18.04. ‐ 23.04.2023

LICHTER celebrates its anniversary!

It has been 15 years since a small group of cinephiles turned Frankfurt's cultural landscape upside down and, with curiosity, fresh ideas and a lot of verve, gave local cinema a new home. Since then, the LICHTER Filmfest Frankfurt International has been constantly growing and looking for new challenges.

There are truly enough anecdotes surrounding the LICHTER Filmfest team, so many in fact, that the wish for a film version of their own could perhaps become reality on the occasion of their 20th anniversary; with Mads Mikkelsen as Gregor Maria Schubert and Tilda Swinton as Johanna Süß in the leading roles. Until then, however, a few years will pass, which the two festival directors would like to use to show the films of others. This year, that will be the case from May 10 to May 15, when the LICHTER Film Festival celebrates its 15th return.

In five different sections, numerous premieres and top-class films will be shown, young filmmakers can find their audience and win the charming LICHTER-Bembel in the regional competition. At the same time, the film festival will host the Zukunft Deutscher Film congress for a second time, bringing filmmakers from all over Europe to Frankfurt from May 11 to 13.


For many years now, the international program of the LICHTER Film Festival has been dominated by a thematic focus on pressing socio-political issues. We have already ventured into many major topics. But we have saved one of the biggest for later. Maybe that's what our 15th festival anniversary needed. For sure, as in all previous years, it is the present itself that determines the theme: for this year it is "freedom"!

The fact that the term can divide has rarely been brought home to us as consciously as it has been in the last two years. "Come with me to my free world" sings Tocotronic singer Dirk von Lowtzow on the current album "Nie wieder Krieg" (Never again war), in which he indirectly criticizes the egoistic, unsolidary concept of freedom of the lateral thinkers, stating: "There is no I without others". The album title could hardly be more topical. LICHTER also joins the chorus of those who condemn the war and demand freedom for Ukraine.

The international program wants to take up its annual theme in all its different facets and discuss them in an interdisciplinary way: Freedom as ideal, freedom as promise, freedom as delusion, freedom as threat, threatened and lost freedom, freedom as unfreedom.