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Walchensee Forever by Janna Ji Wonders
Walchensee Forever by Janna Ji Wonders

This past Sunday evening, the awards for the online edition of exground filmfest 33 were presented in Wiesbaden, Germany. In the German Short Film Competition, the audience chose “keep shiftin'”by Verena Wagner as the winning film and in the International Short Film Competition, the jury chose the Mexican film Nightcrawlers (Noctámbulos) by Arturo Baltazar as the winning film.

In the “Made in Germany” series, the audience selected Walchensee Forever by Janna Ji Wonders and for the goEast Audience Award, the audience chose ZANA by Antoneta Kastrati as the winning film.

Winners of exground filmfest 33 Awards

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.

German Short Film Competition

In the German Short Film Competition, the audience chose KEEP SHIFTIN’ by Verena Wagner as the winning film. Second place went to AMONG HUMANS by Caren Wuhrer and Jannis Alexander Kiefer was honoured with third prize for MEETING.

In addition, two non-cash prize packages were presented to Tom Otte for his film FOR REASONS UNKNOWN, and 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 jury 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.

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.”

Philipp Klinger’s DARKDREAMERS [ALBTRÄUMER] was also chosen by the festival audience as best feature film in the International Youth Film Competition.

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!”

goEast Audience Award

From the competition films featured in the goEast@exground section, the audience chose ZANA by Antoneta Kastrati as the winning film.

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