SHORT FILM/GLOBAL, shnit Worldwide Shortfilmfestival, October 17-28, 2019 – five continents ???

? shnit Worldwide Shortfilmfestival is on from October 17 (tomorrow!) until October 28 on eight continents.

The cities are: Cape Town, Bern, Buenos Aires, Cairo, Hong Kong, Moscow and San Jose. That is San José is in Costa Rica – not California. As yet there is no shnit edition in the USA. However, the shnit wrap up will be held in New York City on October 28 (venue to be announced).

? shnit opens at the Labia Theatre tomorrow (October 17) and is on at the Labia and other venues until October 28. Check out the line-up/venues on

? A very exciting shnit event is happening on Sunday October 20, on the lawns at Battery Park at the V&A Waterfront.

Battery Park shnit is being billed as a “90 minute feel-good and family friendly showcase”. Yes, it is an outdoor screening with the Waterfront as a backdrop. Battery Park is located within ”a reimagined heritage precinct” at the Waterfront (haven’t been there – not sure what “reimagined heritage” denotes) which is adjacent to “a canal, SUP dock, skateboard park and basketball court.”

Tickets for the outdoor showcase are R80-R150 through Webtickets ( with packages available for couples and families.

? Tickets for the entire shnit festival, may be purchased through Webtickets but also reference shnit website for more info. Hard copy programmes available at The Labia.
About shnit: South Africa is celebrating its 10th edition of this non-profit trans-national film festival, which is rolled out simultaneously around the world. Most of the people working for shnit are doing it for the love of film and are not profiting from their time.

A big shout out to shnit SA’s Kirby Kruger who is festival director – to be precise – Playground Cape Town – Program Coordinator.

The jury head for 2019 is the incomparable John Kani. He is going to be doing a Q&A on the afternoon of Thursday October 24 at the Space Theatre, 44 on Long Street. (This was the second venue of the iconic Space Theatre –opened 1972 in Bloem Street; moved to Long Street in 1976; closed 83/84. The venue was revived by new operators and re-opened in 2008 as The New Space and then closed a few years later. Now, it’s starting up again. Watch this space). Re the John Kani Q&A, watch for info on shnit Facebook page, Instagram and other platforms and subscribe to its newsletter.

The name shnit, by the way is Swiss for snip (cut). In the olden days, they used to shnit the celluloid film – ‘shnit it’ so that is the provenance of the name, explained Kruger. However, looking through previous article that I have written on shnit, I see that one of the organisers told me that “shnit is an old Swiss slang word for ‘cool’. Like ‘what a shnitty film’ as in ‘what a cool film’. Okay, so we need some clarification on that.

Moving along, the festival was founded in Bern, Switzerland in 2003 and from short beginnings it has developed into a global festival.

For many filmmakers short films are calling- cards – of what they could develop as features. Neill Blomkamp’s blockbuster, District 9 began as a short film. Nosipho Dumisa’s thriller, Nommer 37, which was released last year (2019), began its life as an award winning short film. Purist short-film makers may counter that the medium is a medium in its own right. A short story writer wouldn’t say that it is a prelude to something bigger. It’s a small point but we make it.

Short film is an exciting medium – especially when viewed at a festival as the films are short so if you are bored with watching, it’s not long before that film ends and another one pops up. At shnit, films are bundled together- romance, sci-fi, comedy; according to a theme so you become immersed in a platform of films (usually 90 minute blocks.)

As to how long each film runs for – long answer. What constitutes a “short film”? Short films vary in length from maybe a minute or three to 15 and more. From research, it seems to depend on each festival/platform. Some useful pointers from “Any film shorter than 50 minutes qualifies as a short film for the Sundance Film Festival, while any film with a run-time under 40 minutes is eligible for the shorts categories at the Academy Awards. The longest of the ten movies nominated for either best live-action or best animated short at the 83rd Academy Awards is The Gruffalo, at 27 minutes.”

For shnit 2019 in SA, Kruger said that the films are from three minutes to 29 minutes – eish – but who is counting.

Although shnit is a festival which take place simultaneously around the world, the programme differs in each city. There is an international pool of films which is curated and that pool will be screened in each city. But, not all of the films will be screened because of time. There are about 150 films in the international pool. We will see about a 100. Three or four SA films in the international pool.

Each city participating has a playground –a platform for promoting local films. The SA playground consists of two components – one block is eligible for inclusion in the international competition and the other is eligible for audience awards.

Support film and short film and get there. Book at Webtickets.