Berlin International Film Festival 2009

Since 1955, the Berlinale has awarded a Golden and Silver Bear to the best short film. Since 2003, short films have had their own international jury and since 2006 their own section. The international jury awards, alongside the Bears, also the Prix UIP for the best European Film and a DAAD scholarship award. With the introduction of a dedicated section, the festival has expressed its commitment to raising the profile of short films in terms of film production.

Every year the Berlinale presents roughly 60 short films, not only in Berlinale Shorts, but also in the Perspektive Deutsches Kino, Generation and Forum expanded sections. They are presented in programme blocks of up to two hours, and are guaranteed to take audiences on a special journey.

For shorts screening in specific programmes, the programme name is shown in italics.

View other Berlin International Film Festival Films by strand: Berlinale Special, Competition, Generation, German Cinema, International Forum of New Cinema, Out Of Competition, Panorama, Perspektive Deutches Kino, Retrospective: 70mm - Bigger Than Life

Slaves Slaves
Slaves and Akbulak
16-18-4 (Country: Japan; Year: 2008; Director: Tomonari Nishikawa)
This film was shot by a still camera with 16 lenses, which takes a series of 16 pictures within 1.5 seconds. It shows scenes of Tokyo Racecourse, when it was holding the biggest race of the year, Japanese Derby.
Forum expanded Mix: Sensory Spaces
26.4 (Country: Belgium; Year: 2008; Director: Nathalie André; Stars: Da Boit Lisa)
A young woman clad in bike leathers looks for her mobile in the brambles.
Berlinale Shorts III & Sunday Mix II
Akbulak (Country: UK; Year: 2008; Director: Tatiana Korol; Writer: Tatiana Korol; Stars: Janina Rudenska, Sergey Vidrashku, Milla Kaminskya)
Eight years after moving from Russia to Germany, 17-year-old Olja spends her summer holidays with her grandmother in a Russian village.
Generation Mix & Short Films 2 14plus
Ali And the Ball (Ali & The Ball) (Country: Australia; Year: 2008; Director: Alex Holmes; Writer: Alex Holmes; Stars: Ali Soummaka, Camilla Ah Kin, Luci Hughes, Rayan El-Saghir)
Eight-year-old Ali lives with his mother and sister Fatima in a refugee camp. When the guards take away the knitting needles that are so very important to his mother Ali just has to do something. He hatches a plot involving a ball and a girl on the other side of the barbed wire fence.
Short Films 2 Kplus
Aphrodite's Farm (Country: New Zealand; Year: 2008; Director: Adam Strange; Writer: Peter Force, Adam Strange; Stars: Ashley Hawkes, Geneva Alexander-Masters, Cherie James, Rod Lousich, Serai Te Kani, Tayla-Lee Griffin, Maiya Collins, Merv Smith)
The milk from Aphrodite’s Farm is truly a dream. What is the secret of the milk’s legendary creaminess? Mother knows the answer and protects her three enchanting daughters with a shotgun under her arm. But you can’t extinguish a smouldering heart.
Short Films 1 14plus
Jerrycan Jerrycan
Jerrycan and Netherland Dwarf
Birth (Country: Italy, US; Year: 2009; Director: Signe Baumane; Writer: Signe Baumane; Stars: Clyde Baldo, Kim Gatewood, Kimmy Gatewood, Karen Gilliam, Rebecca Honig, Kamala Sankaram, Eileen Stevens, Anne Thibault), Official Site
Amina, 17, is pregnant. She is afraid of giving birth. She asks her friends and aunts for more information, sympathy and support. She receives quite the opposite.
Berlinale Shorts II & Sunday Mix II. In Competition
Block B (Country: Malaysia, Canada; Year: 2008; Director: Christopher Chan Fui Chong; Writer: Toni Kassim; Stars: Shanthini Venugopal)
A building becomes a living painting.
Forum expanded Mix: Sensory Spaces
