to changes in technology. Alexandra Gramatke, Executive Director of the KurzFilmAgentur (KFA) gave useful tips to filmmakers, including being realistic when submitting for funding. A hypnotic selection from Internationaler Wettbewerb (Competition [IW]) 1, WHEN YOU AWAKE, was shown. Thankfully, this year people spoke concisely, without reiterating the festival’s program information. Two final selections, TRANSFORMERS: THE PREMAKE, Motive, and AIN’T GOT NO FEAR, IW7 and Mo&Friese, are provocative, good.

Even the chill in the air couldn’t stop people from making the roughly 200-meter pilgrimage to Kolbenhof’s Halle 5, IKFF’s Festivalzentrum (festival center) for one last post-ceremonial get-together. Filmmakers, administration/staff, and guests mingled among the Innenhof’s (courtyard) picnic tables, standing barrels, and areas for relaxing and having fun. Liquid beverages and tasty warm food, music, and short films for everyone’s viewing pleasure insured furthering the night’s delights kicking off Hamburg’s 33-years cinematic tradition.