herzlich willkommen // welcome

On 19 April 1990, we opened our first festival, back then under the name “exground on screen”, with John Waters’ short film INTRO, in which the “King of Sleaze” sneeringly smokes something with relish in front of the audience in a non-smoking cinema. 30 years later, and we’re still here! Bigger and longer, as we are spread out over more venues, outside of Wiesbaden in the greater Rhine-Main area too, and now over a total of ten days in November. Smoking in the cinema has long since become passé, and unfortunately we can’t expect that many attendees at our venues for this exceptional November either.

It’s 2020 – and a pandemic has a grip on the whole world. As a result, we’ve also rethought our approach and resolved to go hybrid: all exground films will be screened in our venues in adherence with all public health guidelines and additionally incorporated into an online on-demand programme, which our viewers can watch in the comfort of their own homes.

Hybrid also means that we basically have to organise two film festivals in parallel – thus we are very proud that we, as an unpaid organisational team, have nevertheless managed to do just that.

Still, as usual all this would not be possible without our funders, sponsors, partners and friends of the festival, who have also supported us in this difficult year, financially and otherwise. Our special thanks go to the State Capital of Wiesbaden, Hessen’s State Ministry of Higher Education, Research and the Arts, HessenFilm und Medien GmbH and Kulturfonds Frankfurt RheinMain. Last but not least, we’d like to thank all our helpers, without whom we could not put on our festival.

exground filmfest is also a festival that believes in solidarity: that’s why we’ve made space in the programme to give goEast Film Festival, which was only able to take place online in May, the opportunity to present their Competition for Fiction Features and Documentaries as well as their opening film to a live audience.

For the newest festival edition, as always we have put together a worthwhile programme featuring over 120 productions – a cross-section of international cinema’s class of 2019/20, chosen from over 2,500 short and feature-length film submissions. So, please come out and join us at our venues, or take advantage of our on-demand offerings!

In 1990, we concluded our first festival with a programme item titled “LIVE”. Film festivals are places for encounters and must remain that way. We were very prescient 30 years ago.

We’re looking forward to ten eventful festival days full of new (film) impressions!

Your exground filmfest team


greeting Karin Wolff
greeting Axel Imholz
greeting Angela Dorn