Press Release-27 November 2023

Press Release 27 November 2023

exground filmfest 36: Presenting This Year’s Prize Winners

CORRUPTION ON EARTH Wins GERMAN SHORT FILM COMPETITION // LOVE HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH IT is Best International Short Film // LIGHT LIGHT LIGHT Wins the Main Award at exground youth days // Audience Award DAS BRETT in the MADE IN GERMANY Section Goes to LASVEGAS

This past Sunday evening, in the scope of a festive awards ceremony, the winners of the competitions at exground filmfest 36 were announced. Following the final tallying of the audience voting, the awards ceremony kicked off at Caligari FilmBühne with film guests, jury members and awards presenters in attendance. In total, exground filmfest awarded cash and non-cash prizes valued at nearly 20,000 euros.

German Short Film Competition

This year’s first prize in the German Short Film Competition, selected by the audience, went to CORRUPTION ON EARTH by Omid Mirnour, who also took home the jury prize of EUR 1,500 for “One day of colour grading for a short film project” from Magenta TV Fernsehproduktionsgesellschaft. The award is endowed with prize money in the amount of 3,000 euros, sponsored by the State Capital of Wiesbaden. Second place, endowed with 2,000 euros by by Magenta TV Fernsehproduktionsgesellschaft, went to FIFTEEN MINUTES by Sejad Ademaj, while third prize, also endowed with 1,000 euros in prize money by the State Capital of Wiesbaden, went to GRANICA by Joshua Neubert.

Omid Mirnour, director of CORRUPTION ON EARTH

Feature Film Competition for DAS BRETT in the MADE IN GERMANY Section

In the feature film competition MADE IN GERMANY, the audience selected LASVEGAS by Kolja Malik to receive DAS BRETT and 3,000 euros in prize money.

International Short Film Competition 

In the International Short Film Competition, the International Jury selected LOVE HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH IT by Yotam Knispel from Israel as the winning film. The prize money in the amount of 2,000 euros is sponsored by the exground Circle of Friends. Jury members Maria Weyer, Roberto Doveris and Martin Scheuring explained their choice with the following words:

“The film manages beautifully to get the audience intrigued with the story so deeply through a very well-built script. As we get involved with the main character, we keep trying to figure out what is going on in this journey of moral tension between love and social responsibility. The film exhibits such a well-crafted mise-en-scène, the ensemble cast ends up being very good, every level is convincing. We celebrate the many layers of meaning and options for reading the film, which leaves us with a film that is very open for discussion. It sticks with you a long time after watching it.”

Yotam Knispel, director of LOVE HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH IT

The jury commented on their Special Mention for WHERE I LIVE by Susi Jirkuff from Austria with the following statement: “The Special Mention goes to WHERE I LIVE (WO ICH WOHNE) by Susi Jirkuff, a film that portrays a very relatable experience of fear, suddenly becoming real. It takes you on a very unconventional journey, through rough animation, that becomes stronger and stronger, and catches your attention with a very sober, kind of neutral and calm voice in the first-person. This surreal kind of fairy tale shows innovatively that there is no way out of the downward social spiral where there are no happy endings.”

exground youth days – International Youth Film Competition 

The Youth Jury in the International Youth Film Competition gave this year’s Award for best Feature Film to LIGHT LIGHT LIGHT by Finnish director Inari Niemi:

“The film manages to relate the typical themes of coming-of-age genres, like first true love, loss and problems within the family, in an original and innovative way. This is especially evident in the Chernobyl symbolism, the haunting soundtrack and the nostalgic flashbacks.

The use of lighting is also brilliant. Scenes where one would rather look away are illuminated in glistening bright light. The way the most emotional scenes unfold mesmerises the viewer visually. It is this masterful treatment of the themes of trauma and abuse as well as the magnificent actors that make this film an absolute ‘must-watch’ for us.”

The winning film of this year’s short film competition in the scope of exground youth days is BEFORE MADRID by Ilén Juambeltz and Nicolás Botana from Uruguay, in which a young couple prepares together for their first time. “Thanks to the realistic execution here, this subject is neither demonised nor glorified – as is so often the case – but is instead depicted as a natural step in the life paths of young individuals. The film also managed to win the jury over with its excellent performances from the two protagonists, which portray insecurity and anticipation wonderfully.

In an age in which cinema and television frequently treat sex as taboo or matter-of fact, there is an urgent need – especially for young people – for films such as this one, which removes the pressure and provides a realistic representation.” The award is endowed with 500 euros in prize money, sponsored by Wiesbadener Kinofestival e. V..

Juuli Niemi, scriptwriter of LIGHT LIGHT LIGHT

The jury also awarded a Special Mention to the animated short film IT’S NICE IN HERE by Robert-Jonathan Koeyers from the Netherlands, for taking up the relevant topics of police violence and racism and portraying them in a multi-faceted manner through alternating animation styles that underscore the different perspectives.

The Audience Award in the scope of exground youth days went, in a tie, to EDGE OF EVERYTHING by Sophia Sabella and Pablo Feldman from the USA and LIGHT LIGHT LIGHT by Inari Niemi from Finland. Both winning films will receive prize money in the amount of 500 euros, sponsored by the State Capital of Wiesbaden.

exground youth days – Wiesbaden Youth Film Competition

In the Wiesbaden Youth Film Competition, Hendrik Schücke came out on top with his short fiction-film EMILY. First place comes with 500 euros in prize money, sponsored by Wiesbadener Kinofestival e. V.. SNACKNAPPING by “Die Bananenbrote” took second place; the team took home a shopping voucher from the Apple Store ergo sum worth 150 euros.

Klappe 7 – Children’s Film Festival
In the scope of exground filmfest 36, Klappe 7 – Children’s Film Festival also took place once again. The short fiction-film MKW – DIE MUTIGSTEN KINDER DER WELT by the BGS Ursula-Wölfel-Schule emerged as the winner here. GIRLS & BOYS by the BGS Gustav-Stresemann-Schule won the Audience Award.

Wiesbaden Special – Short Film Competition

In the audience competition for best Wiesbaden short film, KT197 – EINE HEIMAT, EIN STADTTEIL, EIN KLARENTHAL by Lenard Lüdemann came out on top. The prize money in the amount of 500 euros is sponsored by Wiesbadener Kinofestival e. V. A non-cash prize worth 1,000 euros from LiveFrame Rental, consisting of lighting and dolly equipment, went to Moritz Göbel for his short fiction-film KOPF IN DEN WOLKEN.

exground Gong Show

In the scope of the cult-classic competition for trashy treasures and amateur works, suiraM and kirtaP were honoured for their film DIE DUNKELHEIT HINTER DEN PIXELN – the two took home the “Golden exground Cucumber” and the accompanying 50€ cash prize.

exground filmfest would like to thank all of its supporters and co-operation partners

Press contact: 
Wiesbadener Kinofestival e. V. 
exground filmfest 
Marta Moneva-Enchev