Honorable mentions of the Jury

Warum begeht Helen Koch schweren Kraftwagen Diebstahl von Moritz Geieser,
Germany 2022

The honorable mention goes to a film that doesn’t fit into any genre. What appears to be social drama at the beginning drifts into a computer game-like world of violence, in which it is becoming increasingly difficult for us viewers to distinguish between reality and a digital illusory world. This game between the two powerful protagonists frightens and at the same time makes female aggression radically taboo.

gschichtl von Franz Quitt, Austria 2022, Filmakademie Wien

The jury gives an honorable mention to a short film that shows the possible end of a love affair between two young people. The film precisely observes the emotional roller coaster ride of the two protagonists. In the process, intimate topics are addressed in an unusually bold manner and solidified role models are broken up. The acting performance of the two main actors is impressive, as is the harmonious staging and camera work.

Triumph des Schauspielers von Daniel Holzberg, Austria 2022, Filmakademie Wien

No one will ever cast you as a Nazi! This statement applies to all German actors with a migrant background. But why actually? A Nazi is more than blond and blue-eyed, look at Hitler. A type casting is a fixed rule in the German film landscape, although acting is actually characterized by its versatility. Actor Ercan starts with a clear mission – he wants to celebrate his greatest triumph as Adolf.

Adjustment von Mehrdad Hassani, Iran 2021

Our honourable mention places the search of a boy’s identity in the setting of a conservative, intolerant village community. Set in Iran, the story of the boy’s coming-out impresses with narrative and aesthetic coherence. In the end, the boy’s doubtless choice for femininity finds acceptance among a few individuals and gives us hope that society might change at some point.

Steakhouse von Spela Cadez, Slovenia, France, Germany 2021

Our honorable mention tells the disturbing story of a dysfunctional relationship in which dominance and submission and the traditional gender roles have changed. The sarcastic and macabre revenge story encourages us to laugh in the beginning. But due to the determination and detachment of the main character we are left with a feeling of perplexity at the end. For the most time, the film skilfully stays without dialogue and relies entirely on its images. The fine drawings and the rippling jazz music quickly turn out to be a means of depicting extreme emotional explosions.

Demon Box von Sean Wainsteim, Canada 2023

A wild and dynamic mixture of stylistic devices – game scenes, documentary footage, archive material, animation sequences. A narrator comments on and ironizes not only the content but also the creative choices of the film. A Nazi soldier and an animatronic deer monster – it all creates a surprisingly calm, sensitive, deeply personal family story about the inheritance of trauma.

Tschüss, war schön! von Simon Schares, Germany 2022,
Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg

Death is for certain! And so death is not just what will overtake us all with final certainty. It is also an employer for a wide variety of professions. But what if my documentary preparations about the post-dying professions coincide with a pandemic? Documentary filmmaker Simon Schares found his very own answer: then I’ll just die myself!

Sirens von Ilaria Di Carlo, Germany 2022

A view from above of an unusual landscape. What are we seeing here? At first strange and barren, but then it reveals itself: we are looking at opencast mining sites. Further cycles, power plants and wind farms, are revealed – first one after the other, then more and more interwoven. Using well thought-out zooms and a circulating camera work at high altitude, we are drawn deeper and deeper into the cinematic world. With these precise, impressive images, an unsettling, even threatening soundscape and the lack of a clear geographical classification, the film SIRENS by Ilaria di Carlo grabs you and manages to show a clear attitude without using words.

Gnomes von Ruwan Heggelman, The Netherlands 2022

Cute, colorful little mushrooms lure a jogger off her path and towards equally cute (and extremely well made) little stop-motion gnomes. But we are in the “shock block” – and so this pleasantly crisp six-minute film quickly leads to brutal and entertaining carnage and tells a very own cycle of life. Based on the technically impeccable implementation, the delightful gore effects and the high entertainment value, we give an honorable mention.

Tilt (D-A-CH Wettbewerb, Deutschland) von Björn Schürmann

The jury’s reasoning:

In it, paramedic Anna not only struggles to cope with a rescue operation that has gotten out of hand, but also against the constant discrimination by her colleague. A dense, short film that is carried entirely by the physical presence of the protagonist and at the same time has a powerful impact against male paternalism.

Kaltmiete (Beste Komödie, Deutschland) von Marc Philip Ginolas,

Hochschule für Fernsehen und Film München

The jury’s reasoning:

A homeless geriatric nurse gets caught up in a series of awkward situations when, on her 100th birthday, his rich patient Geraldine dies from the joint he rolled and he tries hard to cover up her death.
With classic black-and-white images, lively dialogue and wonderful humor, “Kaltmiete” tells of the hardships of looking for an apartment and disposing of corpses.

Memoir Of A Veering Storm (Internationaler Wettbewerb, Griechenland) von Sofia Georgovassili

The jury’s reasoning:

The film manages to reimagine the topic of abortion in a touching and tender way. Embedded within the poetic framework of a brewing storm – symbolic of the abortion – the film breaks with over-dramatizing narrative patterns. Instead of showing the process with absent male figures and stigmatizing doctors, we accompany the main character’s conflict with an unagitated gaze in all its complexity.

Überleben (DOK Blocks, Deutschland) von Lara Milena Brose & Kilian Armando Friedrich

Hochschule für Fernsehen und Film München

Bato Nebo – Chants To The Gods (DaHome Award, Österreich) von Luzia Johow,

Filmakademie Wien

The jury’s reasoning:

BATO NEBO only speaks to us through the polyphonic singing of the protagonists and conveys a feeling of home through ancient traditions and impressive faces that includes the viewer.

Man Or Tree (Deadline_Award, Großbritannien) von Varun Raman & Tom Hancock

The jury’s reasoning:

MAN OR TREE, directed by Varun Raman & Tom Hancock, is extremely funny and existentialist cinema, made with the simplest of resources. The desperate battle of a man – or tree – for his sanity. A hilarious trip!

The Seine´s Tears (Animationswettbewerb, Frankreich) von Yanis Belaid, Eliott Benard, Nicolas Mayeur, Etienne Moulin, Hadrien Pinot, Lisa Vicente, Philippine Singer, Alice Letailleur

The jury’s reasoning:

A story from history that shows its relevance especially today. Impressively animated and with a disturbing and lyrical ending scene that got under our skin.