Short, concise, discursive, stimulating, style-forming. The Kurzfilm Festival Hamburg presents the state of the art of the short form. In three great competitions, the International Competition, the German Competition and the Triple Axel, film makers and artists compete for prizes of a value of 15,500€. In the Laboratory of the Present, curated film programmes introduce questions, conditions and commentaries on contemporary issues which are then discussed in the forum with guests.


International Competition

The Hamburg Short Film Award (3,000 euros) is awarded by a five-member international jury.
The Deframed Award (2,000 euros) is awarded by the international jury to a film which deals with reality in a poetic, formal, analytic and unconventional way while ignoring all rules in a pioneering spirit.
The Hamburg Short Film Candidate for the European Film Awards is awarded by the jury of the International Competition.

German Competition

The Jury Award (2,000 euros) is awarded by a three-member jury.
The Audience Award(1,500 euros) is awarded to a film from the International or the German Competition.

Triple Axel Competition

The Triple Axel Competition is supported by the Hamburgische Kulturstiftung. The audience award is endowed with 1,000 euros.

ARTE Short Film Award

The competition spanning ARTE Short Film Award consists of the purchase of one film (up to 6,000 euros) and its subsequent screening in the »Kurzschluss« programme by ARTE, the Franco-German cultural TV channel.

Mo&Friese Competitions

The Friese Award (1,250 euros) is awarded by 8-to 10-year-old jury members out of the programmes for the age groups of 4 to 8. The film awarded with the Mo Award (1,250 euros) is selected out of the programmes for 9 to 14 year olds by a jury consisting of 11-to 14-year-olds. For the children's short film competition High5! there will be an audience vote for the online edition. The NEON Award(1,000 euros) is awarded by a youth jury to a film in the three NEON programmes.This year, for the first time, a jury of three adults will select a film from the four programmes from 9 and 12 years up for the ECFA Award of the European Children's Film Association. The award is accompanied by a nomination for the »Best European Young Audience Film of the Year« in the short film category.


All three competitions of the festival feature narrative films, documentaries, hybrid formats, animations, 3D productions and more. The International Competition shows contemporary aesthetics and new narratives. The German Competition features the best from the national short film and film academy scene. The Triple Axel competition features film of three minutes or less about a specific, annually changing subject.

Within the Kurzfilm Festival Hamburg and the Mo&Friese Junges Kurzfilm Festival, prize money of over 19.000 € is awarded by the juries and audiences. Among last year’s winners were, among others: Bárbara Wagner, Benjamin de Burca, Madsen Minax, Danech San, Jorge Jácome, Caroline Poggi, Jonathan Vinel, Christin Turner, Ulu Braun, Taika Waititi, Simon Ellis, Emily Vey Duke and Cooper Battersby.

For young audiences, the Mo&Friese Junges Kurzfilm Festival presents several contemporary and relevant short films in its international competition programmes for different age brackets between 4 and 18 years.

Laboratory of the Present

The Laboratory of the Present section is conceived as a place for the examination of current issues based on film programmes and discussions. The Forum offers accompanying deepening rounds of talk in which the curators alongside guests from a wide range of fields further engage with the subject in discourses and offer additional context. The Hamburg Positions look at the world from a regional perspective. In cooperation with local partners, we are embedding the laboratory in the city beyond the timeframe of the festival itself.

Subjects of the last years were, among others: Afrotopia - In the Present Sense, “Humor nach #MeToo” in cooperation with the Kunstverein Hamburg, “Pleasure Rebels - Feminism, Sex, Anarchy”, “The Organic City”, “Cut it out! On Vanguards and Censorship”.

The cooperation partners include, among others: MARKK, Hamburger Kunstverein, HFBK Hamburg, Altonaer Museum, Hamburger Bücherhallen

Archive of the Present

Archive, image foundation, collection, database, gathering – a fundamental element of human behaviour. Archives are the foundation of our own understanding and memory space of our presence. Everything that still is will soon be gone and forgotten or, after all, preserved and kept. In the Archive of the Present section, we present film archives and their mental systems, show cinematic treasures and long forgotten pearls.

Open Space

At the festival’s Open Space, we are creating an annually changing exhibition situation at the festival centre. Artists who work both in the cinematic and exhibitionary context present their current works here.

Artists of the last years: Akram Zaatari, Bárbara Wagner & Benjamin de Burca, Helena Wittmann, Nika Son, Alexandre Larose, Paul Spengemann, Mischa Leinkauf & Matthias Wermke, Rainer Kohlberger.

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