27.04. ‐ 02.05.2021

Interviews with the filmmakers

BORGA // Interview with York-Fabian Raabe and Prince Kuhlmann

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Host: Stefan Müller
Guests: Prince Kuhlmann and York Fabian Raabe
Editing: Philipp Mehler/Jonas Wiemann
Production: LICHTER Filmfest Frankfurt International

The film follows a young Ghanaian who wants to make it rich. But harsh reality gets in his way.

Feature film, D/G 2021, 104 min., OmU


Wer wir waren // Interview mit Marc Bauder

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Moderator: Stefan Müller
Guests: Marc Bauder
Editing: Philipp Mehler/Jonas Wiemann
Production: LICHTER Filmfest Frankfurt International

Journalist Roger Willemsen stated before his death, "We were those who knew but did not understand, full of information but without insight, brimming with knowledge but meager in experience. So we went, unstopped by ourselves." Inspired by these thoughts, the documentary Wer wir waren takes us on a journey through the present of humanity-from the unexplored depths of the ocean to the intangibility of space, from modern technological developments to the consequences of climate change.The film centers on six protagonists, including ocean explorer Sylvia Earle and astronaut Alexander Gerst. Following in their footsteps, the film explores the challenges of our time and shows models of how we can shape a future worth living.

Documentary, D, 2020, 115 min., OV


street line // Interview with Lisa Engelbach and Justin Peach

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Moderator: Gregor Maria Schubert
Guests: Lisa Engelbach and Justin Peach
Editing: Philipp Mehler/Jonas Wiemann
Production: LICHTER Filmfest Frankfurt International

Ten years after shooting the documentary Kleine Wölfe (Little Wolves), Mainz directors Justin Peach and Lisa Engelbach return to Nepal to find out what has become of the street boy from back then. Sonu is now an adult and father of a young daughter. With the support of his two sisters, he tries to take care of three-year-old Sona. In the hope of giving her a childhood that he and his siblings were denied, he goes through a drug withdrawal that is supposed to enable him to build a new life.

When Sona and her friends play in the sun-drenched streets of Kathmandu, their parents' drug problems and financial hardships seem momentarily forgotten. In fact, however, they are felt in all areas of life and threaten to fatally predetermine the future of these children.

Documentary, D 2020, 79 min., OV, world premiere at the 14th LICHTER Filmfest.


Mein Vietnam // Interview with Hien Mai and Tim Ellrich

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Moderator: Gregor Maria Schubert
Guests: Hien Mai and Tim Ellrich
Editing: Philipp Mehler/Jonas Wiemann
Production: LICHTER Filmfest Frankfurt International

That it is lonely in the long run when the only social contacts take place online or are limited to one's own family is common knowledge after a year of the pandemic. For the couple Bay and Tham, this has been everyday life since they fled Vietnam 30 years ago. At work, they clean offices alone or together; when they have time off, they meet their children and grandchildren-and communicate seemingly incessantly via video calls with relatives and friends living in Vietnam. A difficult life: not quite here, not quite there. Bay and Tham live in a space between virtual Vietnam and real Germany, and both seem increasingly dissatisfied with this. While Tham is drawn to his family and the empty house back home, Bay wants to finally learn German and stay in Germany for her grandchildren. An affectionate portrait of an unequal couple, directed by daughter Thi Hien Mai and Tim Ellrich.

Feature film, D, AUT 2020, 70 min., OV


Madly in Life // Interview with Ann Sirot and Raphaël Balboni

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Moderator: Johanna Süß
Guests: Ann Sirot and Raphaël Balboni
Editing: Philipp Mehler/Jonas Wiemann
Production: LICHTER Filmfest Frankfurt International

Alex and Noemi want a child. But this big step has to be postponed because Alex's mother Suzanne starts acting weird. After a conversation with the bank, it becomes clear: she owes the state almost 30,000 euros because she applied for a pension even though she is still working. After the subsequent visit to the doctor, she is diagnosed with semantic dementia. From then on, the chaos begins. Again and again, hilarious but also dangerous situations arise for Suzanne.

It is a fine line between independence and complete lack of plan for the mother, a fine line for the relatives between impatience, coupled with incomprehension and acceptance. How long can one put one's own life on the back burner in order to care for one's mother, who is now someone else entirely?

