Dear audience, dear festival team,
Following the 100% online edition of 2020, exground filmfest can open up once again to personal encounters this year – while still remaining digital: the film programming will be shown both in local venues and for the most part online as well. This hybrid format is the best solution for 2021.
Despite the difficult circumstances, the organisational team has again managed to put together a high-calibre programme which provides unusual glimpses into other cultures, but also brings highlights from large film festivals to Hessen’s state capitol. I am especially excited for the opening film from Cannes, the musical ANNETTE by Leos Carax, with Adam Driver and Marion Cotillard, and for LEAVE NO TRACES from Poland, a political drama about state authority that celebrated its international premiere in Venice and is representing its native country in the 2022 Oscar race. GREAT FREEDOM, on the other hand, takes us to post-war-era Germany. Actors Franz Rogowski and Georg Friedrich shine in this drama about the infamous Paragraph 175, which stigmatised and outlawed sex relationships between men. The film was honoured in Cannes with the Jury Prize in the “Un Certain Regard” section.
In addition to recognition and gratitude for its creative drive and commitment, the organisational team also deserves our support. That is why we have increased our funding significantly through the HessenFilm und Medien GmbH in the past years.
I wish you intensive cinema experiences and exciting conversations, and a smooth and successful festival to the organisational team.
Hessen State Minister for Higher Education, Research and the Arts