Press Release September 27th 2017

exground filmfest Celebrates 30th Edition

November 17th – 26th 2017

THE GULF Selected as Opening Film // Country Focus Devoted to Turkey //
2nd Annual Presentation of Inmate Jury Prize DAS BRETT

Germany’s exground filmfest is gearing up to celebrate its 30th edition from November 17th to the 26th, with a great number of events and screenings scheduled to take place at Wiesbaden’s Caligari FilmBühne, Murnau Filmtheater, Kulturpalast and the city’s Schlachthof cultural centre. Over the course of ten days, numerous special guests from the international film world will be presenting around 200 independently produced short and feature-length films. In addition, the festival boasts an extensive accompanying program featuring workshops, exhibitions, parties and panel discussions. The festival’s annual country focus will take a deep look this year at Turkey’s extraordinarily rich film and cultural landscape.

The festival will open at Caligari FilmBühne on November 17th at 7 pm with a production chosen from the focus program, director Emre Yeksan’s debut film THE GULF. In this Turkish-German-Greek co-production, an appalling stench drifts in from the gulf to envelop the city of Izmir, turning the life of an aimless young man upside down.

30th exground filmfest: From Experimental Underground to International Significance

In 1990, six cinema enthusiasts teamed up to found a festival for avant-garde and underground film productions, with the express aim of providing an alternative to the dull conformity of the prevailing cinema scene of the time. Over the course of 27 years and now 30 festival editions (in its fledgling years the festival took place twice annually) exground filmfest has evolved into a film festival of an international calibre. The 14,000 guests who attended last year’s edition of the event are living proof of the unabated popularity of the festival.

According to Andrea Wink, one of the original co-founders and current member of the organisational team: “When we started the festival, of course we couldn’t imagine that we’d be celebrating the 30th edition of exground filmfest one day. I think we can definitely be a little bit proud of the fact that we’ve managed to take a festival organised on a volunteer basis as far as we have. Due to our consistently good work and persistence, every edition of the festival has been in tune with the times, as this year’s country focus on Turkey demonstrates once again.”


For their jubilee edition, the organisational team has a number of highlights in store. In an entertaining lecture entitled TRUMP, THE ACTOR, Urs Spörri of Deutsches Filminstitut will analyse Donald Trump’s bizarre film career. With the aid of excerpts from works for cinema and television in which Trump typically appears in passing, usually doing a cameo as himself, Spörri will shed light on how the 45th President of the United States used film to cultivate his image. Under the title WHITE ZOMBIE POETRY, Ralph Turnheim, the only silent film narrator currently practicing the profession in the German-speaking world, will voice the 1932 silent film classic WHITE ZOMBIE live, with a lyrical touch and a generous portion of biting Viennese wit (see for a taste).


German Competition: Second Awarding of Inmate Jury Prize DAS BRETT

For the second time, exground filmfest will present the inmate jury prize DAS BRETT for the best film in the festival’s Made in Germany section. The award is endowed with prize money in the amount of 1,000 euros, funded by “Die WERFT – Kulturbühne in der JVA Wiesbaden” (a cultural platform for Wiesbaden’s correctional facilities).

A total of six productions will be screened in the competition for DAS BRETT, including the comedy MISSION:LOVE by Laura Lackmann, which takes a charming but uncompromising look at a couple trapped in the stale day-to-day existence of their relationship with all of the pitfalls such a situation entails. Also vying for DAS BRETT is Lola Randl’s DO YOU SOMETIMES FEEL BURNED OUT AND EMPTY?, which the Wiesbaden festival audience will have a chance to see before its official cinema release. In Randl’s most recent work, Luisa rushes non-stop through the various stations of her life: from her job to her house, from her spouse to her lover, from peanut puffs to raw food diet. One day she is suddenly confronted by a second self that has split off from her original id – the gloves soon come off, as Luisa and her disassociated doppelgänger struggle for dominance.

The following films are also competing for the honour to take home DAS BRETT:
FOUR HANDS by Oliver Kienle
STRANGE DAUGHTER by Stephan Lacant
REWIND by Johannes Sieverts
TEHRAN TABOO by Ali Soozandeh

Not nominated for the award from the inmate jury but nonetheless screening in the Made in Germany section, are the documentary films ANNE CLARK – I’LL WALK OUT INTO TOMORROW by Claus Withopf and QUEERCORE: HOW TO PUNK A REVOLUTION by Yony Leyser, while for its part the program for mid-length productions will feature the films BLUE SUMMER SYMPHONY by Sinje Köhler, HARD WAY – THE ACTION MUSICAL by Daniel Vogelmann and GABI by Michael Fetter Nathansky.

The complete festival program will be available online from late October 2017 at

New Sponsor: stadtmobil
exground filmfest is excited to announce a new partnership with stadtmobil Rhein-Main GmbH, the festival’s new vehicle sponsor. As a part of the German-wide activities of the stadtmobil group, this modern mobility service is making a great contribution to reducing CO2 emissions through its fleet of carsharing vehicles.


exground filmfest would like to thank all of its supporters and sponsors.