Press release: exground filmfest 30: Prize Winners and Festival Review
exground filmfest 30

DIE HERBERGE Wins German Short Film Competition // German-Georgian Co-Production THREE STEPS Named Best International Short Film // Youth Jury and Audience Pick FILTHY [ŠPÍNA] from Czechia/Slovakia // 2nd Annual Inmate Jury Award DAS BRETT for STRANGE DAUGHTER

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 30th 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 approximately 20,000 euros were awarded in seven competition sections. The presence of over 100 film industry guests from Germany and abroad and the great number of festivalgoers in attendance testified once again to the great popularity of the festival, which reaches far beyond the city limits of Hessen’s state capital.

German Short Film Competition

After the screening of the entries to the German Short Film Competition, audience members were able to vote for their favourites, with Ysabel Fantou’s DIE HERBERGE ultimately emerging victorious. The first prize, endowed with 3,000 euros in prize money, was sponsored once again this year by the State Capital of Wiesbaden. Second prize went to PIX by Sophie Linnenbaum, who will receive prize money in the amount of 2,000 euros, sponsored by Wiesbaden-based production company Magenta TV Fernsehproduktionsgesellschaft. Tim Garde was honoured with third prize (worth 1,000 euros, endowed by the State Capital of Wiesbaden) for his SISSI OHNE FRANZ.

A non-cash prize went to Kristina Kean Shtubert for ELISA: for her next film production, the director will be able to borrow film equipment from Pille Filmgeräteverleih, a package valued at 2,000 euros. The second non-cash prize package was awarded to Ysabel Fantou for DIE HERBERGE, the second distinction for the director at the evening’s event; Fantou will receive the Grading Special package from production company Magenta TV Fernsehproduktionsgesellschaft, valued at 1,500 euros.

International Short Film Competition

In the International Short Film Competition, the international jury selected the German-Georgian production THREE STEPS by Ioseb “Soso” Bliadze as best film, presenting the director with prize money in the amount of 2,000 euros, sponsored by the exground Circle of Friends. Jury members Katrin Küchler (media scholar from Dresden), Claudia Tronnier (managing editor at ZDF’s “Das kleine Fernsehspiel” from Mainz) and Ahmet Boyacioglu, (festival organizer, director and producer from Ankara) explained their choice in the following statement:

“The main prize of the international jury goes to a film that focuses on a portrayal of a tense relationship between a 13-year-old girl and her father. The jury was impressed by the closeness to reality of the images and the great performances of the actors. Especially the final image (touching scene) will stay with us. We would like to thank the director for his unsentimental approach to a hopeless situation.”


Special Mentions went to both ASPHALT [ASFALT] by Süleyman Demirel from Turkey and IN A NUTSHELL by Swiss director Fabio Friedli.

DAS BRETT – 2nd Annual Inmate Jury Award

For the second year in a row, the award DAS BRETT was presented by a jury composed of inmates from JVA Wiesbaden (a correctional facility in the state capital) in the scope of the “Made in Germany” section. From a total of six entries to the competition, the seven members of the jury chose the German production STRANGE DAUGHTER by Stephan Lacant:

“STRANGE DAUGHTER has earned DAS BRETT 2017 with a story that pulls one in immediately and an untamed heroine whose spirit cannot be broken. It is a courageous film, because it deconstructs all of our prejudices and remains unpredictable throughout. One constantly feels like one knows what to expect next and how the characters will react, but then everything turns out completely differently than anticipated. The complete package, with its restless camerawork, very convincing performances and by far the best soundtrack on offer, made STRANGE DAUGHTER the most impressive entry to the competition.”

The award is endowed with 1,500 euros by “Die WERFT – Kulturbühne in der JVA Wiesbaden”, a cultural platform operating in Wiesbaden’s correctional facility.

exground youth days

The Czech-Slovak film FILTHY [ŠPÍNA] by Tereza Nvotová won over the members of the youth jury in the International Youth Film Competition:

 “The Czech-Slovak co-production FILTHY by Tereza Nvotová depicts the effects of rape on the life and psyche of 17-year-old Lena in an impressive and realistic manner.

 We chose this film because, in addition to keeping us riveted from the very beginning due to the brilliant acting performances, it also managed to provide us with deep insight into the emotional world and everyday life of a victim dealing with the aftermath of a violent crime.

 As a viewer, it was possible to understand all of the protagonist’s actions and emotions and experience them with great immediacy and feel her pain. We were especially dismayed at the initially awkward attempts made by those around Lena to react to her and help her.

 In spite of the heavy subject matter, there were moments of levity and hope. Questions concerning how Lena’s path will go on and whether the perpetrator will be brought to justice remain open and are left to the viewer’s imagination.”

 The accompanying prize money in the amount of 2,500 euros is funded by the State Capital of Wiesbaden.

A Special Mention went to the French production AVA by Léa Mysius. The youth jury also honoured the best short film at exground youth days: JOY by Abini Gold from Germany.

FILTHY [ŠPÍNA] proved to be a hit with festivalgoers as well, winning the Audience Award, worth 1,000 euros and also funded by the State Capital of Wiesbaden.

In the Wiesbaden Youth Film Competition, STILLE WASSER by Nova Volmer and Kim Schröter came on top in the audience voting. First prize comes with 500 euros, endowed by the Hessian State Centre for Civic Education. Second prize went to UNSERE STADT – SWA HAUTNAH, realised by a group of young people from Bad Schwalbach, who will receive a gift certificate from certified Apple dealer ergo sum valued at 150 euros.

Wiesbaden Special – Short Film Competition

In the audience competition for best Wiesbaden related short film, BOOST YOUR REALITY by Charlotte Couvé and Matteo Sidiropoulos won over viewers. The film was created within a project work at the university Rhein-Main in media management studies, under the leadership of (representative) Professor Boris Kantzow. In addition to prize money of 500 euros, sponsored by festival media partner Wiesbadener Kurier, the winners will also receive the “Film Sound Special” non-cash prize package, consisting of two days of access to the technology and know-how of Wiesbaden recording studio klangBezirk for the final sound mix of their next film production, a package valued at 2,000 euros.

exground Gong Show

Trash hasn’t lost its cult appeal – as amply proven once again by the participants in this year’s legendary exground Gong Show. The deserving winner of 50 euros in prize money and the exground Golden Cucumber: Jan Soldat with his work KEIN DEUTSCHMEHRLAND.

A list with all winners can be downloaded here.

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

Save the date for exground filmfest 31, scheduled to take place from 16th to 25th November 2018!