Selected Press Commentaries 2018

A different kind of cinema: the anniversary edition of the festival for short film, animation and music video is something to be proud of!

"They resemble portraits or poems," Oscar-winning Jane Campion once said about short films. The Vienna Shorts festival gives an impressive overview of what short films can do.

Judith Hoffmann, Ö1

Apart from the competition, another 200 films will be screened, including many Austrian premieres—the perfect opportunity to indulge in cinematic ADHD. 

Corinna Berger, Metropole

At the opening, travesty star Lucy McEvil already set the tone of the evening with her introduction. In accordance with this year's festival motto, she had her first dispute with Chancellor Sebastian Kurz who believed that a "Kurz-Filmfestival" would be about him: "And thank God the Gartenbaukino has no balcony—otherwise he would have probably closed the balcony route". 

Martin Fichter-Wöß, APA Austria Presse Agentur

Also new in her political role is Veronica Kaup-Hasler, the former director of Steirischer Herbst, who has just been sworn in as a cultural councillor—and has now completed her first public festival appearance at VIS. "Art is my home and always will be. (...) Perhaps I can improve something for the artists."

Images have power—and can also manipulate. How they can determine collective memory is shown in the exhibition "shaping democracy", which, as part of the festival at the Museumsquartier, inspires us with 24 short films to reflect on democracy and the narrative of the nation of Austria. 

Magdalena Mayer, Die Presse

At once sexy, disquieting and hilarious, Colburn’s earlier films tend to clock in at less than three minutes, and play out with the kind of infernal, self-organising energy that suggests an unauthored entity—as if the work has summoned itself, like some persistently cheeky poltergeist

Michael Pattison, Sight & Sound

Ideally, film festivals are not just fun, but also a commentary and position on everyday socio-political life and a breeding ground for discussion. This is always a concern for the organizers of Vienna Shorts, and that's why Vienna Shorts has grown over the years and become an important film festival.

Jan Hestmann, FM4

The festival is by no means intended only for film nerds and cultural theorists—it should also be fun, both cinematically and above all in terms of additional festival activities, where parties aren’t cut short. Only the films are—and consciously so.

Simon Hadler,

As an independent art form that is in no way inferior to the more traditional short film format, the music video is still a creative playground for musicians and filmmakers alike, and its free form and compact length doesn’t only serve as an ad for an illustrated song. 

Yasmin Vihaus, the gap

Including the music video competition into the overall programme of any festival is doing for music videos what Bob Dylan’s Nobel prize did for music lyrics.

Marija Jeremic, Filmstart

Selected Press Commentaries 2017

VIS is indeed a film festival you’ll want to experience. Trust me.

Nisimazine, May 2017

The Vienna Shorts Film Festival takes its love of short form particularly to heart in its 14th edition: with a shorter name and shorter runtime, VIS will be showing almost 350 short films, animations and music videos from 1 to 6 June (...)

Salzburger Nachrichten, May 2017

The big short film festival Vienna Shorts focuses on a broad perspective and formal diversity. (...) Condensed narration, the short as a characteristic that unites all films at the festival, makes it possible to approach and comment on a form that is playing an ever greater role in our everyday lives.

Falter, May 2017

We have known that feature films are show-offs ever since short film festivals such as  VIS have been showing year after year how many great but also oddities can be found in these mini formats.

FM4, May 2017

This selection was an excellent example how sensitive and smart programming can lift a block of films to a higher quality than the simple sum of its parts.

Nisimazine, June 2017

I'm pretty sure that during my five days at the festival I missed at least just as many interesting films as those I watched, but I got used to the idea that this is just how film events work (especially when it comes to short films). Taking some of VIS' shorts to their logical rhetorical conclusion, I think their aim is (also) to convince us to leave them behind at a certain point and turn our gazes towards the world with renewed interest.

Acoperisul de Sticla, May 2017

Short films rarely get the breadth of attention they deserve, but aficionados know which festivals to hit up as the sun signals summer for some of the freshest, most innovative cinema around; from Hamburg International Short Film Festival and Oberhausen to Happyland and Vienna Shorts.

AnOther, June 2017

The VIS is not only a gathering place for exciting short film art from all over the world, but also an important meeting place for young filmmakers. [...] Despite the cuts in the special programmes, the 14th edition of the festival, this time under the motto "Trust me", appears as a colourful cinema surprise bag.

Die Presse, June 2017

Short films rarely get the breadth of attention they deserve, but aficionados know which festivals to hit up as the sun signals summer for some of the freshest, most innovative cinema around; from Hamburg International Short Film Festival and Oberhausen to Happyland and Vienna Shorts.

