Award Winners 2020

Golden Horseman Animated Film - International Competition

ZORG 2 by Auden Lincoln-Vogel, Estonia 2019

A hugely entertaining, effortlessly funny and well-crafted film that packs in a lot without ever feeling too ambitious. It offers humorous critiques on the entertainment industry, Hollywood, capitalist motives and a society of commodities through the eyes of a naïve but ambitious alien. We want to commend its music and sound design, which only strengthens its comedy, and distinctive visual style.

Golden Horseman Animated Film - National Competition

ABLAZE by Jan Koester and Alexander Lahl, Germany 2019

Black penetrates the intact world, houses drift apart, billows of smoke rise. Through its accomplished combining of the animated and documental, the film recounts impressively how it feels to suddenly be marginalised. It conveys in an artistically virtuoso manner the sense that something is changing and spreading out in our country.

Golden Horseman Short Fiction Film - International Competition

STAY AWAKE, BE READY by Pham Thien An, Vietnam/South Korea/USA 2019

An impressively choreographed one-shot film that, through a series of interrelated vignettes, offers short glimpses into several personal lives and destinies, touching on social dynamics and behaviours while also sustaining a sense of mystery and offering us the opportunity to wander across the frame. A purposeful and almost playful sense of timing makes the film even stronger, teasing the viewer by letting us desire more.

Golden Horseman Short Fiction Film - National Competition

AFTER TWO HOURS, TEN MINUTES HAD PASSED by Steffen Goldkamp, Germany 2019

The precise observations in photographic quality reveal an everyday life that remains invisible in the public sphere. Through deliberate omissions on a visual level, the film finds an adequate form for its subject. The protagonists retain their dignity and are not put on display. The viewers are able to experience sensorially how a lifetime becomes a punishment.

Golden Horseman Youth Jury - International Competition

FIEBRE AUSTRAL by Thomas Woodroffe, Chile 2019

A newly created insular reality, to which the beholder can be granted access. The further the film develops, the greater does our certainty become breached. When the viewer becomes a part of it, they start to assemble what is perceived into a story. We were convinced by the film’s clear visual language and calmness. The characters’ strengths and the play with the landscapes and colours accorded an awe-inspiring experience.

Golden Horseman Youth Jury - National Competition

TRADING HAPPINESS by Duc Ngo Ngoc, Germany/Vietnam 2020

The one-child policy continues to have a dramatic impact on China’s neighbouring countries. With a gripping portrait of a mother and her daughter, the director focuses our attention on his country of origin Vietnam and thus reveals a new perspective of the issues involved. The outstanding visual language, thrilling performances by the cast and the courageous adaptation permit the enthusiasm for the short film to become palpable. 

Golden Horseman of the Audience - International Competition

THE PHYSICS OF SORROW by Theodore Ushev, Canada 2019


Golden Horseman of the Audience - National Competition

MASEL TOV COCKTAIL by Arkadij Khaet and Mickey Paatzsch, Germany 2020


LUCA GenderDiversity Film Award - National & International Competition

POSTPARTUM by Henriette Rietz, Germany 2020

The ability of women to suffer exceeds that of men many times. Extreme pain and extreme happiness merge in this cinematic revelation for all genders into a wonderfully honest and absurd narrated flood of images. Our congratulations for the clarity in finding the strength to produce such an emotionally moving short film in this ambivalent time.

Golden Horseman Sound Design – International & National Competition

PLUME by Hannah Weissenborn (Director), Jan Pfitzer (Film music) and Johann Meis (Sound), Germany/France2019

Initially we realise an absence of music. When music occurs, it connects to the protagonist’s emotion regardless of the image: the transformation of unrest into strength. In retrospect, the music attains new meaning. The audience is transfixed by an unconventional and psychologically precise use of the musical pause.

Saxon State Minister Promotion Prize - National Competition

MASEL TOV COCKTAIL by Arkadij Khaet and Mickey Paatzsch, Germany 2020

Detailed, courageous and cinematically refreshing. An explosive mixture against simplistic pigeonhole thinking with the gloves off and as uncompromising as a punch in the face. Would love to have more!

ARTE Short Film Prize - National & International Competition

EL INFIERNO Y TAL (Hell and Such) by Enrique Buleo, Spain 2019

A Spanish movie questioning role models and reality. The movie humorously celebrates a preposterous world in doomsday mood and shows the courage to play with moral values. Brave, quirky and surprising. We congratulate Enrique Buleo on his successful trip into hell.

DEFA Promotion Prize Animation - National Competition

CHARACTERISTICS OF NATURE – THE TWANY OWL by Aleksandar Radan, Germany 2019

For the informative and disconcertingly congenial documentation of a digital parallel biotope, the DEFA Promotion Prize Animation goes to Aleksandar Radan and the film CHARACTERISTICS OF NATURE – THE TWANY OWL.

Regional Film Night: Audience Award

THE CALL by Karl-Friedrich König, Germany 2019


Special Mentions

Special Mention National Competition Animation

POSTPARTUM by Henriette Rietz, Germany 2020


Special Mention International Competition Animation


A visually impressive, overwhelmingly beautiful and ambitious film, which tells both a personal story and a global story in an equally captivating and moving way.


Special Mention National Competition Feature Film

5 WAYS TO CRY by Michael Fetter Nathansky, Germany 2019


Special Mention International Competition Feature Film

RISE by Bárbara Wagner and Benjamin de Búrca, Brazil/Canada/USA 2019

Offering personal and poignant performances that claim the anonymous architecture of public transport transit spaces with expressions of belonging, roots and agency.

Special Mention Sound Design

HAVE A NICE DOG! by Jalal Maghout, Germany/Syria 2020


Special Mention LUCA GenderDiversity Film Award

O MISTÉRIO DA CARNE (DESIRES OF THE FLESH) von Rafaela Camelo, Brazil 2018

The Special Mention goes to a film that is probably not wanted in its country of origin. The director Rafaela Camelo and her leading actresses have the courage to face the perfidious double standards of the Catholic Church from the perspective of two teenagers. DESIRES OF THE FLESH relates female desires and Christian rituals on an exposing meta-level in order to break up male-dominated power structures.

Special Mention International Competition Youth Jury

TRAUMA CHAMELEON by Gina Kamentsky, USA 2019

A short film using experimental elements like a combination of photography, drawing and audio clips to create an emotional heaviness immediately and reinvent the word “stress”.