Award Winners 2024

Golden Horseman Animated Film - International Competition

LA PERRA by Carla Melo Gampert (France, Colombia 2023)

In a sensual atmosphere, humans with animalistic features interact and unveil the taboo of female sexual pleasure. Torn between violence and delicacy, with a very precise sense of rhythm; this beautifully stylised, hand-painted film depicts a visceral and organic vision of human relationships.

Sponsor: State Chancellery of Saxony

Golden Horseman Animated Film - National Competition

CARROTICA by Daniel Sterlin-Altman (Germany 2024)

Without inhibitions and with unrelenting humour, this stunningly detailed stop-motion film tells of life in a fantasy and the longing for intimacy and sexual self-understanding. Above all, it manages to maintain a balance between the characters’ idiosyncrasies and humour, as well as their shame and insecurities without ever diluting the emotional worlds.

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

Golden Horseman Short Film - International Competition

ALIEN0089 by Valeria Hofmann (Chile/Argentina 2023)  

The award is for a film that plunges the viewer into an exploration of a contemporary issue, blurring the line between reality and the virtual. It delves deeper into the immersive video gaming experience that provides grounds for violence, addiction, bullying and harassment in an increasingly connected world.

Sponsor: Public Media Authority for Private Broadcasting (SLM)

Golden Horseman Short Film - National Competition

ALEX IN THE FIELDS (ALEX IN DEN FELDERN) by Marie Zrenner (Germany 2023)  

The microcosm of a farm is thrown into disarray by temptation. The director demonstrates superb direction of the cast, proving that amateur acting can deliver cinematic excellence. The intricate storytelling, camerawork, editing and deliberate sound design combine to create an exceptional atmosphere.

Sponsor: Filmnächte am Elbufer

Golden Horseman Youth Jury - International Competition

THE BEADS (AS MIÇANGAS) by Rafaela Camelo, Emanuel Lavor (Brasil 2023)

Despite its slow, silent and peaceful setting, the winning movie lets us experience the challenge of making difficult decisions and facing their consequences. Through the empathy of the direction and close camara movements, the movie illustrates the tough process of letting go. Together but on their own, two sisters have to face the difficult feelings of abortion. For us it is important to mention: As long as women have no right over their own bodies, we should not be quiet.

Sponsor: Ostsächsische Sparkasse Dresden

Golden Horseman Youth Jury - National Competition

LAND OF MOUNTAINS (LAND DER BERGE) by Olga Kosanović (Austria/ Germany 2023)

Due to the social and political unrest in their countries of origin, people dream of finding a safe and harmonious place for themselves and the people they love. However, the mountainous landscape the people then face exposes the rejection, despair and fear they feel when trying to find their feet in such an unfamiliar world, as indeed the unthinkable means they resort to when denied this.

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

Golden Horseman of the Audience - International Competition

ZIMA by Tomasz Popakul, Kasumi Ozeki (Poland 2023)

Sponsor: Sächsische Zeitung

Golden Horseman of the Audience - National Competition

LAND OF MOUNTAINS (LAND DER BERGE) by Olga Kosanović (Austria/ Germany 2023)

Sponsor: MDR Public Broadcaster

Saxon Film Promotion Prize - National Competition

SENSITIVE CONTENT by Narges Kalhor (Germany 2023)  

Take a look and don’t close your eyes. The winning film interweaves found footage, animation and sound in a skilful and precise way, taking the viewer to the scene of the action. Who is allowed to show themselves, who can act and who is denied the opportunity to look and participate? The film powerfully denounces patriarchal structures and shows the fearless struggle of women.  In terms of the form and content, the jury was completely captivated from the very first second.

Sponsor: Saxon State Ministry for Science, Culture and Tourism

Golden Horseman Central German Competition

URLAUBSVERSUCHE by Finn Ole Weigt and Paula Milena Weise (Germany 2022)

What drives young people? The film explores this question in a light and refreshing way and portrays a complex friendship with minimalist yet profound dialogue. The cinematic adaptation, as well as the acting of the two protagonists allow us to share in the lostness of a generation.

Sponsor:  Saxony Film Association

Golden Horseman Sound Design – International & National Competition

A KIND OF TESTAMENT by Stephen Vuillemin (France 2023), Sound: Lucien Krampf, Matthieu Gasnier, Music: Qoso

In addition to the film’s captivating and at the same time disconcerting story, the sound design, foley and film music correspond in a particularly impressive way. The text, voices, sounds and images are harmonised with extreme precision and convincing strategic-dramaturgical use.

Sponsors: Friends of FILMFEST DRESDEN & Ballroom Studio

LUCA GenderDiversity Film Award - National & International Competition

MY ORANGE GARDEN by Anna-Sophia Richard (Germany 2023)

With its political relevance in terms of solidarity with women and queer persons in and from Iran, its potential cinematic statement serving as an empowering statement – that singing; being openly women and queer are all possible. The almost overwhelming visuality makes the actresses very approachable: You can literally feel the emotion and urgency in the protagonist’s voice.

