Quantity and Quality - Statement on the K3 Awarding

Kommerz, Kunst, Kino - Widersprüche?! (Commerce, Art, Cinema – Contradictions?!) is the basis concept of the K3 Festival which results in an oscillation between the exclamation “Contradiction!” and the questioning of this contradiction. Appropriate to this concept also the K3: Short Film Award wasn’t given away by a jury or an anonymous audience vote but in an open audience discussion. Because of the courageous mixture of engaging and irritating films it seemed to be more fitting to let quality and not quantity make the decision over the K3 Award. Whether audience or jury awards (and that’s the reason why juries are always in odd numbers), decisions are always made by majority. At K3 only the better argument should decide, with the welcomed side effect that the audience is able to criticize and deal in depth with the films and is also taught to by the jury.
That part was already handled successfully in this discussion. Just the announcement of an open discussion led to positive reactions and intensive debates in the audience. That’s a great value for the medium film and merely for that this kind of awarding earns its right to exist.
Mistakes in the experiment’s implementation were made by the cautious and failed approach of trying to find the winner in searching the film with the fewest weak points. Quality isn’t defined by lack of negatives and negative aspects don’t weigh more than positive ones. On the contrary, only the positive aspects open the view on true quality.
Furthermore, there should have been the courage to fail. That´s a natural part of an experiment. But the failure of finding agreement on one winner was, as far as possible, avoided.
Nevertheless, I consider the experiment as a success. In the end we found a worthy winner that was supported by the audience like no other. And, not less important, we made experiences that had to be made because the going of discussion could not be predicted. The advantages of this kind of awarding, the exposure to the audience to deal with the medium film in depth and the openness to criticism, of which also the film makers should benefit from, encourage me to maintain and improve this kind of awarding.
So the experiment 2010 led to the following conclusions:
- The awarding of the K3 Short Film Award through on open discussion will be maintained.
- The experimental character of it with an open outcome will be stressed.
- Limitation of films to discuss: There will be four suggestions made by the audience and four by the jury. Like this each film and video can be discussed more deeply.
- Establishment of criteria: In order to make the decisions more transparent – not only for the filmmakers - criteria will be worked out that should ease a fair comparison between the single aspects of the films.
- Open end: After the discussion there will be no concert any more. So there will be enough time for debating.

K3 international Short Film Festival Villach is an experiment and a consideration.







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