shnit is a 12-day celebration of short film, hosted simultaneously in multiple cities around the world as shnit PLAYGROUNDS & shnit CINEMAS, and ending in the star-studded New York FINALE
shnit host venues and cities are referred to as PLAYGROUNDS. Fuelled by the strong intention to facilitate the international exchange of great ideas and stories, shnit has hosted PLAYGROUNDS in almost every corner of the world, all of which explode at the same time.
Audiences in each PLAYGROUND vote towards the first of shnit’s THE FLAMING FAUN international audience awards, with the award presented to the collective global audience favourite at shnit FINALE in New York.
As well as bringing its own local flavour to the festival, PLAYGROUNDs present a National Jury and Audience award and in some cases an additional OUT OF COMPETITION local shorts showcase programme.
This exchange of culture and expression is a fundamental element of shnit. Festival venues are more than just a cinema venue – they are interactive, living, breathing spaces, with activations, vendors, music and performance, as well as collaborative work from a number of local artists. And of course, the audience is involved in creation too, with interactive installations, and constant filming and photography pictures being uploaded daily to the world on social media platforms.
shnit 2016 is held in Bangkok, Bern, Buenos Aires, Cairo, Cape Town, Hong Kong, Moscow and San José.
The CINEMAS programme gives short film fans a further opportunity to watch a selection of nominated films from the international competition outside of the PLAYGROUNDS host cities.
This shortlist is specially curated by the festival’s artistic directors, and comes with its own award THE FLAMING FAUN, chosen via the second of shnit’s international audience votes. The award is presented to the collective global CINEMAS choice at shnit FINALE in New York.
From a corner of the room, fiercely intelligent eyes survey five golden statuettes: dancing figurines, characters of myth; horns curled around their heads; tails coiled; thumbs to their noses, fingers splayed, in a motion of defiant celebration. These eyes belong to multiple Oscar-winner Paul Haggis, and the statuette is known as THE FLAMING FAUN. This is the shnit FINALE 2014.
shnit culminates each year with the international awards ceremony shnit FINALE in New York. Nominated films are celebrated over two days, before, in an exclusive ambiance alongside shnit’s global festival team, award nominees and invited filmmakers and VIP guests, the winners are bestowed with THE FLAMING FAUN in five categories.
On that electric night in New York in 2014, Paul Haggis, jury president 2014, is addressing the crowd. He seems genuinely moved by the films. Their technical excellence. Their narrative depth. It’s the film that affected him most in each category that ultimately took the prize, he says. He’s «insanely jealous» of the winning filmmakers, he jokes.
For the five winnings filmmakers on stage beside him; for the guests from all around the world in the crowd; hell, for the whole gathering of NYC cinephiles, it’s a night not to be forgotten.