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Press Release
November 7th 2017

youth days @ 30th exground filmfest: A Portal into Hidden Worlds

21 Films // 4,150 € in Cash and Non-Cash Prizes // Commitment to Young Refugees

From November 18th to the 23rd, the 14th edition of exground youth days will present an exciting program in the scope of exground filmfest (taking place November 17th-26th in Wiesbaden, Germany) featuring productions from 13 countries. Seven feature-length and 14 short films will provide glimpses into otherwise often closed-off worlds of young people. Cash and non-cash prizes valued at a total of 4,150 euros will be awarded in the Wiesbaden Youth Film Competition and the International Youth Film Competition. exground filmfest is continuing its commitment to young refugees by offering opportunities for them to participate in a film workshop and serve as members of the youth jury. In addition, exground filmfest continues to present the exground youth film of the month throughout the entire year, a regular event that the organizers also capitalize on to give young refugees a chance to get involved in active work with the medium of film.

A WEDDING (left); FILTHY (right)

Program Highlights at exground youth days

Since 2004, the exground youth days have established themselves as an integral part of the festival, opening the film program to a young audience in the International Youth Film Competition. In the Wiesbaden Youth Film Competition, local directorial talents have the chance to present their work for the first time on the big screen.

In the International Youth Film Competition, the protagonist of the German production LOMO – THE LANGUAGE OF MANY OTHERS dives headlong into a dark place: after his girlfriend dumps him, Karl gradually loses himself in the digital world, granting the followers of his blog more and more control over his life. Director Julia Langhof will be in Wiesbaden to present her film in person at a 10:30 am screening on November 22nd at Caligari FilmBühne.

In the Czech-Slovak co-production FILTHY [ŠPÍNA], 17-year-old Lena ends up in a psychiatric clinic after a suicide attempt. Alas, instead of trying to get to the root of the patients’ problems, the staff there stuff them full of medication and mistreat with electroshocks. Director Tereza Nvotová brings together visual brilliance and an exceptional cast in her feature film debut.

Léa Mysius’ AVA comes to us from France with a buoyant, summery charm, even though the eponymous protagonist is threatened by the prospect of encroaching blindness – which leads her to attempt to experience all of the adventures of coming-of-age in fast motion. AVA walked away with not one but two prizes at Cannes International Film Festival: the SACD Award for Best Feature Film and the “Palm Dog” for Best Canine Performance in a film.

The humorous story revolving around runaways Kit and Alice at the heart of the Canadian production WEIRDOS takes us back to the 1970s – set against the breath-taking backdrop of the Canadian East coast and underscored by a soundtrack sourced from the era in question. Director Bruce McDonald was previously represented at exground filmfest with his feature film debut ROADKILL (1989), as well as the follow-ups HIGHWAY 61 (1991) and THE TRACEY FRAGMENTS (2007).

Contrasting attitudes between Occident and Orient collide in the international co-production A WEDDING [NOCES]. 18-year-old Zahira, a presumably normal Belgian teenager, is shocked when her parents announce their plans to set her up in an arranged marriage with a Pakistani, thus throwing not only Zahira into irreconcilable inner turmoil. Director Stephan Streker based his third feature film on a true story, creating a precise portrait of a Pakistani family in Europe in the process.

AVA (left); WEIRDOS (right)

Short Films at exground youth days

In the International Youth Film Competition, seven short films, each screening before a feature film, dive into the lives and surroundings of adolescent protagonists. In EVENT HORIZON by Joséfa Celestin, Julianne wants to remain a child in a time when Pluto was still the ninth planet and cassette tapes had to be rewound. In Alma W. Bär’s animated film

PINK CUTS PINK, a girl liberates herself from a loop of oppressively smooth and shiny hair. The Spanish production PUP [CACHORRO] by Jesús Rivera Soriano applies an experience from the animal world to young adults: only the strong manage to grow up here.

