Award winners 2018

Award Ceremony in the Photo Diary

Best Film:
VFF Young Talent Award

Sponsor: VFF Verwertungsgesellschaft der Film- und Fernsehproduzenten mbH
Prize: 10,000 €


by Bernhard Wenger
UMDK, Filmakademie Wien, Austria

Rupert Höller and Bernhard Wenger with Prof. Dr. Norbert P. Flechsig (VFF)

The Jury:
"We were captivated throughout this unusual journey of self-discovery of a very inactive antihero. The camera work perfectly captures the main character’s journey, often static, occasionally distant. Set in the vacuum of a remote holiday resort, the vastness of space throughout its design gives us an impression of what the character must be feeling. All supported by a subtle yet effective use of comedy in the screenplay. Skillful in all segments, this collective achievement led by a talented director deserves all praise."




by Wong Kam
HKAPA, The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts – School of Film and Television

Jury president Philip Gröning with director Wong Kam


The Jury:
"We have seen many films. Many. And we have seen many, many films of outstanding quality. We were happy with this, and we were unhappy with it. Why unhappy? Because we had far fewer awards than outstanding films. We were cornered by good films, one could say. I therefore decided to give an additional award which again cannot go to all the outstanding works we saw, but please take it as a symbol of the level of the competition. This award, the jury president’s special mention, goes to a film of great depth, complexity and tenderness. A daring mixture of inner visions and precise outside-world observation, a film loving a main character who is shunned and despised. A character floating through life and space while adding yet another level of overweight to her body. In this film, fat is a spacesuit, a deeply needed layer of protection against an outside world that seems more hostile than outer space to the character caught in denial. Relevant, concise, deeply human, aesthetically fully achieved. I am honored to give the jury president’s special mention to LANDING."


Best Script:
Luggi Waldleitner-Award

Sponsor: Family Waldleitner
Prize: 3,000 €


by Michal Ďuriš, Sophia Boyd & Emil Smoliga
VSMU, Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava, Slovakia

The Jury:
"In only 20 minutes, the writers manage to create fully rounded characters who subtly tell us about the fragility of their family life. It is obvious to the jury that the collective who worked on this screenplay understand and empathize with their characters. Together this family of four forms its own unique and seemingly dysfunctional universe. We learn that through their own quirks and faults, they are each other’s healing factors in their search for happiness. The truth and creativity put into this screenplay are commendable, and the love that seeps through the story is nearly tangible, which cannot give us anything but hope."


Best Documentary:

Sponsor: Arnold & Richter Cine Technik
Prize: 4,000 € worth of rental services by ARRI


by David Noblet
INSAS, Institut National Supérieur des Arts du Spectacle et Techniques de Diffusion, Belgium

The Jury:
"Documentary filmmaking is a mysterious process. What does it require? Delicacy. Patience. Humility. Love. Awareness. Attention to the slightest ripples passing over water or through the soul. What is the goal, then? Fragility is at the center of it. Creating the most fragile, floating images and memories in the viewer. Permitting the viewer to open up to his or her most delicate perception and to cherish this capacity of seeing things anew. In this film the camera follows the routine of life with such utmost delicacy, with a tenderness so great, that even the loneliness of the main character transforms into a deep sense of security. Hardly anything happens. A pebble is thrown through a tube. A plant is seen breaking through the ground. Images of deeply feeling at home. A boy. A grandfather. Changing light and a father’s homecoming being canceled. That is all. And it made us all in the jury deeply happy! And making an audience happy with nothing, with fleeting hints and moments of sheer perception is what a good documentary is all about. This film did it. The jury is therefore honored to give the best documentary award to SON OF WIND. "


Best Camera:
Student Camera Award

Sponsor: Film & TV Kamera
Prize: 2,000 €


Cem Demirer 
LFS, London Film School, UK

The Student Camera Award winner Cem Demirer (END OF SEASON, right) together with Uwe Agnes from FILM UND TV KAMERA


The Jury:
"The jury was convinced of the ability of the cinematographer to convey in an admirable way in color, shades and camera movement, the sorrow of the autumn season and the twilight of the main character’s life. Congratulations from the jury to Cem Demirer for END OF SEASON! "


