Award Winners 2022

Golden Horseman Animated Film - International Competition

ANXIOUS BODY by Yoriko Mizushiri, France/Japan 2021

This film tickles the viewer by exploring the textures and forms, as well as the multifaceted sensuality of the human body. Through an intimate and ambiguous exploration, it demonstrates how close pleasure and pain could be. Tactile, dreamlike and contemplative. The film stages the author’s distinctive artistic style in terms of the visual aesthetics and sound design. 

Sponsor: State Chancellery of Saxony

Golden Horseman Animated Film - National Competition

NIGHT by Ahmad Saleh, Germany/Jordan/Qatar/Palestine 2021

The moving stop-motion film with its incredibly lively and sensitively directed figures takes us to a destroyed city, to the victims of violence and war. Here in the middle of the rubble, in this emergency of abstraction, the night appears as a consoler of humankind, bestowing moments of truth and peace upon it in dreams. In this way, the haunting film becomes a poetic myth of great universality.

Sponsor: DIAF German Institute for Animated Films, Friends of FILMFEST DRESDEN

Golden Horseman Short Film - International Competition

HELTZEAR by Mikel Gurrea, Spain 2021

The title of the film originates from the verbs to hold, to grow and to arrive. It portrays the process of overcoming a personal grief arising from the legacy of a collective trauma through physical challenges. By strengthening the body and thus strengthening the mind, the protagonist finds a way to look ahead. Simply staged, yet layered, the film’s condensed storytelling and coherent style proves yet again that less is more.

Sponsor: Public Media Authority for Private Broadcasting (SLM)

Golden Horseman Short Film - National Competition

HANDBOOK by Pavel Mozhar, Germany/Belarus 2021

Set in the director’s own apartment in Berlin, the film reconstructs the torture methods of the regime in Belarus. The maltreatment is demonstrated by taking a factual handbook as the format. In its soberness and objectivity especially, the film mirrors the mercilessness of the perpetrators and the agonies of the victims, whose horrific statements develop an increasingly powerful, emotional impact. Doing so, the apartment, which can be recognised as such, becomes a stage of horrors. And this is not some remote torture chamber, but in our immediate present, right now. 

Sponsor: Saxony Film Association

Golden Horseman Youth Jury - International Competition

TECHNO, MAMA by Saulius Baradinskas, Lithuania 2021

Colours in conflict. Basses like hammer blows. The feeling of imprisonment meets the desire for freedom. He finds his sole escape from motherly violence in music, but the borderlines become blurred. For the protagonist of this fictional film, techno is the only way for him to express his feelings and break free from this 1 to 1 format.

Sponsor: Ostsächsische Sparkasse Dresden

Golden Horseman Youth Jury - National Competition

THAT DIVINE CADAVER by Leonhard Hofmann, Germany 2021

The prizewinning film is not easy to digest. You can literally feel the unbearable heat and almost even smell the sweating body odours on the screen. Yet it is exactly this repulsive atmosphere that catches the viewer’s gaze. Despite all its fragmentation and absurdity, this film is concerned with personalities trapped within themselves and individuals lacking resonance. 

Sponsor: Melli-Beese-Oberschule Dresden (Semper Bildungswerk)

Golden Horseman of the Audience - International Competition

MILY TATI (LOVE, DAD) by Diana Cam Van Nguyen, Czech Republic/Slovakia 2021

Sponsor: Sächsische Zeitung

Golden Horseman of the Audience - National Competition

NOT THE 80s by Marleen Valien, Germany 2022

Sponsor: MDR Public Broadcaster

LUCA GenderDiversity Film Award - National & International Competition


For reminding us that queer filmmaking originates from an underground DIY approach and by revisiting and expanding queer heritage, the film reveals in a raw and poetic way the precarious situations for POC queers in Germany by framing a collective perspective of personal experiences of racism, fetishisation, class and the politics of bodies. The film reminds us that we queers have always used wittiness and turned our struggles into resistance and survival.

Sponsors: LAG Jungen- und Männerarbeit Sachsen, Genderkompetenzzentrum Sachsen, LAG Queeres Netzwerk Sachsen

Golden Horseman Sound Design – International & National Competition

VADIM NA PROGULKE (VADIM ON A WALK) by Sasha Svirsky, Russia 2021

This film’s sound led the jury to many questions worth discussing: Does the protagonist confuse freedom with distraction that promises happiness? Do we keep falling for bread and games? How big is the creative space of each human? The sounds are individual in an exciting way, coupled with a laconic descriptive voice.

