Award Winners 2021

Golden Horseman Animated Film - International Competition

AIVA by Veneta Androva, Germany, Bulgaria / 2020

The myth of the male genius is manipulated by the artist with a staggered narration. By using the game engine as a metaphor, the film echoes and paints an ironic portrait of dominants of the art market and the AI industry. A committed and profound proposition that invites us to a new perception of gender in the current landscape of the Contemporary Art world.

Golden Horseman Animated Film - National Competition

JUST A GUY by Shoko Hara, Germany / 2020

We are drawn into the disconcerting reality of women whose sexual fantasies are unleased through their relationship with a serial killer. And we ask ourselves: "How is this possible?" The film does not provide an answer, permitting instead to let the women tell their stories. The combination of differing animation techniques accords the protagonists' recollections an almost surreal dimension. It's just a great movie!

Golden Horseman Short Fiction Film - International Competition

A LACK OF CLARITY by Stefan Kruse Jørgensen, Denmark / 2020

The prize for best fiction goes to a film that meanders through the treats of modern technology. The more we zoom in to late capitalism, the more we lose clear sight on what is exactly happening around us. Through its great sound design and pacing, the film takes you into its own dreamlike state where there is still some space to reflect.

Golden Horseman Short Fiction Film - National Competition

KAKO SAM POBEDIO LEPAK I BRONZU (HOW I BEAT GLUE AND BRONZE) by Vladimir Vulević, Germany, Serbia / 2020

Everyone has stopped talking to each other, and instead only talk about one other. A protagonist whom we never really grasp yet we are able to understand well. His monotonous everyday life stands for an economically depressed region in Europe that offers few prospects. The atmospherically dense, long and calm shots permit much space for subjective interpretation. The feeble dance of a woman reflects the buried yearnings of a whole generation.

Golden Horseman Youth Jury - International Competition

LES NOUVEAUX DIEUX (New Gods) by Loic Hobi, Switzerland, France / 2020

It can be inconvenient accepting responsibility – and everyone else really is to blame. Through an unusual combination of animation and fiction, this short film blurs the borders between reality and self-enactment. With long shots, reduced colouring and the skilful use of background music, the protagonists' authentic monologues come to the fore. Despite the fragmented storyline, this gloomy mood does not lose its terrifying effect.

Golden Horseman Youth Jury - National Competition

JEIJAY by Maren Wiese/ Petra Stipetic, Germany/ 2021

The powerfulness of a liberating conclusion and the feeling of great relief after a painful decision arouse hope and confidence. Which is the exact impression our winning film creates. The play with motifs and metaphors that conveys the yearning for an unavoidable upheaval is especially noteworthy. Doing so, the film skilfully combines differing animation techniques and provides a new perspective on the indeterminable.

Golden Horseman of the Audience - International Competition

KHARCHANG (Crab) by Shiva Sadegh Asadi, Iran / 2020

Golden Horseman of the Audience - National Competition

YALLAH HABIBI by Mahnas Sarwari, Germany / 2020

Regional Competition: Audience Award Regional Film Night

KEEP SHIFTIN' by Verena Wagner, Germany / 2020

Dresden Short Film Award of the German Film Critics Association - International Competition

PLAY SCHENGEN by Gunhild Enger, Norway / 2020

The film convinced us with its humour and its playful use of multifaced tools: A white dove, enthusiastic game developers and an avant-garde single mother and composer are the protagonists in search of a harmonious Europe.

"fully political" - International, National and Regional Competition

MEX AND THE ANIMALS by Elisa Gleize, Canada / 2020

The human lives a second life in this dystopia – and the real life in a digital one. In contrast to a world without animals, without friends and without meaning, the human experiences clean water here, as well as whales or wolfs. Sharp-edged and mechanistically, the artificial creature moves through the pixel wood. The film depicts an emptiness created by humans. Its non-political approach, that only seems so at first glance, facilitates our access to the highly political and ever-more pressing themes of climate protection and species extinction. This is moving and permits the hope that it is not yet too late.

