What do you pay special attention to when judging films?
"I see whether the story is primarily told in images, preferably with as little dialogue as possible, and whether it keeps building tension, keeping the audience on the edge of their seats. The audience should be left with some confusion, left with some question, yet without feeling cheated or betrayed. The ending should deliver a shock, a good laugh or an unexpected plot twist, which nevertheless does not come completely out of the blue."
Can you discern a different trend or focus in short films that have been made in the past years?
"To be honest, I am not fully up to date on what kinds of films have been selected the past years compared to the years before. I do notice that the Corona crisis has put even more emphasis on individual stories about people in confined situations. A global pandemic like this greatly reduces the living space and horizon of people and film makers respond to that with stories related to that. Every major life event evokes reactions that songwriters, filmmakers, artists and writers respond to.
That's why I am curious about the kinds of films that will come out in the coming years which are being written and made now and which will, likely in some way or other, reflect the situation we are currently in."
"In the past, in times of misery or war, there was always a need for art that gave hope. I wonder what this time will bring us in terms of films that have yet to be made. Will the optimists or the pessimist win? Time will tell."
What is your favorite short film and why?
"Last year, the short film Visit (2018), by Stijn Bouma was also one of the selected films at the Shift Film Festival and a much respected competitor. An impressive film with a strong, beautifully executed storyline on the theme of loneliness. Beautifully shot in one take, and with subtle acting. With few words and images, and lots of eloquence, a layered story was cleverly told in ten impressive minutes."