Best Animation:
zweiB Award

Sponsor: zweiB GmbH
Prize: prize money of € 1,000 and a professional DCP-Mastering (worth € 1,500)


by Sam Gainsborough
NFTS, The National Film and Television School, UK

The winner of the zweiB AWARD for the best animation Sam Gainsborough (FACING IT) with jury members Asja Krsmanović, Sinje Köhler and Tice Oakfield

The Jury:
"The award for best animation goes to a film that brings us a well-nuanced story about a man’s reminiscence and his relationships with others. The director has created a specific inner world of the character and brought it to life with skillful animation and imaginative visual choices. Through a mix of stop-motion animation and live action, clay becomes the material that is permanently transforming, never managing to take on its original form, just as the main character is constantly being transformed by the influences of others. Congratulations to Sam Gainsborough for FACING IT."



Sponsor: Arte
Prize: Arte buys the broadcast rights to a film (fictional genre) no longer than 15 minutes for up to € 6,000


by Maria Eriksson Hecht
SU, Stockholm University of the Arts, Sweden

Maria Eriksson Hecht won the ARTE Short Film Award for SCHOOLYARD BLUES. In her absence the protagonist of the film, Olle Frelin accepted the award from Barbara Häbe on Maria's behalf

The Jury of the ARTE-Shortfilm-Award (Barbara Häbe and team):
"A deeply moving story about two brothers in which the older brother prepares the younger for his time at school and for life itself. Taking up the current subject of violence among adolescents, the two excellent young leading actors perform their way into viewers’ hearts. This short bit of cinema could readily be turned into a long feature film. We congratulate filmmaker Maria Eriksson Hecht on receiving the 2018 ARTE Short Film Award."


Best Production:

For students of a European university
Sponsor: Panther GmbH
Prize: Panther's state-of-the-art dolly equipment for a period of four weeks worth 5,000 €


by Hannu-Pekka Peltomaa
ELO, Film School Helsinki, Finland

Director Hannu-Pekka Peltomaa with the Festival jury

The Panther-Award Jury:
"This dark comedy about a colorful alliance of three friends against the bleak backdrop of a nursing home has captivated our hearts. The underlying message expressed in the dreams of our heroic group transcends a stark characterization of the elderly and offers sharp criticism of a world in which criminals receive better treatment than the elderly. Much praise for the excellent camera work, which makes this sterile space exciting to watch for the entire film, and the exceptional timing in the choreography of the ensemble, which results in well- deserved laugh-out-loud moments in the cinema."


Prix Interculturel

Sponsor: Interfilm Akademie München
Prize: 1,500 €


by Zara Dwinger
NFA, Netherlands Film Academy

Zara Dwinger won the Prix Interculturel for her film SIREN. Here she is with the Interfilm-Jury: Johannes Sternagel, Dr. Peter Marinkovic, Susan Gordanshekan and Radmila Besic

The Interfilm Jury:
"SIREN subtly portrays a young person’s search for identity while giving its characters plenty of space. The film captivates us with its intense atmosphere and layered characters who are portrayed by emotionally engaging actors and actresses. The director covers a subject important to society, siding with those in search of their gender and delivering a message about accepting oneself and others." 


Most original film:

Sponsor: Freundeskreis-Wolfgang-Längsfeld e.V.
Prize: 3,000 €


von Sergio Guataquira Sarmiento
IAD, L'Institut des arts de diffusion Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgien

Sergio Guataquira Sarmiento receives his award

The Jury of the Wolfgang-Längsfeld-Award:
"SIMON CRIES is a courageous film. This highly original short surprises viewers with a cascade of outstanding visuals, which in their poetic lightness and photographic brilliance are immediately reminiscent of the surreal cinema of Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Wes Anderson. Yet the director and his team untether themselves from their sources of inspiration by finding their own cinematic language, to which they remain true in impressive stylistic awareness — from the funny and original beginning in a train compartment that represents a relationship to the romantic but not at all cheesy ending in a swimming pool. And when the underwater camera is upside down and two divers start to fly through a sea of tears, what you’re seeing isn’t a random idea by a director; rather, it’s but one of the many beautiful and precise visual metaphors you are enjoying because you are watching SIMON PLEURE! "


