Dear guests & friends,
dear filmmakers,
dear partners & sponsors,

The number 13 has a connotation of misfortune for many. A small minority, however, associate it with exactly the opposite: Good luck. The antipode of luck is bad luck, of truth lies, of chaos order and of nature? Well, let's call it destruction. The festival main topics of the previous years. The dialectical exploration of these spheres is one of the very core principles of the LICHTER Filmfest.

Power - our festival theme this year - is insufficiently addressed without powerlessness. The omnipresent power of malevolent contemporaries such as Trump, Bolsonaro, Orbán, Höcke and all those who have made them what they are today - has practically forced this theme upon us. But not only that. Evil is only one facet of our deliberations. On the one hand, for the first time since the Second World War, there is a worrying threat from the right, and on the other, a protest movement has succeeded in bringing the biggest problems of our time - climate change and pollution - into everyday political life worldwide. The younger generation has brought protest back to the streets as a means of political intervention and made it a success unparalleled in recent human history.

Our thesis: The classical power structures are becoming increasingly unstable. In this respect, now seems the right time to address the phenomenon. The old political superpowers have lost their status, states are continuously losing power to global digital corporations such as Facebook, Google and Amazon, and (false) information can hardly be controlled anymore. This is because digitalisation has led to an unprecedented shift in power in recent years. A revolution like the printing press - only faster and with more possibilities than ever before.

And now this: Covid-19 has shown us all how powerless we all are in the face of nature's whims. And how much survival in these situations is still dependent on social power structures. More than ever before, we will have to ask ourselves how deeply humankind should be allowed to intervene in nature. The answer is open. We already agree that the world will not be the same after the pandemic. A brief sentence with major implications!

In fact, only one question remains open for us: Is the 13th LICHTER Filmfest Frankfurt International with its LICHTER-On-Demand Edition a blessing in disguise or have we simply had bad luck? Soon, we will know. For us, one thing is already certain: the sudden loss of physical interaction makes us painfully aware of the extent to which people are social beings. And how much we need cinema as a spatial experience.

Stay healthy!

Your Johanna Süß + Gregor Maria Schubert and the entire LICHTER-Team

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