FILMKUNSTFEST MV in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania's capital city of Schwerin
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FILMKUNSTFEST MV (Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania Festival of Cinematic Arts) was founded in spring 1990 by filmmakers based in the region of today's Mecklenburg–Western Pomerania as the very first film festival in East Germany, just months before the German Reunification, combining film and fine arts, such as photo exhibitions, readings of selected works of literature or music performances.
Once a year, the festival takes place in early May, opening on a Tuesday and ending on a Sunday. Its main venue is the six-screen Filmpalast Capitol multiplex cinema which was built in 1936 and celebrated its eighty-year jubilee in 2016. The cinema's largest screen is one of the most beautiful film-theatre halls in Germany.
FILMKUNSTFEST MV arranges four competitions regarding motion pictures either produced or co-produced in Germany, Austria or Switzerland that are being decided on by four juries. These competitions include feature films (10 entries), documentary features (10 entries), feature-length children's or youth films (6 to 8 entries) and short films (20 entries). Entailing a prize money of approximately EUR 50,000 for the abovementioned competitions, the film festival in Schwerin is one of the most important competitive film festivals in Germany, particularly for up-and-coming directors.
One of the highlights of each FILMKUNSTFEST MV is the honorary award which is bestowed by the Minister-President of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania upon an actress or an actor for outstanding accomplishments in the film industry. A complimentary tribute of selected films starring the respective honoree accompanies this award. Additionally, the film festival showcases treasures of the DEFA era as well as contemporary films produced in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania ("Made in MV") or co-produced by the regional TV and radio broadcaster NDR (Norddeutscher Rundfunk).
Moreover, each FILMKUNSTFEST MV features a so-called "guest country" by screening films from the country in question, every once in a while also by organising film concerts, as happened with Turkey in 2014, with France in 2015 and with Belgium in 2016. In 2015, the Focus Baltic Sea section was introduced by the festival's Artistic Director Volker Kufahl. This section takes a closer look at film productions from the Baltic rim countries, which are Sweden, Finland, the Baltics, Poland and Russia, and emphasises the cinematographic diversity in a specific cultural area.
About 18,000 visitors, journalists, filmmakers and actors attend the FILMKUNSTFEST MV each year.