In selecting the international films submitted to the 35th Busan International Short Film Festival, the 20 members of the preliminary jury, 15 people from Korea and 5 from abroad, followed strict guidelines for the past three months. A total of4,953 international from 129 countries went through two elimination processes,resulting in 41 films from 35 countries selected for International Competition.
Examination of the distribution ratio by genre shows that, while fiction remains the dominant category with 69% of all submissions, other categories were similarly served compared to previous editions: experimental (13%), animation (10%) and documentary (10%). Still, we did see a noticeable increase in number of animated films, which is another outstanding point this year.
As has been the case for many years, the issue of immigration still captivates and keeps being turned into films by directors from all countries, highlighting the challenges that come with accepting immigrants and, perhaps more so than previously, showing them leaving their countries to move to another. Considering the many, rapid developments of this issue internationally, it will likely be covered even more in years to come. While more movies than before were also dealing with feminism and sexual minorities, family and friendship continue to be the top themes in short films.
As years go by, the submitted films’overall quality hasclearlyimproved, with more movies from more countries reaching higher levels of completion. This made it hard yet challenging for the preliminary jury to choose the finalists. In order to make their decisions, its 20 members had to follow two standards: "Short Filmness" and "Issue Awareness".
Firstly, the notion of "Short Filmness" applies to movies which definetheir own principleswithout comparison with feature films but, instead, by finding their own independence, and their own voice,in the short format. Based on this, the jurypaid greater attention to outstanding aesthetic, philosophical and artistic perspectivesbysingling out examples ofmise-en-scène, scriptwriting and cinematography that are specific to short films.
Meanwhile,"Issue Awareness" describes another effective characteristic of short films which isto reflect on contemporary politics, society and economics in order to draw a certain universality out of them. Whether the films would point towards these issues directly or indirectly, this is the second standard that the jury had to consider.
We would like to express our deepest gratitude to all who have submitted their films. The members of the 35th Busan International Short Film Festival's preliminary jury delightedlyfulfilled the task to review thefilms despite their dramatically increased number, and it was for them an unforgettable and precious experience.
The PreliminaryJury of the 35th Busan International Short Film Festival