AnOther, June 2017

David OReilly's Everything could be the 1st Oscar-nominated video game (...) The 11-minute video of in-game footage won the Jury Award at the Vienna Shorts Festival

CBC News, July 2017

Selected Press Commentaries 2016

The festival days, known as the Vienna Independent Shorts, are a wild mix of cinematic art and party noise, of competitions, personalities, and special programs, and can long been considered an event.

profil, May 2016

VIS demonstrates a knack for renowned Independent artists. In 2015 they selected Don Hertzfeldt as their guest star; also a cartoonist (...). Both Hertzfeldt and Plympton are good examples of what it means to work away from the big players: maximum freedom, coupled with a steady and necessary production flow.

Carolin Weidner, taz, June 2016

The ever-growing importance of VIS is also demonstrated by its unique nomination as the only Oscar Qualifying Festival in Austria.

Günter Pscheider, ray Film Magazine, May 2016

The highlight of the 13th Festival of Short Films, Animation & Music Videos: The New York rapper Zebra Katz will perform with Warp Records veteran Leila, live at the Metro Theater.

Kurier, Mai 2016

VIS is a great festival because it celebrates the art of short and especially independent filmmaking.

Bill Plympton im Interview mit Marina Richter, Monitor, Juni 2016

Plympton's films display a deep skepticism towards authority and institutions, while subtly exploring power relations and social hierarchies. His pen creates a kinetic energy that destroys preexisting orders. He lines up his gags like pearls on a necklace; only at second glance do we see that they are ignited sticks of dynamite.

Gerhard Midding, Falter, May 2016

only thing missing from the party-like ceremony were the song recordings to make it a glamorous, live, on-air version of the FM4 Morning Show. One thing was certainly clear: this festival has no fear over its future. On the contrary, the team exudes energy and passion, and the good vibes felt among visitors and international festival guests, is unparalleled.

Sebastian Müller,, May 2016

Vienna Independent Shorts celebrates stylish strokes of avant-garde cinema.

Doina Boev, Metropol, Mai 2016

And kudos to the programmers! This was one of the best selections in terms of consistency, quality, sense of continuity and emotional rhythm I had the pleasure to be present for during this 13th edition of Vienna Independent Shorts. But there was one film that aimed at the sky and triumphed magnificently. The Beast is, in the best of ways, a child of Argento, Buñuel and Bergman painted by women on a canvas drenched in an Autumn paradise. No wonder it was chosen to end the session!

Susana Bessa, Nisimazine, Mai 2016

Danish-Palestinian documentarian Mahdi Fleifel achieves astonishing access and a bittersweet humanity in A Man Returned, having encountered this story at the camp where he himself grew up. The film’s power won Fleifel a Silver Bear award at the Berlinale and a main prize at Vienna Independent Shorts.

Carmen Gray, AnOther Mag, Juni 2016

Since we entered the new millennium, contemporary music video production and art have improved and changed dramatically. Countless new trends and a wide variety of artistic styles have emerged in the film industry in general, and, fortunately, most of them also penetrate the music video and the music short film production. The thin line between the music videos and the music shorts is truly thought-provoking.

Nisimazine, Elena Prendjova/Lana Sokolaj, Mai 2016

selected press commentaries 2015

The short film developed into a specialty with a distinct boom and fan culture – all of which can be seen next week at the Vienna Independent Shorts.

Andrey Arnold, Die Presse, May 2015

All the works to be shown at the VIS Festival are – each on their own– not enough to provide a full evening’s entertainment. But anyway, they are something like an insurance certificate of the moving picture culture: starting on May 26 the Vienna Independent Shorts will once again celebrate for five days in Vienna’s city centre the diversity and inventiveness of the short film, including possible future cinema-varieties.

Stefan Grissemann, profil, May 2015

Dozens of important premieres are among the more than 300 works such as a major tribute to the famous US animator Don Hertzfeldt or, for connoisseurs of British humor, a small special with rediscovered television pieces by the legendary comic Peter Sellers.

Michael Omasta, Falter, May 2015

When Hertzfeldt explores everyday fears and common desires with all means of analog animation, the existential stands next to the trivial, joy besides fear and, surrealist moments next to harsh reality.

Angelika Prawda, APA, May 2015

A great and fascinating film evening which made me feel the magic of  cinema in a unique and abstract manner.

Deniz Caglar,, May 2015

(The Festival) manages to dance on the thin line between art and commerce.

Oliver Stangl, FAQ Magazine, May 2015

The good news for the audience: U/Tropia is largely a lie-down cinema – which means motion pictures experienced right from the mattresses.

Helmut Ploebst, Der Standard, May 2015

This year the Vienna Independent Shorts distinguish themselves with a particularly innovative and medial high-reflexive programming (…) If this article would be written in English, the choice of words would most likely vary somewhere between "mind-blowing", "exhausting" and "visionary".

