27.04. ‐ 02.05.2021

Regional Film Competition 2020

We are happy to announce the films of this year’s Regional Feature Film und Short Film Competitions. In total, nine feature films and 21 short films entered the respective competition. The best feature film will be awarded with a 3,000 Euro prize sponsored by the Dr. Marschner Foundation. The best short film will win a 1,000 Euro prize. In the upcoming week, our jury will watch all movies and decide (via video conference), who will win the LICHTER Regional Awards in 2020.

This year, LICHTER takes place as an online festival. Unfortunately, we will not be able to offer you all films of our regional competition as a video on demand.

The Regional Feature Film and Short Film Competitions are open to all works, which were filmed, co-produced, edited or had their post production in the Rhine-Main area and Hessen since 2019. This also includes films from filmmakers of the announced areas and productions which were mainly financed by foundations from Hessen. The competition is open to all genres.  

Supported by:

All films of the Regional Feature Film Competition

30 Jahre, aber den Sinn des Lebens habe ich immer noch nicht rausgefunden 

(R: Jan Peters; Documentary, D 2019, 90 Min.)



Language: German

On his 24th birthday private documentarian Jan Peters grabs his Super-8 camera and captures a moment of his still young life. Three minutes in which he looks into the camera and talks about his torn state between being an aspiring filmmaker and self-doubt. Then, an abrupt cut–as the Super-8 can only record that much on one reel. This is the beginning of an autobiographical experiment, which, with its elliptical narrative, condenses life to its essentials.

At The Margin 

(R: Sarah Hüther; Sita Scherer; Documentary, D/GR 2019, 83 Min.)


Language: German and Greek; Subtitles: Englisch

Interview with the directors (available soon)

How do we cope when, all of a sudden, our home becomes the centre of international media-coverage? The inhabitants of Lesbos experienced this first-hand: in the winter of 2015, hundreds of boats reach the Greek island.Daily, up to three thousand asylum seekers arrive from the crisis areas of the Middle East and with them numerous journalists and volunteer workers from all over the world. In At the Margin directors Sara Hüther and Sita Scherer visualise the under-represented perspective of the Greek villagers.

Black China 

(R: Inigo Westmeier; Documentary, D 2019, 69 Min.)


Language: OV, Subtitles: English

Interview with director Inigo Westmeier and producer Lena Karbe available here

Guangzhou, China. Since the 1990s, this metropolis of millions attracts immigrants from various African countries. Black China gives insights into the life of the African immigrants in China. The immigrants’ stories are as diverse as they themselves, but what unites them is their pursuit of their very own “Chinese Dream”. What does this dream look like today? 


(R: Dror Zahavi; Feature Film, D 2020, 102 Min.)


This movie is unfortunately not available during LICHTER-On-Demand.

As part of peace negotiations between diplomats from Israel and Palestine, a concert by a youth orchestra of young Palestinians and Israelis is to take place in South Tyrol under massive security measures. The young people do not want to give up the peace efforts that have already born fruit in their microcosm and gradually see making music together as a first way to bridge the gap between hatred, intolerance and terror. Can music build bridges between young people of different religions and hated nationalities?

Es geht ein dunkle Wolk herein 

(R: Oliver Wörner; Documentary, D 2019, 79 Min.) 



Language: German

A small piece of land in the Odenwald region with less than 300 inhabitants appears to be suspended in time. It seems like the industrialization of agriculture has not happened yet: Here, a farmer’s family still works in the same way as 50 years ago. In the midst of summery green meadows, the “three Hübners” perform their tasks with unwavering serenity.

Self-directed in a loving manner, this unobtrusive and calm film is produced by film professor (emeritus) Helmut Herbst from Offenbach


(R: Lisa Charlotte Friederich; Feature Film, D 2020, 83 Min.) 



Language: German, Subtitles: Englisch

Interview with director Lisa Charlotte Friederich and producer Rike Huy available here

The world of our near future is defined by terror. Because of the high terror risk, public events are prohibited, meeting others is barely possible and cultural life can only be enjoyed in the virtual realm. The psychologist Claire attends survivors of terrorist attacks. The atmosphere of fear and isolation consistently demoralizes her. So she and her brother Aurel, a famous trumpet player, decide to hold a live concert for a real audience. Helped by the hackers Ada and Maximus, they manage to realize their plans. But then the mother of the siblings appears...

Love Sarah – Liebe ist die wichtigste Zutat 

(R: Eliza Schroeder; Feature Film, UK/D 2020, 100 Min.)

This film is unfortunately not available during LICHTER-On-Demand

Sarah is just about to fullfill her lifelong dream: to open her own bakery. But as she dies unexpectedly, she leaves her best friend Isabella, her daughter Clarissa and her mother Mimi behind. The three women decide to continue Sarah's vision and open the bakery.


(R: Carmen Losmann; Documentary, D 2020, 89 Min.)