Sponsors: Ballroom Studio/ FILMFEST DRESDEN

Saxon Film Promotion Prize - National Competition

FIRST WORK, THEN PLAY by Brenda Lien, Germany 2022

A female musician is suffering from the pressure of her next album, believing she has to correspond perfectly to the excessive demands of a neoliberal society. It is impossible to elude the charm of this richly associative and directive narrative style with its numerous medial references. In a wonderfully playful, constructed Instagram world, very real questions of existence arise that not only concern freelance artists. 

Sponsor: Saxon State Ministry for Science, Culture and Tourism

ARTE Short Film Prize - National & International Competition

SIERRA by Sander Joon, Estonia 2022

The 2022 ARTE Short Film Prize is being awarded to a film about a father-mother-child constellation, an animated ode to Sunday activities that take a surreal turn. The film is a completely personal immersion in the world of « folk racing », Finnish amateur car racing that we experience through the eyes of a child. In the film, we join in a frantic contest for recognition, which reminds us that it is often challenges which shape us. We congratulate Sander Joon for his wonderful film SIERRA. 

Sponsor: ARTE

DEFA Promotion Prize Animation - National Competition

KLIMAX by Bea Höller, Germany 2021

We accompany the naked Barbie doll, that symbol of standardised sleekness, on a fast-paced, sensual journey through the labyrinth of desire. With exuberant imagination, the film creates erotic landscapes, in which the rampant imagery of Georgia O’Keefe becomes connected with the commercial mechanisms of the sex industry – over a breathless, entertaining and garish three minutes.

Sponsor: DEFA Foundation

Regional Competition: Audience Award

FLUFFY TALES by Alison Kuhn, Germany 2021

Sponsor:  Filmnächte am Elbufer

"fully political" - Short Film Award of the Saxon Centre for Political Education

HANDBOOK by Pavel Mozhar, Germany/Belarus 2021

A room that could be anywhere. In it, an artistic experimental arrangement that recounts the cruelties at the mass arrests in 2020 during the demonstrations in Belarus. The film appears like a training manual for a torture system. With impressively few cinematic means, Pavel Mozhar alienates Lukashenko’s system of repression. A film that gets under your skin. 

Sponsor: Saxon Centre for Political Education

Dresden Short Film Award of the German Film Critics Association


Casualness and naturalness are the low-threshold characteristics of this film realized with the simplest means, which knows how to skilfully use the low-key aesthetics of cell phone camera and lip asynchrony. The everyday conversations between two friends bathing naked in a lake and their exposed, self-deprecating body positivity form the film's deceptive offers of harmlessness before it almost imperceptibly turns into an insinuating political pamphlet, only to be recaptured in comedic absurdity. Its directorial lightness and tongue-in-cheek combination of discourse and physicality could be the dawn of a new, lusty political filmmaking. The Film Critics Award goes to "It's not the Brazilian homosexuals who are perverted, but the situation they live in" by Eduardo Mamede, Leandro Goddinho und Paulo Menezes.

Sponsor: German Film Critics Association

Special Mentions

Special Mention Dresden Short Film Award of the German Film Critics Association

AFTER A ROOM by Naomi Pacifique, Great Britain/Netherlands/Switzerland 2021

Special Mention "fully political"

CHERRY BONE by Evgenia Gostrer, Germany 2021


Special Mention International Competition Golden Horsemen of the Youth Jury

SIERRA by Sander Joon, Estonia 2022

Special Mention National Competition Golden Horsemen of the Youth Jury

TO THE LAST DROP by Simon Schnellmann, Germany 2021

Special Mention International Competition Golden Horseman Animated Film

TERRA INCOGNITA by Pernille Kjaer and Adrian Dexter, Denmark 2021

Special Mention International Competition Golden Horseman Short Film

ORTHODONTICS by Mohammadreza Mayghani, Iran 2021

Special Mention National Competition Golden Horseman Animated Film

TO THE LAST DROP by Simon Schnellmanns, Germany 2021

Special Mention National Competition Golden Horseman Short Film

LET'S KILL by Max Gleschinskis, Germany 2022