Blooming In Spring (Bom-e Pi-eo-na-da) (Country: South Korea; Year: 2008; Director: Jung Ji-yeon; Stars: Gim Ye-ri, Gwon Ji-won, Bang Eun-ju, Kim So-suk)
Sometime during spring Yeon-ah discovers that her body doesn’t only smell – it actually stinks. She lets her classmates know immediately. Class representative Seong-eun takes an interest in this strange phenomenon... but it isn't long before they are both victimised.
Short Films 2 14plus
Bric-Brac (Country: Romania; Year: 2008; Director: Gabriel Achim; Stars: Paul Ipate, Ioana Blaj, Gabriel Achim)
A director tries to convince his leading man to take on the main role in a film about the Romanian revolution. But the actor is having problems with his girlfriend and, before long, the borders become blurred between fact and fiction.
Berlinale Shorts I & Sunday Mix I
Bronx Princess (Country: US; Year: 2008; Director: Yoni Brook, Musa Syeed; Stars: Rockyatu Otoo, Yaa Otoo, Chief Nii Adjedu)
Rocky Otoo lives with her mother in the Bronx in New York. She has just finished high school and wants to study. She is always arguing with her mother, a Ghanaian immigrant, who expects her daughter to start working in her hairdressing salon. But before she obliges her mother Rocky wants to visit her father, a tribal chieftain, in Ghana.
Generation Mix & Short Films 2 14plus
Buddha's Smile (Ulybka Buddy) (Country: Russia; Year: 2008; Director: Bair Dyshenov; Stars: Lkhasaran Tangatov)
Gombo lives in the Buryat Republic in a tiny village on the banks of Lake Baikal. Dawdling on his way home from school, the boy doesn’t get back to his house until nightfall. Nobody is at home and there are some sweets next to Buddha on the family shrine on the wall. Does he dare to steal one of the goodies? But then, just as Gombo reaches for the grub, he hears a voice…
Short Films 2 Kplus
Cathrine (Country: Denmark; Year: 2008; Director: Mads Matthiesen; Writer: Mads Matthiesen; Stars: Helena Wagn Ivansdottir, Mads Riisom)
Sixteen-year-old Cathrine has fallen in love with Lars. She met him while out shopping at the local mall. But Lars is 33. And that’s why she’s keeping her relationship hidden from her parents...
Short Films 1 14plus
Cocoon Child (Country: Germany; Year: 2009; Director: Sonja Rohleder)
A poetic film about the imagination of an autistic child showing the moment where the inner world connects with the world at large.
Short Films 1 Kplus
contre-jour (Country: Germany; Year: 2009; Director: Christoph Girardet, Matthias Müller; Stars: Elisabeth Masé, Ralph Kostrzewa)
Blurs, flashes and stroboscope montages disintegrate reality into shadowy images that inflict pain on the retina, apparently... needless to say this comes with a warning that it is not suitable for epileptics.
Berlinale Shorts III & Sunday Mix I. In Competition
Diagnosis (Diagnoz) (Country: Ukraine; Year: 2009; Director: Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy; Stars: Karina Belova, Maksym Kushov, Olexandr Semyshkur, Volodymyr Gubernachuk)
Tragic story of a pregnant woman.
Berlinale Shorts III & Sunday Mix I. In Competition
Dish (Country: USA; Year: 2009; Director: Brian Krinsky; Writer: Brian Krinsky; Stars: Matthew Monge, Jeffrey Martinez, Octavio Altamirano)
Two emos in eastern Los Angeles chat about the sexual escapades of others.
Berlinale Shorts II
Dive Into Mankind (Country: Belgium; Year: 2008; Director: Ria Pacquée)
From East to West and West to East. Between clean and dirty water.
Forum expanded Mix: Sensory Spaces
Five Miles Out (Country: UK; Year: 2009; Director: Andrew Haigh; Writer: Andrew Haigh; Stars: Dakota Blue Richards, Thomas Malone)
