28. FILMFEST DRESDEN - National Competition

Selection Committee International Competition

Ricardo Brunn

Ricardo Brunn

Ricardo Brunn, born 1980 in Dresden, studied the history of art and philosophy – rather than learning something proper – in order to discover his boundless enthusiasm for the cinematic there, and then move over "to the film biz". After numerous positions on the most diverse film sets, he worked as a production manager (among others, on "End of the Milky Way" from Leopold Grün and on "The Big Eden" from Peter Dörfler) for several years, until he finally decided to switch sides in 2012 and began to write about film. After a further stopover in the film synchronisation business, which rounded off his insights into how films are created, he has been the editor-in-chief of the online film magazine Filmgazette.de since 2017. Otherwise, he hires himself out as a passionate presenter at various film festivals. Ricardo Brunn joined the FILMFEST DRESDEN viewing and selection committee in 2018.

Anne Gaschütz

Anne Gaschütz

Born 1983 in Dresden. She had her first contact with short films at a small local television station as a teenager. However, she had been to the cinema very rarely up to then. It was only when she moved to Great Britain after completing secondary school, that a campus cinema in sleepy little Warwick became a refuge for her. Six years later, with numerous film discoveries and her film studies behind her, Anne Gaschütz returned to her hometown and experienced all of the stages in film production at the Dresden-based production company filoufilm. Since then she has worked as a production assistant and production manager on numerous film projects. Anne Gaschütz has been a member of the international selection committee since 2013, became the festival’s deputy director in January 2019 and is also responsible for the festival coordination and the forum Visegrád in Short(s).

Danny Mellenthin

Vincent Förster

Born and raised in the Berlin of the 90s. After falsely hoping for a career as a track and field athlete, Vincent was drawn to film and from there to foreign countries. As a member of the Youth Jury and Young Journalists of the Berlinale, he first travelled the world in the cinema, then as a filming volunteer in the revolting Egypt of the Arab Spring. His studies of International Relations, Arabic and Documentary Film Directing took him to Scotland, Morocco and Sudan, where he worked in educational and cultural institutes and realised film projects. His latest short, some of these days, a comedy documentary about jazz and dictatorships, screened at numerous festivals. Vincent is also a film festival presenter, podcast editor and author of audio description. Moreover, he is Head of Programming for Short Films at Berlinale Generation and since 2021 a member of the selection committee of FILMFEST DRESDEN.

Mackenzie Fincham

American-Dutch artist Mackenzie Fincham (1994) was born in sunny California but raised in the south of The Netherlands. Being obsessed with drawing as a child it was only natural for her to pursue a career in animation and illustration. In 2021 she graduated with honors from St. Joost School of Art and Design with her animated short film Waan(Beeld), which was awarded the JBZ Award and the Playgrounds Best Student 2021 Award. Now she works as a young animation director, most recently lending her expressive style to the animated short film FLY (2022). She is also part of the Playgrounds family as a talent in their 2022 NEXT trajectory. In addition to being a junior programmer for Kaboom Animation Festival, she joined the FILMFEST DRESDEN international committee in 2022.

Ricardo Brunn

Tom Grimshaw

Tom Grimshaw, born 1986 in Brighton/ UK, is currently a senior programmer at the London Short Film Festival where he curates both the international competition selection and a number of the festival's special events; including retrospectives, audio/visual performances and commission, with an emphasis on experimental or artist based work. He holds a BA in film studies from the University of Sussex and an MA in documentary filmmaking from the London College of Communication. He has also worked in film distribution at Curzon/ Artificial Eye and is trained as a freelance post-production editor. Tom Grimshaw joined the FILMFEST DRESDEN selection committee in 2020.

Selection Committee National Competition

Sylke Gottlebe

Sylke Gottlebe

Born in 1964, she has been involved with short film since 1996. From 1997 to 2001 Sylke was already in charge of the FILMFEST DRESDEN and worked for the "Filmnächte am Elbufer". When the German short film association AG Kurzfilm was founded in May 2002 Sylke Gottlebe managed the development and expansion of this federal German body representing short film and was its managing director until August 2013. She was a member of the Administrative Council of the FFA (Germany's main federal film funding body) from 2004 and a member of the Supervisory Board of German Films (the German film exporting body) since 2010. From 2008 to 2013 she was appointed to the Cinema Programme Award Jury of the German Federal Representative for Culture and Media (BKM). As a member of the selection committee of the section "Pardi di domani" she got to know the Locarno Film Festival and has been a member of the viewing committee of the Filmfest Dresden since 2014. In 2015, Sylke was appointed to the jury of the German Short Film Award. Together with a film-enthusiastic team, she volunteers for the Clubkino in the Lingnerschloss, Dresden. In June 2017, she once again took over as co-festival director. Sylke was honoured with the Federal Cross of Merit on 6 March 2020.

Erik Lemke, Photo by Cordia Schlegelmilch
Photo by Cordia Schlegelmilch

Erik Lemke

Erik Lemke was born in Dresden in 1983. Since 1996 he lives in Berlin, with stays in Sankt-Petersburg (2003–2007) and Toulouse (2007–2008), where he studied documentary film at the state film schools SPbGUKiT and ESAV.
From 1999 to 2015 he was in charge of the VisionsBar at Filmfest Dresden, the viewing station for all films submitted on VHS, DVD and later digitally. In 2017 he won the audience award of the Regional Competition with his documentary "No one misses me!"
Erik was employed at the Dresden animation film studio Balance Film until 2010 and has been a freelance filmmaker ever since. In 2018, his documentary film "Berlin Excelsior", produced by Peter Rommel, got distributed in cinemas and TV. His interview film "Homeopathy Unrefuted?" was released in 2022.