This movie is unfortunately not available during LICHTER-On-Demand

How does money come into this world? Why do enterprises always have to generate profit? This documentary reveals the rules of capitalism and shows how economic growth, indebtness and concentration of wealth all stand in a systemic relation. 

Weil wir Romnja sind!? 

(R: Ursula Schmidt Pallmer, Anita Adam, Dragiza Pasara Caldaras, Diana Alina Preda; Documentary, D 2019, 86 Min.)

This movie is unfortunately not available during LICHTER-On-Demand

Dragiza has no nationality. Even though she was born in Germany, fighting with the authorities is a sysiphosian task. Anita has been looking for a flat for her parents for three years–in vain: Discrimination is an every-day occurrence in the real estate market as well. Alina is an interpreter and helps newcomers who have come to Frankfurt due to the unsafe situation for Rom*nya in Rumania. For two years, the film accompanies the three friends in their pursuit of a better life for themselves and other Rom*nya. Despite all the Gadje-Racism they have to face, their optimism seems unshakable. Weil wir Romnja sind!? is a portrait of three courageous women, who will stand their ground.

The Jury of the Regional Feature Film Competition 2020

Anatol Schuster

The Darmstadt-born director already gathered experiences as Edgar Reitz’s asistant director during his studies of directing at the HFF Munich. After the success of his films EIN IDEALTER ORT(An Ideal Place)and LUFT (Air), he recieved the Wim Wenders Scholarshipfor his feature film STILLE (Silence) in 2017. Praised by the critics and repeatedly decorated, his film FRAU STERN (Ms. Star) became the cinema surprise of the late summer of 2018. Schuster’s films oscillate between humour and melancholia, tragedy and scurillity.

Margrit Schreiber-Brunner

Margrit Schreiber-Brunner has conceptualised the series “Dokumentarfilmzeit” (Time for Documentaries”), among others, as a long-time editor at 3sat/. She supervised productions such as MAMA GENERAL, WINTERKINDER (Winter Children) and LA BUENA VIDA (Awards,among others,Prix Europa, GrimmeAward, BavarianFilmAward, GeisendörferAward). In addition, she initiated the 3sat award for documentaries. She lives and works near Frankfurt am Main and is a member of the board of trustees of the Haus des Dokumentarfilms(House of Documentaries)in Stuttgart 

Ernst Szebedits

Former manager of the Filmhaus Frankfurt. Co-founder of Pegasos Filmverleih- und Produktion GmbH, which was later sold to the Kinowelt Group. Together with Elena Trifonova, he has been running the new pegasos filmproduktion (Frankfurt) since 2006. As of July 1, 2011, he was appointed to the board of trustees of the Wiesbaden-based Friedrich-Wilhelm-Murnau-Foundation. He has been retired since 2020. Since 2018 he has represented the foundation in the newly established Cultural Advisory Board in Wiesbaden as Chairman of the Advisory Board. 

All Films of the Regional Short Film Competition

Roll I

Die Vergänglichkeit des Bernd Hasselhuhn


(Director: Max Rainer; D 2020, 8 Min.)

If one suspects that one will be murdered soon, a visit at the police station is the obvious action. However, it isn’t as easy as that in the case of Bernd Hasselhuhn – because what he percieves as a deadly threat, most of us refer to as “ageing”.

Tic Tic Tack

(Tic Tic Tock)

(Director: Theresa Lucas; D 2019, 4 Min.)

Three interviewees, one filmmaker, numerous ticks. This deals with living with Tourette. Unexcitedly, Theresa Lucas translates the voice-over into articulate pictorial worlds.


(Director: Niklas Bauer; D 2019, 11 Min.)

A man and a woman meet, fall in love, want to share their lives, experience the world as a couple. But the §173 of the German Criminal Code makes their love a punishable offense.


(Director: Alma W. Bär; D 2019, 10 Min.)

What is she doing? Is she allowed to do that?!? … Centuries-old stone statues that aggressively present their vulvas are fascinating. Even more fascinating are contemporary reactions to them. Somewhere between live-action film and animation, Alma W. Bär associatively focusses on the female genital and its societal perception.


(Director: Aurelia Natalini; D 2018, 16 Min.) 

Four women in Iran that are taken up in their sport, find and fulfil themselves. All four follow their passion professionally. But the country in which they live is full of obstacles: Sport is hardly a topic, women in sports even less.

Lit De Punaise

(Director: Axel Würsten; D 2019, 8 Min.)

When the exterminator leaves, only to very few this means love is in the air. In Sara and Juan’s case, this is different…

Was That…? 

(Director: Filip Dippel; D 2020, 1 Min.)

Eyes open: It was! 

Roll II



(Director: David Dybeck; D 2018, 21 Min.)

Already completely tired out, Réne has to start his nightshift at the kiosk. His hope for a calm shift is destroyed by annoying customers. And then there is this party where he could meet this one girl. The long longed-for sleep recedes into the distance…

Empty Places 

(Director: Sheila Mae Breker; D 2018, 7 Min.)

