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German Short Films
100 years ago all cinema was short. Later, in the 1960s of the 20th century the short films became the beginning of the outstanding career of such famous German film makers like Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Werner Herzog and Wim Wenders. Their short films were shown in cinemas as the so called “magazine”.
A lot of young German film makers of the 1960s were self-educated, as well as their French contemporaries. But in the 1970s the main generator of shorts became the cinema schools. The most famous among them were: Munich Cinema and Television High School (Hochschule fur Fernsehen und Film Munchen), German Cinema and Television Academy in Berlin (Deutsche Film - und Fernsehakademie Berlin) and Potsdam Cinema and Television High School named after Conrad Wolf (Hochschule fur Film und Fernsehen „ Konrad Wolf “ Potsdam - Babelsberg). At the beginning of the 1990s two more schools were added to this list, they were Cologne High School of Audio-visual Art (Kunsthochschule fur Medien Koln) and Baden-Württemberg Cinema Academy (Filmakademie Baden-Wurttemberg).
Shorts had been excluded of the cinemas’ program for a long time because of economic reasons. They were replaced with the blocks of ads as a substitution for the common magazine. But during the last years short cinema had managed to restore some part of its lost positions. Nowadays many shorts find their way to spectators. First of all they are often demonstrated on thematic shows in art-house cinemas organized in consort with the cinema schools and festivals.
New opportunities of the commercial issuing have been appeared: the sale of the license to the TV channels and internet cinema portals and also shows in metro, in trains, in plains, on railway-stations and airports.
The main platform for the promotion of shorts is cinema festivals. The most popular festivals for short cinema in Germany are International Festival for Short Films in Oberhausen (Internationale Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen), International Festival for Short Films in Berlin (Internationales Kurzfilmfestival Berlin), International Festival for Short Films in Hamburg (Internationales Kurzfilmfestival Hamburg), International Festival for Animation and Short Films in Dresden
(Filmfest Dresden), Short Films’ Week in Regensburg (Kurzfilmwoche Regensburg) and Short Cuts Cologne. Annually they are visited by nearly 100 000 spectators. It must be admitted, that even outstanding festivals, not specialized in shorts, for example - the most popular Berlin Festival, enlarge their program of shorts. The biggest award (in mint price) in the sphere of short cinema is National German Cinema Award for the best short film, annually given by The Ministry of Culture.
German short cinema is considered to be leading in the world. It can be proved by numerous awards on different international festivals, including Oscars and Oscar nominations.
Rainer Werner Fassbinder