22.04. ‐ 27.04.2025

14th LICHTER Art Award

International Platform for Video Art

The LICHTER Art Award reaches video artists and filmmakers from all over the world. Since 2011, the LICHTER Art Award has been a platform for contemporary video art.

The 14th LICHTER Art Award Edition is a truly multidisciplinary edition. The spectrum of productions ranges from the staging of real events to the creation of fictional worlds, and contemporary analyses. Frieder Haller's 24/7 ist kein Leben, losely based on Sartres theater play "Closed Society," brings hell to life for the three main characters. Benjamin Dobó's and Anafee Fränznick's documentary You call me my friend, you call it love, but I can't trust you captures the oral history as well as the thoughts and feelings of migrants fleeing from the Sahel through Libya and Algeria to Tunisia. In her debut film Völker Körper Stoff, Lea Spielmann combines real-life family history with current research and reflects on the socio-political climate in Hungary in recent years. The visual collage X oder Y oder Z by Mirelle Borra, which consists entirely of archive material, explores issues such as representation and identity in the post-internet age. In Landen by Vanessa Nica Müller, the protagonist embarks on a poetic journey from the tidal flats along the Lebanese coast to the banks of the Beirut River. In doing so, she observes the economic and social decline of the Lebanon.

This year's jury consists of Marie Oucherif, curator and art theorist, Iryna Yaniv, cultural manager and curator (Cinémathèque Leipzig) and Saul Judd, curator of the LICHTER Art Award.14. LICHTER ART AWARD


Frieder Haller
24/7 ist kein Leben
(24/7 is no life) // 2023 

In 24/7 ist kein Leben, loosely based on Sartre's play "Closed Society", Frieder Haller brings hell to life for the three main characters. Quinn, Toni and Donna meet in hell and have to live there together forever. They embark on a quest to find out why their fate has befallen them now of all times. Little by little, the stories of the three's lives are told, with all their dramas, repercussions and intrigues. Hell becomes a field of experimentation for the three characters, in which they explore their social roles, their fears and expectations of themselves and others. Time and again, flashbacks set outside in the "real" world cut through the narrative. They function as memories and are episodes from the lives of Quinn, Toni and Donna before they went to hell. They are sketchy, full of glitches and leave us with an unsettling feeling. Quinn and Toni have already spent some time in hell when Donna joins them. Donna is greeted with suspicion by the other two, knowing that a third party will only complicate the living situation in hell. After a reluctant first meeting, the three agree to make the best of the situation. But even this attempt soon fails.

Frieder Haller, *1987 in Freiburg, Breisgau, lives and works in Cologne.
His practices revolve around the structures and dynamics of interpersonal relationships and deal with the social narratives of a (post-)modern society, its habitual characteristics and the privileges associated with them. His own sociological observations on self-(re)presentation in everyday life are transformed in the artistic process and serve as the basis for the fictional narratives of his films and installations. In 2023, he finalized his film trilogy "Good times, bad timing", which he showed for the first time as a complete work in his solo exhibition at the Kunstverein Harburger Bahnhof in Hamburg. From 2017 to 2019 he was a participant in the De Ateliers residency program. He studied philosophy at the University of Leipzig from 2008 to 2011 and photography at the Folkwang University of the Arts in Essen from 2011 to 2016. In 2015, he spent six months at the Cité internationale des arts, Paris, France.

His work has been shown in exhibitions at the Dortmunder Kunstverein, Dortmund, Galerie 14a, Hamburg, Galerie Drei, Cologne, Shanaynay, Paris, Vleeshal, Middelburg, Billytown, Den Hague, Bains Douches, Alençon, Glasgow Project Room, Glasgow and the Times Museum, Guangdong, China, among others.

Benjamin Dobó & Anafee Fränznick // You call me my friend, you call it love, but I can‘t trust you // 2023 - Rauminstallation

The installation captures the oral history as well as the thoughts and feelings of migrants fleeing from the Sahel via Libya and Algeria to Tunisia. The traces they leave behind define the landscape and turn its backdrop into a concrete experiential space for individual stories. Voices reveal memories, hint at what has been experienced and lived, speak in fragments and tell of what has been dreamed and relived. As oral-historical testimonies, the voices draw us into the constant, resisting, reshaping and yet formed flow of migration.