A few carefree days away from depressing thoughts at home are what Mum has in mind. But at the beach Cass doesn’t feel in a very holiday-like mood. She just wants to fall off the face of the earth.
Shorts 3 Kplus
Good Will (Buenas Intenciones) (Country: Mexico; Year: 2009; Director: Ivan Lomelí; Stars: Jorge Adrián Espíndola, Andree Magali, Armando Hernández)
Felipe learns the hard way that good will is not always welcome.
Berlinale Shorts V
Grown Up (Yalda Gdola) (Country: Israel; Year: 2008; Director: Dana Neuberg; Writer: Dana Neuberg; Stars: Lia Philosof, Roni Tal, Shimon Mimran, Ariela Rubinowich)
Ami arrives at their rendezvous with a bottle of wine and hopes of a quiet evening in with Dalia. But their meeting turns out to be nothing like they expected as the border between childish flirting and seduction begins to blur.
Short Films 2 14plus
Hocus-Pocus (Hokus-Pokus) (Country: Germany; Year: 2008; Director: Anna Samoylovich)
Story of a lonely magician.
Short Films 1 Kplus
The Illusion (Country: Cuba; Year: 2008; Director: Susana Barriga)
After having spent the past 26 years imagining what her father is like Susana sets out from Cuba to England to meet him for the first time.
Berlinale Shorts II & Sunday Mix II. In Competition
Invisible Loneliness (Country: Taiwan; Year: 2009; Director: Lin Jung-Hsien)
Combining computer animation and hand drawings, this film explores the fears and loneliness faced by ‘latchkey children’.
Generation Mix & Shorts 3 Kplus
The Island (Country: Canada; Year: 2009; Director: Trevor Anderson)
After receiving a letter which asks: ‘why don’t all gays just go and live together on an island and infect each other with Aids?’ filmmaker Trevor Anderson sets out across the ice and creates a gay scenario with a happy end.
Berlinale Shorts III
Jade (Country: UK; Year: 2009; Director: Daniel Elliott; Writer: Daniel Elliott; Stars: Aisling Loftus, Jonathan Phillips, Michael Socha)
Jade is pregnant. She has to make a decision. Which path will she take?
Berlinale Shorts IV
Jerrycan (Country: Australia; Year: 2008; Director: Julius Avery; Writer: Julius Avery)
A young boy is bullied into making a life or death decision, but can Nathan prove himself to his mates?
Shorts 3 Kplus
Kaïn (Country: Belgium; Year: 2009; Director: Kristof Hoornaert; Writer: Kristof Hoornaert; Stars: Bart Desloovere, Kevin Plet)
Two young men are walking in the woods. They begin to argue and this escalates into an archetypical situation. A young man runs for his life.
Berlinale Shorts I. In Competition
Kehua (Country: New Zealand; Year: 2008; Director: Wiremu Grace; Stars: Arama Vincent-Wihapi, Nicola Kawana, Grant Roa, Api Taylor, Nelson Solomon)
This is the first time that Caleb, a young Maori, has ever been to a Marea, a Maori public gathering place and ritual site. His mother, Sarah, has never explained much about his ancestors’ culture and he senses that his initial fears are more than justified. But it seems as though supernatural powers are at work because the boy appears to have very special talents.
Generation Mix & Shorts 3 Kplus
Laitue (Country: UK; Year: 2008; Director: Nicholas Brooks)
A hand-drawn animation film that describes a short journey of loss and reunification.
Berlinale Shorts V & Sunday Mix I
Lint Lent Land (Country: Germany; Year: 2009; Director: Isabell Spengler)
Rather cryptically, the programme says: "does that mean "Dust has temporarily given this land its form"?"
Forum expanded Mix: Sensory Spaces
The Little Crow With The Naked Bottom (De Kleine Kraai Met Blote Billen) (Country: Netherlands; Year: 2008; Director: Raimke Groothuizen)