A place can be empty of people and still filled with memories, associations and emotions. These get a negative connotation, if a location becomes the site of verbal sexual molestation.


(Director: Stefan Vogt; D 2019, 5 Min.)

A drawing of a graph for adults. 236.162.719 possibilities, and he takes the one. Of course, this is worth a round of applause.

Sinkende Schiffe 

(Sinking Ships)

(Director: Andreas Kessler; D 2019, 21 Min.)

A family excursion. The sun is shining and the lake glitters. But Sara is a prisoner. Caught in a relationship full of violence and oppression. She wants to get out, she has to get out. And suddenly, there is an opportunity…


(Fortune Cookie)

(Director: Leonard Mink & Eduard Eisinger; D 2019, 2 Min.)

What would you do, if you won the jackpot at the casino because you followed the wisdom from a fortune cookie? Exactly, you would buy more fortune cookies and follow their advice. Unfortunately, every streak of luck ends sooner or later.


(Director: Lisa Mausbach; D 2019, 4 Min.)

Weltschmerz can hardly be translated into any other language. But it can be translated into poetic images, for example those of the three protagonists portrayed.

Meisenknödel - Akt I: Epiphanie 


(Director: Filip Dippel; D 2019, 1 Min.)

The animated story of a flighty happiness: Like Bocuse at the tree, hardly believes she. Euphoria has seldom been this delightful. 

Roll III

Der Mittelpunkt 

(The Centre)

(Director: Simon Schares, D 2019, 4 Min.)

Westerngrund in Aschaffenburg county used to be the center. Of what? Of the European Union. Just walk past in Adidas slippers? No problem. But Brexit has shifted the coordinates. Reason enough to jointly look at a guest book in this short documentary.

Im Häuschen von Herrn van den Brink 


(Director: Björn Renner; D 2018, 15 Min.)

First, pretending to have big balls and then peeing one’s pants. When dealer Marcello and Heiko find themselves in a Garden gazebo after a wild chase, their only wish is to be free. But it is already way too late for that.

Lea Porcelain “The Love” by Jakob Schmidt 

(Director: Jakob Schmidt; D 2019, 5 Min.)

Muted colours, full sound and an animated road trip through an alien and bizarre scenery. When the drag on the cigarette becomes a maelstrom, just let yourself drift.


(Residual Waste)

(Director: Merlin Heidenreich; D 2019, 9 Min.)

A fictional or future Frankfurt. Not for softies because waste removal is a hard business and when it comes to wrong separation, some people see red. The Germans’ favourite know-it-all-topic between shoot’em-up and bureaucracy.

A Cloud On Fire 

(Director: Julie Gaston; D 2019, 15 Min.)

People have different fears. But what does fear feel like? What does my own feel like, how does others'? It takes a lot of effort to reveal one’s own fears. But if we step into the light, maybe the darkness that surrounds the fear will disappear. 

Wie erkenne ich einen Mann/eine Frau auf den ersten Blick - Rikes Tutorial 

(How Do I Discern a Man/Woman at First Glance - Rike's Tutorial)

(Director: Rike Suhr; D 2018, 7 Min.) 

Who does not know it, the constant man-woman-dilemma? Thank goodness, Rike opens her sketchbook and demonstrates once and for all how this works. Of course, the easiest way is looking at the genitals…

See der Freude

(Lake of Happiness)

(R: Aliaksei Paluyan, D 2019, 30 Min.)

After the death of her mother, 9-year-old Jasja is given to a children's home by her father. Again and again Jasja tries to escape. When she finally succeeds and returns to her village, she realizes that life there has gone on as if nothing had happened.

The Jury of the Regional Short Film Competition 2020

Rolf Silber

Rolf Silber lives and works in Frankfurt am Main. He has written more than thirty scripts for cinema and TV productions and has realised almost as many as a director. In addition, he has published three novels and co-founded two production companies. His favourite genres are comedy and drama –because he loves genre-mixes, so dramedies.

Catherine Colas

Dr. Catherine Colas studied Literature and Drama Studies at the Sorbonnein Paris and, simultaneously, completed her training as an actress. Since 1995 she has regularly been working for ARTE in Paris, among others in the fiction film department and the Metropolise magazine as well as as an author in the documentary film department. Since 2007 she is an editor for short and medium length films at ZDF/ARTE. In addition, Colas realises commentaries and documentaries for various TV formats.

Daniel Popat

After Daniel Popat could be seen as Rajanin the ARD telenovela ROTE ROSEN (RED ROSES), he studied at the Austrian conservatoire Anton Bruckner and at the London-based East 15 Acting School. Work for the German Bollywood-TV-station “ZeeOne” and a traineeship in the satirical show department at the Bavarian Broadcasting Station followed. Since 2017 Popat has been studying scenicfilm directing at the Film Academy Baden-Württemberg. His short film HOSTEL was awarded with the Golden Lola at the German Short Film Awards 2018