Press release: 18th exground youth days – 13 feature-length and short films from around the world

The 18th edition of exground youth days, the youth film section of exground filmfest, will take place from 13 to 17 November 2021. A total of seven feature-length and six short films will be vying for combined prize money of 4,000 euros in the International Youth Film Competition. Four of the seven productions featured in this year’s multifaceted feature-film selection were directed by women, while the full competition encompasses films from no less than eleven countries.

International Youth Film Competition: Young Protagonists, Serious Subjects

The competition will open at 17:30 on 13 November with the film ANY DAY NOW (Finland, 2020) by Hamy Ramezan. This migration drama depicts the Mehdipour family’s loving home life in a Finnish refugee centre, with a particular focus on 13-year-old Ramin. Between the constant fear of a rejected asylum request and the joys and uncertainties of coming of age, the film paints a deeply moving portrait of a community where hope is writ large.

Cristiane Oliveira’s THE FIRST DEATH OF JOANA (LA PRIMEIRA MORTE DE JOANA, Brazil/France, 2021) follows 13-year-old Joana as she explores the enigma of her great aunt Rosa, who died at the age of 70 without ever having gone out with a man. Joana wants to understand why. Alas, while pursuing clues about Rosa’s life, Joana also begins to learn a lot about herself.

In the community portrayed in Dina Duma’s SISTERHOOD (SESTRI, North Macedonia/Kosovo/ Montenegro, 2021), everything revolves around likes, followers and digital reach on social media. Totally alienated from the real world and genuine interpersonal relationships, the two friends Jana and Maya have to face the consequences of their manipulative behaviour and learn to take responsibility for their actions.

Short Films at exground youth days
In the International Youth Film Competition, six international short films, each to be screened before a feature film, take a look at the living situations of adolescent protagonists. For the third time, the youth jury will be presenting an award for the best short film, endowed with a 500-euro prize sponsored by Wiesbadener Kinofestival e. V..

In her short documentary GIRLSBOYSMIX (MEISJESJONGENSMIX, Netherlands, 2020), director Lara Aerts shares a portrait of intersexual child Wen Long. Without mincing words, the bright youngster calls out prejudices, while also opening up about personal insecurities.

Gender identity beyond binary conceptions is also treated in the animation ALL THOSE SENSATIONS IN MY BELLY (SVE TE SENZACIJE U MOM TRBUHU, Croatia/Portugal, 2020). With a dynamic and colourful illustration style, director Marko Dješka tells the story of transwoman Matia, who longs more than anything to have a loving relationship.

LIONESS (LEEUWIN, Netherlands, 2020) by Philip Besamusca is celebrating its German premiere in the scope of exground youth days. With great empathy, the film approaches the dilemma of pregnant underage protagonist Sylvie, who lives in a youth facility and must make a decision about the future of her unborn child.

In the Wiesbaden Youth Film Competition, local filmmaking talents between the ages of 12 and 18 have the opportunity to present their works on the big screen for the first time. The competition, which features cash and non-cash prizes valued at 650 euros, will open this year’s exground youth days at 15:00 on 13 November, after an unfortunate cancellation last year due to the pandemic.

All information are available on the youth days flyer.

The full programme of exground youth days will be revealed on 21 October in the scope of the exground filmfest press conference.

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

End of press release

Press contact:
Wiesbadener Kinofestival e.V.
exground filmfest
Sophie Brakemeier
Phone: +49 1633412883