Each year, FILMFEST DRESDEN appoints several independent juries which decide on the winners of the Golden Horsemen awards. Beside the International and the National Jury, these include the Jury for best Sound Design, for GenderDiversity and our two Youth Juries. In 2021 two new juries were added: for the film award "fully political" and for the Film Critics Award.



is a Bulgarian film critic, cultural journalist and programmer with a special interest in the cinema of the Balkan countries and Eastern Europe, as well as avant-garde, amateur and underrepresented cinema. She is a regular contributor to Cineuropa, Talking Shorts, East European Film Bulletin and She has received the Film Critic Award from the Balkan film website and is a member of FIPRESCI, the International Federation of Film Critics. She currently lives in Barcelona, Spain, where she programmes for various festivals and institutions. She also works as an indexer at FIAF, the International Federation of Film Archives, and as a social media manager at the Eastern Neighbours Film Festival in The Hague, The Netherlands.


has been a film collector since his teens. He gained his first experience curating films when he founded and organised a film club in Winterthur. In 2009 he became a member of the selection team, as well as a board member at the Swiss Youth Film Festival Zurich. In 2009 he joined the Internationale Kurzfilmtage Winterthur and was, amongst others, Head of Youth Programme, Programmer of the International Competition and Assistant to the Artistic Director. In 2012 he was appointed Artistic Director. John is also a regular film curator at the Kino Cameo Winterthur cinema, where he advises the programme manager and moderates film talks. He holds an MA Advanced Studies in Curating from ZHdK University and was editor of issue No. 23 of the magazine OnCurating, “The Future of Short Film”. He is a member of the Swiss and European Film Academy, as well as a board member of Pro Short and the Short Film Conference. Since 2019, he has been a board member of the Visions SudEst funding body, where he selects projects for the (post-)production of feature films and documentaries. He advises festivals, film schools and filmmakers on programming, festival strategies, scripts and editing.


born 1988 in Rome, is an Italian director and producer based in Denmark who holds a BA Fine Arts from the Brera Academy Milan and a BA Animation from the Experimental Cinematography Center Turin. She has worked as a director, creative director and, most recently, as a producer trying to work on projects that are sexy, funny, a little rude at times, and smart. She is an alumnus of several European workshops, such as ASF – Animation sans frontieres, Anidox and the Open Workshop Residency in Viborg, Denmark. She is a board member of the Viborg-based Art Collective Plastic. Martina’s short film EGG was selected at more than 150 festivals and won over 45 awards. These included a Crystal Award for First Film at Annecy, a Golden Dove at DOK Leipzig, the Grand Jury Award at the AFI Fest, as well as being shortlisted for the 2020 Cesar Award. Her latest music video A LITTLE TOO MUCH won a Crystal Award for Commissioned Film at the 2021 Annecy festival. She is now working on her first feature film entitled PSYCHOMACHIA, an animated opera.



born 1985 in Sofia, living and working in Berlin. She studied fine arts at the Weißensee Kunsthochschule Berlin art school and at the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem, as well as art history and philosophy at Humboldt University Berlin. In her artistic practice, she incorporates various media and sources such as archival and documentary material, combining them with each other using 3D animations and computer simulated environments. Her filmic works have been presented internationally at exhibitions and film festivals. With her film FROM MY DESERT, she was nominated for the 2020 German Short Film Award. Her last film AIVA won the 2021 Prix Ars Electronic Award of Distinction in the computer animation category, as well as the Golden Horseman Animated Film International Competition and the LUCA GenderDiversity Film Award at the 33 FILMFEST DRESDEN.


born 1960 in East Berlin, studied journalism in Leipzig and was employed as an editor with various media outlets in the GDR. Since the reunification of Germany, he has worked as a freelance moderator and film journalist, especially with the MDR and RBB public broadcasters (radioeins station). Various books, as well as features and documentaries for TV and radio, covering topics such as cinema in Israel and the history of the East German DEFA Studios, among others. Knut Elstermann is a member of the German Academy of the Performing Arts.


born in Strzelce Opolskie, Poland, before migrating with her parents a short time later to the Federal Republic of Germany. She initially took dance training in Cologne, then commenced acting studies in 1997 at the Ernst Busch Academy of Dramatic Arts in Berlin – studies which were documented extensively in Andres Veiel’s documentary ADDICTED TO ACTING. Since 2001, Karina Plachetka has been a member of the Staatsschauspiel Dresden theatre ensemble and been involved in the following productions: “The Phlebotomist”, “Silent Country”, “King Lear” and “The Reddest Rose”, among others. Furthermore, she has featured regularly in TV and film productions, such as NOTHING BUT GHOSTS and WIR (director: Martin Gypkens), WHISKY WITH VODKA (director: Andreas Dresen) or the debut film TWO MOTHERS (director: Anne Zohra Berrached), which won the “Dialogue en perspective” DFJW Award at the 2013 Berlinale. Karina Plachetka also received a special mention at the Sehsüchte International Student Film Festival Potsdam for her acting performance in this film.



