Karl Knobloch | Thursday April 19th, 2018
A festival for short films lasting 12 seconds
Whether it’s the drum solo of a progrock band, the lifespan of Joffrey Baratheon or the legislative period of our new Austrian government it doesn’t matter – in the end we keep asking ourselves: That could have been a little bit shorter, couldn’t it? A question that doesn’t need to be asked again – finally! The “Landjäger Kürzestfilm Festspiele” is the only short film festival that truly lives up to its name: only films that last 12 seconds are screened. That has several advantages: 1. If you like a film, 12 seconds will stick forever in your mind. 2. If not, it passes very quickly.
The festival was initially meant as a joke, as an event accompanying the release of the twelfth edition of the “Landjäger Magazine” around the topic “essence”, but it went down extremely well. We still believed the festival to be a one-time event when we got the first films for renewed participation. That’s how we noticed that the format of the “shortest film” has potential for more.
The festival’s entries have an infinite spectrum of possibilities. For one thing it’s rather easy to shoot a 12-second film – you need nearly no equipment, or money, and little time. A good idea (and a smartphone) will suffice! Then again, to tell a whole story in such a short amount of time poses a creative challenge and is quite difficult. (Once, we shot a teaser for the first festival ourselves – it was about two members of a German fraternity who smeared ketchup in each other’s faces while eating sausages. We were quite surprised at how difficult it was to convey this, well, “plot” in only 12 short seconds.) Indeed, there are many different types of films that will be shown at this festival: some are quite simple and required scarce resources, whereas others were done in a most elaborate and professional manner. In any event, the time limit poses a difficulty that requires both original as well as creative solutions.
While some films prove that even 12 seconds can feel like a long time, most of them are genius answers to the difficult 12 seconds proposition. For example: a whole chess game (uncut version), or the tragic fate of the child pictured on the packaging of the kinder chocolate (and yes, it is tragic indeed), a death at a marriage proposal (yeah, man’s best friend, right!) or a thing called “Hundi mid de Bandi” (nobody knows what that is, but ever since we enjoy switching the lights off and on, just for fun.)
At the gala night at the Burgkino Vienna, the best 80 short films will be presented. A jury of people we like (and vice versa) will award the three main prizes (among others, Stefanie Sargnagel, Mirjam Unger and Kurt Palm make up the jury). Also, there is online and live voting for the audience prize. You can win lots of great stuff, like film equipment, a twelve-speed bike and of course a twelve-month supply of the finest cheese from the Bregenzerwald (that’s where we are from, originally).
Each year we are afraid that it won’t be possible to get a new angle on twelve seconds, and that we’ve already seen everything. And then we receive new films about bananas, Jesus Christ and staplers that make our world whole again. At least for a very, very short period.
Apropos, there are still more than 20,000,000 seconds left to shoot the best 12 of them. Participate and make it big by the 19th October. We’re looking forward to your movie. Because Landjäger loves you. Love him back!