Wiz-Art is an annual International Short Film Festival, which takes place in Lviv, Ukraine at the end of July. The festival was started by art formation Wiz-Art, which was founded in 2008. The festival shows more than 100 brand new short movies every year. Wiz-Art – is a powerful cultural and educational platform that unites Ukrainian and foreign filmmakers and introduces them to the Ukrainian audience experienced professionals.
Short films from all over the world participate in the festival. Participants from any country can send an application form. Also, viewers are able to watch films from the non-competition program. In 2012, under the non-competition program for the first time was introduced a modern Ukrainian section of short films under the slogan “Cry, but shoot”. This name was created by the organizers who were inspired by the quote of the famous Ukrainian director Olexander Dovzhenko. In addition to the Grand Prix – the main prize of the festival, the main awards get winners in three categories: the best film, the best animated film, and the best experimental film. Additional awards are The Special Mention Jury Award and The Audience Choice Award. There will be introduced a separate award for the best Ukrainian film, in 2013, during the VI Wiz-Art Festival.
The festival jury is elected by the administration of the festival. Usually there are several foreign guests in the jury and necessarily representative of Ukrainian cinema. The participants of the jury are professional directors, movie creators and producers. For six years of the festival existence representatives of the jury were: Ruth Paxton (Scotland), David Lindner (Germany), Vincent Moon(France), Igor Podolchak (Ukraine) Achiktan Ozan (Turkey), Ilya Gladstein (Ukraine), Anna Klara Ellen Aahrén (Sweden), Olexandr Debych (Ukraine) and others.
20-22 of November, 2008 – I International Festival of Visual Art “WIZ-ART”. There were screenings of Sean Conway (UK), Boris Kazakov (Russia), Milos Tomich (Serbia), Volker Schreiner (Germany) films and retrospective show of the works of the famous avant-gardist Maya Deren (USA). 50 films were shown, 10 of which were short films of young Ukrainian filmmakers.
23-25 of May, 2009 – II International Festival of Visual Art Art WIZ-ART. Special guests were British movie maker and poet Julian Gende, German director Martin Sulzer (Landjugend) and Kevin Kirhenbaver, Russian producer and teacher Vladimir Smorodin. There were performances of VJs Shifted Vision and band Надто Сонна (2sleepy). There were retrospective shows of Scott Pagano and David Orayli works and the best movies of the Film School in Zlín (Czech Republic), Stockholm (Sweden), and Hamburg (Germany). Armenian festival “Golden Apricot” (Yerevan) and Slovak Festival Early Melons (Bratislava) presented their programs. Overall, 100 short films were shown.
20 – 23 May 2010 – III International Short Film Festival WIZ-ART 2010. Special guests and members of the jury were Turkish director Ozan Achiktan, Slovak media artist Anton Cerny, Swedish filmmaker Anna Klara Oren, the Ukrainian producer Alexander Debych. The Festival was attended by directors from Ireland (Tony Donoh’yu), Spain (Fernando Uson), Portugal (Ana Mendes), Poland (Tomasz Jurkiewicz), Ukraine (Anna Smoliy, Gregory somebody Dmitry Red, Mrs. Ermine). There were retrospective shows of short films Finland and Asia. The best films of festivals in Italy (A Corto di Donne) and Russia (Beginning) were presented. The Grand Prix got the film “The Day of Life” (directed by Joon Kwok, Hong Kong). 105 films from 30 countries took part in competition and non-competition programs.
26 – 29 May 2011 – IV International Short Film Festival WIZ-ART 2011. Special guests and members of the jury were Scottish filmmaker Ruth Paxton, German producer David Lindner and Ukrainian director Igor Podolchak. Tommy Mustniyemi (video-artist, Finland), Mike Mudgee (filmmaker, Germany), Emil Stang Lund (director, Norway), Morten Halvorsen (director, Denmark), Armin Dirolf (director, Germany) and others visited the festival. There were retrospective short films shows of the French-speaking part of Canada, the French animation and special program of Ukrainian short films. 98 films were shown in competition and non-competition programs. The Grand Prix got animated film “The Little Quentin” (Albert ‘T Hooft & Paco Vink Netherlands 2010)
26 – 29 July 2012 – V International Short Film Festival Wiz-Art 2012. Special guests and members of the jury were French filmmaker and traveler Vincent Moon, Icelandic filmmaker Isolde Uhadottir, coordinator of the International Festival “Youth” Ilko Gladstein (Ukraine), Irish filmmaker Paul Odonahyu, also known as Ocusonic, Canadian director and producer Felix Dufour-Laperyer (Félix Dufour- Laperrière). The Festival was attended by Hungarian director and an organizer of the BUSHO Festival Tamas Habelli, Ukrainian director Alexander Yudin, Max Afanasyev and Larisa Artyuhina. There were retrospective shows of Hungarian and Italian short films, as well as shows of young Ukrainian films “Cry, but shoot” (the quote of Alexander Dovzhenko) involving directors. As the part of Wiz-Art 2012 the audience had an opportunity to visit the Wiz-Art Lab – film school with lectures and master classes given by participants and guests of the festival. 98 films from 38 countries were shown in competition and non-competition programs. Grand Prix received the film “Fungus” (Charlotte Miller, Sweden, 2011).
