Welcoming Speeches

Festival Management Gregor Maria Schubert & Johanna Süß

Dear LICHTER Friends,

Transformation! Longed for by some, feared by others. Equality through the ages. Transport through time. Living through time. Working through the ages. And – this almost sounds mocking – the climate as it changes through the ages. Five macro trends and five examples that somehow make us feel that the transformation of our world can no longer be stopped. Digitization shows that there are tremendous opportunities and dangers in transformations, considering the climate changes since recent years. Whichever direction the pendulum swings, the result is the same: Both ends currently determine our thoughts and actions.

A characteristic of our time is the exponential increase of things, everything moves and becomes faster and faster. The computing speed and the amount of storable data, for instance. The professional world is accelerating without breaks, and the knowledge gained in recent years has been significant. Or just think of the growing dependence of humans on machines, during which people enjoy incredible advantages yet at the same time hopelessly at the mercy of these machines.

The equation behind all these thoughts is simple: Processes of transformation can take place faster than they did 50 years ago. Theoretically. Because: Fear and unwillingness will increasingly lead to dangers for humanity and nature. The responsibility falls on all of us.

Too much doom and gloom? We are actually aiming at something else. We should be excited! For the mobility of the future, for sustainable construction, consumption, and agriculture. For a different world than that of the past 150 years. There is no end to transformation; it is an ongoing process in which we must participate. And we should take on the challenge of shaping the world together! With joy, ingenuity, and energy. And what is the essence of anticipation? The eagerness! We can hardly wait until it finally happens.

A special characteristic of LICHTER Filmfest has always been its enormous versatility and flexibility. Supported by a team and by common perceptions of the goals. Dear LICHTER, we can’t thank you enough! Our sincere gratitudes also go to the supporters and sponsors who have carried us through the pandemic with their understanding and courtesy.

We wish you a lot of fun and great viewing pleasures with this year’s LICHTER program, with films about the changing times and knowledge in every imaginable sense. We’ll see you outside in the summer and next year again in person. Start the film!

Gregor Maria Schubert + Johanna Süß and the entire LICHTER TEAM

© Jörg Baumann

Angela Dorn, Hessian Minister for Science and Art

Dear friends of cinema and film,,

For the 14th time, the LICHTER Filmfest has put together a programme that bridges current world cinema and the best works from Hessen. A feast for all cinephiles and those that understand cinema as a place in which important socio-political questions are negotiated – even in digital form. Like last year, the festival has to react to the current developments of the Corona-pandemic and become a hybrid form of itself.

This year’s topic “Change” is also a reaction to our time. Not only the virus is responsible for societal tensions, but also developments such as climate change, the loss of biological diversity and pollution are forcing us to rethink. Digital change adds to that by changing you we live and work, and is accelerated by Corona as well.

The LICHTER Filmfest film selection this year brings important themes to our screens, often for the first time. Five films are celebrating their world premiere this year – among them “Wer wir waren”, a film that pulls charismatic scientists into its focus. It is their voices we need to listen to in these times more than ever.

I wish you an exciting festival and lots of inspiring impressions!


Angela Dorn

Hessische Ministerin für Wissenschaft und Kunst

© kunst.hessen.de

Dr. Ina Hartwig, Head of the Department of Culture and Science of the City of Frankfurt/Main

It is hard to imagine Frankfurt without the LICHTER Filmfest as a gathering place. It is all the more regrettable that this year, we will have to be content with a predominantly digital festival. However, we do not want to mope for a long time, but rather look forward to what awaits us in addition to the expected high-quality film program.

Since its inception over 100 years ago, the cinema has been representing a low barrier of access to a culture that casts its spell over people from various backgrounds and milieus and lets them experience new worlds together.

The LICHTER Filmfest has not been around for quite that long. But its meaning as a filming location is just as important, since it has been a platform for regional production ever since the beginning. The LICHTER Filmfest celebrates the legacy of the Hessian film scene. With its success, it has continued to grow and internationalized its program, and most recently, brought impulses beyond the region with the „Zukunft Deutscher Film“ congress.

All of that cannot simply be transferred to a digital stage. More impressive is the resilience with which the festival organizers overcome adverse circumstances and present us all with exciting contents again this year. Film festivals are an important addition to Frankfurt’s indie scene and deserve all of our support as a place of community experience.

This year’s edition of the festival has dedicated itself entirely to the motto of “Transformation.” And that is certainly not only to be understood as a comment on the current irregular situation and the various challenges associated with it. It will be interesting to see what insights and prospects the festival would invite us to this year. Let us look forward to many inspiring films and a creative accompanying program, and even more to getting together again soon in the usual way!


Your Dr. Ina Hartwig