Petra Stipetić

Petra Stipetić

is a freelance animation artist and trained educator. Her creative process is characterised by a playful approach to complex themes. Her short films have been presented internationally at film festivals and have received numerous awards. In 2022, she received the Otto Braun Fund's scholarship for graduating artistic projects. In 2023, she completed her Master's degree in Visual Communication with distinction.
Since 2022 she has taught Animation and Visual Storytelling at Bielefeld University of Applied Sciences, and since 2023 she has been an artistic assistant in the Animation class at the Kassel University of the Arts. Petra Stipetić has been a member of the FILMFEST DRESDEN viewing committee since 2023.

Frank Pawella

Christian Hempel

was born in 1977 in Thuringia and began writing stories, theatre plays and short films at the age of 10. He penned routines for "Die Pfefferlinge" cabaret show at the Theater der Stadt Greiz and taught himself screenwriting and film directing. From 2001 he worked in Berlin as a writer and script developer for various productions, was awarded a short film prize by the 39th Workshop for Young Filmmakers in Wiesbaden, and has worked since 2013 as a freelance script editor and script doctor with the Traumfalter Filmwerkstatt workshop. Since 2010 Christian Hempel has been part of the Filmfest Dresden Team, initially as a guest assistant and driver. In 2018 he preselected the participants for the Script Development Workshop from Csaba Bollók, and he has been a member of the viewing and selection committee for the festival since 2019.

Steffi Karn

Steffi Karn

Steffi Karn was born in 1968 in Leipzig. Already during her science of education studies at the TU Technical University Dresden, she focused on media pedagogy. In 1993, she was one of the founding members of the Summer Film Camp for Children and Youths in Saxony. Held more than 20 times, this creative workshop introduced the participants to all aspects of filmmaking, both in front of and behind the camera.  Several prize-winners at Filmfest Dresden also began their cinematic careers at the Film Camp in Saxony. Since 2012, Steffi has been in charge of and supervised the national and international youth juries at FILMFEST DRESDEN. In 2018 she joined the festival’s viewing and selection committee.

Selection Committee Central German Competition

Olaf Held

Olaf Held

Born in 1970 in Karl-Marx-Stadt (now Chemnitz), Olaf found his way to film via a few detours. In 1998 he wrote a first small scene for the short film "Puritas" by Ralf Glaser. From then on, he regularly worked in very different positions on productions at the Chemnitzer Filmwerkstatt and, from 2004, also as a media educator. He received a diploma in screenwriting/dramaturgy at the Konrad Wolf Academy of Film and Television in Potsdam. His application film at the time, "Duell in Griesbach", celebrated its first festival successes. Since 2011 Olaf has been working as a freelance director, dramaturge and screenwriter. And since 2020 he is a freelance writer and director for the MDR short film magazine UNICATO. Olaf Held has received numerous awards for his short films, including the Golden Horseman of the Filmfest Dresden for "Father's Day" as well as the German Short Film Award in Gold 2013 for "Short Film". Olaf Held joined the selection committee for FILMFEST DRESDEN in 2023.

Linda Kujawski

Linda Kujawski

Linda once studied media and film and can now call herself a media dramaturge. She actually wanted to work for radio until she attended a film festival for the first time. Thereupon she swapped her sound booth for the cosy darkness of the cinema and since then has tinkled through the film festival landscape both professionally and privately. For three years she was the festival director of FILMZ - Festival of German Cinema in Mainz and from 2015 to 2018 project coordinator at AG Kurzfilm, the German Short Film Association. She joined FILMFEST DRESDEN in 2013 as a presenter and has since been involved in various functions at the festival each year. Since the summer of 2018, she has been working for a world distributor of documentary films in Leipzig, viewing, selling and sending documentaries to television stations and festivals all over the world. But after work she still watches short films. Linda prefers her popcorn to be salty rather than sweet and always stays in the cinema until the end of the closing credits. From 2018 to 2021 she was been a member of the National Selection Committee of FILMFEST DRESDEN. In 2023 she joins the Selection Committee for the Central German Selection for the first time.

Sven Pötting

Sven Pötting

Sven Pötting studied theatre, film and television studies, German language and literature and history in Cologne and Málaga and then worked for various universities.
He made contact with the film industry through internships at the cinematheque of the Goethe Institute in Buenos Aires and at an art house film distributor in Cologne, through working at BAFICI (Buenos Aires International Festival of Independent Cinema), as an acquisition manager at a film distributor and as a freelance curator. Since 2017 he has been working as a programme coordinator at FILMFEST DRESDEN, while also writing articles for film magazines and trade publications. His most recent publication is an article in the handbook: Roland Spiller, Kirsten Mahlke, Janett Reinstädler (eds.): Trauma y Memoria cultural. Hispanoamérica y España, De Gruyter 2020.
Since 2018, he has also been co-director of the Latin American Film Festival Munich (LAFITA)


Young Curators

Awarded in 2022

Since 2017 there have been our "Young Curators" with Dresden children and young people between the ages of five and 18. Our young short film experts select the children's and youth films for the FILMFEST DRESDEN together with the festival programme directors. During the festival week, the curators will then present the films to the audience in person together with adult presenters.

In 2022, the project was awarded the media education prize of the Saxon State Institute for Private Broadcasting and New Media (SLM).

Our selection process