The competition films of 36 Filmfest Dresden

60 short films from 28 countries in the International, National and Central German Competition // 19 German and world premieres // 16 prizes with a total endowment of EUR 72,000

A total of 60 short films from 28 countries were invited to take part in the three competitions of the 36 Filmfest Dresden (16 to 21 April 2024). From around 3,100 film submissions, the selection committees chose 30 (co-)productions for the International Competition, 23 entries for the National Competition and seven works for the Central German Competition. The competition entries include a total of 13 German premieres and six world premieres. The films are competing for 16 "Golden Horsemen" and special prizes totalling EUR 72,000. In addition to the competition programme, the festival week offers an extensive range of special programmes with a variety of thematic and country focuses, which this year are dedicated to forms and manifestations of utopias. In total, over 350 films will be screened at the film festival. The complete programme of the 36 Filmfest Dresden will be announced at the press conference on 26 March 2024 at the Schauburg Dresden.

Statistics: large number of animations, more independent productions, 19 premieres, short films from Chile, Haiti, Colombia and other countries

Traditionally, there are a large number of animated films in the competitions: of the 30 entries in the International Competition - in addition to twelve fictional and six hybrid works - twelve are animated short films, including SUCH MIRACLES DO HAPPEN by Barbara Rupik from Poland, which already screened at FILMFEST DRESDEN in 2021 with THE LITTLE SOUL. Among the 23 films in the National Competition, animations (twelve) predominate in contrast to eight fictional and three hybrid works. The Polish-German co-production OUTSIDE by Izabela Plucinska, which received the Silver Bear Jury Prize for JAM SESSIONS at the 2005 Berlinale, can be seen here.

The 19 premieres include nine German premieres in the International Competition, including the Haitian father-daughter story DES RÊVES EN BATEAUX PAPIERS (DREAMS LIKE PAPER BOATS) by Samuel Suffren and the Belgian-Vietnamese-Singaporean co-production PORCUPINE (NHÍM) by Nicolas Graux and Quý Trương Minh. In addition to four German premieres, the films in the National Competition include six world premieres, such as the aforementioned animation OUTSIDE by Izabela Plucinska and the hybrid work Carrotica by Daniel Sterlin-Altmann.

In total, the films in the three competitions come from 28 (co-)production countries, with works from Chile, Haiti, Colombia, Indonesia, Iran, the Philippines, Singapore and Vietnam in the International Competition. Of the 23 entries in the National Competition, six films were co-productions with Hong Kong, Iran and Denmark, among others. The participation of female (co-)directors in the National Competition (18) is significantly higher than that of their male colleagues (10) - a slight surplus of female directors is also reflected in the three competitions taken together.

At ten, the number of independent productions in the National Competition is slightly lower than that of film schools (13), including the Film University Babelsberg Konrad Wolf, the German Film and Television Academy Berlin (DFFB), the Film Academy Baden-Württemberg and the Academy of Media Arts Cologne (KHM). All seven films in the Central German competition were independent productions.

Topics: Utopias, AI, search for identity & diversity

The main theme of the special programmes - utopias and dystopias - can also be found in some of the competition entries: In the animation ZOOPTICON by Jon Frickey, Thies Mynther and Sandra Trostel (National Competition), the spaceship of the same name floats through space, filled with artefacts of life and culture from Earth and five singing animals that have no idea about each other. In the experimental film THE ELECTRIC KISS, Rainer Kohlberger uses excerpts from obscure science fiction films to create a dystopian fiction from the remnants of the film past.

Several works in the competitions deal with the topic of artificial intelligence. Markéta Müllerová's 3D animation TECHNICALLY_BREATHING (world premiere) from the national competition poses the question of whether avatars and artificial intelligence really breathe or merely create an illusion. In KINDERFILM by Total Refusal (International Competition), protagonist Edgar moves through a Grand Theft Auto V world in which everything is actually "normal" - except that the future has been cancelled. The media collective "Total Refusal" is also curating one of the special programmes on the main theme of utopia.

The search for identity and gender issues are further themes that are reflected in the competition entries. In ES GIBT KEINE ANGST (Central German Competition), Anna Zett assembles an intense and poetic short thriller based on her own childhood experiences and several months of work and research at the Berlin archive of the GDR opposition. In her Portuguese film NOCTURNO PARA UMA FLORESTA (International Competition), Catarina Vasconcelos takes an impressive look at the exploration of femininity and gender relations in the past and present. Vasconcelos has already attracted a great deal of international attention with her award-winning feature film A METAMORFOSE DOS PÁSSAROS, which was honoured with the Fipresci Award at the 2020 Berlinale, among others. In his experimental animated film SPROUT (National Competition), Florian Maubach depicts a sensually nuanced awakening of sexuality and provides an important glimpse behind the curtain of male sexuality and relationships.

Press information

Accreditation & Press Conference

Press representatives can now apply for accreditation for the 36 Filmfest Dresden for reporting purposes.

The press conference, at which the complete programme will be presented, will take place on 26 March 2024 at the Schauburg Dresden. Registrations at:

Visual material

Images of the competition films and other press material can be found here.

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