HaHaArt Film Festival Manifest 2022Laughter is a fundamentally human trait. We laugh at ourselves, by ourselves and in spite of ourselves. And then again with others, at others and in spite of others. Whether it be an anecdote, derision, pleasure or misfortune. Be it the realization of the space between what is and what should be, like Schopenhauer once wrote, laughter strikes us fast and uncontrollably.
But comedy is more than just the ‘funny’ or the ‘humorous’. It shows us what is hidden in the face of all, the joy and will to live; it ruffles, repeats and augments; it turns concepts upside down and deconstructs what is the predetermined in order to make us foreign for a moment. In the words of Wylie Sypher, it “… shows us things drama cannot”. Whether it be the honesty or the portrayal of the absurd that so often imitates reality, in its symbiosis between gag and narrative, the cinematic genre of comedy is in fact closer to real life.
Comedy is also sharing, being able to empathize and create bonds between audiences. Both for its grounded portrayal of the human condition and for the smile that contaminates our faces summoning something of our primordial communicative nature. Sadly, it is many times spurned to the world of entertainment due to its impact on social life.
Comedy cinema is rarely recognized for its aesthetic and artistic value. Film critics often ignore its importance and in doing so they devalue and demote these films.
The HaHaArt Film Festival seeks to affirm this value. It aims to put the genre of comedy at the same level of critic recognition as others. We wish to celebrate the films that have the courage to come fourth as comedies and resist this undervalued status.
We wish to celebrate the films that have the courage to come fourth as comedies and resist this undervalued status.
Let us recognize the absence of a comedy genre canon. Let us recognize the abstract nature of the genre and celebrate it! Let us cherish its mutable and chameleonic nature. Let us value the sights that comedy cinema offers us, and the emotional approach to the narrative structures made its own.
Let us celebrate the incoherence, the unpredictable and the surprise; the exaggeration, the contradiction and the repetition of comedy’s methodic madness. Let us praise absent-mindedness, big facial expressions, large gestures, bumbling and mumbling, and bodily functions. Let us embrace the breaking of conventions, both social and technical. Let us embrace disruption and honesty. Let us take the comedic hero seriously: he who is lost in existence, unmindful of others, uncapable of change, but genuine, believable and real.
To make people laugh, as Woody Allen would say, is either easy or impossible.. It is dependent on the openness to comedy’s risks and possibilities and on the ability to accept our own flaws; it is dependent on embracing the freedom of speech; on understanding, accepting and valuing comedy’s own mechanisms. We must welcome it with open arms. Only then we might die laughing… And with no regrets!
The HaHaArt Film Festival strives to be a highlight in the national and international film festival scene as a fierce defender of the comedy film. Let us watch films and celebrate, together with our audiences, this wish of reigniting the flame of what once was one of the most prestigious genres in the history of cinema.