35 Filmfest Dresden Starting Today

More Than 500 Film Guests and Media Professionals Expected at Festival // Open Air Programme Beginning

This Tuesday evening at 19.00, Filmfest Dresden is launching its 35th festival edition in the Filmtheater Schauburg festival cinema. From 18 to 23 April, 371 short films from 66 countries are being shown in 188 screenings at 16 venues. The film programme is being accompanied by the events in the etc. - events.trainings.connections festival section. On a thematic level, many films and programme elements are focusing on this year’s motto of Antiracism: Exit Happyland. Parallel to the festival opening, the traditional Open Air Programme, now in its ninth round, is commencing at a new screening location on Dresden’s Schlossplatz square. A total of 64 works in the National, International und Central German Competitions are vying for ten Golden Horsemen and six special awards, endowed with prizemoney amounting to €72,000. The awards and prizes – to be chosen by eight juries and the festival audiences – will be handed over to the lucky winners at the awards ceremony on Saturday, 22 April in the Filmtheater Schauburg festival cinema. More than 500 film guests and media professionals are expected over the week of the festival. Tickets to the festival can be purchased at various pre-sale outlets, as well as online.

The 35 Filmfest Dresden is being launched in the Filmtheater Schauburg festival cinema with welcoming addresses from Markus Franke, Head of the Arts Section in the Saxon State Ministry of Science, Culture and Tourism, and Annekatrin Klepsch, Deputy Mayor for Culture and Tourism in the City of Dresden, as well as from the Festival Directors Sylke Gottlebe and Anne Gaschütz.

“We’re so delighted and really excited that the 35th festival edition is finally about to kick off this evening and we have an opportunity to warmly welcome the many guests here from far and wide,” the Festival Directors Sylke Gottlebe and Anne Gaschütz explain. “Over the last few years, we promoted Filmfest Dresden with the #backtocinema slogan, and even if we never abandoned the cinemas completely, this year is still the first one in a long time when the festival can be held without any restrictions. As you can imagine, of course we’re hoping to have lots of full cinemas and venues. We would like to extend a special thanks to both our longstanding and our new partners and sponsors, whose support has ensured that the 35th festival edition is now happening.”

As always, the guests attending the opening gala will get an insight into what to expect over the festival week with filmic treats, including the animated film DEAR MAHSA from Martin Pflanzer running in the National Competition, or Extensions from Yvonne Osei, which is being screened in the Cinema Digestif: Beyond Nollywood special programme. The opening event is being presented by Falk Töpfer.

Guests at the 35 Filmfest Dresden

Numerous film guests have announced their intention to attend the 35th edition of Filmfest Dresden: From the International Competition, the Columbian director Jorge Cadena is coming to Dresden and presenting his film FLORES DEL OTRO PATIO (International Competition 1). From the International Competition 3, among others, the festival is welcoming the director Mo Harawe, who comes from Mogadishu, with his film WILL MY PARENTS COME TO SEE ME (2022 German Short Film Award, etc.). In addition, Mo Harawe has curated the RIPPLE EFFECT programme in this year’s EXIT HAPPYLAND antiracism thematic focus. The filmmaker Suchana Saha is travelling from India and presenting DEAR ME, her animation work painted on glass. In the National Competition, guests are expected for each film being screened, including the animation director Anne Isensee, whose new film INTRO is opening the National Competition. Isensee has already been represented numerous times at Filmfest Dresden, such as in 2021 with DUE TO LEGAL REASONS THIS FILM IS CALLED Breaking Bert. Likewise in the Central German Competition, which on the occasion of the Mitteldeutsche Medienförderung (MDM) funding body’s 25th anniversary is being celebrated in partnership with MDM regional film productions, filmmakers from the eight works being screened are expected to attend this year. These include Julius Gintaras Blum (CHEMKIDS) or the members of Kolektiw Klanki (MRÓČELE), the first all-female Sorbian rap group.

Also in the special programmes, numerous international guests plan to attend to festival. The French director Yann Gonzalez, to whom this year’s tribute is dedicated, is personally presenting a short film programme, as well as the multi award-winning queer horror feature film KNIFE+HEART.

For the anniversary programme honouring the Dutch father-son directing duo Paul and Menno de Nooijer – who have been close friends and companions of Filmfest Dresden for 20 20 years – Menno de Nooijer is travelling to Dresden and will be present at the screenings of the ANIMATED 2 – WE’LL MEET AGAIN, DON’T KNOW WHERE, DON’T KNOW WHEN programme.

From the “Cinema Digestif” late night specials, among others, the festival is welcoming Nadia Denton from Great Britain who has curated the BEYOND NOLLYWOOD – WHEN SAND ENTER GARRI programme and who is also participating in the discussion on the EXIT HAPPYLAND thematic focus (Friday, 21.04. 18.30, Hole of Fame).

The artist and filmmaker Maryam Tafakory, who comes from Iran and now lives in Great Britain, is presenting the EXIT HAPPYLAND – FROM ANYWHERE programme that she curated, and she will speak, among others, with the director Niki Kohandel about her film THE SPARROW IS FREE.

On Saturday, 22 April (16.00), Filmfest Dresden is welcoming the writer and former Saxon State Representative for the Reappraisal of the SED Dictatorship, Lutz Rathenow, to whom an homage is dedicated this year. The documentary THE FIST CIRCLES FONDLY – FILM JOURNAL WITH LUTZ RATHENOW, AUTHOR, EAST BERLIN (West Germany, 1990) from Hilde Bechert and Klaus Dexel, who is also attending the event, is being screened at the festival.

For this year’s retrospective THE SWEET WORD FREEDOM (Thursday, 20.04., 20.00, Lingnerschloss & Saturday, 22.04., 20.00, Schauburg) in honour of the Lithuanian underground director Artūras Barysas, the curator Dr. Claus Löser is welcoming the film restorer Lijana Siuchina and the British music producer David Ellis, as well as the artist’s son Vytis Barysas to Dresden. The retrospective comprises 16 short films shot between 1971 and 1982, which were recently rediscovered in Lithuania, then restored and had new soundtracks added to them. They will now be presented for the first time ever here in Germany at Filmfest Dresden.

9th Open Air Programme in New Screening Location on Schlossplatz

Already for the ninth time now the ever-popular Open Air Short Film Programme is running parallel to Filmfest Dresden, and it is being held for the first time ever this year on Schlossplatz square. In the middle of this imposing ensemble of buildings, from 18 to 23 April, the viewers are invited to a special cinematic treat with the 23 short film programmes in total due to be screened there. As usual, highlights from the festival season and a best-of selection with international titles of all genres and styles are being presented on the high-resolution and daylight-capable LED screen. In terms of their content, the films sweep us away to different lifeworlds and fantastic universes, while also tackling current events, such as the war of aggression in the Ukraine, or climate justice. Yet again, the four Family Shorts Programmes are presenting short films for young film fans and those older fans who have remained young at heart daily at 16.00 from Wednesday, as well as at 15.00 from Thursday to Sunday.

As always, admission is free, but the Festival Team are happy to receive donations. The Open Air Short Film programme is the result of the kind support provided by the State Capital City of Dresden, the technology partner schickschön GmbH & Co. KG and the Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk (MDR) state broadcaster.

Press Information

We are happy to coordinate interviews with film guests attending the festival, as well as with the festival management. Please email your requests for the complete guest list and interviews during the week of the festival to: filmfestdresden@kleberfilmpr.de.

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