Leiden Shorts 2023


Re-thinking | Re-showing

Leiden Shorts International Film Festival returns for a retrospective edition with a selection of 50 films from 30 countries, featuring some of the festival’s greatest short films since its inception in 2009. Between September 14 and 16, 2023, you will be able to rediscover the festival’s historical programmes through our film sessions at Kijkhuis. The programme includes top festival selections from Cannes, Berlinale, Sundance, and IDFA. This year, the public will serve as the primary jury, voting for their three best films to earn the Audience Retrospective Award.

This year’s edition will also include a two-day event titled Re-imagining Leiden Shorts, which sets out to explore new approaches to the festival’s structure and vision, as well as to reexamine its goals and ideals. Professionals from the national cultural sector will engage in public discussions and roundtables as part of the festival’s reorganisation process as they unpack some of the most pressing issues for festivals, filmmakers, and cultural organisations. We invite the public to join us and take part in shaping the future of Leiden Shorts. Festival Director Niv Fux tells us about the festival’s changes: “Our film program this year provides an excellent glimpse into the past and current identity of Leiden Shorts, while our series of public discussions will allow us to envision the festival’s future directions. This is a pivotal moment for Leiden Shorts, and we are incredibly excited to share it with the general public.”

Leiden Shorts is the Netherlands’ second-largest short film festival, bringing the greatest short films from across the globe to the country. Highlighting passionate works that explore underrepresented narratives through unique aesthetics is at the heart of our curatorial practice. We believe that film can encourage social change and wholeheartedly welcome variety, diversity, and inclusion, not just in culture, but also in medium and expression.


Through documentary, fiction, experimental, and animation shorts, this year’s programme delves into history to emphasise topics dear to Leiden Shorts’ heart: identity, community, and power relations. To present these stories, we chose some of the greatest films that, in addition to having previously exhibited at our festival, have also debuted at Cannes, Sundance, Locarno, IDFA, the Berlinale, and many other major international film festivals. With films from more than 30 nations, the final selection likewise spans the world.

We are also delighted to collaborate with the Days of Art and Science this year. We will present ‘Intelligent Artificiality’ at the Nacht van Ontdekkingen (Night of Discoveries), a program exploring the interaction between humans and the ever-evolving intelligence of the technology that surrounds us.

This year’s award ceremony will be just as unforgettable as ever. There won’t be a professional jury or a single winner; instead, the public will decide on the prizes by rating the movies they watch. The best three films will subsequently each receive 500 euros.