exground filmfest in Wiesbaden is amongst Germany’s most important film festivals for international independent productions. exground filmfest is an important meeting place for journalists, specialized visitors, and guests from the film business.

Many (debut-) films from by now world wide renowned directors had their German or European premieres in Wiesbaden. To name but a few from the last years: 9 SOULS by Toshiaki Toyoda, GERRY by Gus Van Sant, THE THREE BURIALS OF MELQUIADES ESTRADA by Tommy Lee Jones, DEPARTURES by Yojiro Takita, SOMEWHERE TONIGHT by Michael Di Jiacomo, GANTZ 2: PERFECT ANSWER by Shinsuke Sato, AFTER LUCIA by Michel Franco and BETHLEHEM by Yuval Adler.

Guests in Wiesbaden included German Film Award winner Oskar Roehler, Oscar winner Les Bernstein, Katja Esson (Oscar nominee), Susan Emshwiller (script writer for POLLOCK), Adam Green with his film debut GEMSTONES CRACKIN’, New Wave icon Anne Clark as well as the German shooting stars Josefine Preuß, Simon Gosejohann, Dietrich Brüggemann, Axel Ranisch and Sophie Linnenbaum.

Accompanying programs, such as workshops, exhibitions, concerts, lectures, parties and panel discussions, top off exground filmfest.

Main program

American Independents

Independent US productions: from masterpieces with celebrity casts via genuine “Indies” low-budget films with cult potential.

Made in Germany

Brand-new productions from Germany of special quality and originality – arthouse, low-budget films as well as trash jewels and genre films with international format.

European Cinema

Box office smash hits, artistically innovative films, and highlights from big festivals. 

World Cinema

Artistically innovative films, and underground cult movies from all over the world. 

Short film programs covering all genres

The shorter the better: at exground filmfest, this is true amongst all genres – and especially for the short film programs loved so much by the audience.

Special program


Every year, exground filmfest takes a special look at the filmic work of a specific country. In cooperation with colleges and local institutions, we already presented big and small masterpieces from Fennoscandia, Austria, Great Britain, France, Canada, the Benelux countries, Spain, Sweden, Latin America, Israel, Switzerland, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Greece, Iran, Turkey, the Philippines, Brazil, Italy, the USA as well as Portugal. In 2023, the focus will be dedicated to latest productions from Chile


In special festival years, exground filmfest dedicates a program to a specific director’s work. These compact and exquisite screenings already presented directors as Abel Ferrara, Michael Haneke, Mike Figgis, Claire Denis, David Cronenberg, Julio Médem, Roy Andersson, Eyal Sivan and an homage to German actor and director Ulli Lommel.


exground filmfest’s contest programs have become an important forum for numerous promising young filmmakers – not least due to the huge audience interest in works off the cinema mainstream. At exground filmfest 36, cash prizes and non-cash prizes of almost EUR 15,000 will be awarded.

German Feature Film Competition

A prisoner jury decides on the best film in the Made in Germany section, endowed with prize money of EUR 1,500 (in the festival years 2020 to 2022 from the audience).

German Short Film Competition

One of the traditional highlights and audience hits, a nationwide contest for the best German short film, endowed with EUR 6,000.

International Short Film Competition

A professional jury will hand out the award for the best international short film, endowed with EUR 2,000.

Wiesbaden-Special – Short Film Competition

Contest for short films by Wiesbaden production companies or local directors, audience award endowed with EUR 500.

youth days – International Youth Film Competition

A youth jury will award the best international feature film from the youth days program with EUR 2,500 – and the best international youth days short film with EUR 500. In 2013, an additional audience award was introduced – endowed with a prize money of EUR 1,000.

youth days – Wiesbaden Youth Film Competition

The youth days section is rounded off with the Wiesbaden Youth Film Competition – the short film contest for local up-and-coming directors between twelve and 18 years, endowed with a total of EUR 650.