Fingers and hands grope for their reflections, search for traces of their past inside their skin marked by experience, admire their own ability to withstand. Tunisian landscapes graciously carry the tableau, complemented by shots of coastal towns, alleyways and empty interiors. Images of the Mediterranean sea mingle with sounds and fragments of life that seem far away.

Looking at what has been lived through from the perspective of not living through it creates a perspective that always locates itself in an outside which cannot be exited. It can only remain an attempt to allow voices from within to speak. It is these voices that create a spatial presence - a presence that prevents the recipients from hiding from their own vulnerability; rather, it enables them to fully engage with it and allow it in.

Different versions of the work were exhibited at the 59th Solothurn Film Festival; Dialog ECCHR; Berlin BaseCamp, 76th Locarno Film Festival, BYOB, HEK/TransBona-Halle, Basel; Kapitel 1# der Dorfplatz, Barac, Mannheim.

Benjamin Dobó was born in Basel in 1986. His projects follow an intensive, interdisciplinary research and documentation process, which he defines as a form of collecting that bypasses the validity of documentary historiography. For several years, he has been dealing with totalitarian power structures, territorial claims and freedom of thought in the process of change in the Maghreb states. In addition to the cinematic search movement, he focuses his attention on the experience and perception of the individual as a counterpoint to the predominantly event-oriented reporting. His work is strongly committed to a spatial experience, such as installative contexts with objects in which he expands cinematic narratives and sensitively condenses them. Since 2021, Dobó has been part of Prof. John Skoog's film class at the Kunsthochschule Mainz.

Anafee Fränznick, *1991 in Mannheim, is a lawyer specializing in the rights of refugees, border violence, the EU and social responsibility. She studied in Groningen, Fribourg, Berlin and Amsterdam, where she researched the provision of humanitarian aid to civilians during armed conflicts, using Syria as an example. She has worked for MsF, the European Court of Human Rights and the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights.

Lea Spielmann // Völker Körper Stoff //

In her debut film Völker Körper Stoff, Lea Spielmann reflects on the state of the socio-political structure in Hungary in recent years through the collection of family histories and the use of research by sociologists, psychologists and political philosophers. In a theatrical landscape, Völker Körper Stoff shows the effects of a long generational trauma, the effects of propaganda and taboo topics of history, such as colonization and genocide, among others, through a critical lens. The work also speaks out against discrimination, racism against the Arab people in Hungary and anti-Semitism in Europe. The research for the script took over 10 years and was conducted in Serbia, Romania, Hungary, Ukraine and Berlin.

Lea Spielmann
She was born in Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler and lived in Budapest, Hungary, from the age of seven, where she performed as a dancer in the theater from an early age. At the age of 19, she got her first leading role as an actress in Budapest. Spielmann worked as an actress in film and theater until the age of 23. Since moving to Berlin, she has worked as a runner and assistant set manager.

Mirelle Borra  //  X or Y or Z //

X or Y or Z is a documentary film made entirely from online material that compiles user-generated stock footage and overlays it with mutiracial people's experiences dealing with issues such as tokenism, racial imposter syndrome and cultural appropriation. One of the questions the work asks is about our group membership - either self-categorized or determined by others - and its mechanisms of action.

Mirelle Borra' s interest in pressing global issues merges with her keen sense of aesthetics to create thought-provoking works. In moving images, she explores social and political issues to connect them in new ways. Mirelle seeks to examine representational structures from a transnational perspective while remaining in constant dialog with the context from which the work originates. The focus of her practice is always where the personal and the political intersect. In 2017, she founded the online platform 6x6 Project, dedicated to the dissemination of artists' moving image works and creating an ever-growing network among like-minded people. Her work has been shown internationally at film festivals and exhibitions, including the B3 Biennial of the Moving Image 2023 (DE), the 22nd Lausanne Underground Film & Music Festival (CH), the 20th Millennium Docs Against Gravity (PL), the 20th London Short Film Festival (UK), the 29th Sheffield DocFest (UK), the 19th Vienna Shorts Film Festival (AT) and, among many others, the 67th International Short Film Festival in Oberhausen. Mirelle was born in the Netherlands and, after many years in New York City, currently lives in Berlin.

