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The LICHTER Film Festival also a complete success in its 10th year

03.04.2017 | 15:48 Clock | Culture
The LICHTER Film Festival also a complete success in its 10th year

Many sold-out screenings, exciting discussions, happy award winners and many national as well as international premieres - that is the excellent conclusion of the tenth LICHTER Film Festival, which ended on Sunday. "The past festival years have shown that Frankfurt is the right place for a major international film festival. For our tenth anniversary, we have taken on new challenges and grown even further in terms of program diversity," says festival director Gregor Maria Schubert. In the new series Zukunft Deutscher Film (Future German Film), LICHTER presented selected highlights of the German film landscape. The five contributions proved how courageously and experimentally young German directors are currently working. "Especially among young filmmakers there are many talents that unfortunately go completely under in domestic cinema. In Frankfurt we want to offer them visibility and access to an enthusiastic audience," says Johanna Süß, Deputy Festival Director.

"In 2017, we were the first German film festival to offer a Virtual Reality Competition. With this we hit the nerve of the time. All VR screenings were sold out," said Gregor Maria Schubert. A total of 10,000 visitors came to the LICHTER Film Festival this year. <link https: ffm-aktuell s ugc das-lichter-filmfest-taucht-ein-in-die-welt-der-virtual-reality.html _blank>You can learn more about the very special VR experience of the festival HERE

The award winners of the 10. LICHTER Filmfest

"A Gravame - the Steelworks, Death, Maria and the Mothers of Tamburi" by Peter Rippl receives the award for Best Regional Feature Film of the 10th LICHTER Filmfest. The LICHTER International Feature Award on the topic of "Truth" goes to "I am not Madame Bovary" by Feng Xiaogang. The short documentary "Über Druck" by Sebastian Binder and Fred Schirmer wins the Regional Short Film Award. Simon Stadler and Catenia Lermer can be happy about the LICHTER Audience Award for their film "Ghostland". The winner of the new virtual reality competition is "Sergeant James" by Alexandre Perez.

With a festive award ceremony and the closing film Just Like Our Parents, the anniversary edition of the LICHTER Filmfest Frankfurt International ended on Sunday evening. From 28 March to 02 April, LICHTER had played host to Frankfurt's Mousonturm and other cinemas in the region with over 100 international and regional films, discussion panels and exhibitions.

The LICHTER International Feature Award

For the second time, the LICHTER Film Festival awarded the best feature-length film from the international program on the theme of "Truth". The jury, consisting of director Niko Apel, ZDF/3Sat editor Nicole Baum, theatre director Betty Berr and set designer Rainer Wothe, chose the Chinese tragicomedy I am not Madame Bovary.

Feng Xiaogang, known in China as a blockbuster director, takes a satirical and highly amusing look at the Kafkaesque judicial processes in China. After cafe owner Li Xuelian is betrayed by her ex-husband, she resolutely and courageously tries to fight the Chinese legal system. The jury praised the circular image format, "which makes you feel like you're watching the action through a telescope." This entirely new cinematic perception is reminiscent of ancient Chinese paintings. "The film is a powerful plea for an individual's resistance to China's bureaucratic political machinery and is thus not only radical in its aesthetic approach, but also a subversive masterpiece," the jury's statement said.

Eleven films competed for the €2,000 prize, sponsored by Prolight + Sound.

The Regional LIGHTER Competition

Out of nine entries in the regional feature-length film competition, Peter Rippl's contemporary documentary A Gravame - the Steelworks, Death, Maria and the Mothers of Tamburi was honoured with the White Bembel and prize money of 2,000 euros. The documentary portrays the inhabitants of a southern Italian town suffering under Europe's largest steelworks. "Peter Rippl has succeeded in making a film that burns on the retina. Following the documentary neorealism in Italy, in &sbquo;A Gravame' the history of the city of Taranto comes alive through the narrative memories of the people. In parallel, their hopes, everyday life and deeply rooted Catholic faith become visible in the shadow of Holy Week &sbquo;Settimana Santa'," the jury statement reads. Filmmakers Pepe Danquart and Mischka Popp, as well as actors Numan Acar and Reza Brojerdi, praised the film's acuteness in times of precarious living conditions in southern Europe.

The prize for the best regional short film went to Sebastian Binder and Fred Schirmer for the documentary Über Druck. "The filmmakers have approached a universal and everyday phenomenon so casually and sympathetically that it is only at second glance that one realises how confidently and intelligently they have penetrated the subject cinematically," said the jury's statement. Producer Robert Hertel and directors Sylvie Hohlbaum and Christel Schmidt praised the authentic and wonderfully idiosyncratic protagonists as well as the unobtrusively composed shots. The two directors can look forward to 1,000 euros and two seminar vouchers donated by Filmhaus Frankfurt.

The Binding Audience Award

The Binding Audience Award gives visitors to the LICHTER Film Festival the opportunity to choose their personal favourite. The prize is endowed with 2,000 euros and this year goes to Ghostland. In the film, filmmakers Simon Stadler and Catenia Lermer accompany Namibia's Unreinwoher on a journey all the way to Frankfurt am Main.

The LICHTER Art Award

For Simba in New York, artist and filmmaker Tobi Sauer has already been awarded the LICHTER Art Award on Tuesday evening. The competition for contemporary video art comes with a prize money of 1,000 euros. Over 80 works were submitted for the seventh edition of the Art Award. The video essay was particularly convincing in terms of content and form: "Sauer's film is in search of the &sbquo;true America' and - as it says - of the New World, of Peter Pans' Neverland as our place of longing," said jury member Olaf Stüber in his laudatory speech. In addition to the curator and gallery owner, the jury consisted of artist Mathilde ter Hejine, as well as LICHTER Art Award senior curator Saul Judd.

In its anniversary year, the LICHTER Film Festival has once again provided first-class proof of its regional as well as its international standing. Kudos to the festival organizers, the many staff members, but of course also to the filmmakers, without whom such a festival would be unthinkable. We can already look forward to what theme the 11th LICHTER Filmfest will be dedicated to and what innovations we will be thrilled with in 2018.

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