Documentary, BEL, 2020, 87min, OV


Acasa, my home // Interview with Radu Ciorniciuc

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Moderator: Ludwig Sporrer
Guests: Radu Ciorniciuc
Editing: Philipp Mehler/Jonas Wiemann
Production: LICHTER Filmfest Frankfurt International

For two decades the Enache family, nine children and their parents, have lived in complete seclusion in the seemingly untouched reed area not far from Bucharest. The delta is a disused water reservoir with numerous rivers, many animals and rare plants. But now, the government wants it to become one of the largest nature reserves in Europe. The family's life is torn apart at the seams when they are forcibly relocated to the big city - a world they know absolutely nothing about and in which their identity is questioned and subjected to an unwanted transformation.

Documentary, ROU, 2020, 86 min., OV


The Year of the Discovery // Interview with Luis López Carrasco

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Moderator: Luis F. Raguá
Guests: Luis Lopez Carrasco
Editing: Philipp Mehler/Jonas Wiemann
Production: LICHTER Filmfest Frankfurt International

You go to a small bar in Spain, order some fries, and a group of strangers invites you for a beer. You start talking and chatting, and before you even realize it, a few hours have passed. That's the experience Luis López Carrasco achieves with "The Year of the Discovery," a warm and inviting documentary in which people sit down together, tell their stories and debate. The debates revolve around 1992, a crucial year in Spain, when the hosting of the Olympic Games ushered in an era of neoliberalism that coincided with the closure of factories in the city of Cartagena, abruptly changing the lives of many people. Different generations of Spaniards speaking freely show how politics and life are deeply intertwined. A film that can make anyone a good listener.

Documentary, ES 2020, 200 min., OV


Eine Handvoll Wasser // Interview with Jakob Zapf and Milena Pribak

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Moderator: Stefan Müller
Guests: Jakob Zapf and Milena Pribak
Editing: Philipp Mehler/Jonas Wiemann
Production: LICHTER Filmfest Frankfurt International

Konrad is 85 and not a great humanitarian. And now his lesbian daughter wants to adopt her friend's children. Thurba is ten years old and the police is standing in front of her apartment door. Her family is to be deported. But that only works if all the children are there - so she jumps out of the second floor and runs away. On the other side of town, Konrad wakes up in the middle of the night. A burglar? Armed with a nail gun, he sneaks into the basement and fires into the darkness. To his horror, he runs into little Thurba. At first he wants to throw her out of the house -but the girl from Yemen stays. The initial rejection turns into a tender friendship, and the two experience an adventure together. With "Eine Handvoll Wasser", Frankfurt director Jakob Zapf makes his feature film debut. The film is set in Frankfurt and was funded by Hessen Film.

Feature film, DE, 2020, 104 min., OV


Tommy B. // Interview with Enrico Corsano and Thomas Betzler

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Moderator: Stefan Müller
Guests: Enrico Corsano and Thomas Betzler
Editing: Philipp Mehler/Jonas Wiemann
Production: LICHTER Filmfest Frankfurt International

In this documentary, Thomas Betzler, born in Darmstadt in 1954, talks about his amazing career in the music industry. It all began with his training as a drummer and the founding of his band Peacock. As the world's first tour caterer, he accompanied international stars of the 80s on their tours through Europe in the following years, and today he is back on stage himself. With many anecdotes and a sense of humor, Tommy B. lets the audience share his wealth of experience and thus provides insights into his own life story and the music industry of the past 50 years. The Frankfurt-based director Enrico Corsano relies entirely on the multifaceted narratives of his protagonist to create this portrait of a man who knows how to face the unpredictability of life with openness and optimism.

Documentary, DE, 2020, 65 min., OV


Moon, 66 Questions // Interview with Jaqueline Lentzou

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Moderator: Stefan Müller
Guests: Jaqueline Lentzou
Editing: Philipp Mehler/Jonas Wiemann
Production: LICHTER Filmfest Frankfurt International

Her father is found after he disappeared for a few days - and now he can barely move his muscles. As the only child of divorced parents, the only logical choice for daughter Artemis seems to be to help him adjust to his body's new whims. She begins to imitate her father's behavior and movements. Is she trying to replace him? Or to feel what he feels when he's in a wheelchair? Is she mocking him or getting to know him?

In a strong resemblance to the films of Yorgos Lanthimos, the unconventional and unpredictable personalities of the characters in Moon, 66 Questions keep us guessing about their intentions, their behavior constantly clashing with what is traditionally expected of them. A story about love, movement, the flow of life and its absence.

Feature film, GRC/FR 2020, 108 min., OV


Souterrain // Interview with Sophie Dupuis

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Moderator: Leila Haschtmann
Guests: Sophie Dupuis
Editing: Philipp Mehler/Jonas Wiemann
Production: LICHTER Filmfest Frankfurt International

A mining accident in Québec. Maxime, one of the workers, risks his own safety to find the buried victims. But why? In impressive and emotional images, the film tells the story of Maxime and his best friend Julien, who, after a car accident caused by Maxime, has a physical disability that severely affects his life. Mario, Julien's father and also a worker in the mine, cannot forgive Maxime, while Julien wants to take his life back into his own hands and Maxime is in the process of forgiving himself. A sensitive film about men and how they deal with their feelings.

