18 May 2020

The programme for this year’s Independent Audio Play Festival (BHF) is ready: on radio’s centennial anniversary, the 11th edition of the competition among the independent scene will take place online

The last entries for the shortest audio plays, produced quick'n'dirty (aka MikroFlitzer), closed on Sunday, with 16 productions nominated, including four 'corona plays'

The 11. Berliner Hörspielfestival (BHF, 11th Berlin Audio Play Festival) will take place online from 21 to 24 May. Thomas Heise, director of the Film and Media Arts Section of the Akademie der Künste, and the artistic directors of Berliner Hörspielfestival e.V. will open the festival. All nominated audio plays will be streamed live and in real time on the websites and YouTube channels of the BHF and the Akademie der Künste, and as a new addition, on the website of media partner radioeins. Listeners will be able to comment on the contributions and vote online for the audience awards. Once the festival closes, the complete stream will continue to be available until 31 May.

Winners of the established Brennende Mikros (Burning Mics) awards receive high-quality audio equipment, such as studio microphones and binaural headsets. This year is the first time that unique trophies made from radiophonic antiques, such as original transmitter tubes and condensers by the legendary Funkerberg in Königs Wusterhausen, Germany's cradle of broadcasting (100 years of radio – 100 years of audio art), will be awarded. Every evening, following the broadcast of a competition entry, Rainer Suckow of the support association "Sender Königs Wusterhausen" will present the individual museum-worthy objects and describe their historical use. Additional information, videos, audio play trailers, and image material on the competition will be published daily on the website of the Berlin Audio Play Festival www.berliner-hoerspielfestival.de, on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube until 21 May.

This year, 32 MikroFlitzer supplement the 151 competition entries in the categories Das lange brennende Mikro (The Long Burning Mic, for plays 20 to 60 minutes long), Das kurze brennende Mikro (The Short Burning Mic, 5 to 20 minutes), Das glühende Knopfmikro (The Glowing Button-Mic, one to five minutes), and for the first time, the international competition The Burning Mic (1 to 60 minutes) for plays in languages other than German. Among all entries, 51 were selected for the competition.

MikroFlitzers, which are no longer than 60 seconds, have different conditions to fulfil every year. This year's entries had to meet two conditions: the audio plays had to contain the sentence 'Erst mal nur alles' ('first everything') and the sound of a tumbling globe. The spectrum of the nominated pieces range from the planetary sphere to the current COVID-19 crisis but also metaphysical reflections on standstill – often with a humorous approach to the respective topic.

Each of the four festival evenings will host a different competition, for which the audience will cast their vote; award ceremonies will take place immediately afterwards.
MikroFlitzer will be presented on Thursday, 21 May; Das kurze brennende Mikro (The Short Burning Mic) on Friday; Das glühende Knopfmikro (The Glowing Button-Mic) on Saturday; and The Burning Mic on Sunday. The seven plays of the category Das lange brennende Mikro (The Long Burning Mic) will run over the length of the four-day festival, framing the other competitions. The jury discussion will be open to the public and held on the day of the award ceremony, Sunday, 24 May, at the close of the festival. Individual short plays from the youth workshop, created in a student workshop organized by the BHF, will also be presented on a daily basis. The students will provide short statements via video overlay about the processes involved in their production.

The Berliner Hörspielfestival is a cooperation with the Akademie der Künste. It is supported with funding from Berlin's Senate Department for Culture and Europe. Its media partner is radioeins, which will broadcast individual contributions in advance of the festival and co-stream the entire festival on its website.

Special Event Information
11. Berliner Hörspielfestival (BHF)
21– 24 May 2020, 6/7 – 11 pm
New trailers of the plays nominated for competition have been published on BHF's YouTube and Facebook channels daily since 17 April.
The non-German speaking pieces from 60 seconds to 60 minutes will be streamed on Sunday at 7 pm.

Press Contact on behalf of the Akademie der Künste:
Elena Zieser, elena.zieser@berliner-hoerspielfestival.de