Award Winners 2023

Golden Horseman Animated Film - International Competition


An eloquent bricolage of VFX visualises a personal, emotional state of solitude that is both dreamlike and nightmarish at the same time. This film poetically blends narrative and its aesthetics to the point where they become indistinguishable.

Sponsor: State Chancellery of Saxony

Golden Horseman Animated Film - National Competition

THE WAITING by Volker Schlecht (Germany 2023)

A clear view that lures us into false thought patterns only to then surprise us – and that on both a textual and visual level. A seemingly insignificant anomaly reveals powerfully intertwined global and political structures to us. Without being loud or missionary, the story remains both light and playful and is brought to life through its excellent craftsmanship.

Sponsor: DIAF German Institute for Animated Films, Friends of FILMFEST DRESDEN

Golden Horseman Short Film - International Competition

ASTERÍON by Francesco Montagner (Czech Republic / Slovakia 2022)  

A tender, sensual deconstruction so visceral that the images scream without any sound and stimulate all the senses. A transformative, unsettling, yet beautiful film that feels controlled and wild at the same time.

Sponsor: Public Media Authority for Private Broadcasting (SLM)

Golden Horseman Short Film - National Competition


We live in a world where people who are able to speak are silenced or kept silent. Films are usually made about these people that shift between calculation and emotion. This is not the case with this film, which narrates its own story confidently and without victim clichés and tear-jerking kitsch.

Sponsor: Filmnächte am Elbufer

Golden Horseman Youth Jury - International Competition

FLORES DEL OTRO PATIO by Jorge Cadena (Switzerland / Colombia 2022)  

Glittering fighting spirit. Performative protest. Repressive headwind. A fascinating community of multifaceted individuals demands change and their right to codetermine and participate. They shake up a dirty system that is destroying livelihoods both now and in the future. The powerful emotions and the protagonists’ cohesion, as well as the view of distant realities of life inspire us to stand up to injustice courageously and colourfully.

Sponsor: Ostsächsische Sparkasse Dresden

Golden Horseman Youth Jury - National Competition

URBAN SOLUTIONS by Minze Tummescheit, Luciana Mazeto, Vinícius Lopes, Arne Hector (Germany 2022)

A journey through time from the present to the past and from slavery to wage labour. The short film takes us from an imperialist society marked by slavery to a capitalist one in which slavery continues to live on within the supposed idyllic beauty of Brazil and under the guise of liberality. With the individual, the human, existing between freedom, security and fear here. The film skilfully reveals relationships of dependency between differing classes.

Sponsor: Melli-Beese-Oberschule Dresden (Semper Bildungswerk)

Golden Horseman of the Audience - International Competition

ÉCORCHÉE (SKINNED) by Joachim Hérissé (France 2022)

Sponsor: Sächsische Zeitung

Golden Horseman of the Audience - National Competition

MODDERGAT (MUDHOLE) by Job Antoni Schellekens (Germany 2022)

Sponsor: MDR Public Broadcaster

Saxon Film Promotion Prize - National Competition

LAKE OF FIRE by NEOZOON (Germany 2022)

The artistic process as a forensic tool: An alchemical procedure that composes an essayistic collage libretto from the scour of the social-media cesspool. Elements are conducted, arranged and harmonised, resulting in a canon. Intentions hidden behind rituals are revealed through absurd humour. We would like to honour the great playful instinct, an unmistakable personal style and the vision of one’s own artistic future with this award.

Sponsor: Saxon State Ministry for Science, Culture and Tourism

Golden Horseman Central German Competition

JUICE (SAFT) by Mona Keil (Germany 2022)

A look into an hermetic world where power relations oscillate between symbiosis and a shifting in the perpetrator-victim situation. A modern version of the Prometheus myth is narrated through a vivid materiality of textures, movement and sound design. The originality of the somewhat upsetting adaptation reverberates for a long time.

Sponsor:  Saxony Film Association

Golden Horseman Sound Design – International & National Competition

MULIKA by Maisha Maene (Congo 2022), Sound: Don Zilla, Jack Moran, Rey Sapienz

Edgy low-fi and metallic sounds take us on a thoughtful sonic journey through space, the streets and underground. We follow the main character from a dystopia through driving rhythms to the direct sound of reality and back to beats and spherical music – but this time a utopia is possible.

Sponsors: Harmody (Tech & Life Solutions GmbH) & Ballroom Studio

LUCA GenderDiversity Film Award - National & International Competition

LOïE FULLER – THE ELECTRIC SPRITE von Betina Kuntzsch (Germany 2022)

We honour a multi-voiced and electrifying film that blends historical footage with animation and evocative music to portray a queer pioneer of visual art and her relationship with another woman: Loïe Fuller and Gab Sorère. Together, they popularised the Serpentine Dance in the United States and Europe during the 19th century. This archaeologically inspired film simultaneously offers a critical perspective on the prevailing history of film, which is also a history of exploitation and forgetting. In this history, the names of the Lumière brothers naturally occupy a place alongside concepts such as “cinema” or “Serpentine Dance”, while the names of female visionaries who shaped this art are often missing.
The filmmaker we honour is also a versatile, interdisciplinary artist whose work is a patchwork of materials and artistic approaches. Through her own creations and those of Loïe Fuller, whom she brings back to our memory, she demonstrates that queer art transcends shallow identity attributions – that it crosses boundaries of storytelling, gaze and image to create new perspectives on history and ultimately on our present.

Sponsors: LAG Jungen- und Männerarbeit Sachsen, Genderkompetenzzentrum Sachsen, LAG Queeres Netzwerk Sachsen

ARTE Short Film Prize - National & International Competition

THE LAND OF MILK & HONEY by Isabelle Nouzha (Belgium 2022)  

This animated film transports us to a freakish, dystopian future, a society in which the ruling class brazenly exploits the working class by catapulting labourers around the world and recycling them into mattress rubber at the first signs of weakness or political awareness. The film is characterised by its lively pace and dark, biting humour, its subversion of stock footage and the blunt, fear-mongering language of journalism that permeates our daily lives.

Sponsor: ARTE

DEFA Promotion Prize Animation - National Competition

WIND WHISPERER (TESTIGO DEL VIENTO) by Fernanda Caicedo (Germany/Ecuador 2022)

With an impressive formal language that seems to vibrate in every detail, we are swept away on a synesthetic journey: The absolute urge to savour and formulate life in all of its facets while leaving nothing untried before darkness falls. With a range of materials that seems to have fallen out of time, upended by revealing the intrinsic movement found in a sensual world.

Sponsor: DEFA Foundation

"fully political" - Short Film Award for Democratic Culture

FLORES DEL OTRO PATIO by Jorge Cadena (Switzerland / Colombia 2022)

Portraying beauty, vulnerability and collectivity, the protagonists resonate in their manyness to coalesce into a force that resist normativity and occupation, even when the odds are against them. An unapologetic portrayal of performative collective revolutionary action.

Sponsor: Saxon State Ministry of Justice, Democracy, European Affairs and Gender Equality

Dresden Short Film Award of the German Film Critics Association

HEART FRUIT von Kim Allamand (Switzerland 2022)

This film dissects the attempts and the failures to verbalise relationships. The artificiality in which it shows us people and spaces is melancholic and paranoid at one and the same time – and the film reminds us that romance often thrives in the unspoken and through distance.

Sponsor: German Film Critics Association