Audience Award

Sponsor: Freundeskreis FILMFEST MÜNCHEN
Prize: € 1,500


von Oshri Zeituni
MFA, Minshar School for Art Tel Aviv, Israel

Producer Or Elsaesser, director Oshri Zeituni and artistic director Tal Ziv


Climate Clips Award

Sponsor: Nagelschneider Stiftung
Prize: 1. Prize - 5,000 €, 2. Prize - 3,000 €, 3. Prize - 1,000 €

The winners: Veronika Hafner and Rina Zimmering (THE MEETING)


by Veronika Hafner & Rina Zimmering
HFF München, Germany

The Climate-Clips-Jury:
"“There won’t be any problems with the air-conditioning this time.” With these words, a team leader (Jake) starts a pre-production brainstorming session for a commercial to fight global warming. After the “cut”, he ends the meeting by telling an employee who’s generating electricity, “You can stop cycling now.” Endangered species (pandas) in China and melting ice in the Arctic (polar bears) are to be the focus of the commercial. Everyone agrees to fly a photographer (Rodrigo) from Buenos Aires to Chengdong and to send a second unit to the Arctic with a stopover in a national park. Subtle humor is used to record a scenario that pokes fun at buzzwords used in public discourse about the climate (saving energy, preserving the environment) and that meticulously documents its own consumption (“12 people cycling for 11 hours to generate the electricity needed,” “208 kg of equipment transported via bike rickshaw,” “two trees planted”) in order to conclude: “You have just seen the first carbon-neutral climate clip ever made.” We judges were delighted by the staging, humor and self-mockery. We would like to congratulate the first-prize recipients of the Climate Clips Award. "

2. Prize: OUT OF SIGHT
by Dora Filipovic & Bojan Brbora

The Climate-Clips-Jury:
"A young woman in a bikini wades into the glittering, crystal-clear water of a picturesque lake. She finishes drinking from a plastic bottle and throws it into the water. Instead of sinking, it rises up to become part of a gigantic cloud of plastic garbage in the sky. The cost of a common act of carelessness defies gravity and the laws of physics to cover the sky. This is a metaphorical warning that the plastic garbage accumulating in rivers, lakes, and oceans is a growing threat to the environment and to all life: “The time to act is now.” This threat, like climate change, is man-made: “Just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it’s not there.” With this scenic footage of nature apparently in balance, this clip attempts to imagine the threat lurking within this idyllic location. The jury offers its congratulations to the recipients of the second prize for this thought-provoking look at a common practice with global consequences. "

by Joe Richter
Institute of Design, Hamburg, Germany

The Climate-Clips-Jury:
"Tempted by an ice-cream stand at a summer fair, a little girl walks up and demands an ice-cream cone, which she receives with a smile: “Here you go.” The camera shows her face in an extreme close-up that reflects her bitter disappointment: the ice cream, which was solid a moment ago, is melting, running down the cone and across her hands. She can’t believe it! In 23 seconds, this clip manages to metaphorically reduce the topic of climate change to one of its vital and most blatant symptoms: “The ice is melting.” Short and sweet! Countless photos from news reports about the Arctic flash by. The jury congratulates the recipient of our third prize on his successful attempt to give the youngest viewers a symbolic visualization of what is happening."


Hofbräu Trophy

Sponsor: Staatliches Hofbräuhaus in München
Prize: 1. Prize - 5,000 €, 2. Prize - 3,000 €, 3. Prize - 2,000 €

Dr. Möller (HB), Julius Montgomerie Luger, Rupert Höller and Bernhard Wenger (from left to right)


by Julius Montgomerie Luger, Clemens Friese & Mike Schneider
LMU München, Germany

by Rupert Höller & Bernhard Wenger
UMDK, Filmakademie Wien, Austria

by Rupert Höller & Bernhard Wenger
UMDK, Filmakademie Wien, Austria