»I hope that money, coolness and competition will have less importance in our life«
Maike Mia Höhne, artistic director of the Short Film Festival Hamburg, in conversation with Flóra Anna Buda
Flóra, what were your first thoughts when we told you our theme for this year and asked you to do the trailer?
The feeling of togetherness. How similarly we are connected to each other, like the atoms in the molecules, our cells in our bodies, the pieces of the universe or the trees in a forest.
What does WE represent for you personally? And for your working process?
When I think about my own stories, I don’t find them unique at all. But I still find it important to talk about them. Because we all are experiencing a lot of similar feelings and life events and it is beautiful to put the focus on that and find ways to connect with each other. When that connection happens, that means WE to me.
I’m an animator and animation is often a team work. When I work on a film it means the world to me. If I manage to find likeminded individuals to build this world together, I feel the same feeling of belonging. And it usually comes with challenges, compromises and conflicts. To me it works similarly like in many other connections in life and it requires you to trust your instincts, your conscious mind and your willingness of understanding.
Pink is the beginning of life and it is very present in your flow. Any influence or just a contingency?
I wanted to find a colour that has a cheerful vibe and radiates love. I thought this magenta is quite an exciting and lively colour and could be perfect for highlighting such an important message.
Who is important for you as a role model and why?
Anais Nin, Rihanna, Niki de Saint Phalle and Miranda July. They are truly inspiring strong women with unique voices. They are not afraid of being different and weird, and they have quite divergent minds. They experiment with multiple genres and mediums, they manage to step up for important topics by staying human and reflecting on themselves and on the world in a humorous fashion.
Do you work analog or digitally? Can you describe your workflow?
It is always a bit different. I admire analogue techniques and often use them if I create a drawing, or even with animation sometimes. But, many times I need to work quite quickly, and for that, software programs are good tools. I like to experiment digitally, like in the case of this trailer. My work flow starts with an idea or concept: Then a great confusion comes, followed first by fear, then the good old impostor syndrome. As I start playing with the software, colours, shapes and textures, I end up enjoying it and the fear transforms into excitement. It can lead to this ecstatic feeling that I really like and often end up chasing. And then I go to sleep, wake up and check what I did - and it is rubbish! But then I’m not scared anymore to go into it again and step by step find the way to get the most out of my thoughts from the day before, and find an end result that works.
What are you wishes for the future?
I hope we are going to get closer to each other and I hope that different points of view are going to meet more often and I wish it would bring us a greater understanding of each other. I hope that money, coolness and competition will have less importance in our life and I hope we can manage to focus on the things that brings us closer, instead of judging on the differences.