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Press Release

Prize Winners at exground filmfest 33

KEEP SHIFTIN’ wins German Short Film Competition // Mexican production NIGHTCRAWLERS takes Best International Short Film // ALBTRÄUMER wins Jury and Audience Awards at exground youth days // Audience Award DAS BRETT goes to WALCHENSEE FOREVER // goEast Audience Award for ZANA

This past Sunday evening, the awards for the online edition of exground filmfest 33 were presented in Wiesbaden, Germany. After the final audience voting was tabulated, the live webcast of the awards ceremony began at 8 pm with Andrea Wink from the festival organisational team welcoming viewers, award sponsors, jury members, laudators and award winners from the city’s Caligari FilmBühne cinema. All in all, exground filmfest bestowed cash and non-cash prize packages with a total value of 17,500 euros this year. In addition, Heleen Gerritsen, director of goEast – Festival of Central and Eastern European Film, announced the winner of the Audience Award (1,500 euros) for the “goEast@exground” series.

>> Overview of This Year’s Prize Winners

German Feature Film Competition: DAS BRETT 

In the “Made in Germany” series, due to the effects of Covid-19, this year, instead of an inmate jury, the audience selected the best German feature film. From among the six nominated productions, viewers chose WALCHENSEE FOREVER by Janna Ji Wonders. The award is endowed with a prize of 1,500 euros, sponsored by Wiesbadener Kinofestival e. V.

German Short Film Competition

In the German Short Film Competition, the audience chose KEEP SHIFTIN’

by Verena Wagner as the winning film. First prize, endowed with 3,000 euros, was sponsored again this year by the State Capital of Wiesbaden. Second place went to AMONG HUMANS by Caren Wuhrer, who received prize money in the amount of 2,000 euros, sponsored by Wiesbaden-based Magenta TV Fernsehproduktionsgesellschaft. Jannis Alexander Kiefer was honoured with third prize (1,000 euros, sponsored by the State Capital od Wiesbaden) for MEETING.

In addition, two non-cash prize packages were presented: For his film FOR REASONS UNKNOWN, Tom Otte received a film equipment rental package valued at 2,000 euros from Pille Filmgeräteverleih for the realisation of his next film. The prize package of one day of colour grading for a short film project sponsored by Magenta TV Fernsehproduktionsgesellschaft and valued at 1,500 euros went to Jannis Alexander Kiefer for his film MEETING.

International Short Film Competition

In the International Short Film Competition, the international jury chose the Mexican production NIGHTCRAWLERS [NOCTÁMBULOS] by Arturo Baltazar as the winning film. The prize money of 2,000 euros was sponsored by the exground Circle of Friends. Jury members Alexandra Gramatke (managing director of Kurzfilm Agentur Hamburg), Thomas Johnson (artist and filmmaker from Great Britain) and Marion Klomfaß (festival director of Nippon Connection from Frankfurt am Main) explained their selection with the following statement: 

“Arturo Baltazar’s film shows fragments of the lives of people in a big city. Shot constantly in the darkness of the night, it touches on the idea of loss and longing. We don’t get much information about the backgrounds of the night crawlers. Instead, the incredibly skilful editing creates a puzzle of strong scenes which is far from being complete, thus giving us the chance to fill the gaps with our own feelings and thoughts. Clear and composed pictures, almost like paintings, and the subtle use of sound and music enhance the emotional depth of this beautiful and melancholic short film. Congratulations to a young filmmaker who obviously has a lot of life experience!”

A Special Mention went to JUST A GUY by Shoko Hara from Germany, which the jury praised with the following words:

“A shocking subject, no doubt. Shoko Hara’s animated documentary deals with one of the most famous serial killers, focusing on some of the numerous women who held relationships with him during his time in death row. Why do women fall in love with a bad guy? The film does not give an answer, nor does it judge over them. It just lets them tell their stories. This way of treating the subject is as refreshing as the unique animation style employed by its author: A combination of a traditional cut out stop-motion technique with composited real eyes, something new, never seen before, is created. The jury was deeply impressed.”

Wiesbaden Special – Short Film Competition

In the audience competition for the best Wiesbaden-related short film, SOMMERREGEN by Julia Skala and Oscar Jacobson came out on top in the voting. The directorial duo received 500 euros for their work, sponsored by festival media partner Wiesbadener Kurier. 

exground youth days – International Youth Film Competition

The youth jury in the International Youth Film Competition gave the Award for Best Feature Film this year to DARKDREAMERS [ALBTRÄUMER] by German director Philipp Klinger:

“The film tells the story of Rebekka, a young woman attempting to come to terms with the suicide of her brother, who is always present in her everyday life in spite of his passing. In her search for answers, she gets close to the person that everyone blames for her brother’s death. A story of loss, grief, anger, love and guilt. Thanks to its believable characters and heavy, dense atmosphere, the film manages to remain gripping to the very end. Adeptly deployed close-up shots confront the viewer inescapably with the emotions of the various protagonists. In the end, unexpected truths come to light. All in all: a masterful cinema experience.”

The prize money (2,500 euros) was sponsored by the State Capital of Wiesbaden. 


Philipp Klinger’s DARKDREAMERS [ALBTRÄUMER] was also chosen by the festival audience as best feature film in the International Youth Film Competition. The director can look forward to a further 1,000 euros in prize money, sponsored by the State Capital of Wiesbaden.


The Youth Jury Award for Best Short Film went to Jerry Hoffmann for his film MALL:

“A moving story in seven minutes. A boy gets caught stealing a mermaid doll from a supermarket. Instead of getting mad or making fun of him, his father decides to buy the doll for him as a present, which puts a blissful smile on his son’s face. Without dialogue or colour, the film manages to communicate a clear message to the viewer: boys can play with mermaids too!”

The prize money (500 euros) was sponsored by Wiesbadener Kinofestival e. V.

goEast Audience Award

From the competition films featured in the goEast@exground section, the audience chose ZANA by Antoneta Kastrati as the winning film. The cash prize of 1,500 euros was made possible by a successful crowdfunding campaign, which was honoured by “kulturMut” – the crowdfunding platform of Aventis Foundation and Kulturfonds Frankfurt RheinMain. 

Save the date: exground filmfest 34 will take place from 12 to 21 November 2021.

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.


Press Contact

( ( ( NOISE Film PR ) ) )

Dagny Kleber
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