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

ARTE Short Film Prize - National & International Competition


The ARTE Jury has awarded an animation that mixes differing techniques and drawing styles to create a unique poetic film about loneliness and hidden yearnings. A multifaceted yet very individual collage of drawings, phrases and impressions of everyday life that is at the same time a portrait of the city of Dublin.

Sponsor: ARTE

DEFA Promotion Prize Animation - National Competition

ZOOPTICON by Jon Frickey, Thies Mynther, Sandra Trostel (Germany 2023)  

Across light years, while self-conversations become monotonous and suicidal thoughts arise, a turning point suddenly opens up. The film successfully reflects on loneliness, the longing for closeness and human behaviour in a colourful, detailed and musical way. The storyboard, the specially composed songs, the numerous references and the animation technique convinced the jury.

Sponsor: DEFA Foundation

"fully political" - Short Film Award for Democratic Culture

MAST-DEL by Maryam Tafakory (Iran, UK 2023)  

Every single layer of this film is inherently political – and its mere existence is too. It challenges the audience to remain attentive, urging them to follow closely and stay focused. The film addresses queer feminist topics, as well as violent patriarchal ideology with a radical and transformative tenderness. Archival work, beautifully assembled, creates a tense and tangible atmosphere. In this intimate encounter, we, the jury, were deeply moved and connected to the narrator’s voice, without ever hearing it.

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

Dresden Short Film Award of the German Film Critics Association

MAST-DEL by Maryam Tafakory (Iran, UK 2023)

How can we experience history? Our personal history, our loved one’s, our country’s – not least our film history? This film approaches such fundamental questions by focusing on the poetry of language, as well as the abstraction of the image. In this manner, we are able to experience a closeness that cannot be. The closeness of two lovers in a park, but at the same time the closeness of a country to its cinematic heritage.

Sponsor: German Film Critics Association

Special Mentions

International Competition

Golden Horseman Animated Film International Competition

  • THE LOVERS by Carolina Sandvik (Sweden 2023)
  • What is concealing itself behind the mask? Can we unveil the soul deep down inside the flesh? A beautiful, contemporary handcrafted film.The special mention goes to the hilarious horror romantic comedy THE LOVERS by Carolina Sandvik.

Golden Horseman Short Film International Competition

  • OYU by Atsushi Hirai (France, Japan 2023)
  • On New Year’s Eve, a man’s visit to a hot bath unfolds into a meditative moment of introspection, capturing the essence of transition and renewal.

Golden Horseman of the Youth Jury International Competition

  • MAST-DEL by Maryam Tafakory (Iran, UK 2023)
  • The movie MAST-DEL by Maryam Tafakory touched us deeply and fascinated us. It conveys strong emotions, such as frustration, fear and anger, in a powerful way. We found the writing behind the inverted shots to be extremely aesthetic. With its lyrically impressive narration, the film sensitises us to the current oppression and violence of women from all over the world. Thank you for your important work!

National Competition

Golden Horseman Animated Film National Competition

  • TECHNICALLY_BREATHING by Markéta Müllerová (Germany 2024)
  • In the soft soundscapes of a digital space, the artist’s voice picks us up and takes us on an intensive reflection on the breathing ability of digital and physical bodies.

Golden Horseman Youth Jury National Competition

  • MY ORANGE GARDEN by Anna-Sophia Richard (Germany 2023)
  • Home means feeling comfortable, at peace, living a happy, hopeful and safe life. But in a country, in a system, in a patriarchal world order that suppresses, prohibits, marginalises, endangers and murders Flinta* identities, we cannot feel at home. What remains is our sense of self. Our bodies, which we learn to love, and our rage. A collective rage that drives us to be there for each other, to be strong and not to let ourselves become beaten down.

Central German Competition

Golden Horseman Central German Competition

  • A SINGLE INCIDENT (EINE EINZELNE TAT) by Constanze Wolpers (Germany 2023)
  • In the face of endless individual acts against racialised people in Germany, the filmmaker opens the file of a case in her hometown of Zelle. The fact-based exposure of the prevailing racist structures impressed us as a jury.


Cross-Competitive Awards

"fully political" - Short Film Award for Democratic Culture

  • LAND OF MOUNTAINS (LAND DER BERGE) by Olga Kosanović (Austria/ Germany 2023)
  • For its outstanding lead actors and cast, who deliver a powerful yet unobtrusive portrait of people surviving on a daily basis and finding their way in a violent system. Thanks to its calm narrative style, the film offers room for reflection without over-explaining, leaving a deep and lasting impact that resonates long after the viewing.


Golden Horseman Sound Design

  • THE ELECTRIC KISS by Rainer Kohlberger (Austria/ Germany 2023)
    Sound/Music: Jung An Tagen
  • A special mention for an intense and provocative semiotic concept goes to THE ELECTRIC KISS by director Rainer Kohlberger and composer Jung An Tagen.


LUCA Film Award for GenderEquality

  • El Dance-Off by Nicolás Keller Sarmiento (USA 2023)
  • The jury admires its innocence yet honest message about queer eldership in EL DANCE-OFF by Nicolás Keller Sarmiento. The aspect that younger persons could learn from older ones perhaps a few dance steps, and then life steps towards maturity as a blossomed queer by being including in the director’s own queer journey.

Dresden Short Film Award of the German Film Critics Association