exground filmfest 34: Announcing the Prize Winners!

MENSCHEN AM SAMSTAG is best international short film // SISTERHOOD and ANY DAY NOW win at youth days // audience award DAS BRETT goes to DIE SAAT // BENZTOWN wins German Short Film Competition // BOXEN ALS WEGWEISER wins audience award in Wiesbaden Special section

This past Sunday evening, the prize winners from the competition sections at exground filmfest 34 were revealed in the scope of a festive awards ceremony held at Wiesbaden’s Caligari FilmBühne. After the final audience votes were counted, the awards presentation took place in front of a live audience, including film guests, jury members, prize sponsors and laudators. In total, exground filmfest awarded cash and non-cash prizes valued at over 18,000 euros.

International Short Film Competition


In the International Short Film Competition, the international jury selected the Swiss production MENSCHEN AM SAMSTAG (directed by Jonas Ulrich) as this year’s winning film. The 2,000€ cash prize was sponsored by the exground Circle of Friends organisation. Jury members Brendan Conway, Alexander Espigares and Karin Hoffinger explained their choice with the following statement:

This year’s award for the international short film competition goes to a film

that blurs the line between fiction and reality and allows us to observe the absurdities of society and laugh at ourselves at the same time.”

The three-member jury presented a special mention to the film TREASURES [TRÉSOR] by Alexandre Manazanares, Guillaume Concenza, Philipp Merten and Silvan Moutte-Roulet:

We would like to give an honorable mention to a film that we all loved for its style, craftsmanship, and humor.“

exground youth days – International Youth Film Competition

The youth jury in the International Youth Film Competition presented this year’s Award for Best Feature Film to SISTERHOOD [SESTRI] by North Macedonian director Dina Duma:

“The film SISTERHOOD by Diana Duma has been unanimously chosen by the youth jury as the best film of this year’s International Youth Film Competition. It tells the tension-filled story of two girlfriends who upload a video while at a party which has extensive destructive consequences for the life of another young woman. These consequences are depicted with great skill. The tension rises with every scene, supported by the music and the fantastic camerawork. The development of the characters is wonderfully portrayed. The toxic relationship between the two main characters maintains its grip on the viewer. A film that sweeps you up like a massive deluge and carries you along on an emotional roller coaster ride.”

The audience, on the other hand, was most impressed by the Finnish film ANY DAY NOW by Hamy Ramezan. The director can look forward to 1,000 euros in prize money, sponsored by the State Capital of Wiesbaden.

The Youth Jury Award for Best Short Film went to Marko Dješka for his film ALL THOSE SENSATIONS IN MY BELLY [SVE TE SENZACIJE U MOM TRBUHU]:

“The award of the youth jury for best short film goes to ALL THOSE SENSATIONS IN MY BELLY by Marko Djeska. The film takes up a very relevant and timely subject. The animated film adeptly tells the story of a young individual searching for and finding themself and their gender identity. Born as a boy, the protagonist feels drawn to a female identity. In brilliant metaphors and colour symbolism, their transformation is depicted with all its accompanying highs and lows. A marvellous animated film whose message urgently needs to reach more adolescents and adults too!”

The prize money of 500 euros is sponsored by the Wiesbadener Kinofestival e. V.

The jury awarded a special mention to the film LIONESS [LEEUWIN] by Philip Besamusca.

exground youth days – Wiesbaden Youth Film Competition

In the Wiesbaden Youth Film Competition, BEOBACHTET came out on top. The short film was created in the scope of the “cinematic school holiday” workshop organised by Medienzentrum Wiesbaden e. V. First place is endowed with 500 euros in prize money, sponsored by Wiesbadener Kinofestival e. V. Two films tied for second place in the voting: UNHEIMLICH and #HEIMAT. The second-place winners will each receive a voucher for 75 euros from the Apple Store ergo sum.

Klappe 7 – Children’s Film Festival

The Klappe 7 children’s film festival also took place in the scope of exground filmfest 34, organised by Wiesbaden’s youth, children’s and neighbourhood centres of the city’s Department of Social Work. The festival-in-a-festival featured screenings of 12 short films by filmmakers aged 5 to 12. An expert jury presented three awards here, to the films ROSENMONTAGSUMZUG, MARS MISSION and ANTI BENZIN.

German Feature Film Competition: DAS BRETT

For the second year in a row, instead of an inmate jury the audience chose the best feature film in the Made in Germany series. From the six nominated productions, the viewers selected DIE SAAT by Mia Maariel Meyer. The award is endowed with a cash prize of 1,500 euros, sponsored by Wiesbadener Kinofestival e. V.

German Short Film Competition

First place in the German Short Film Competition, chosen by the audience, went this year to BENZTOWN by Gottfried Mentor. The award is endowed with 3,000 euros in prize money and is sponsored by the State Capital of Wiesbaden. Second place, endowed with 2,000 euros and sponsored by Magenta TV Fernsehproduktionsgesellschaft, went to MONA & PARVIZ by Kevin Biele, while third place, endowed with 1,000 euros and sponsored by Pille Filmgeräteverleih, went to EIN OZEAN by Paul Scheufler.

In addition, two non-cash prizes were awarded: for his MONA & PARVIZ Kevin Biele received a film equipment rental package valued at 2,000 euros from Pille Filmgeräteverleih for his next film. The one-day colour grading prize package for a short film project sponsored by Magenta TV Fernsehproduktionsgesellschaft and valued at 1,500 euros went to Jannis Alexander Kiefer for his film KOLLEGEN.

Wiesbaden Special – Short Film Competition

In the audience competition for the best Wiesbaden short film, SCHLAGFERTIG – BOXEN ALS WEGWEISER by Samira Najafian proved triumphant. The award, featuring a 500€ cash prize, was sponsored by the Wiesbadener Kurier.

exground Gong Show

In the cult competition for trashy treasures and amateur productions, Lorenz Wurdinger received his second award this year for his film ALLES GUTE, MANU. The young filmmaker, who already won the Gong Show in the scope of the FILMZ Festival in Mainz, took home the “Golden exground Cucumber”, along with a 50€ cash prize.

The 35th edition of exground filmfest will take place from 11 to 22 November 2022.