Feature film, CA 2020, 97 min., OV


Gagarine // Interview with Fanny Liatard and Jérémy Trouilh

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Moderator: Stefan Müller
Guests: Fanny Liatard and Jérémy Trouilh
Editing: Philipp Mehler/Jonas Wiemann
Production: LICHTER Filmfest Frankfurt International

A gigantic, aging social building in the Paris suburbs is named after the space pioneer Yuri Gagarin. Here lives and works the 16 year old Yuri, future astronaut and self-appointed janitor of the housing complex. Even though his life is by no means easy, he feels very much at home here. He tries to keep the housing estate in good shape with a lot of imagination, because it is supposed to be torn down soon and many residents are already moving out. With his neighbor Diana and the small-time dealer Houssam, Yuri experiences the things that one actually experiences at this age, but the excavators are getting closer and closer. Yuri has a brilliant idea: Couldn't the apartment building be converted into a spaceship and simply fly away?

April 2021 marks the 60th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin's excursion into space and is a reminder of a spirit of optimism that seems to have been lost to us today. The demolition of the social building, whose last residents, however, associate it with something quite different than our view from afar into the notorious banlieues would suggest, is supposed to clear up the other past. Because there it is again, this moment of departure, this tender hope and great wisdom with which a new generation looks at the world and the stars above it.

Feature film, FR 2020, 98 min., OmeU and OmdU


Trübe Wolken // Interview with Christian Schäfer

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Moderator: Gregor Maria Schubert
Guests: Christian Schäfer
Editing: Philipp Mehler/Jonas Wiemann
Production: LICHTER Filmfest Frankfurt International

The quiet loner Paul prefers to hang around in abandoned buildings, roams through lonely forests and along sneaky paths. He is so inconspicuous and inconspicuous that most of his fellow men do not even notice him. It is precisely this mysterious opacity that fascinates his classmate Dala and the art-loving teacher Bulwer (Devid Striesow) and serves them as a projection screen for their own desires. But when a teenager is found dead in the woods, the uncanny replaces the dreary normality in the gray provincial town. The coming-of-age thriller by director Christian Schäfer, co-produced by Hessischer Rundfunk, was shot mainly in Central Hesse, in the Lahn-Dill district. The production was supported by HessenFilm und Medien, among others.

Feature film, DE 2021, 104 min., OV


Valentina // Interview with Cássio Pereira Dos Santos

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Moderator: Luis F. Raguá
Guests: Cássio Pereira Dos Santos
Editing: Philipp Mehler/Jonas Wiemann
Production: LICHTER Filmfest Frankfurt International

Valentina is trans and lives in a world where hatred of her gender identity lurks around every corner. In search of a new beginning, she and her mother flee the city for the countryside, where Valentina finally gets the chance to go to school recognized under her social gender. But here, too, social change and tolerance have reached young people at best. Valentina must fear for her safety. In Valentina, director Cássio Pereira dos Santos manages to transform the painful, humiliating experiences of a young trans woman and her chosen family into a story full of hope. Full of pride, LGBTQ+ teens and allies here confront their attackers and society at the same time: here I am, here I stay. Why does my freedom bother you so much?

Feature film, BR, US 2020, 95 min., OV


König der Raben // Interview with Cássio Piotr J. Lewandowski and Malik Blumenthal

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Moderator: Gregor Maria Schubert
Guests: Piotr J. Lewandowski and main actor Malik Blumenthal
Editing: Philipp Mehler/Jonas Wiemann
Production: LICHTER Filmfest Frankfurt International

Young survivalist Darko lives illegally in Germany, sacrificially caring for his demented mother and playing big brother to the other young migrants in his shared apartment. When he messes with the wrong people after a wedding at the lake, a beautiful stranger saves his life. He falls head over heels in love with the mysterious woman, about whom he actually knows nothing. The relationship with her becomes a mental test, because although she only seems to be playing with him, he quickly risks everything for his new love. Soon his whole life is at stake...

The  latest project of the important up-and-coming director Lewandowksi was shot mainly in the former US barracks in Friedberg, in addition to locations in Frankfurt, Offenbach, Mannheim and Heidelberg. The production was supported by HessenFilm, among others.

Feature film, DE, 2020, 100 min., OV