From short fiction films to music videos all the way to documentaries, the seven multi-facetted short films in the Wiesbaden Youth Film Competition shed light on a range of subjects, including love, home, democracy, guilt and the local skater scene.

EVENT HORIZON (left); PUP (right)

Active Film Work with Young Refugees: Film Workshop, Youth Jury & exground Youth Film of the Month

As in the previous years, exground filmfest is offering young refugees opportunities to engage actively with the medium of film. In a film workshop to take place during exground filmfest, participants will create a stop motion film that will then be screened in the scope of exground youth days. On top of that, the Wiesbaden Youth Film Competition, taking place in the framework of exground youth days, features a music video that was previously shot by young refugees during this year’s Easter break.

In addition, the festival was once again able to convince young refugees to serve as members of the youth jury for the International Youth Film Competition. Together with young natives of Wiesbaden, they will view all of the entries to the competition and finally present the award for best feature film, endowed with prize money in the amount of 2,500 euros by the State Capital of Wiesbaden.

Outside of the festival period itself, exground filmfest has been presenting the exground youth film of the month throughout the entire year, going all the way back to 2005. The international productions shown here invite the young audience, including young refugees, to take part in discussions and active work with film under the guidance of a trained media educator.

The program for exground youth days can be seen in full here:

exground youth days


A WEDDING [NOCES] by Stephan Streker
Belgium/France/Luxemburg/Pakistan 2016, 98 min. French-Urdu OV w/ GER+ENG subs

Supporting film:
Germany 2016

22.11.2017 5:30 pm – Caligari FilmBühne

AVA by Léa Mysius
France 2017 104 min. OV w/ GER+ENG subs

Supporting film:
EVENT HORIZON by Joséfa Celestin
France/Great Britain 2017

19.11.2017 5:30 pm – Caligari FilmBühne

BUTTERFLY KISSES by Rafael Kapelinski
Great Britain 2017 89 min. OV w/ GER+ENG subs

Supporting film:
PUP [CACHORRO] by Jesús Rivera Soriano
Spain 2016 12 min. OV w/ ENG subs

21.11.2017 5:30 pm – Murnau-Filmtheater

FILTHY [ŠPÍNA] by Tereza Nvotová
Czech Republic/Slovakia 2017 88 min. Slovak OV w/ GER+ENG subs

Supporting film:
JOY by Abini Gold
Germany 2017 15 min. OV w/ ENG subs

20.11.2017 5:30 pm – Caligari FilmBühne

Germany 2017 101 min. OV w/ ENG subs

Supporting film:
Germany 2017 17 min. OV w/ ENG subs

18.11.2017 5:30 pm – Caligari FilmBühne
22.11.2017 10:30 am – Caligari FilmBühne (with Julia Langhof in attendance)

LOVING LORNA by Annika Karlsson and Jessica Karlsson
Sweden 2017 61 min. engl. OV w/ GER+ENG subs

Supporting film:
CHANGE by Annika Pinske
Germany 2016 12 min. OV w/ ENG subs

19.11.2017 3:00 pm – Caligari FilmBühne

WEIRDOS by Bruce McDonald
Canada 2016 84 min. English OV w/ GER subs

Supporting film:
MORSEN by Simon Spitzer and Jessyca R. Hauser
Austria 2017 6 min. OV w/ ENG subs

23.11.2017 5:30 pm – Caligari FilmBühne


18.11.2017 3:00 pm – Caligari FilmBühne

by a group of students from the Heinrich von Kleist School, 2017, 14 min.

by Moritz Richter, 2017, 7 min.

by young refugee students from the Friedrich Ebert School, 2017, 6 min.

by Tahmid Uddin, 2017, 3 min.

by a group of young people from Bad Schwalbach, 2017, 18 min.

by Nova Volmer and Kim Schröter, 2017, 6 min.

by a group of students from the IGS Kastellstraße, 2016, 14 min.

exground filmfest would like to thank all of its supporters and sponsors.