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Press Release
17 October 2018
Wiesbaden, Germany

exground filmfest 31: Presenting the Full Programme

180 Films from 42 Countries // 58 Premieres // Cash and Non-Cash Prizes Valued at 20,000 €

From 16 to 25 November, exground filmfest 31 is presenting an exceptional programme featuring roughly 180 independently produced short and feature-length films from 42 countries on the big screen. The festival’s team of curators made their final selection this year from over 2,600 submissions from 107 countries. This cream of the crop of international indy cinema includes 21 world premieres, three international premieres, eleven European premieres and 24 German premieres. In addition to being shown in Wiesbaden, select films from the Country Focus on the Philippines will also be screened in cinemas in Darmstadt and Frankfurt am Main. In a total of six separate competitions, films will be vying for cash and non-cash prizes with a combined value of approximately 20,000 euros.

Alongside the compelling films of the main programme, festival venues Caligari FilmBühne, Murnau-Filmtheater and Kulturpalast will also be opening their doors for a multi-faceted accompanying programme of concerts, panel discussions and parties.

Programme Highlights: Facing Racism, Relationship Blues in L.A. & Comedies from Austria and France

Reinaldo Marcus Green’s award-winning drama MONSTERS AND MEN (Special Jury Prize at Sundance Film Festival) will be celebrating its German premiere at exground filmfest in the American Independents section. In the film, a white police officer fatally shoots an African-American man in Brooklyn. Green depicts the aftermath of the horrific event from the perspective of three individuals: the eyewitness Manny, an African-American police officer and a high school basketball star. Intense performances from Anthony Ramos (A STAR IS BORN), Kelvin Harris Jr. (MUDBOUND, MONSTER) and John David Washington (BLACKKKLANSMAN) make MONSTERS AND MEN an important contemporary statement on racism.

Elsewhere in American Independents, WE THE COYOTES (NOUS, LES COYOTES) by Hanna Ladoul and Marco La Via takes us out to the West Coast, to the City of Angels to be precise. This directorial debut follows young lovers Amanda and Jake during their first 24 hours after arrival in L.A. With no solid plan and little to no money in their pockets, the pair’s relationship is seriously put to the test. Directors Hanna Ladoul and Marco La Via, who drew inspiration from the uncertain adventure of their own first days in L.A., manage to create a refreshing and timeless portrait of youthful energy with their film. WE THE COYOTES is also celebrating its German premiere at exground filmfest.

In the International section, exground filmfest is presenting Pierre Salvadori’s THE TROUBLE WITH YOU (EN LIBERTÉ), a star-studded French comedy. The young detective Yvonne, widow of deceased local police chief Santi, slowly begins to grasp that her late husband was not the upstanding citizen that everyone thought him to be. She resolves to do whatever she can to help young Antoine, the scapegoat who was locked up in jail for years thanks to Santi’s machinations. With his brilliant cast (including Adèle Haenel, Pio Marmaï and Audrey Tautou) director Pierre Salvadori (BEAUTIFUL LIES) has created a grand work of cinema capable of eliciting belly laughs.

The festival audience can look forward to another sharp-witted comedy with the Austrian production WHAT HAVE WE DONE TO DESERVE THIS? Vienna resident Wande (Caroline Peters), an adamant atheist and feminist, finds herself asking this question when her teenage daughter Nina converts to Islam, changes her name to Fatima and expresses her intention to wear a veil. With copious humour and quirky dialogue, director Eva Spreitzhofer and her extraordinary ensemble pull off a magnificently biting comedy of manners about tolerance and its limits.

Competitions at exground filmfest

In six competition sections in total, exground filmfest is awarding cash and non-cash prizes with an overall value of 20,000 euros (you can find a complete list of all awards and award sponsors here). Special thanks go to Wiesbadener Kinofestival e. V., which is sponsoring the new jury award for best short film in the scope of exground youth days, featuring a cash prize of 500 euros. That raises the combined total value of the cash and non-cash prizes in the Wiesbaden Youth Film and International Youth Film Competitions to a whopping 4,650 euros.

In the 17th edition of the International Short Film Competiton, 16 films from 16 countries are vying for the jury award of 2,000 euros, sponsored by the exground Circle of Friends. The three-member jury is made up of Dr. Catherine Colas, editor for short and medium-length films at ZDF/ARTE from Mainz, Heleen Gerritsen, festival director for goEast – Festival of Central and Eastern European Film in Wiesbaden, and Raymond Red, director and producer from the Philippine capital of Manila.

In the German Short Film Competition, a total of ten productions are competing for cash and non-cash prizes worth 9,500 euros, including RIEN NE VA PLUS by Sophie Linnenbaum, who took second place in 2017 with her film PIX.

The Wiesbaden Special – Short Film Competition is set to take place for the 14th time. Eleven films were selected to take part, including numerous premieres, all of them either shot in Wiesbaden or realised by directors born or currently residing in the city. The winner, to be chosen by the audience, will be announced on 25 November.

In the Made in Germany section, the award DAS BRETT will be presented for the third year running by a jury composed of inmates from the JVA Wiesbaden correctional facility. A total of six productions are vying for the inmate jury prize, which comes with a minimum of 1,000 euros in prize money, sponsored by “Die WERFT”, a cultural platform operating in the same correctional facility.

The motto for the notorious exground Gong Show is “The trashier the better!” Anyone can participate, as long as they hand in their film on a data storage device on time. The winning film will receive the “Golden exground Cucumber” and 50 euros in prize money. The Gong Show will also be making a pre-festival appearance in the scope of FILMZ at Kunsthalle Mainz on 3 November at 9 pm.

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