October 27th, 2016
by Bobby Henzler
We received a total of 425 films from all continents for the be a better being short film competition. The response to our call was impressive, not just because of the quality of the films, but also because of the great geographic diversity of the entries. This goes to show that the concept of the ‘better being’ really does move people around the globe. Submissions came in from all over Europe; from Asia, including China, India, Bangladesh and Japan; from North and South America; from Iran, Iraq; and from Africa, including Senegal or Uganda. The list goes on and on! We are delighted to have received insights from all over the world via our competition.
The selection process involved not just finding the films, but also finding out what moved the filmmakers and how their films fit with the academic questions that underpin be a better being. Our project is dedicated to starting an exchange between different approaches to examining and analyzing our society, between the approach of academic research and the more artistic approach of filmmaking.
The selection committee consisted of the be a better being project team, academics from the Junge Akademie and the Young Academy of Norway as well as Matthias Groll from interfilm. The discussions and intellectual input of this committee formed the basis for the development of the program as well as the award criteria.
We selected 17 of them that best match our question: What makes us a better person? How do we improve ourselves, between aspiration and pressure, between our inner self and the system – or the systems, taking into account the multilayered demands from society at large, moral attitudes and religious beliefs, or gender aspects? And why even do we strive for improvement, at both the individual and societal level?
At the be a better being event, we’ll be screening the award winners for each category. There’s one more award that will be given out on the night: the audience award! We are quite curious to see which one it will be!
We would particularly like to thank Thomas Böttcher, Herdis Holleland, Monica Aas, Aslak Hjeltne and Laura Miles for their excellent comments and thoughts during the selection process.
And voila! Here is the program of be a better being
Bobby Henzler is a scriptwriter but has an academic background as well . She is responsible for the coordination of the project, the film section and the curation committee of be a better being.