Press release: exground filmfest 33 Opening with BAD TALES from the D’Innocenzo Brothers

Hybrid Festival in Cinemas and Online // Country Focus on Italy // goEast@exground

From 13 to 22 November, the 33rd edition of exground filmfest will be bringing independent cinema from all around the world to Hessen’s state capital. Current plans call for a film programme for live audiences at the Wiesbaden festival venues Caligari FilmBühne, Murnau-Filmtheater and the Marktkirche church crypt, to take place in accordance with all relevant public health regulations. In addition, following the start of their respective cinema screenings, films will be available online to borrow and watch for 48 hours via an on-demand platform. Due to current restrictions mandated by Hessen’s state government, there will be no parties, concerts or lounges in the supporting programme this year. However, this year the festival opening and awards ceremony with be streamed live for the first time, and panels and film talks will be recorded for later broadcast on exground filmfest’s YouTube channel.

Opening Film: BAD TALES from Italy

The Country Focus at exground filmfest this year takes a close look at Italy’s multi-facetted film scene. Traditionally, the festival opens with a production from the current focus country. Viewers can look forward to the Italian drama BAD TALES [FAVOLACCE] from brothers Fabio and Damiano D’Innocenzo. In precise and visually seductive images, the film tells of humanity’s dark side and the tensions between residents of a sterile townhouse complex in the suburbs of Rome. The Brothers D’Innocenzo were honoured with the Silver Bear for best screenplay at this year’s Berlinale for their second feature-length film.

The programme for the Country Focus on Italy also features Chiara Malta’s fiction-feature debut SIMPLE WOMEN. The aspiring director Federica (Jasmine Trinca) wishes to make a film about her girlhood idol, actress Elina Löwensohn. Alas, the latter turns out to be an intractable diva, and more than a little rough around the edges. The chemistry between the two ladies, initially quite good, threatens to go sour, as the joint project increasingly becomes a battle of wills.

Further Films in the Programme

In DINNER IN AMERICA (USA, 2020) by Adam Carter Rehmeier, volatile punk rocker Simon (Kyle Gallner) and quirky loner Patty (Emily Skeggs) fall in love unexpectedly and set off together on a crazy road trip through the decaying suburbs of the Midwest. Produced by Ben Stiller, this wild blend of anarchic humour and outsider romance celebrated its premiere at Sundance Film Festival. 

With her documentary film WHITE RIOT (Great Britain, 2019), director Rubika Shah examines the “Rock Against Racism” movement of 1978. In light of the invigoration of the neo-Fascist party British National Front and a rise in racist violence, a great number of British bands, from The Clash to Joy Division and The Specials, took to the stage in protest. Aside from painting a detailed portrait of the movement, previously unreleased concert and interview footage featuring the protagonists of the era also reveals its perhaps unsuspected relevance for our current age. 

WALCHENSEE FOREVER represents a further documentary film in the programme. Director Janna Ji Wonders’ work is an impressive recounting of the story of her family, a story that spans an entire century. Primarily focussed on the female perspective, Wonders takes us from a family-run café on Bavaria’s Walchensee via Mexiko to San Francisco’s “Summer of Love”, to Indian ashrams, a harem, and then back again and again to Walchensee. 

Leonie Krippendorf’s film KOKON has been selected for the programme of this year’s exground youth days. At the centre of the story stands 14-year-old Nora, who is trying to make her way towards adulthood in the summer heat of Berlin-Kreuzberg. An authentic Berliner coming-of-age story about budding feelings, sexual awakening and first true love.


A further highlight in the exground programme is the screening of all of the competition films as well as the opening film from the programme of goEast – Festival of Central and Eastern European Film, which was only able to take place online due to the lockdown in May. 16 fiction feature and documentary films will be competing for the goEast Audience Award, which will be presented on the evening of 17 November 2020 at Caligari FilmBühne. The works on display include Ivana Mladenović’s absurd comedy IVANA THE TERRIBLE and Uta Beria’s NEGATIVE NUMBERS, which is set in a juvenile correctional facility in Georgia. Ivan Ostrochovský’s impressive neo-noir thriller SERVANTS, which would have opened goEast Film Festival, will be screening out of competition.

The full programme for exground 33 will be available online following the press conference on 22 October (from 11 am) at Caligari FilmBühne

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


For more information please contact:

Dagny Kleber

+49 (0) 171 – 402 48 03