Dear film fans, dear festival organisers,
exground filmfest is celebrating no less than its 34th edition this year and a host of volunteers are still responsible for the fact it can happen in the first place. My deepest thanks go to all of them! Following good, old exground tradition, this time a country is again in the focus of the programme: the United States of America are 2021’s guest country. Supporting this Country Focus is of great importance to Kulturfonds, as it indeed enables an intensive dialogue between the filmmakers who travel here and our regional audience.
This year’s guest is a wonderful challenge, not only because the country is unbelievably large and full of social, cultural, and political differences, but also for the fact that the US-American film industry, including its innumerable independent and low-budget productions, is so diverse. However, the established AMERICAN INDEPENDENTS section has been sharpening our view of filmmaking from the USA for years now, and exground filmfest tackled the challenge of creating a dedicated USA FOCUS with great joy and enthusiasm as a result.
The Country Focus consists of eight fiction features and five documentary films, along with ten short films, which provide a diverse impression of a nation under tension, which is also wonderfully apparent in the film SOUL KIDS at YOUTH DAYS, in which the (mostly) Black kids of a music academy shape their futures while reflecting on the impact of racism.
The post-festival screenings are back again too, at the REX in Darmstadt and Pupille in Frankfurt am Main. In addition, Nassauischer Kunstverein is once again featuring compelling video art in their programme, and Amnesty International will be shedding light on the prison system in the USA in a presentation.
I wish exground filmfest lots of attendees, and would especially like to wish our US-American guests a lovely time in our region!
Managing Director of Kulturfonds Frankfurt RheinMain