For me, film means the assembling of differing ideas, people and philosophies. The exchanges start on the film set, continue during the shared viewing of the film and end... never actually. Thus, my favourite films are those that amaze and perplex me, and – through their message – linger in my thoughts. For this reason, I am delighted to be on this year’s Youth Jury, as well as being able to contribute to these exchanges outside my year of voluntary work at the Objektiv e. V. association.


Movies mean more to me than just pure entertainment. A school project on scene analysis sparked my interest in watching
movies more actively and with greater awareness. It is amazing how film music, for example, influences the meaning behind the images. Seeing movies on a large cinema screen has become something special during these COVID times. I hope that the festival will help to preserve this cinema culture. I am very pleased to be part of this year’s film festival and looking forward to sharing my impressions with the other Youth Jury members and the audiences.


For me, there is nothing better than watching films and delving into the artists’ worlds of ideas. This also includes having exchanges with film enthusiasts who familiarise me with new perspectives and interpretative approaches. For this reason, being part of the Youth Jury is the perfect opportunity for seeing differing facets of a short film and getting to know new friends. As I have already gained my first experience shooting a film, I have a clear understanding of the work and passion this involves, and I am looking forward to the related discussions with the other jury members. I hope that I get an insight into what is behind the curtains at the film festival, as well as inspiration for future projects.



For me, designing and creating is fascinating – be that with a pencil, fine liner, etching needle or through the viewfinder on my camera. I discovered the film medium via my artistic work. This passion for art and moving images first took me to the youth editorial department at the DOK Leipzig documentary festival and now to FILMFEST DRESDEN. I find it very exciting what films can trigger off within me – sensing, experiencing, undergoing and enduring. At the festival, I am looking forward to seeing unique and inspiring films that stay with me forever.


I go to the cinema to experience the multiple facets of life in a condensed form emotionally and intellectually – whether
through a closeup on a face or a perfectly symmetrical landscape composition. Film art is capable of releasing a power that makes inexpressible aspects of humankind visible and thus acts in a humanist manner. However, it is the exchanges, the shared analyses and the reactions to films that consummate and complete the experiences gained. This is the reason why I appreciate the film festival so much and feel honoured as part of the Youth Jury to have exchanges with other adolescents and be permitted to acknowledge the achievements of unique filmmakers.


I think that what films can achieve is really interesting. They are capable of changing perspectives, as has often been the case
with me. Going to the cinema or viewing films at home or even at festivals – all of these are now fixed aspects of my life. As indeed are the exchanges about them. I am delighted to be involved in FILMFEST DRESDEN as it lets even more people access this great medium, creates space for ideas and stimulates both mine and the thoughts of all the other guests. I am very excited about all these new impacts, as well as about the people I may get to know.



born 1981 in Münster, he lives and works in Berlin. He studied music and majored in the guitar in Berlin and Dresden, where he became familiar with the most diverse musical styles. Daniel’s film music and scores speak their own language. He pens small fragile pieces of music that, in addition to acoustic instruments can also include electronica, as well as orchestra scores with sophisticated arrangements. Or he writes music pieces that find their place between all of these. For him, it is important to cooperate with the filmmakers and work with the differing musicians so as to accord the music a deep emotional level. “For each film, I try to find its own musical voice that tells a story we are not able to see directly on the visual level.” Daniel was nominated three times for the Jerry Goldsmith Award for Film Scores. His current films include the German TV crime thrillers LIMBUS and VIER JAHRE, as well as the movies BIST DU GLÜCKLICH?, AUF EINMAL WAR ES LIEBE and DREIZEHN UHR MITTAGS. In addition to composing film scores, Daniel works as a live and studio musician, arranger, composer and producer for various artists such as Tim Bendzko, Namika, Sido and Mutabor.


