Welcoming the World to the 31 Filmfest Dresden

More than 500 Accreditations // Filmmakers from over 20 Nations among Guests // 5th Short Film Open-Air with 89 Films from over 30 Countries

In one week, the 31 Filmfest Dresden is kicking off and presenting a highly diverse programme from 9 to 14 April consisting of 388 current international short films and further rarely screened archival gems, as well as masterclasses, workshops, panel discussions and exhibitions. Festival Director Sylke Gottlebe and her team are ready to welcome the more than 500 international film guests and accredited industry professionals, and are inviting everyone to join in the discussions about current political, social, aesthetic and artistic subjects and themes. The team is providing a foretaste of this year’s festival edition at the traditional Sneak Preview on 4 April at 20.00 in the Thalia cinema Dresden.

At the official opening on 9 April at 19.00 in the Schauburg Dresden festival cinema, State Secretary Uwe Gaul, Culture Mayor Annekatrin Klepsch and Sylke Gottlebe will welcome the invited guests and provide some insights into the upcoming festival week. The music video TUTORIAL is being screened at the event as a filmic taste of what is to come, with the director Dennis Todorovic in attendance. His "instructional work" for how actors cry on command is then running after the official opening at 21.30 in the National Competition 1.

5th Short Film Open-Air on Dresden’s Neumarkt Square

Parallel to the official opening, the kick-off to the cost-free Short Film Open-Air on Dresden’s Neumarkt square is starting. This popular event, which accounted for a record 8,000 visitors last year, is already being run by Filmfest Dresden for the fifth time during the festival week. 89 short films from over 30 countries are providing a cross-section of global film art and recounting controversial, emotional and humorous stories, as well as tackling urgent issues from our time and presenting numerous highlights from international animation art. The Short Film Open-Air event has been made possible thanks to the support of the technical partner pms Professional Media Service GmbH & Co. KG, as well as of the State Capital of Dresden. The Family Shorts, short films intended for families being screened on Saturday and Sunday from 14.00 to 17.00, is being supported by the Ostsächsische Sparkasse Dresden bank.

Guests in the Competition Sections

About 350 filmmakers and film team members from more than 20 countries are presenting their films personally at Filmfest Dresden, including the director Thanasis Neofotistos from Greece. His work LEOFOROS PATISION (PATISION AVENUE) is running in the International Competition 2 programme as a German premiere and shows how a mother tries to reconcile her work and the minding of her children. Likewise, MADNESS (International Competition 4) also focuses on the difficulties of the maternal role. The film with the most production countries (France, Portugal, Mozambique, Guinea-Bissau, Qatar) is being personally presented by the director João Viana. Keitaro Oshima is coming to Dresden from Japan with his work DEBRIS. It consists of film excerpts and photos he collected and newly compiled. 

In the National Competition, the animation artist Merlin Flügel is coming to Dresden with his multi award-winning work RULES OF PLAY (Programme 1). The film reveals what happens when no one questions or doubts the rules of play. By contrast, the question of morality is avoided by the protagonist in the dystopian fiction film F FOR FREAKS (programme 3). The director Sabine Ehrl is personally presenting the co-production (Film University Babelsberg & MDR KurzKino) in Dresden. The director Lasse Holdhus is inviting us into a glittering underwater world in his film MOONJUMP premiering in Dresden.

Until the Awards Ceremony on 13 April, at which the eleven "Golden Horsemen" and three special prizes worth a total value of €67,200 will be awarded, festival visitors have many opportunities to hold chats and discussions with the filmmakers in attendance, such as at the Q&A sessions after the screenings, or during the "Sandwich Talks" in the Filmgalerie Phase IV venue (National Competition from 10 to 12 April at 19.00 in each case; International Competition from 10 to 12 April at 17.00 in each case).

Guests in the Special Programmes

Likewise, numerous guests from the 37 special programmes in total are coming to Filmfest Dresden and looking forward to the discussions and conversations. The cinematic works of the German artist and multi award-winning filmmaker Jochen Kuhn (born 1954) are the focus of the "Animated 1: Jochen Kuhn – Between Film and Art" programme (Sat, 13 April 16.00, Schauburg cinema). After the screening, Filmfest Dresden has also organised a masterclass, at which Jochen Kuhn will speak about his extensive oeuvre and his special transfer technique from painting into animation film. Moreover, Kuhn is represented in the National Competition with his 2018 film COURT ARTIST (Programme 5).

The work of a further exceptional artist, Derek Jarman (1942-1994), is being represented by James Mackay. The producer of various Jarman music videos (e.g. IT’S A SIN from the Pet Shop Boys or LITTLE EMERALD BIRD from Patti Smith) and, to some extent, of rarely shown films that are being screened in the DEREK JARMAN – A CINEMA OF SMALL GESTURES tribute programme, is responsible together with the LUNA Foundation for the digitisation of the films. Mackay also produced Jarman’s last long film, BLUE (1993), which through its experimental exploration of the director’s illness-related blindness raises awareness for the subject of inclusion. It is also being screened at Filmfest Dresden.

Filmfest Dresden is looking forward to greeting numerous guests from the six programmes, the discussion event and the exhibition for the Focus on Cuba special. These include the Cuban filmmaker Damián Sainz, who documents the experiences of homosexuals seeking refuge in some old ruins in BATERÍA (programme 1). The director, cameraman and photographer Alejandro Pérez is presenting his film EL ESPECÁCULO, in which the spectators in a small circus become the protagonists in a unique adaptation. In the discussions accompanying the screenings, such as BETWEEN TODAY AND YESTERDAY – MOVING STANDSTILL, among others the academic Laura-Zoë Humphreys, who teaches in the USA, will discuss social criticism and censorship in Cuban cinema today.

The panel discussion for the DISCOURSE ON EUROPE – THE AGE OF RAGE special programme entitled WHOEVER POLEMICIZES WINS? (Thu, 11 April, 17.30, Schauburg cinema) casts a light on phenomena of vilification and disparagement, which can be summarised under the term invectivity. The panel discussion guests include academics from the Special Research Area SFB 1285 "Invectivity. Constellations and Dynamics of Degrading" at the TU Technical University Dresden, as well as professors of film science and media science gender research.

A list of all film guests and their presence at the Filmfest Dresden will be sent to you on request at filmfestdresden@noisefilmpr.com

Information on tickets, advance sales agencies and admission prices at www.filmfest-dresden.de/en/tickets

Download programme flyer and catalogue at: www.filmfest-dresden.de/de/programm/programmheft-katalog

Download film stills at: www.filmfest-dresden.de/de/presse/downloads

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