The Kids Are Back In Town
The 32nd MUNICH INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF FILM SCHOOLS opens today / Young Directors from 22 countries will be on hand to present their filmsThe festival opens with a gala on Sunday night and four films (Greece, Serbia, USA and Germany. Throughout the coming week young directors from around the world will be in Munich's Filmmuseum to present their films and talk about them with Munich audiences. They are competing for prizes worth over €45,000.
Attending the official opening night gala at the Munich University for Television and Film are Bavaria's Minister of Culture, Dr. Ludwig Spaenle, and the city of Munich's councilor for Cultural Affairs, Dr. Hans-Georg Küppers, to welcome the young filmmakers and more than 300 invited guests from the local film industry.
The Opening Night films focus on a gang in New York, a scrap collector in Belgrade, a stressed-out father in an American shopping mall and a small, animated clay figure struggling to be free.
"These films give a good impression of just how good this year's filmmakers are", said festival organizer Diana Iljine. "So many of them are extremely talented and their creativity and technical skill are bound to please audiences."
In Teardrop by Damian John Harper, a student at the HFF in Munich, a New York teenager is to take bloody revenge against a rival gang if he wants to become a full-fledged member of his crew.
Reza Hassani Goes to the Mall directed by Teheran-born director Sara Zandieh (Columbia University) was also shot in the USA. The comedy shows the trials and tribulations of a recent Iranian immigrant as he attempts to impress his young son with the "American Way of Shopping".
Stefan Ivancic, a film student from Belgrade, accompanies a man in his documentary Scrap Material who lives on a run-down barge in the center of Belgrade and makes a living collecting whatever material he can sell.
The Greek animated film Man in a Box by director Elias Papastamatiou from Athens shows us the entertaining struggle of a small clay figure to free itself from the lump of clay from which it emerged.
The festival received 229 submissions from 72 film schools around the world. An independent committee selected fifty films for the competition. Germany is represented by nine films from film schools in Hamburg, Cologne, Potsdam, Kassel and Munich.
The Jury - headed by director Dennis Gansel (Napola, The Wave) - will award the prizes on Saturday, November 17th, among them Best Film, Best Documentary, Best Screenplay, Best Cinematography and Best Production.
A premiere this year is the Wolfgang Längsfeld Award for Most Original Film. The prize is awarded in commemoration of the founder and former director of the festival who recently passed away.
There are also two Special Competitions. The Hofbräu Trophy, another first this year, sponsored by the Staatliche Hofbräuhaus in Munich, goes to the best commercial for a Hofbräu beer. The Climate Clips competition sponsored by the Nagelschneider Foundation honors the best clip dealing with climate change and renewable energy.