Filmfest Dresden awards Pussy and Home

Filmfest Dresden, the German international short film festival, took place last week with the announced prizes going to an eclectic selection of films.

Over in the festival’s International Competition, Cipka [Pussy] by Polish director Renata Gąsiorowska was able to take home not only the Golden Horsemen for Best International Animated Film but also the ARTE Short Film Prize as well a special mention for sound design. Gąsiorowska's short film sheds humoristic light on female masturbation not only for the spectator but also for her female protagonist. The young animation student from the Polish national Film School in Łódź has previously garnered prizes for Best Animation Film at this year‘s Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival and the film has also screened in competition at Sundance Film Festival this year.

Painting with History in a Room Filled with People with Funny Names 3, directed by Korakrit Arunanondchai secured the Golden Horseman for Best International Short Fiction Film. It is the third part of a trilogy by the Thai artist whose work has been on display at MoMa, among others. Arunanondchai herein plays the main character in his reflection on the artist's identity. The international jury said they were “…struck by the generous and chaotic power of a total work of art; or what we like to call 'expanded cinema'.”

The International Jury were Yasmeen Fanari, a Syrian visual artist, the Canadian Denis Coté, winner of Golden Leopard for Drifting States and a Silver Bear for Vic+Flo saw a Bear, and curator of the short film section at the International Film Festival Rotterdam, Peter van Hoof.

The national Golden Horseman Animated Film went to animated documentary Ein aus Weg [Loophole] by directors Hannah Stragholz and Simon Steinhorst. The short film gives abstract illustrations to the interviews with the prisoner Alex K. on his everyday life – in and out of prison. The duo has previously worked together on films such as Emil which was screened in Cannes 2014.

Ela – Sketches on a departure – which received its world premiere at the festival - brought film student Oliver Adam Kusio the Golden Horseman for Short Fiction Film in the national competition. The jury were impressed with “…a film about the desire to get away and the duty to remain”, as the lead character Ela has to make up her mind on whether she should leave Poland for the promising West.

The Minister of Fine Arts Promotion Prize went to Romanian-German coproduction Prima Noapte [First Night] by Andrei Tănase. The coming-of-age film recounts the “first night” of a maturing young man. “The director sensitively reveals the fragility of the male identity during the process of maturing, and casually casts a glance at a specific social milieu,” said the national jury, Prima Noapte was showcased at last year's Venice International Film Festival in the Orizzonti section and celebrated its German premiere at the International Short Film Festival in Dresden. “The prize is supposed to be an incentive for young filmmakers to continue their work … and maybe even start a new project,“ explained the Arts Minister of Saxony, Dr. Eva-Maria Stange.

The National Jury was comprised of the experimental video artist Max Hattler, German film critic Anna Wollner and director Lola Randl (In Between Days).

 Further prizes were awarded in the international and national competition by the audience who selected their favourites in the shape of the multiple prize-winning Home by Daniel Mulloy and – in the National Competiton Gabi (Dir. Michael Fetter Nathansky). The DEFA Promotion Prize Animation went to Zu Zahm! [Too tame!] in which Rebecca Blöcher animates her protagonists as boxed stereotypes.

The full list of winners is HERE

12 April 2017, by Sabine Kues