Shortcutz has arrived fellow Amsterdammers! The project providing a weekly platform for filmmakers and filmlovers alike is already in full swing every Wednesday night at our city’s favourite rooftop, Canvas. Showing a minimum of 3 films a week, the only criteria imposed is that the film is under 15 minutes and produced in the Netherlands in the last year. It is no wonder Shortcutz Amsterdam was included in Time Out’s 10 Bright Ideas for 2013. The concept is not about mere spectatorship, but about bringing together up-and-coming industry names and film lovers to watch, discuss and above all network. What is more, every showing includes a very informal Q and A session with the featured directors. With two films competing weekly for the Winner of the Month, the competition is backed by an all star jury who is given the difficult task to vote an entry to be screened at the Eye Film Institute. The carefully selected board comes from all walks of culture, the 10 jury members include Jans Possel, the director of Mediamatic Foundation, the Dutch actor Vincent van Ommen, the legendary director and screenwriter George Sluizer and the infamous street artist Laser 3.14. Not bad huh?
Another defining feature of the event is of course the format of the films screened, the short film, snappy but not short-lived, it is incredible how filmmakers can turn 15 minutes into a fully fledged piece. This format I am told is ideal within the context in which the Shortcutz project is always carried out: public spaces, namely bars. Asides from being highly sociable networking spots, bars also provide an environment where you can catch the unassuming public. Going to the public rather than waiting for them to come to you.
Shortcutz, a self proclaimed non-profit organisation, is a necessity and a welcomed solution in today’s economic climate. In recent years it has become impossible to talk about art and culture and avoid the question of the recession, the impact of the cuts and the repercussions faced by aspiring creatives. Alexa highlights the role of the project in supporting the creative industry: ‘ Shortcutz Amsterdam is doing more than just putting filmmakers together which is important in the current situation but it is also fuelling a public interest in cinema’. What is more, it is not only the audience who gets to watch cutting edge, locally produced short films for free but most striking perhaps is the exempt of an entry fee for those who wish to show their films (unlike big corporate film festivals where a hefty fee is charged for submissions).
‘It is nice to catch these young filmmakers now, as they have the potential to make it big in the near future. The audience feels like it is nurturing their careers and their future success. It is good to see the locals in your country supporting you’ says Alexa with a smile on her face when she refers to the potential projects created through, at and for the event she runs as Shortcutz Babies. Whether you are a filmmaker, a film buff or are simply looking for something different to do whilst sipping on a beer, Shortcutz Amsterdam is the place. Join the locals, discover the talents, swap business cards, get inspired and get known. In this exchange everyone is a winner.
Canvas is located at Wibautstraat 150, 1091 GR
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