Press Release: 17th exground youth days

17th exground youth days

Featuring 13 Films from 13 Countries

The 17th edition of exground youth days, the youth film section at exground filmfest, is set to take place from 14 to 18 November 2020. Featuring a total of 13 short and feature-length films from 13 countries, like the rest of festival programming this year, the youth programme will be screened locally at Wiesbaden venues and additionally available for online streaming in the scope of the festival’s on-demand offer. In the International Youth Film Competition, a youth jury will honour the best short and feature-length films. Along with the audience award for the best feature-length film, prizes valued at 4,000 euros will be presented at exground youth days.

International Youth Film Competition: Love, Sex and Death

exground youth days will open with LOVECUT (Austria/Switzerland, 2020) by Iliana Estañol and Johanna Lietha. In stolen moments, the film follows six young digital natives in Vienna as they search for a place of their own in “real” life. The protagonists are forced to face the painful truth that love, sex and identity are no less complicated matters in a world of DMs and dating apps. Screenwriting and directing duo Iliana Estañol and Johanna Lietha began working on their debut film in 2014. LOVECUT celebrated its world premiere in January 2020 at Filmfestival Max Ophüls Preis, where it received the Fritz Raff Award for Best Screenplay.


In Philipp Klinger’s fiction feature DARKDREAMERS [ALBTRÄUMER] (Germany, 2020), 17-year-old Rebekka’s idyllic small town world begins to crumble in the wake of her brother’s suicide. Against her parents’ wishes, she embarks on a relationship with outsider Vincent, one as healing as it is destructive. With great sensitivity, Philipp Klinger’s debut film explores how young individuals cope with grief and the death of a loved one.


Mauricio Leiva Cock’s Mexican-Columbian co-production THE NIGHT OF THE BEAST [LA NOCHE DE LA BESTIA] (2020) is a treat for metal fans and cinema aficionados alike. Buddies Mario and Francisco can’t wait to attend their favourite band Iron Maiden’s first ever concert in Bogotá. Alas, their friendship is put to the test when schemers manage to steal their tickets. Set to tracks from the cult band, in his first feature film, director Cock has managed to create a charming comedy about friendship and passion.

Short Films at exground youth days

In the International Youth Film Competition, six international short films, each to be shown before a feature-length film, take a look at the everyday realities of adolescent protagonists. For the third year, the youth jury will choose the winner of the Award for Best Short Film, endowed with 500 euros in prize money sponsored by Wiesbadener Kinofestival e. V.


BECKY’S WEIGHTLOSS PALACE by Bela Brillowska (Germany, 2020) offers an entirely new perspective of anorexia than those same old puritanical and sombre depictions repeated in the media. 14-year-old Bela Brillowska has already been honoured multiple times for his sophisticated film, including with the Youth Jury Award at International Short Film Festival Oberhausen.  


In Louise Groult’s UNLEADED [SANS PLOMB] (France, 2019), 17-year-old Martha is planning to run away because she doesn’t want to share a room with her little sister Lili anymore. Martha’s sneaky exit in the middle of the night takes an unexpected twist when Lili catches her by surprise.

Christoph’s attempt to come out to his mother also goes differently than he’d planned in Clara Zoë My-Linh von Arnim’s fictional RUSHES [IN DEN BINSEN]  (Germany, 2019). Dreadfully hung-over, the teen is hunched over next to his mom in a hunting blind. While she concentrates to fix a deer in her sights, Christoph tries to work up the courage to speak – but then suddenly everything goes wrong.

The full exground programme will be announced on 22 October.

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


exground-on-Demand Partners

For their support in realising online screenings in the scope of the hybrid edition of exground filmfest 33, the festival would like to thank its new partners Festival Scope and Shift72.