Niv Fux joins as the new Festival Director

We are delighted to announce the appointment of Niv Fux as the new Festival Director of Leiden Shorts! 

Niv contributes extensive experience in the international film industry to Leiden Shorts. He previously served as the Artistic Director of the Tel Aviv International Student Film Festival. He has collaborated with various art and film institutions in the Netherlands, including the Nederlands Film Festival, Go Short, Noorderlicht Festival, and IMPAKT. Niv is also the co-founder and Managing Director of T-Port, an online industry platform for short films promoting emerging talent, and a staff writer at the online film magazine Talking Shorts. 

As the director, Niv will lead Leiden Shorts into a new chapter, including a restructuring process and organisational developments in preparations for the festival’s 15th edition. 

Get to know Niv better through our interview with him! 

What inspired you to work with film festivals?

I began my journey with film festivals almost a decade ago. As a film student at Tel Aviv University, I was volunteering on the programming team of the Tel Aviv International Student Film Festival and was responsible for the International Competition. It was my first encounter with film festivals, and I was really taken by the intensity, variety, and richness of this format. Of course, there are many different types of festivals. But overall, they are an ever-changing multifaceted form with an ingrained tendency for novelties and innovation and a strong inclination to reflect on and respond to the zeitgeist and social-political developments through film. I find all these qualities very compelling, but above all, at their core, I think festivals are about the communal aspect and their power to produce many beautiful interactions and exchanges around cinema.

How did you discover Leiden Shorts and what made you decide to join our team?

I’ve been following the festival’s activities for several years now and am impressed by the quality of the programming. When I heard the team at Leiden Shorts were looking for a new director to lead its restructuring process, I saw it as a great opportunity and challenge. During my professional trajectory, I’ve been very devoted to the development of new initiatives and supporting strategic transformations. Moreover, many cultural institutions are now facing great dilemmas amidst this rapidly changing reality, and I believe that it is essential for us to rethink our paths and look at new ways to move forward. I am very excited about embarking on this process with the great team, stakeholders, and the festival’s audience, and I look forward to seeing what we will find out together through this adventure.

What do you think sets short films apart from other forms of storytelling?

The compact format of short films compels directors and writers to be extremely efficient and concise with their storytelling approach. Flaws and gaps are easily detectable in comparison with feature films, so mastering this craft is very challenging. At the same time, shorts provide their makers with great freedom to experiment and take risks. They can be open and peculiar in ways that full-length films can’t. This complexity and duality make them distinct forms that always continue to surprise us. 

What advice would you give to someone who wants to make a short film?

Don’t be afraid to invite many people into your creative process; the film can only benefit from various perspectives, but in the end, be true to yourself and your artistic vision. Unfortunately, a significant challenge young filmmakers face is the accessibility of the film industry and a lack of knowledge of the festival circuit and distribution. This is an issue I’ve been working to improve in my different activities, and I hope to continue to do so at Leiden Shorts. For filmmakers who are just starting, I’d recommend studying the distribution field carefully with colleagues and professionals and, most importantly, factoring it in as an essential step as part of the financial planning and schedule of the film’s production.

How do you see short films evolving in the future?

Shorts, as films in general, are a mirror of our times and the changes we go through as a society, so I believe they will always be important for us to learn about ourselves and to better understand the world we live in. This is seen, for example, with the unfortunate decrease in people’s attention span. Recently, people are becoming more and more used to short content, and we can see its popularity increasing, so I think short films would fulfil a key role in our changing viewing habits. But I do hope there will be more room for shorts that make us think and challenge our perception rather than simply 5-second TikTok videos with the top 5 cleaning hacks we didn’t know about.