In 1990, six film enthusiasts came together to found a festival for avant-garde and underground film productions and thus establish an alternative to the dull conformity of the cinema scene in Germany of the time. Over the course of 27 years and now 30 editions (in the beginning there were two per year) exground filmfest has evolved into a film festival of international stature. Last year’s 14,000 attendees are a testament to the unwavering popularity of the festival. We are rightfully proud of the fact that we have achieved all of that as a festival organized by volunteers and would like to take the opportunity to thank all of those who have been a part of the team over these many years.

Once again, we have assembled a multi-faceted program for you, with around 200 international productions – a cross-section of the international cinema class of 2016/2017 selected from over 2,500 submitted short and feature-length films as well as the best from numerous festival visits. Now the biggest compliment for us would be to have as many festivalgoers as possible join us on our cinematic journey around the world. Relax and settle in to the comfortable theatre seats at Caligari FilmBühne and Murnau-Filmtheater, or come to the iconic Kulturpalast or to the opening party and a concert at Schlachthof, let yourself be carried away to other worlds and cultures, experience audience favourites from other festivals and take advantage of the chance to talk to the more than 100 film guests expected to attend the festival.

Another premiere: all fiction feature and documentary films and short film competitions at noon, 3 pm, 5:30 pm and 8 pm at Caligari FilmBühne will be shown in German-language versions or with German subtitles – and the same goes for all of the feature-length films in this year’s country focus on Turkey at Murnau-Filmtheater.

In addition to a rich film program, we will take a look at the facets and possibilities of contemporary Turkish cinema in a panel discussion and present a concert of the Turkish folk band “Derya Yildirim & Grup Şimşek” at Kulturzentrum Schlachthof and an exhibition of Turkish video artists at Nassauischer Kunstverein. Films from the country focus will also be shown in select cinemas in Darmstadt and Frankfurt am Main. Here our thanks go out to all of our co-operation partners and Kulturfonds Frankfurt RheinMain, without whose generous support we would not have been able to put together this comprehensive look at the Turkish cinema, art and music scenes.

Going into their 14th edition this year, the exground youth days will also once again take young viewers along on an exciting cinematic journey to other countries and cultures. How do young people live in other parts of the world? What’s on their minds as they make their way towards adulthood? What are their passions, their concerns and troubles? Here too we will be showing all feature-length films with German subtitles this year.

In order to accomplish the Herculean task of realising exground filmfest, we need external employees, interns and over 100 helpers during the festival. For this reason, we would like to express our deepest gratitude to all those who pitched in to make exground filmfest 30 a reality. That goes equally for all of our supporters, sponsors, partners and friends of the festival, without whose financial support it would have been impossible to put on exground filmfest 30 at all. Our special thanks go to the State Capital of Wiesbaden, the Hessian Ministry for Science and the Arts as well as HessenFilm und Medien GmbH.

We are really looking forward to ten eventful festival days full of new (cinematic) impressions!