No sooner does the little crow hatch from her egg, than feathers begin sprouting all over her body – except, that is, for her bottom which is quite bare. This worries her mother a great deal. Together the two birds set out to find a solution for the problem.
Short Films 1 Kplus
Maggie And Mildred (Country: US; Year: 2008; Director: Holly Klein)
Mildred is left to look after Maggie and the two of them now have the whole house to themselves. It doesn’t matter if they are discovering old furniture, saving a young prince or baking huge cakes – every room is full of adventures.
Short Films 1 Kplus
Maima Long-awaited (Maima dolgozhdanniy) (Country: Russia; Year: 2008; Director: Inga Korzhneva)
It’s spring again and grandmother is explaining a few things about life to Maima. He comes to a decision: the evil Sikhircha must be conquered. That is the way it should be, says grandmother. Maima is to receive some assistance in the shape of a pair of wings, some courage, and a horde of cunning mice.
Short Films 2 Kplus
Mama, L'Chaim! (Mama, L'Chaim! (To Life!)) (Country: US; Year: 2008; Director: Elkan Spiller; Stars: Chaim Lubelski, Nechama Lubelski)
A non-judgemental look at the way in which the Holocaust continues to affect the lives of the children of survivors.
Berlinale Shorts V
A Mango Tree In The Front Yard (Country: France; Year: 2008; Director: Raveendran Pradeepan)
The programme says: "This film was inspired by the dreams of a generation that have been dashed by the barbaric oppression of the Sri Lankan government and a 25-year-old struggle for liberation."
Berlinale Shorts II. In Competition
Man Of The North (Karai norte) (Country: Paraguay; Year: 2009; Director: Marcelo Martinessi; Stars: Lidia Vda. de Cuevas, Arturo Fleitas)
An old woman in the pampas of the Paraguayan hinterland. A tiny hut. A rider on horseback. A cowboy. The woman is startled. He wants something to eat. She has next to nothing, but she shares it with him. He returns what was taken from her.
Berlinale Shorts IV & Short Films 1 Kplus
The Mouse (Musen) (Country: Denmark; Year: 2008; Director: Pil Maria Gunnarsson; Stars: Eva-Theresa Jermiin Anker, Magnus Wettendorff Dyring, Frederikke Hjort Arentz, Christine Exner)
Ten-year-old Liv has fallen in love with her classmate, Mike, who gives her his beloved white mouse. Shortly afterwards, Liv observes Mike talking to her girlfriend, who is top of the class, and, for the first time, she feels something she has never felt before – jealousy.
Shorts 3 Kplus
My Very First Wedding (Meine erste Hochzeit) (Country: Germany; Year: 2008; Director: Ralf Kukula)
A young girl asks her mother: “Why doesn’t anybody marry me?” Her mother looks at her daughter, wide-eyed in amazement. “But you’re only five!” she retorts, “Isn’t that a bit early to get married?”
Generation Mix & Short Films 1 Kplus
Netherland Dwarf (Country: Australia; Year: 2008; Director: David Michôd; Writer: David Michôd; Stars: Jack Egan, Ewen Leslie, Mirrah Foulkes, Justin Rosniak)
Harry really wants a rabbit. Harry's dad really wants his wife back. And somehow in the middle of all this wanting, they both seem to have forgotten that they already have each other.
Short Films 2 Kplus
Nine Stairwells Together (Devyat prolyotov vmeste) (Country: Russia; Director: Alexander Karavayev; Stars: Anna Goryushkina, Yuriy Tarabanov, Mariya Ryvkina)
Short evoking the French New Wave.
Berlinale Shorts IV. In Competition
Oh, My God! (Country: Norway; Year: 2008; Director: Anne Sewitsky; Stars: Ebba Tangen, Julie Solberg, Ella Victorie Henriksen Haagensen)
OH, MY GOD! It’s pretty exciting, all the stuff you have to find out in order to keep up with your girlfriends. And it’s good to know that, when it comes to sex, the others don’t always know everything either.
Generation Mix & Shorts 3 Kplus
