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November 22nd, 2016

exground filmfest: Winners and Highlights

BERLIN METANOIA wins German Short Film Competition // Romanian production WRITTEN/UNWRITTEN named Best International Short Film // Youth jury and audience pick STARLESS DREAMS from Iran // 1st inmate jury prize DAS BRETT goes to ANISHOARA

With a festive awards ceremony and subsequent finale reception for a sold-out house at Caligari FilmBühne in Wiesbaden, exground filmfest celebrated the successful conclusion of its 29th edition this past Sunday evening after ten days featuring the best of independent cinema. Following the screening of the program for the German Short Film Competition, cash and material prizes worth more than 20,000 euros were awarded in five competition sections, including the inaugural presentation of DAS BRETT, the winner of which was selected by a jury composed of inmates from Wiesbaden’s correctional facility. The presence of numerous international guests and over 14,000 festival attendees testified once again to the great popularity of the festival, which reaches far beyond the city limits of Hessen’s state capital.
exground filmfest award winners
exground filmfest award ceremony

German Short Film Competition

After the presentation of the films of the German Short Film Competition, the audience voted for its favourites, ultimately selecting BERLIN METANOIA by Erik Schmitt as the winning film. The first prize award, worth 3,000 euros, was once again this year sponsored by the State Capital of Wiesbaden. Second place went to BROKEN by Volker Schlecht and Alexander Lahl, who will receive prize money of 2,000 euros, sponsored by Wiesbaden-based television production company Magenta TV. Markus Mischkowski and Kai Maria Steinkühler were selected for third place (1,000 euros) for their film THE EXCHANGE.

For his animated film EINE VILLA MIT PINIEN, Jan Koester received a material prize: for his next film, he will be able to make use of film equipment provided by Pille Filmgeräteverleih, valued at 2,000 euros. The second material prize, the “Grading Special” package from Magenta TV, valued at 1,500 euros, went to Markus Mischkowski and Kai Maria Steinkühler for their film THE EXCHANGE.  


International Short Film Competition

In the International Short Film Competition, the international jury selected the Romanian production WRITTEN/UNWRITTEN by Adrian Silișteanu as their winning film and presented the director with prize money in the amount of 1,500 euros, sponsored by the exground Circle of Friends. Jury members Zahra Ensafi (director of the Nahal Student Film Festival), Susanne Mertens (editor at ZDF/ARTE Thema) and Dan Angelo Muggia (from Beit Berl College in Tel Aviv) explained their decision with the following words: “The jury was impressed by the film’s extremely precise mise-en-scène and its excellent editing, which playfully reflect on issues of family ties and identity challenged by a state bureaucracy. The jury would also like to praise the intense performances from the ensemble cast and the clever shooting approach, which constructs an entire universe within a single image.”

DAS BRETT – 1st Inmate Jury Prize

For the first time, the award DAS BRETT was presented in the festival’s “Made in Germany” section. This special prize is awarded by a jury consisting of inmates from the JVA Wiesbaden (the city’s correctional facility). From the section’s six films, the jurors chose to honour the German-Moldavian production ANISHOARA by Ana-Felicia Scutelnicu. The award is endowed with 1,700 euros, sponsored by “Die WERFT – Kulturbühne in der JVA Wiesbaden” (a cultural platform for Wiesbaden’s correctional facilities).

exground youth days

The documentary film STARLESS DREAMS by Mehrdad Oskouei won over the members of the youth jury in the International Youth Film Competition, who released the following statement: “This documentary film informs the viewers about the lives of adolescent Iranian offenders in a rehabilitation centre. It is at the same time very compelling and sad to listen as the girls tell about their personal experiences, such as domestic violence, abuse and oppression. The director Mehrdad Oskouei reveals frightening and very gloomy personal fates, while still managing to show moments of hope. The suffering and neglect that the girls have experienced in their families enable them to perceive the centre and the sense of community with the others as a sort of sanctuary and not simply a prison. For many of them, the prospect of release from the facility arouses more fear than hope. From a technical point of view, the film is exceptionally well made. Great snapshots of individual moments, intensive interviews and authentic everyday situations reflect the contradictory moods between desperation and the will to survive that characterize the film. The film moved us deeply and enabled us to see and appreciate our own lives from another perspective.” The prize, worth 2,500 euros, is sponsored by the State Capital of Wiesbaden. A special mention went to the American feature film SLASH by Clay Liford. The youth jury also honoured the best opening film: ZERO-G by Jannis Lenz from Austria.

STARLESS DREAMS also made a great impression on the viewers and won the Audience Award, worth 1,000 euros, which is also sponsored by the State Capital of Wiesbaden.

In the Wiesbaden Youth Film Competition, Anthony Jole’s WAKE UP came out on top in the audience voting. The first place prize is worth 500 euros, sponsored by the Hessen State Office for Political Education. Second place went to ZERREISSPROBE by Moritz Göbel, who received a gift certificate for the Apple dealer ergo sum valued at 150 euros.  
Award winner Turan Firatli (GIVE OR TAKE)

Wiesbaden Special – Short Film Competition

In the Audience Competition for Best Wiesbaden Short Film, GIVE OR TAKE by Turan Firatli came out on top. In addition to prize money of 500 euros, sponsored by festival media partner Wiesbadener Kurier, Firatli will also receive the material prize package “Film Sound Special”, which entitles the young director to two days of access to the tools and know-how of the Wiesbaden recording studio klangBezirk (valued at 2,000 euros) for the final sound mix of his next film.

exground Gong Show

Trash hasn’t lost its cult charm – the participants in this year’s edition of the legendary exground Gong Show proved this fact once again. The deserving winners of the 50€ cash prize and the exground Golden Cucumber were Ari Estavillo and Gereon Weber with their work BUDDY BONER.

A list with all winners can be downloaded here:
Thank You and Festival Date 2017
exground filmfest would like to thank all of our supporters and patrons and is looking forward to the next edition: exground filmfest 30 will take place from November 17 - 26, 2017.

For more information please contact:

Mirjam Wiekenkamp | Dagny Kleber
+49 30-41723030
NOISE Film PR, All rights reserved.