Vanessa Nica Mueller // Landen // 

Landen is a poetic journey in which the protagonist travels from the Wadden Sea in northern Germany to the Lebanese coast and the banks of the Beirut River, while being guided by vegetation. In her observations, she explores many themes such as nature reserves, socio-economic and political crises, architecture, change, adaptation, resilience and loss, and reflects on the economic and social decline of Lebanon.

Vanessa Nica Mueller is an artist and film director. She works with film, photography and time-based media. In her artistic work, she deals with questions of memory, the human being in relation to urban space and nature, the uncanny and the cinematic construction of inner states, as well as the tension between identity, the familiar and alienation. She spans the arc from inner navigations to placeless space. In her artistic research on fragile ecosystems, she is interested in the intersection of external and internal climate changes. Starting from the documentary, she creates essay films that always contain an openness at the interface between staging and observation. She focuses on an essayistic and associative narrative style and combines digital film material with analog recordings. She lives and works in Hamburg. Landen is her first feature film and had its world premiere at IRFF 2023.


© Ian Waelder

Marie Oucherif

Marie Oucherif is a curator and art theorist. She studied Comparative Literature in Vienna and Paris and Curatorial Studies in Frankfurt am Main. From 2020 to 2023, she worked as assistant curator at the Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt on the exhibitions Cosima von Bonin – Feelings (2024), Elizabeth Price – Sound of the Break (2023), Niki de Saint Phalle (2023), Carlos Bunga (2022) and WALK! (2022), and curated the solo exhibition Maruša Sagadin – Luv Birds in toten Winkeln (2023). For the monthly video art platform DOUBLE FEATURE, she has worked with the moving image artists Peng Zuqiang, Maeve Brennan, Lydia Ourahmane, Pınar Öğrenci and Belinda Kazeem-Kamiński.

In addition to her curatorial work, Marie Oucherif regularly writes texts. She is the editor of the accompanying publication of the exhibition Maruša Sagadin – Luv Birds in toten Winkeln (Kettler 2023), and co-editor of the publication WALK! (Verlag für moderne Kunst 2022). Furthermore, she has written texts for catalogues such as Rasoul Ashtary (Diez Gallery 2022) and Art for No One (Hirmer 2022).

Iryna Yaniv

Iryna Yaniv is a Ukrainian-German cultural manager and curator. She has been organizing and curating the expanded cinema program at the Cinémathèque Leipzig since 2022. Recent projects include a film program for the exhibition "Perspectives of war and belonging", a film and event series for the 150th birthday of Hanns Eisler, the exhibition by Kat Austen "This Land is Not Mine". In 2018 and 2019, she was a jury member of the Festival for Contemporary Arts “Zukunftsvisionen” in Görlitz and co-designer of the supporting program. In Ukraine, she focused on cultural policy topics and, along with five other experts, was part of the working group that developed the cultural strategy for the city of Lviv. From 2013 to 2016 she worked in the PPV Knowledge Network, where she implemented socio-cultural projects in Eastern and Central Ukraine.

© Elisa Grehl

Saul Judd

Saul Judd is an independent curator based in Frankfurt, Germany. Since 2010 he has been responsible for the video art section of the LICHTER Filmfest Frankfurt International. He conceived exhibitions with artists such as Keren Cytter and Mike Bouchet in the context of the festival until he created the LICHTER Art Award in 2011. He started to curate the LICHTER Short Films International program in 2015. Among his projects BLANK SLATE a publication about art, architecture and design he started in 2016 with SCHAUT! - a series of exhibitions of contemporary art film and video art at the MAL SEH’N kino in Frankfurt. In 2017 he presented the artist John Skoog as a guest curator for Double Feature at Schirn Kunsthalle. In 2022, he curated the 10th and 12th LICHTER Art Award exhibition at the Künstlerhaus basis e.V., Frankfurt am Main.

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