shnit was founded in 2003 in Bern [Switzerland | Europe] as a two-evening event.
In June 2003, a colorful mix of short films from a colorful VHS cassettes, 35mm film and mini DV tapes flickered across the big screen for the first time. After this successful initiation, the open competition for fresh, cheeky and original short films was launched again in the following year and already took an international scope: a whole evening was dedicated to short films from India.
The official recognition of the young cultural event followed in winter with an honor youth award of the Burgergemeinde of Bern to the organizers. During 2005, the board took the decision to found a proper festival and to celebrate the best short films from all over the world. The first festival catalogue appeared in the form of a card game and the international competition shnit OPEN welcomed the first official jury to award a prize.
In 2006, the number of visitors doubled again and the festival date was moved to October. The winners were honored with the brand-new trophy «THE FLAMING FAUN» and the new location Aula im PROGR was equipped with 200 pink cinema seats.
To celebrate the first five years of shnit, the festival was extended by one day and opened with the SLAM MOVIE NIGHT in 2007. New sections enriched the film program with an impressive variety. The growing audience now also had the possibility to watch short films in different cinemas of Bern’s city center.
In 2008, shnit reached new heights, became Switzerland's most visited short film festival with 15,000 visitors and now also bestowed the highest prize money in ist field. Furthermore, three jury prizes in three time categories were awarded in the international competition shnit OPEN for the first time.
The festival rapidly expanded to a multi-day, multi-city short film festival as Cologne [Germany] joined shnit in 2009. With the expansion to Cape Town [South Africa] in 2010 shnit evolved to a multi-continent festival and now screened 300 short films in 164 shows and different activities, registering over 20,000 visitors.
In 2013 the festival was presented for the first time as a twelve-day event. After the screening of the INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION by now seven PLAYGROUNDS the nominated films of the five categories could be watched online during five days. And with the exclusive awards ceremony shnit FINALE in New York, the festival experienced yet another premiere! With more than 30,000 visitors worldwide, shnit International Shortfilmfestival now definitely belongs to one of the biggest and most important annual shortfilm-events.
In 2014 shnit was awarded the cultural prize of the Bernese statutory corporation Burgergemeinde Bern, a crowning achievement in the festival's history. The year’s Jury President is multiple Oscar-winner Paul Haggis. He presents the FLAMING FAUN at shnit FINALE in New York. In addition, Olivier van der Hoeven marks his tenth anniversary as Festival Director. shnit now takes place in PLAYGROUNDS Bangkok, Bern, Buenos Aires, Cairo, Cape Town, Hong Kong, Moscow and San Jose. shnit.
Milestones 1st – 5th Edition
Name – The name shnit is used for the first time 
Style – Flourescent magenta is the chosen color of the festival 
Awards – Introduction of the audience award 
Print – The first festival catalogue is published 
Program – All films are now shown digitally 
Awards – Introduction of the first jury award 
Audience – Over 1,000 festival visitors registered 
Award – Launch of THE FLAMING FAUN award 
Milestones 6th – 10th Edition
Film entries – For the first time more than 1,000 submissions are registered 
Awards – Three jury awards are now bestowed in three time categories 
Style – The legendary magenta bicycles for the promotion campaign appear 
International – A further city is immersed in magenta: Cologne, Germany 
Film Entries – For the first time more than 4,000 submissions are registered 
Program – A new category appears in the competition: short films up to 40 minutes 
Milestones 11th and 13th edition
International – The festival now runs for twelve days on five continents, registering over 30,000 visitors 
Online – First online edition of the festival, featuring all nominated films 
Program – shnit FINALE: the first award ceremony in New York 
Official Recognition – shnit wins the 2014 cultural prize of the Burgergemeinde Bern 
International – shnit CINEMAS takes place for the first time  Film Entries – For the first time more than 10.000 entries registered