Make sure to take leave from 3 to 7 October if you are in Cape Town because you will be nothing but shnitting! It is an experience unlike anything you can imagine and guarantees to have your mind exploding. The shnit International shortfilmfestival 2012 is set to captivate audiences this year with a Grande Bouffe of short films garnished with bright magenta.
Now incredibly in its 10th anniversary edition, the festival has indeed grown from strength to strength. This year Buenos Aires, San Francisco, Cairo and Lagos join existing hosts Cape Town, Bern, Cologne, Vienna, San Jose and Singapore in a truly global celebration of the art of the short film. And in this third run on Cape soil, it promises to be the best yet!
Two hundred-plus film programme
Selected from a record 6000 entries from more than 100 countries, this year's 200-plus film programme includes the shnit-Open international competition, in which 64 films compete for four international jury and audience awards - the newly redesigned Flaming Faun trophy and prize money totalling over R1 million in 2012. No shnitting! Only the most thrilling, entertaining and high-quality films find their way into the shnit programme. Genre is trivial - the only criteria: that a film is contemporary, cutting edge and stands out in terms of quality. This year shnit's time limits are expanded to 40min for the first time.
And, naturally, the best in South African shorts take centre-stage every night. This year sees the Made In South Africa award category double in size and, as always, the out-of-competition Kaapse Bobotie programme will ensure that shnit in Cape Town has a truly local flavour.
For the third time, shnit returns to our home in the Mother City, The Labia on Orange. Spilling out of the cinema doors, a weekend-long space for collaboration, creation and meeting between filmmakers, artists and audiences from all walks of life.
Stellenbosch and Rocking The Daisies
And shnit extends its reach outside of inner city limits even further this year. In 2012 snit plants roots in Stellenbosch, at Pulp Cinema in the Neelsie Building, and upstairs at 5 Ryneveld with Cinemuse, presenting a packed line-up over three screens.
Continuing their residency at 49m Rocking The Daisies festival, proudly presented this year by Pringles, shnit will again run 24 hours a day all weekend long in the Golden Era cinema tent. With literally hundreds of films, from all around the world, in genres to suit any palate, it's guaranteed to leave a good taste.
The main course consists of the international competition shnit Open, rewarding outstanding films from all over the world. It tells us of life's little pleasures and provides insights into other cultures' joys and tribulations. The national competition presents creations of domestic talents questioning our own cultural identity as well as enjoying familiar stereotypes.
This year has the return of the Real-Time competition. Five home-grown filmmakers, five home-grown films, all drawn from one common theme, with infinite interpretations. Each completed in three days over the course of the festival weekend in collaboration with some of Cape Town's top creative artists and in partnership with some of Cape Town's premiere industry facilities. Five masterpieces will premiere at Sunday's Awards Night, when the audience chooses its winner, live and in Real Time.
shnit 2012 promises more films, more art, more music and more ... The festival has made its mark as a cultural event not to be missed and established Cape Town as a force to be reckoned with on the global short-film scene. As this year we mark shnit's anniversary by harking back to the Golden Era for inspiration, it's clear: this shnit is here to stay.
Tickets R30 or R20 students /pensioners. Festival Pass R180 or R150 students/pensioners.
Screening blocks run for 90 to 100 minutes each. Single tickets are available for each show. If you can't get enough, then a weekend festival pass is just the thing!
Daniel Dercksen has been a film and theatre journalist in South Africa the past 30 years and as a trainer and educator has presented regular workshops in scriptwriting and creative writing during the past 17 years.
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