is a film scholar, curator and translator. She is the head of the MuVi programme section at the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen, as well as being on the selection committees of the Internationales Frauen*Film Fest Dortmund+Köln and Kasseler Dokfest film festivals. Her music video and short film programmes for festivals and institutions have been screened at the Short Film Festival Uppsala, Impakt Media Art Festival Utrecht, Shift Basel, HEK Basel, donaufestival Krems, Stuttgarter Filmwinter, Tricky Women and Vienna Independent Shorts, among others. She is co-editor of “after youtube – Gespräche, Portraits, Texte zum Musikvideo nach dem Internet” (Strzelecki Books, Cologne). She has given guest seminars at the University of Paderborn and at the Ruhr University Bochum, as well as being a co-founder of KinoEulen that regularly shows short film programmes for children in Essen.


who was born in Halle, lives in Dresden and has a weakness for his much-missed second home of Nashville, works as a producer and creator of music. This has resulted in cooperative work with various artists, ranging from soundtracks for Jens Rosemann to recordings with CJ Ramone through to videos with Deichkind and Bela B. Thanks to their extensive network, the Ballroom Studios have developed into a location that facilitates encounters between the most diverse creative heads. He mainly works there, in addition to touring with his own band and his own songs.



no pronouns) born 1986 in Leipzig and grew up in a village between Dresden and Lower Lusatia. From 2007, Lion studied journalism, modern German literature and art history in Bavaria and did editorial work for the Bayerischer Rundfunk broadcaster, a. o. They then moved to the Theater Ingolstadt, where Lion worked as an assistant director, a. o. During this time, Lion’s short story “Winter” received the “Worte gegen Rechts” competition award from the Verband ver.di trade union. From 2015 to 2018, Lion studied screenwriting at the Film Academy Baden-Wuerttemberg and at the same time worked as a freelance editor for the Stuttgarter Zeitung and the Stuttgarter Nachrichten news outlets. In 2020, Lion’s animation series concept for the fantasy horror series 12 DAYS OF CHAOS was considered for development funding by the Mitteldeutsche Medienförderung (MDM) funding body and in 2021 the queer series CHOSEN was considered by the nordmedia funding body. Lion lives and works from Leipzig where, in addition to the feature film BLINDGÄNGER, they have developed the BECOMING
CHARLIE series for the ZDFNeo broadcaster, where it can be seen in 2022. Lion has written episodes for German TV
crime formats such SOKO LEIPZIG and POLIZEIRUF 110. Lion is represented by the Verlag der Autoren publisher.


is active as a cultural worker in the fields of film and art, where she lectures and curates. She lives in Berlin, where she studied fine art and stage design at the Weißensee Kunsthochschule art school. In her artistic practice, she researches
voices as a queer occurrence within moving images. In 2020 she was represented in the National Competition section of
FILMFEST DRESDEN with her short film PANDA MOONWALK OR WHY MENG MENG WALKS BACKWARDS. She wrote for the “Was wir filmten – Filme von ostdeutschen Regisseurinnen seit 1990” publication, which was released in 2021 by the IFFF Internationales Frauen* Filmfest Dortmund+Köln women’s film festival. She has had international exhibitions and screenings with: Whitechapel Gallery, London; Short Film Festival São Paulo; n.b.k., Berlin; Off Biennale Cairo; MMOMA, Moscow; Gallery
400, Chicago; Arsenal – Institute for Film and Video Art, Berlin; Oberhausen International Short Film Festival; HKW, Berlin; CAC, Quito; Hammer Museum, L.A., etc.


is a curator of film and art, as well as a community organiser and activist based in Stockholm. He is currently making an experimental short film on James Baldwin’s queerness. Samuel is a co-founder of the anti-racist, intersectional and
feminist platform Black Queers Sweden. Born and raised in Ethiopia, Samuel moved to Sweden at the age of 13, a move that has affected much of his view on Blackness and the experiences that come with migration. Much of Samuel’s work, art and writings departs from and centres on the experiences of Black bodies. He has worked for various film festivals in Sweden, as well as cultural institutions. Samuel served as a jury member for the 2021 Teddy Awards.



born 1991 in Moldova, he immigrated to Germany with his family when he was just a few months old. After finishing school, he left the Ruhr area and lived in Israel for a while. He then completed his BA Film and Television in Cologne. During his studies in Cologne, he began to make his own films. This was followed by freelance work for the WDR broadcaster. Since 2016 Khaet has taken the diploma course in feature film directing at the Film Academy Baden-Wuerttemberg. He is a scholarship holder of the Jewish Scholarship Programme of the Ernst Ludwig Ehrlich Studienwerk fund, as well as being part of the programme collective for the Jewish Film Festival Berlin|Brandenburg. His films have been screened at numerous festivals worldwide and won several awards. His last film MASEL TOV COCKTAIL received the 57th Grimme Award and the Saxon State Minister Promotion Prize of FILMFEST DRESDEN.


