This year, Lagos joins nine other playgrounds for the 10th edition of the Shnit International Shortfilm Festival. Founded in 2003 in Bern, Switzerland, the festival takes place simultaneously in different venues across the world.
The festival, which commenced yesterday at the Ikeja-based Royal Roots Theatre, will end on Sunday, October 7 at Freedom Park, Broad Street, Lagos. Over 300 shorts films will be screened at the festival, while also availing film experts and enthusiasts a chance at networking and creative collaboration.
A statement by the organizers says: “Short films are currently an incredibly fast-growing medium around the world. It’s great to be able to offer local and global audiences, and filmmakers alike a taste of what the industry and film schools here are putting out as well as offer the local industry a taste of what filmmakers from all around the world are creating in all fields of short film. “At least, it is merely inspiring, but our festival is also a practical tool as a platform for local filmmakers to interact with a global network, prompting collaboration and conversation, and continuing to raise the standards and profile of Nigerian film.”
The festival is organised by the Swiss-based Shnit Foundation and holds concurrently around the world. This year, it will hold in Bern, Vienna, Cologne, Cape Town, San Francisco, Cairo, San Jose (Costa Rica), Auckland (New Zealand), Singapore, and Lagos.
The Lagos edition is a collaboration of Nigeria’s Da Rocque Entertainment and the National Association of Nigerian Theatre Practitioners (NANTAP) with the involvement of its president and producer, Greg Odutayo. Peter Pius Omewiri is the Festival Director while Victor Okhai of the International Film and Broadcast Academy (IFBA) is on the festival’s international jury. Over $100,000 is available in prize money in five award categories, these include for short films running between 5 and 40 minutes, an international jury award and a region-specific award for the Made in Nigeria short films.
“Each year, the festival serves an outstanding menu of short masterpieces. Only thrilling, entertaining and high-quality short films find their way into the Shnit programme. The genre of the selected works is trivial and the only criteria: that a film is contemporary, cutting edge and stands-out in terms of quality,” the organizers state.
With shorts film selected from over 6000 entries and cutting across genres, the festival boasts of something for everyone. Its packages include the animated shnit, shnit experiments, peeping shnit, and feel good shnit. “It’s our aim to actively increase the perception of short film making around the globe.
Therefore, we passionately promote short film as an independent art form in the field of audiovisual media and cinema; Shnit regards itself as a unique international platform for filmmakers, scriptwriters, producers and cinephiles. We embrace diversity, originality and exchange between creators and a growing audience across the globe, and we are dedicated to grow in a sustainable manner: a transnational film festival simultaneously taking place in various cities. “In addition, Shnit would not be shnit without a world beyond the popcorn and the silver screen.
The cinematic experience is a doorway into Shnit Expanded, a playground in front of, beside and behind the screen, incorporating music, art, collaboration, discussion and expression,” the organisers said. Described as “one festival in many cities”, audiences can watch daily Shnit-TV videos showing events from the nine other global playgrounds in what it calls “a global exchange of culture.”
Daily Shnit-TV videos shared among the host cities and live-crossings between countries make it a global exchange of culture – not a collection of individual festivals but one festival in many cities. Shnit’s worldwide fan base is growing at an incredible rate. In Berne alone, over 20,000 visitors attend each year. Each host city is growing yearly.
According to shnit Nigeria, Lagos was chosen as host-city not just for its tourist potential, but also because of its place in Nigeria’s artistic history and the fact that it has played host to many events and awards relevant to Nigeria’s entertainment and cultural scene. With visitors at the Bern festival growing to over 20,000 in recent times, Shnit hopes its viewership in Lagos will also encounter a boom.
Shnit Shortfilm Festival brings to two the number of existing short-film festivals holding in Lagos, or Nigeria for that matter. The In Short Film Festival is now in its second year and holds from October 11 to 13, 2012, a few days after Shnit ends.