24-29 of July 2013 – VI International Short Film Festival Wiz-Art 2013 in Lviv, Ukraine. The year festival motto is “These are short stories, not atoms, that form the Universe”.
The specail guests and the memebrs of an international jury were Philip Ilson, the founder of London Short Film Festival, Maria Sigrist, a Swedish actress, director and scenarist, and Dmytro Sukholytkyi-Sobchuk, a Ukrainian film-director.
Wiz-Art 2013 non-competitive program included a number of social screenings, different thematic collections and the panorama presented by London Short Film Festival.
During the educational program Wiz-Art Lab a series of open masterclasses were conducted by Dmytro Sykholytkyi-Sobchuk (Ukraine), Romas Zabarauskas (Lithuania), Kai Stanike (Germany), Maria Sigrist (Switzerland), Taras Dron (Ukraine), Florian Pokhladko (Austria), Michael Rittmannsberger (Austria).
Grand Prix received the film “Maybes” (Florian Pochladko, Austria, 2012).
23-28 of July 2013 – VII International Short Film Festival Wiz-Art 2013 in Lviv. This year festival motto is “Stronger than weapon” as cinema and lenses of cameras, the power of human thought and intellect and culture are stronger than violence of any kind.
The specal guests of the festival were Norwegian director, Gunhild Enger, Ukrainian director Kateryna Gornostai and the Director of Polish Short Waves Festival, Szymon Stemplewski. Special screenings included the best of the documentaries by project ‘Babylon’13’ about Ukrainian civil protests in 2013-2014. The directors of the project took part in a discussion about the documentary films as the fighting instrument. Also the program included the classical Ukrainian shorts of the XX century, documentary shorts from all over the world ‘Doc.You’ and a Polish panoram of the Short Waves Festival (Poland).
Educational program of Wiz-Art 2014 consisted of Q&A meetings with Austrian director Lisa Weber, Mexican director Ismael Nava Alejos and Norwegian director Gunhild Enger. Also some masteclasses by the director Kateryna Gornostai, the scriptwriter Zhanna Ozirna, the director Mykyta Lyskov and also by the director of the film-participant of Ukrainian program Olha Makarchuk.
Gran Prix of the festival was given to Polish film “Killing Auntie” by Mateusz Głowacki.
21-25 of May 2015 – VIII Lviv International Short Film Festival Wiz-Art. Its motto “The reason of the future” reaveals the concept of the festival: don’t wait till the future will knock your doors, create tomorrow, make this future your own and become its reason.
The special guests and the members of festival’s jury were the directors Katarzyna Gondek (Poland), Christoph Schwarz (Austria) and Oleksandr Ratiy (Ukraine).
Also there were shows from Wiz-Art partners – Italian Film Festival Sedicicorto, Feminist Workshop (Lviv), NGO “CUC” (“Contemporary Ukrainian Cinema”). The novelty of the festival was the show for the youngest ones – the collection of animational short films “Shorties” (4+).
During Wiz-Art 2015 the spectators had a chance to visit Wiz-Art Lab – the educational part of the festival which that year emphasised on the practical skills of the film creation. The Q&A meeting and film shows with the special guests of the festival took place – Austrian director Christoph Schwartz, Israeli scriptwriter and director Guy Lichtenstein and Polish director Katarzyna Gondek. Also as the part of the program masterclasses and lectures with the paticipation of such Ukrainian filmmakers as the executive director Petro Rudolfovych, the graphic artist and the director of animational films Anatoliy Lavrenishyn; the director Oleksandr Ratiy and others.The sriptwriter, director and critic Marysya Nikityuk presented her author course on screenwriting skills. Zhanna Ozirna conducted script readings.
Gran Prix of the festival was given to the film “Satanic Thicket” by Willy Hans (Germany).