Programme 2024

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Leiden Shorts returns for a rejuvenated edition featuring 138 films from 53 countries. This year’s programme focuses on the spaces where novel ideas and original perspectives take shape. We wish to observe the world and our society in its raw and true colours, exploring through the richness and diversity of the short film format alternative views on the current state of affairs, censorship, and colonial legacies. In a global state of constant flux, which has also found our festival in a transformative period, we invite audiences to reflect on notions of growth, fluidity, and change.

At the core of the programme lie the festival’s three competitions: International, Brand New Eyes and National. For the first time, alongside these sections, the festival hosts an Artist in Focus, in which we hold a retrospective of the works of filmmaker and multidisciplinary artist Yuyan Wang. Through our focus programme, We Need to Talk About…, which includes film screenings as well as talks, we aim to contextualise the current events in Palestine, conflicts, and violent struggles by bringing together historical and personal lenses that probe postcolonial legacies, diasporic memory and notions of foreignness and belonging. In Back to Basi(c)s: Masters of Cinema and in partnership with MUBI, we present the early works by renowned and leading filmmakers, including Yorgos Lanthimos, Justine Triet, and Jonathan Glazer. 

Our special programmes include the thematic strand Pluto in Aquarius, which will highlight the power of transformative change, challenging established norms by exploring our relationship with the cosmic universe, the botanical world, and contemporary technologies. CEN/SORY – (un)censored eros look into the origin of censorship on erotic films depicting explicit sex through both archival and contemporary works. With our special kids strand, Shorts for Shorties, we present two film programmes on adventures for children between the ages of 3 to 9, one of which is in collaboration with Cinekid festival. These programmes are be accompanied by Leiden Shorts’ traditional specials, the quirky and wild Doe Normaal, the gems saved by our programmers in Kill Your Darlings, and Festival Favourites, presenting the best recent crop of the festival circuit. More than 50% of the films in the programme were made by women.

Finally, our Industry programme, supported by the Netherlands Film Fund, examines urgent issues in the international film industry addressing censorship, activism and commoning, and offers film professionals a platform to exchange and develop new collaborations and ideas.

Leiden Shorts wishes to thank its supporters and partners for their kind contribution and collaboration: Netherlands Film Fund, Gemeente Leiden, VSB fonds, BNG Cultuurfonds, het Cultuurfonds Zuid-Holland, Vfonds, Hivos, Bioscopen Leiden, PLNT, MUBI, Wereldmuseum Leiden, Cineville, Cinekid, We Are Public, Talking Shorts, Short Film Conference.