Out In The Light (Country: Germany; Year: 2008; Director: Martin Ebner, Katja Eydel, Klaus Weber)
Experimental video "follows the elusive line between human consciousness and trustingly giving in to a possible loss of control".
Forum expanded Mix: Sensory Spaces
Please Say Something (Country: Ireland; Year: 2008; Director: David O'Reilly)
Set in the far-off future, this is the story of the difficult relationship between a very emotional cat and her husband, a tedious mouse.
Berlinale Shorts I & Sunday Mix I. In Competition
Point Of View (Eynayim Sheli) (Country: Israel; Year: 2008; Stars: Efrat Aviv, Rivka Michaeli, Alex Salucov)
Noa’s parents are away and so this seventeen-year-old girl has to stay with her grandmother. The old lady is way into her seventies and is a pretty tough cookie to boot. Granny’s slowly going blind and this is why, at four o’clock in the afternoon, Noa has to read her the subtitles on her favourite television series. The task is no easy one for Noa – because Granny Herta has plenty to moan about when it comes to her granddaughter.
Short Films 1 14plus
The Prince (Der Prinz) (Country: Germany; Year: 2009; Director: Petra Schröder; Stars: Jytte-Merle Böhrnsen, Paula Kalenberg, Hannes Hellmann)
It’s summertime. Two young girls are on their way to Rome, by InterRail. They are looking for adventure – and find a prince.
Berlinale Shorts V & Sunday Mix II
Princess Margaret Blvd. (Country: Canada; Year: 2008; Director: Kazik Radwanski; Writer: Kazik Radwanski; Stars: Tim Braddock, William Forrest, Declan McCarthy, Julie McCarthy, Gina Sylvester), Official Site
Isabelle Rodarte is out in the snow, looking for her house. The beginning is the middle is the beginning.
Berlinale Shorts I & Sunday Mix I
Pure (Country: US; Year: 2009; Director: Jacob Bricca)
Deconstruction of the action film.
Berlinale Shorts IV
Ralph (Country: UK; Year: 2008; Director: Alex Winckler)
Showing as part of UKFC Completion Fund Shorts at EIFF 2008.
Short Films 2 14plus
Renovation (Renovare) (Country: Germany, Romania; Year: 2009; Director: Paul Negoescu; Stars: Simona Bondoc, Clara Voda, Andrei Runcanu)
A watermelon runs through a family story of a house renovation.
Berlinale Shorts III
The Sea (Havet) (Country: Germany; Year: 2008; Director: Jöns Jönsson; Stars: Lennart Jähkel, Ann Petren, Per Lasson)
Pella and Agneta are both around 60 years of age; they’ve been a couple for many years. Although Pelle is not in the best of health they are both delighted to accept an invitation to a birthday party. Nevertheless, Pelle decides to get up and boogie – and it’s not jealousy that forces Agneta out onto the dance floor.
Berlinale Shorts V
Slaves (Slavar) (Country: Sweden, Norway, Denmark; Year: 2008; Director: David Aronowitsch, Hanna Heilborn)
Animated documentary sees two Sudanese children recall time they spent as slaves.
Short Films 1 14plus
Spot And Splodge In Snowstorm (Prick och Fläck snöar in) (Country: Sweden; Year: 2008; Director: Lotta Geffenblad, Uzi Geffenblad)
Spot is spotty and splodge is splodgy. They enjoy snowball fights together and making angels with arms, legs and ears. And when they cuddle up on the couch inside their warm house everything is just as it should be.
Short Films 1 Kplus
The Suffering Of Mr Karpf The Birthday (Die Leiden des Herrn Karpf Der Geburtstag) (Country: Germany; Year: 2008; Director: Lola Randl; Stars: Rainer Egger)
It’s Mr Karp’s birthday and nobody phones him.
Berlinale Shorts IV & Sunday Mix II
Summer Breaks (Country: Australia; Year: 2008; Director: Sean Kruck; Stars: Mia Wasikowska, Jake Allen, Cash Weijers, Richard Wilson, Emily Wheaton)
A day in the lives of two teenagers during the summer holidays.
