The Award Winners of the 13th LICHTER Filmfest

Lisa Charlotte Friederich's film "LIVE" receives the award for best regional feature film of the 13th LICHTER Filmfest. The short film "Nachtschicht" (Nightshift) by David Dybeck wins the regional short film award. Max Rainer can be pleased about being presented with the LICHTER Short Film Audience Award powered by Journal Frankfurt for his film "Die Vergänglichkeit des Bernd Hasselhuhn" (The Transience of Bernd Hasselhuhn). The winner of the virtual reality competition is "Aripi" by Dmitri Voloshin. LICHTER-On-Demand, the online edition of the 13th LICHTER Filmfest, ended in the evening with a live broadcast of the award ceremony on Facebook.

From 21 to 26 April 2020, in cooperation with Festival Scope, the LICHTER Filmfest showed current world cinema on the issue of "Power", highlights of German film and the best from Hesse as well as virtual reality on a streaming platform specially designed for the festival. Around 50 films, pre-recorded interviews with filmmakers and podcasts created a festival atmosphere during the six days.

"We are deeply indebted to our primary sponsors. When it became clear that LICHTER could not take place in its usual form, they immediately decided to stick to their financial commitments. After this decision, we immediately agreed: Leaving people alone now, during the quarantine period, is not an option for us. We will just bring film culture to where we spend most of our time right now: into our own four walls," says festival director Gregor Maria Schubert.

Another top priority for the LICHTER-makers was solidarity with the film industry. "We know what difficult situations our festival cinemas and film-makers are facing. Therefore, a large part of our income from LICHTER-On-Demand goes directly to the industry", says festival director Johanna Süß. The big question for the festival organisers was: What does a festival feel like that nobody can attend? "This uncertainty provided us with a great creative impulse", says Schubert. With film talks, interactive online voting for the Short Film Audience Award, a flip-book challenge, a virtual festival party and award ceremony, LICHTER succeeded in transfering the usual festival feeling to the net.

Schubert and Süß are very satisfied with the reactions to LICHTER-On-Demand: "We are very pleased with the tremendous audience response to our online offer. We have received a lot of praise for our pioneering work from our sponsors and partners as well."


© Lisa Charlotte Friederich und Rike Huy

The Regional LICHTER Competition

Out of nine entries in the Dr. Marschner Foundation's Regional Feature Film Competition, LIVE by Lisa Charlotte Friederich will be honoured with the Weißer Bembel and prize money in the amount of 3,000 euros. In the context of the Corona crisis, the director creates a future dystopia of oppressively high contemporary relevance, only the starting point is different: Because of the high risk of terrorism, public events are forbidden, encounters with other people are hardly possible and cultural life can only be experienced in virtual space. An atmosphere of fear and isolation is wearing people down. The two siblings Claire and Aurel take a stand against the situation and plan an illegal live concert.

The jury, consisting of 3sat/Arte editor Margrit Schreiber-Brunner, director Anatol Schuster and Ernst Szebedits (former director of the Friedrich-Wilhelm-Murnau-Foundation), praised the atmosphere of the film, in which the longing for resistance is expressed particularly well. Despite the coldly drawn characters, the director staged the film with great suspense and with images of a fascinating aesthetic.

The jury was particularly impressed by the successful combination of music and film dramaturgy: "It is the outstanding musical composition that develops a great power here and, as part of the cinematic plot, actually complements and artfully expands the visual level. This is a special merit of the musician and co-producer Rike Huy," the jury's statement said. LIVE is a courageous, ambitious debut film that sets the tone for experimental filmmaking.


The award for the best regional short film goes to David Dybeck. In his fiction film Nachtschicht (Nightshift), the overtired René wants nothing more than to go to bed. But his work shift in the kiosk and a promising party let the long-desired sleep slip away into the distance. Arte editor Catherine Colas and the two directors Rolf Siber and Daniel Popat praised the social debates between testosterone-laden attitudes and daily nervous breakdowns that are waged in the short film. Dybeck can look forward to 1,000 euros in prize money. Honorable mentions were given to Sinkende Schiffe (Sinking Ships) by Andreas Kessler and Wie erkenne ich einen Mann/Frau auf den ersten Blick – Rike's Tutorial (How to Recognize a Man/Woman at First Glance – Rike's Tutorial) by Rike Suhr.

The LICHTER Short Film Audience Award Powered by Journal Frankfurt

The Short Film Audience Award gave the audience of LICHTER-On-Demand the opportunity to vote for their personal short film favourite via online voting. The prize is endowed with 1,000 euros and this year goes to Die Vergänglichkeit des Bernd Hasselhuhn (The Transience of Bernd Hasselhuhn). In the eight-minute film, director Max Rainer tells of Bernd Hasselhhnhn's absurdly exaggerated fear of aging. Restmüll (Residual Waste) (R: Merlin Heidenreich) and BASHE! (R: Aurelia Natalini) as second and third most popular films receive great prize packages by Journal Frankfurt.


The 4th VR Storytelling Award

This year, the LICHTER VR Storytelling Award goes to Aripi by Dmitri Voloshin. This is already the fourth time that the festival has presented narrative and documentary 360-degree films in this international competition. The five finalists were selected from over 70 submissions by a jury consisting of VR director Ioana Matei (Procter & Gamble / Reality+), Susanne Ahmadseresht (Vrtual X / next.Reality Hamburg) and Kirsty van der Plas (VR Days Europe). Viewers were able to watch the VR films via the LICHTER website in cooperation with VRdirect.

Future German Film Initiative

The second edition of the congress "Future German Cinema" will now take place in autumn 2020. But until then, the initiators of the congress are not going to keep their feet still. A podcast series has been launched to accompany LICHTER-On-Demand, which focuses on the effects of the Corona crisis on the film industry, addresses the threat posed to cinema by populism and right-wing extremism, and assesses possible reforms in the course of the 2022 amendment of the German Film Subsidies Act.

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