has headed the Saxon Centre for Political Education (SLpB) since 2017. He studied evangelical theology in Tübingen, Berlin, Cambridge and Marburg, where he worked as a research associate and a lecturer and received his PhD. After working for a period as a freelance journalist, as a vicar with the Kurhessen-Waldeck Evangelicval Church and as a guest professor at the University of Montreal, he was employed as the managing director of the Herbert Quandt Foundation from 2007 to 2016. In 2017, he worked as the managing director of the Stiftung Westfalen-Initiative foundation in Münster. His focal areas and publications have dealt with themes such as integration and intercultural education, the Middle East, civil society challenges and the future of rural areas, as well as the political culture in the new German federal states. In this connection, he has headed projects in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and Hesse. He is involved in numerous foundations and committees, and is committed to German-North European and German-Polish relations. He is not a member of a political party and is married with two children. He likes sports, wine, theatre, classic music and jazz.

Foto: Reinhard Göber


born in Dresden, she moved in 1990 – with the last East German A-levels – to Paris. Following studies of applied theatre sciences, she took film direction studies in Potsdam/ Babelsberg. Her short film HINTEN SCHEISST DIE ENTE was a great success with the audiences (winning the Audience Award at FILMFEST DRESDEN among others) and led to her first feature film, NIMM DIR DEIN LEBEN, 2005. Since then, the Adolf Grimme Award-winner has worked for cinema and television, as well as for the theatre – she has portrayed the actress Corinna Harfouch, the photographer Sibylle Bergemann and spoken about her own generation in ZONENMÄDCHEN. In her much-discussed film MONTAGS IN DRESDEN, she accompanies three people who go to the right-wing Pegida demonstrations. In 2020, her first book “Die anderen Leben – Generationengespräche Ost” was published by be.bra Verlag. Her film WENDEMAN(N)ÖVER – FRAUEN UND DER MAUERFALL can be viewed in the ARD media library. Sabine Michel is married and has four children with her husband.



studied film and media aesthetics in Mainz, Germany. For her thesis consisting of an expansion on Walter Benjamin’s
aura term in the contemporary atmospheric term of new phenomenology, she received the film+medien Nachwuchsförderung
Rheinland-Pfalz young talent promotion award. This was followed by studies at the Goethe University Frankfurt am Main in the field of theatre, film and media studies, as well as various editorial activities, such as editorial assistant for goEast – Festival of Central and Eastern European Films, Wiesbaden. She is a member of the German Society for Aesthetics and the German Film Critics Association, as well as belonging to the FIPRESCI International Federation of Film Critics. She writes film and TV reviews at her studio in the production and exhibition platform basis e. V. Frankfurt for the Frankfurter Rundschau newspaper, among others.


took film studies and philosophy at the Free University Berlin. Since 2004 he has been the editor in-chief of the critic.
de online film magazine. As a film critic, he has published in the Berliner Zeitung, Spiegel Online, taz, Der Freitag, Die Presse and newspapers and journals, among others. He has been a jury member at Cannes, Venice, Turin, Marseille, Locarno and Oberhausen, etc. Since 2013 he has been the managing director of the German Film Critics Association. He was the artistic director of the Berlin Critics’ Week event from 2015 to 2020. At the IFFMH International Film Festival Mannheim-Heidelberg, he has been responsible for the programme organisation since 2020. Parallel to his work as a programmer and critic, he is studying film at the University of the Arts Berlin and was recently represented at the 2021 FILMFEST DRESDEN with his short film MEN’S ROOM.


took Romance studies, as well as general and comparative literary studies in Munich and Paris, and has been the managing editor of the artechock film magazine since 2000. Since then, she has written film reviews for artechock, as well as for the Tagesspiegel newspaper and the Filmdienst online portal. From 2002 to 2013 she worked as a curator at DOK.Fest Munich. Together with the cinema operator and curator Bernd Brehmer, she founded the UNDERDOX international film festival in 2006. Since 2013 she has been the board spokeswoman of the German Film Critics Association. In 2014 she launched the VIDEODOX Promotion Award – Biennial Exposition for Video Art from Bavaria. Furthermore, she is a co-founder of the main German
Hauptverband Cinephilie federal association (2018), as well as a member of the German federal AG Filmfestival lobbying association. She lives in Munich.