Generation Mix & Short Films 1 14plus
Toads (Kröten) (Country: Germany; Year: 2008; Director: Milena Gierke)
Images of a stream in southern France: it's the toads' mating season.
Forum expanded Mix: Sensory Spaces
Tomorrow (Country: Australia; Year: 2009; Director: Simon Portus; Writer: Simon Portus; Stars: Leah Purcell)
When Kirsten, a teenager from a small town in Australia meets Laura, a businesswoman on the way to Brisbane, she makes a discovery that makes a deep impression on her in spite of their differences.
Short Films 2 14plus
Top Girl (Country: UK; Year: 2008; Director: Rebecca Johnson; Stars: Rumbi Mautsi, Naomi J. Lewis, Alexis Rodney, Jay Brown, Kerron Darby)
Donna is fifteen and fearless – the hottest babe in the whole of Brixton. She and her best friend Felicia are looking for Legz, a cool guy of around 20 who has a sound studio – in the bedroom of his mother’s flat. But Donna’s date with him doesn’t exactly go as she expected...
Short Films 1 14plus
Triangulum (Country: Germany, Egypt, Brazil; Year: 2008; Director: Melissa Dullius, Gustavo Jahn)
Past, present and where they meet.
Forum expanded Mix: Sensory Spaces
Trip To The Wound (Country: Indonesia; Year: 2007; Director: Edwin; Stars: Ladya Cheryl Baharrizky, Carlo Genta)
Shila meets Carlo on a bus one night. Shila is a collector. She collects stories of wounds. Shila is constantly pining for the wound’s existence. This is a trip that Carlo will never forget.
Berlinale Shorts III. Special Screening.
Varmints (Country: UK; Year: 2008; Director: Marc Craste)
Dark clouds appear on the horizon, burying the untouched landscape in grey towers of steel and concrete. A small creature refuses to give up hope of saving this world.
Short Films 2 Kplus
Vostok' (Country: France; Year: 2008; Director: Jan Andersen)
A slant on the Soviet space missions of the 1960s and what could have been.
Berlinale Shorts V
Vu (Country: Belgium; Year: 2008; Director: Leila Albayaty; Writer: Leila Albayaty; Stars: Hana Al Bayaty, Leila Albayaty)
A young woman who has lost her memory following a car accident meets her sister in Rome. The beauty and lightheartedness of the summer is tainted by painful memories of a beloved dream/man.
Berlinale Shorts I & Sunday Mix II. In Competition
Wanderers (Musafir) (Country: Indonesia; Year: 2008; Director: Bagus Wirati Purba Negara)
The film portrays a couple living on the steps of a mosque that scrapes a living together by selling things that can be recycled.
Berlinale Shorts IV & Sunday Mix I
A Way Out (BaDerech Hachutza) (Country: Israel; Year: 2008; Director: Elad Pankovski; Stars: Arthur Marchenko, Oksana Peshin)
A story of immigrant Russian Jews in Israel.
Berlinale Shorts II
When Apples Roll (Kad aboli ripo) (Country: Latvia; Year: 2009; Director: Reinis Kalnaellis)
A cat lives with a devoted mouse. It’s autumn and, as usual, the cat would like to pick apples in an orchard on the outskirts of the old town. But the plan is interrupted when a strange egg suddenly rolls into the field of fruit.
Short Films 1 Kplus

Filming sensations Mathieu Amalric on Pierre Léon, Jeanne Balibar and the sounds and colours of Barbara

Character arc Seth A Smith on filming with a two-year-old and bringing marbling to life in The Crescent

Keeping up appearances Marcello Martinessi on cultural conservatism and filmmaking honesty in The Heiresses

A different space Kelly Macdonald on working with Marc Turtletaub on Puzzle

Out of the past Susanna Nicchiarelli on Trine Dyrholm and the costume design in Nico, 1988

The iconic man Jonathan Baker on Becoming Iconic and Inconceivable

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