LUCA GenderDiversity Film Award - National & International Competition

AIVA by Veneta Androva, Germany, Bulgaria / 2020

The winning film not only sharpens our eyes on the relationship between art and gender in the future and indicates the danger of reinforcing gender roles in artificial intelligence and big data. The film also questions the male dominated canon of art and movie history and the labelling of gender ideals in a humoristic and transgressive way.

Golden Horseman Sound Design – International & National Competition

JUST A GUY by Shoko Hara (Director), Film music/ Sound: Chiara Strickland, Marc Fragstein, Luis Schöffend, Germany / 2020

The fusion of original sounds, music and sound design is particularly successful in this film. Imagery and sound merge on an equal footing. Subtle sound design, such as breathing noises in the background, ensures constant excitement for the recipient. The stylistically diverse music is very well produced.

Saxon State Minister Promotion Prize - National Competition

DOOM CRUISE by Hannah Stragholz & Simon Steinhorst, Germany / 2021

Just imagine it is the end of the world and everything is colourful and garish. A cruise ship is sailing to its demise. Despite the gloomy prospects, a uniquely relaxed atmosphere prevails. The lovingly hand-coloured film combines several original storylines, referring as it does so with much use of metaphor to current societal themes.

ARTE Short Film Prize - National & International Competition

KHODA BIAMORZ (May She RIP) by Nazgol Kashani, Iran / 2020

We are delighted to be a partner of the festival, which we would like to thank for the wonderful and interesting film selection. This year, the ARTE Short Film Prize goes to a film with a universal reach, that transposes its audience to the Middle East and metes out social criticism against the background of humankind's "last resting place". A film with much humour and sensitivity, which reminds us that the class struggle continues to provide highly powerful substance.

DEFA Promotion Prize Animation - National Competition

SERIAL PARALLELS by Max Hattler, Germany / 2019

Not a person, yet humans everywhere. Cement, windows and pipes – with all of them becoming displaced. The hypnotic stream of facades that never wants to end reads like a critical commentary on modern urban living conditions. An experimental animated film whose rhythmic editing, sound and precise collaging are aesthetically fascinating.

Special Mentions

Special Mention International Competition Animation

EASTER EGGS by Nicolas Keppens, Belgium, France, Netherlands/ 2020

Reflection of a significant but toxic friendship, where all emotions – rage, fear, humiliation and fascination – are combined in a purely truthful story.


Special Mention National Competition Feature Film

FREDDA MEYER by Werkgruppe2 / Julia Roesler, Germany / 2021

For the moving acting performances and the sensitive adaptation, a special mention goes to Werkgruppe 2 for the film FREDDA MEYER.

Special Mention International Competition Feature Film

I'M TOO BUSY by Carmen Aumedes, China, Spain/ 2019

A witty and meaningful story of a woman trying to find a new way of living in a contemporary new-media society.

Special Mention "fully political"

OBERVOGELGESANG von Ferdinand Ehrhardt, Elias Weinberger, Germany / 2020

A special mention goes to the film OBERVOGELGESANG. It takes up a highly topical theme, the presence of right-wing slogans and groups in public spaces, as well as Saxony's medial awareness. Through the well composed interplay of its filmic means, it conveys a strong message. It appeals to civic courage yet does not assume a moralising stance over its female protagonist, revealing instead the dilemmas of political commitment.

Special Mention LUCA GenderDiversity Film Award

DUSTIN von Naïla Guiguet, France / 2020

A special mention goes to DUSTIN by Naïla Guiguet for his emotional-immersive storytelling that renounces stereotypical roles.

Special Mention International Competition Youth Jury

KHARCHANG (Crab) by Shiva Sadegh Asadi, Iran / 2020

Gloomy and traumatic, yet still lively despite that. A child's emotions, and especially its fears, are accentuated brilliantly through the dramatic music and menacing visual language. The composition has an extremely powerful impact, affecting the audience deeply.

Special Mention National Competition Youth Jury

TROUBLED WATER by Elena Wiener, Germany / 2020

Our special mention goes to Elena Wiener and the film TROUBLED WATER. Your film convinces through the complexity of the subject-matter and its filmic adaptation. In this way, everyone can rediscover their own, individual selves within it. For us, this viewing became something very heartfelt.