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Press Release

Prize Winners at exground filmfest 31

KLEPTOMAMI Wins German Short Film Competition // Hungarian Production MERMAIDS AND RHINOS Named Best International Short Film // RESPETO from the Philippines and RAFIKI Come Out on Top at youth days // 3rd Annual Inmate Jury Prize DAS BRETT Goes to HANNAH’S HOMECOMING

exground filmfest 31 celebrated its grand finale at its annual awards ceremony yesterday evening at Wiesbaden’s Caligari FilmBühne after presenting ten days of compelling independent cinema. Following the German Short Film Competition screening, cash and non-cash prizes valued at roughly 20,000 euros in total were awarded in the scope of seven competitions. The over 100 film industry guests from Germany and abroad in attendance and high audience turnout proved once again that the tradition-rich festival continues to be very popular both within the region and far beyond the city limits of Wiesbaden.

German Short Film Competition

Following the screening of the entries to the German Short Film Competition, the audience voted for their favourites, ultimately choosing Pola Beck’s KLEPTOMAMI as the winning film. This year’s first prize, endowed with a cash prize of 3,000 euros, was once again sponsored by the State Capital of Wiesbaden. Second place went to RIEN NE VA PLUS by Sophie Linnenbaum, who receives a cash prize of 2,000 euros, sponsored by Wiesbaden’s Magenta TV Fernsehproduktionsgesellschaft. Kiana Naghshineh was honoured with third prize (including 1,000 euros, sponsored by the State Capital of Wiesbaden) for A BLINK OF AN EYE.

Pola Beck’s KLEPTOMAMI also received both non-cash prizes: a film equipment rental package valued at 2,000 euros from Pille Filmgeräteverleih for her next film as well as the grading special package from Magenta TV Fernsehproduktionsgesellschaft valued at 1,500 euros.

International Short Film Competition

In the International Short Film Competition, the international jury selected the Hungarian production MERMAIDS AND RHINOS [SELLŐK ÉS RINOCÉROSZOK] by Viktória Traub as the winning film and presented the director with a cash prize of 2,000 euros, sponsored by the exground Circle of Friends. The jury, composed of Dr. Catherine Colas (editor for short and mid-length films at ZDF/ARTE from Mainz), Heleen Gerritsen (festival director of goEast – Festival of Central and Eastern European Film in Wiesbaden) and Raymond Red (director and producer from Manila in the Philippines), explained their choice with the following statement:

“In a bleak hostel at the seaside, strange scenes unfold: an old mermaid takes a bath, a woman is engaged in erotic dance in front of a window, a father consumed by heartache transforms into a rhinoceros and disappears into the woods. All of this is observed by a young girl, for whom past and present, fantasy and reality seem to be part of one peculiar universe. The artist who created this cruel but fascinating world, featuring very distinctive characters, animals, stunning colours and many metaphorical levels, managed to tell a personal story in an innovative and inventive way. The jury is happy to award this year’s Jury Award to MERMAIDS AND RHINOS by Viktória Traub.”

A Special Mention went to MAN OF PA-ALING [MANONG NG PA-ALING] by E. del Mundo from the Philippines. The jury released the following statement praising the film:

“Evoking in black and white the bleakness of an otherwise beautiful underwater landscape, this film explores the triviality and the grandeur of human existence. The jury bestows this special mention to MAN OF PA-ALING [MANONG NG PA-ALING].

DAS BRETT – 3rd Annual Inmate Jury Award

For the third year in a row, in the scope of the “Made in Germany” section the award DAS BRETT was presented by a jury composed of inmates from the JVA Wiesbaden correctional facility. From the seven films nominated for the award, the eight jury members chose HANNAH’S HOMECOMING by Esther Bialas, explaining their selection with the following statement:

“The inmate jury from JVA Wiesbaden awards DAS BRETT 2018 to HANNAH’S HOMECOMING by Esther Bialas, as it does something that German films rarely dare to do: it combines a mysterious, sombre story with classic genre tropes and surprising twists without becoming predictable or preachy. On top of that, the film features young performers whose characters reveal unanticipated dark sides and an erotic component that one does not necessarily expect to find here either. The viewer never really knows what will happen next. None of the other entries to the competition ultimately proved to have the same effect on the entire jury: if someone had made a reaction video of the jury watching HANNAH’S HOMECOMING, one would be able to see how this was the only film where all of us were on the edge of our seats from the opening scene to the final credits.”

The award is endowed with a cash prize of 1,500 euros, sponsored by “Die WERFT – Kulturbühne in der JVA Wiesbaden”, a cultural platform operating in Wiesbaden’s main correctional facility.

exground youth days

The Philippine production RESPETO by Alberto “Treb” Monteras II won over the members of the youth jury in the International Youth Film Competition:

“The Philippine film RESPETO has convinced the youth jury in many ways. It introduces us to the frightening conditions of a country where people can be shot by the police on the street on the mere suspicion of having committed a crime. The film makes excellent use of the language of cinema on all levels: camera, sound and music, effects and the authentic presentation come together to form a harmonious whole. In the midst of an environment marked by violence, drugs and corruption, Hendrix pursues his dream of asserting himself as a rapper in Manila’s hip-hop scene. Fast-paced, driven by the pulse of music, RESPETO shows the struggle for respect and recognition – and how important it is to have role models. With the power of hip-hop, Hendrix manages to counter the prevailing conditions and the lack of perspective with something else. A real youth film!”

The cash prize of 2,500 euros accompanying the award was sponsored by the State Capital of Wiesbaden.

The youth jury also chose SOMETHING ABOUT ALEX [ANDERS] by Reinout Hellenthal as best short film at exground youth days. The honour includes a cash prize of 500 euros for the first time this year, sponsored by Wiesbadener Kinofestival e. V.

The audience chose Wanuri Kahiu’s RAFIKI as best feature-length film. The filmmaker receives a cash prize of 1,000 euros, sponsored by the State Capital of Wiesbaden.

In the Wiesbaden Youth Film Competition, LESSON by Moritz Goebel and Joshua Kiefer came out on top in the audience voting. First place includes a cash prize of 500 euros, sponsored by the Hessian State Centre for Civic Education.

Second place went to ALLES MUSS MAN SELBER MACHEN by the team JAJEMoRF, who will receive a gift certificate worth 150 euros from the certified Apple dealer ergo sum.

Wiesbaden Special – Short Film Competition

In the audience competition for Wiesbaden’s best short film, HAYTHAM by Peter Ederer and Arne Dechow was able to win over the viewers. In addition to a cash prize of 500 euros, sponsored by festival media partner Wiesbadener Kurier, the winners will also receive the “Film Sound Special” non-cash prize package, which entitles them to take advantage of the tools and know-how of the Wiesbaden audio production studio klangBezirk for two days for the final sound mix of their next film, a package valued at 2,000 euros.

exground Gong Show

Trash is cult – the participants in this year’s legendary exground Gong Show proved it once again. The well-earned winner of the cash prize of 50 euros and the Golden exground Cucumber is Jet Leyco, who shot his WOMEN OF WIESBADEN in Wiesbaden on the day of the Gong Show.

Save the date for exground filmfest 32, taking place from 15 to 24 November 2019!