Audi Short Film Award goes to Lebanese director Karam Ghossein

The Audi Short Film Award and its €20,000 cash prize goes this year to the German-Lebanese co-production “Street of Death.” Director and cameraman Karam Ghossein creates a stream of images from the present combined with stories from the past, occurring like a kaleidoscope along the highway to the Beirut International Airport. In the 22-minute-long firm, struggles for power and respect remain as persistent points throughout the ages. The international short film jury for 2017 includes Christian Jankowski, an artist and Professor at the State Academy of Art and Design in Stuttgart; Kimberly Drew, Curator and Social Media Manager at the Metropolitan Museum of Art New York; and Carlos Núñez, Artistic Director of the SANFIC Santiago International Film Festival.

A total of 23 films from 19 countries competed for the jury’s votes in the Berlinale Shorts section. Under the title “Reframing the Image,” curator Maike Mia Höhne assembled a series of films focused on recalibrating one’s own perception, offering the filmgoer a unique new perspective. “The short film is the hotbed of creativity for the film industry. This is where directors execute their visions and provide food for thought, sometimes experimentally, sometimes essayistically. This gives rise to new trends – and that’s what we want to support with the Audi Short Film Award,” says Jason Lusty, Head of Marketing Germany at AUDI AG, explaining Audi’s involvement. The Audi Short Film Award is presented in the Berlinale Shorts section alongside the Golden and Silver Bears, and is among the world’s most lucrative short film awards.

Innovation was also the leitmotif for the Berlinale Open House series of events in the Audi Berlinale Lounge. High-ranking guests from the worlds of research, culture and business discussed new film projects and current trends, as well as the opportunities opened up by artificial intelligence and virtual reality. “Digital transformation has long been more than just an economic issue, and it now involves all levels of society. We therefore aim to drive the interdisciplinary dialog forward,” explains Lusty. “The Berlinale has proven this year to be an ideal platform for doing just that, since culture and business meet here in a creative environment.”

More than 6,000 guests in total enjoyed the Berlinale Open House program, ensuring a full house on every day of the event. While the discussion sessions drew the public in the afternoons, the drive up to the red carpet and the Berlinale Lounge Nights, with leading musicians and DJs, proved a crowd-puller in the evening.

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About Karam Ghossein
Born in Nabatiye, South Lebanon in 1988, he lives in Beirut. He studied film and television at the Lebanese University. Since 2006 he has worked on numerous experimental, documentary and fiction short films as well as on TV productions, including as cinematographer on Al Marhala Al Rabiaa (The Fourth Stage) which screened in the 2016 Forum Expanded. His work has been shown at venues including MoMA in New York and the Centre Pompidou in Paris. Street of Death is his debut film as a director.