Sebastian Müller,, May 2015

Already the year’s half over, and with it some of the most important dates on the short film calendar – from Europe’s main fests dedicated exclusively to shorts such as Vienna Independent Shorts (…) to festivals showing features as well as tasty sections of shorts like Berlin, Rotterdam, Sundance and Cannes.

Carmen Gray, Dazed & Confused Magazine, Juni 2015

selected press commentaries 2014

(....) On the other hand, films that in fact bother to work on innovative aesthethics or narration are time and again not taken seriously. Historically speaking, this is true for all the classics from Kenneth Anger to Zelimir Zilnik. This is why mostly special programmes, and here again often works in the short film length - are left with the task to continue the legacy of subversive and dissident cinema. Rising to the challenge, now the Viennese Film Festival Vienna Independent Shorts (VIS) hunts down the possible radicalism in the movie theatre with the screening of Focus: Radical. The wide-ranging programme makes it evident just how complex the issue is. read more (in German)...

Michael Pekler, Der Standard, May 2014

For a second time, the Austrian Music Video Award will be announced on Monday (May 26) at the Vienna Independent Shorts Film Festival. What to expect? More light for the best of two worlds. read more (in German)...

Stephan Wabl, profil, May 2014

The motto of this year’s VIS flashes in big fat red letters spreading to every corner, and promises the uncompromised: RADICAL. It is a motto which has accompanied the Vienna Independent Shorts along its first years, and it does so even today as the core element of the ambitious festival: against external circumstances, that put the project’s financial structure time and again in question, as well as at the cultural and creative level, in which the short film still is deprived from the same impetus received by its big brothers and sisters. To succeed, the festival had to preserve that certain radicalism and therefore had to continuously reinvent itself in a positive way. read more (in German)...

Deniz Caglar,, May 2014

The short film has been put on the back burner in Austria for a long time. This has radically changed in the last 10 years and that is thanks to VIS: the Vienna Independent Shorts Festival. The Viennese Film Festival begins its 11th year now. listen (in German)

Benno Feichter, Ö1, May 2014

It is wonderful that the Vienna Independent Shorts Director, Daniel Ebner, cites the film theorist Volker Pantenburg, who claimed that the small form was as well suited for failure as any other. Wonderful and good-natured it is indeed, because VIS does more than screening international short film production. read more (in German)... 

Anna-Katharina Laggner, FM4, May 2014

It grows. And it does so shortly, in every sense of the word. The Vienna Independent Shorts Festival, the short film homage in Austria, now in its eleventh year, has not only reflected on but also left its mark on a decade of this film genre, which knows how to bridge between the absolute contemporary and the eternity of the bigger picture better than other media forms, but has also made a name for itself as a necessary element in the Viennese and Austrian cultural scene for good. read more (in German)... 

Sebastian Müller, Denkfabrikat, May 2014

On Sunday evening the short film festival Vienna Independent Shorts (VIS) made it clear that porn cinema can take place in Vienna even outside the city’s beltway (Gürtel) – namely in the festival centre Stadtkino. This year’s festival motto “RADICAL” represents works that “provoke a little or create an uncomfortable feeling”, or so it was announced at the programme inauguration – something which indeed is not the case for “PopPorn”. Finally pornography was an obvious choice for the festival, only a few watch porn films in full length. read more (in German)...

Martin Fichter-Wöß, APA, May 2014

Selected Press commentaries 2013

Who would have thought back in 2004 that the poorly financed festival Vienna Independent Shorts would one day become one of the main attractions of Vienna's dense film calendar. But still, this year it celebrates its 10 year anniversary bigger, better, more colorful than ever.

Andreas Ungerböck, ray film magazine, May 2013

This anniversary was both a sign of great resistibility and an irrepressible look towards the future. The courage to cooperate and therefore to take a risk is something distinguishing about this festival

Sebastian Müller, denkfabrikat, June 2013

Nothing's more of a Facebook and Youtube staple these days than cute kitty footage. Embracing the phenomenon is Europe's first cat video festival, a free open-air screening session hosted by VIS Vienna Independent Shorts in the Austrian capital.

Carmen Gray, Dazed and Confused Digital, June 2013

Vienna Independent Shorts celebrates the vibrant, eccentric and unapologetic non- commercial underbelly of moviemaking. Begun in 2004 as a student project, the VIS festival has steadily expanded, its repertoire and reputation growing along with it.

Binu Starnegg, The Vienna Review, Juni 2013

Under the artistic guidance of Daniel Ebner, VIS can today easily keep up with international festivals when it comes to curation and popularity.

Barbara Köppel, FM4, May 2013

It's thanks to the festival Vienna Independent Shorts that highlights of the short film genre can be seen every spring in Vienna.

profil, May 2013