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“Fearless”: Weimar backup_festival celebrates 18th anniversary

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It’s already the 18th time the Weimar student short film festival backup took place from May 18th to 22nd! Under the slogan “fearless” about 80 films were shown in the award categories “backup.award”, “clip.award” and “backup.at.home”. Furthermore, this year the first “Weimarer Poetryfilmpreis” was awarded by “Literarische Gesellschaft Thüringen e.V.” and “Poetryfilmkanal” in cooperation with the backup.festival. Together with the enormous supporting programme there were round about 300 filmic works to be watched. backup is organized by students of the Bauhaus University Weimar in collaboration with the FILM e.V. Jena and provides the opportunity to present short films by students and graduates of Media, Design and Art universities from all over the world. On the five varied festival days about 2200 visitors enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere in the rooms of the Lichthaus Cinema in the Weimar E-Werk, in the Gaswerk, the Eckermann book store, at Radio LOTTE Weimar, in the Other Music Acadamy (OMA) and in several students’ flat-sharing communities. Beyond, more than 100 film makers and professional visitors from different countries of the world like France, Bangladesh, USA, Mexico, Great Britain and Russia could be welcomed. The festival administration formed by Juliane Fuchs and Anne Körnig summed up this year’s festival in a positive way: “Also in this year we experienced a great, diverse festival and can be proud of the past couple of days.” In the year 2016 the festival got more than 2500 submissions from 104 nations, including films from Democratic Republic of the Congo, France, Iran, Macedonia and the Philippines. For the backup.award it was searched for filmic works which deal with creative and new ways of production and expression. The idea of backup is not only showing the explored but developing further and offering a platform to the unknown. The diversity and difference of the shown films didn’t make it easy for the three-person jury, formed by journalist Benedikt Otto from MDR, filmmaker Laura Engelhard and short film expert Sylke Gottlebe to choose the winners. The jury of the backup.award gave three prices to the best short films. The animationfilm “Cumulus” of Hector Delgado won a price endowed with 1000 Euro. It’s about the world of a child, who lives outside of the city. “The artistically arranged tableaus connect minimalized animations in grotesque scenes and create a bizarre atmosphere, which makes the film unforgettable”, reasoned the jury. Another jury award for the best short film, endowed with 500 Euros was given to the film “Putain” of Cypria Donato, which deals with the life of six prostitutes. Donato sensitivly and empathically visualized the conflicting worlds of the protagonists’ emotions, explained the jury.

 

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The audio.network.award, audio licenses amounting to 2500 Euros donated by the Audio Network, was given to the film “Fay” of Sabine Volkert. The backup.collaboration.award, an audience choice award, endowed with 2500 Euros, was again financed with a successful crowdfunding through the platform VisionBakery. This year the audience chose the film “Bachyt” by Ruslan Bekshenov and Aleksandr Amulin. The backup.award-Jury was impressed by the film as well and gave another price for best shortfilm to “Bachyt”. The film impressed “because of its subtle humor which precisely comments on the absurd everyday work routine as well as the sterile emptyness”. The animationfilm “What about the law?” by Charles Badenhorst is the winner of the first Weimarer Poetryfilmprice endowed with 1000 Euros by the Literarische Gesellschaft Thüringen e.V., the Poetryfilmkanal and the back_up festival. Badenhorst deals with a South African poem and the regime of the apartheid. “The seemingly rough arrangement forms a successful counterpoint to the seriousness of the lyrical negotiated theme. Thus the content and audiovisual level complement miraculously. “, was the reason of the jury, consisting of the poet Nancy Hünger, the filmmaker Hubert Sielecki and the head of ZEBRA-Poetryfilmfestival, Thomas Zandegiacomo Del Bel. The audience choice price went to the US-American film “STEEL AND AIR” of Chris and Nick Libbey. It’s based on a poem of the US-American poet John Ashbery. This year’s winner of the backup.clip.award is David Campesino with his music video “When You Say Stay”, which he directed together with Sebastian Linda. The backup.clip.award programme is composed of several music videos. The audience is voting for their favorite film and thus rewarding the filmmaker with a clip.award prize. David Campesino’s work was highly praised, both by the spectators and by the jury. The main prize for music videos is the backup.liquid.sound.club.award. This year, the jury chose to reward two films: “Baggage Man” by Matthias Gerding and Dennis Colquhoun and “N.I.K.” by Romeu Runa. The winner’s prizes have a value of 500 euros and were provided by Liquid Sound Club and Toskana World.

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The jury members were impressed by the ambivalence and the high emotionality of “Baggage Man”. They explained that through his very specific way of filming, the author of “N.I.K.” was depicting the character’s ability to free himself from inner and outter constraints. The jury for the backup.clip.award was composed of young designer and artist Claudia Köcher, filmmaker and journalist Daniel Pfeiffer and filmmaker Kai Stänicke. The backup.herzblut.award, endowed by Partisan Vodka, rewarded Josero and Mariana Emmanuelli for their film “Till jail do us apart”. The “backup.herzblut.award” is based on the viewer’s vote during the programme backup.at.home, a programme showing various shortfilms in shared flats of Weimar students. The public was amazed by the entertaining comedy from Puerto Rico about a criminal couple trying to get married before being arrested. The 18th backup.festival was also characterized by its large framework programme. Visitors could not only listen to interesting brain trusts animated by media specialists, they also had the opportunity to watch our special programme, composed of films from Singapore, Russia and Madagascar, dealing with the topic “Fearless” and the “Horror and Trash” genre. The exhibition of the austrian cartoon moviemaker Hubert Sielecki as well as the poetry film programme, managed by Zata Banks, were also part of our framework programme. The great bckp-Party, which took place at the Gaswerk on Friday night, was, once again, one of the highlights of our festival. The backup.festival-Team would like to thank the filmmakers, the business partners, the sponsors as well as all the volunteers and of course the spectators for their amazing contribution to our festival.