Filmkunstfest MV
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29th FILMKUNSTFEST MV | APRIL 30 to MAY 5, 2019

The 29th FILMKUNSTFEST MV (Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania Festival of Cinematic Arts) is going to celebrate its opening night with the German premiere of the psychological thriller film GRETA, partly produced in Ireland and directed by Academy Award winner Neil Jordan, in the state capital Schwerin on April 30th.  

The entire programme of the four competitions and non-competitve festival sections comprises 74 feature-length films and 46 short films from 23 countries.

A record-breaking 14 world premieres and 19 German premieres

„2019 will be a potent festival year. I think we have compiled a very audience-appealing film selection that is truly outstanding in terms of quality", says Festival Director Volker Kufahl whilst presenting the programme.


GRETA is the first emphasis the festival programme is going to put on this year's country in focus, which is Ireland. The country-in-focus section alone showcases 24 feature-length and short films, a reading by the German-Irish author and columnist Ralf Sotscheck as well as a photo exhibition by the renowned photo journalist Derek Speirs titled CHILDREN. The Cork Film Festival is going to host a special short-film programme.


In his latest film GRETA, Academy Award winner Neil Jordan, who directed classics such as THE CRYING GAME, INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE and THE COMPANY OF WOLVES, depicts the ill-fated encounter of two unlikely women.


Frances (Chloë Grace Moretz) finds a handbag whilst on the New York subway and does not hesitate to return it to the home of its rightful owner. The bag belongs to an elegant widow called Greta (Isabelle Huppert) who is delighted about the visit of this young woman. They quickly make friends with each other as apparently fate has brought together two lonely souls. However, soon Frances learns that Greta would only lay out her handbags as bait in order to lure the honest finders.


The festival's organising team has invited the renowned Irish actor Stephen Rea, who stars in this film as a private investigator upon the heels of "Greta", to attend the opening night and the screening of the German premiere of this film. Radio eins anchor Knut Elstermann is going to host both the opening night and the award ceremony.  


With more than 18,000 visitors in 2018, the FILMKUNSTFEST MV is the most visited film festivals in the eastern states of Germany. In 2019, again it is going to present to the audience the latest German-speaking productions (including those from Austria and Switzerland) in four competitions for feature films, documentary films, short films and children's and youth films. Along with seven other sections and several special events, this year there will be a total of 121 feature-length and short films to be screened that were made in no less than 23 countries, most of which were produced in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, our 2019 guest country Ireland as well as France (in the French Youth Film Festival section).


We are looking forward to 14 world premieres, including the autobiographical documentary film LIEVALLEEN by the Rostock-born author Peter Wawerzinek (co-directed by Steffen Sebastian), the ethnographical road movie SAGAN DALJA by the Braunschweig-based filmmaker Thomas Bartels, also an entry of the documentary-film competition, the short films DAS MENSCH by Sophie Linnenbaum, ALTERNATIVEN by Benjamin Kramme and VOR ALLER AUGEN by Juliane Ebner, all of which entries of the short-film competition, the documentary films STATUS MENSCH, EINE FRAGE DER ZEIT" by Dieter Schumann, AN DER BRUCHKANTE by Anne Andersen as well as NICHT HIER UM ZU KRITISIEREN by Lucas Thiem in the Films made in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania section.


Proof of the intensive shooting activity in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania are also the three feature-length ARD/Degeto TV films CAMPING MIT HERZ (working title) by Josh Broecker, KÄTHE UND ICH (working title) by Philipp Osthus and MEIN SCHWIEGERVATER, DER CAMPER by Holger Haase, all of which are going to celebrate their premiere in Schwerin in the Films made in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania section way ahead of their respective airdate.


Amongst the 19 German premieres are the star-studded historical period drama UND DER ZUKUNFT ZUGEWANDT by Bernd Böhlich, set in the German Democratic Republic in 1952 and starring Alexandra Maria Lara, Stefan Kurt, Peter Kurth and Robert Stadlober as well as the drama film NUR EINE FRAU by Sherry Hormann about the so-called honour killing of German-Turk Hatun Sürücü (played by Almila Bagriacik) that took place in Berlin in 2005, both of which entries of the feature-film competition. Altogether, 6 of the 10 competition entries from Germany, Austria and Switzerland were directed by female directors.


In the documentary-film competition there are even more German premieres: SZENEN MEINER EHE by Katrin Schlösser and JOURNEY THROUGH A SMALL HOLE IN A GLOVE by Anna Schwingenschuh. In the country-in-focus section the feature film FLOAT LIKE A BUTTERFLY by Carmel Winters about the emancipation of a young woman within a community of Irish travellers and the documentary film I, DOLOURS by Maurice Sweeney about the prominent IRA leader Dolours Price celebrate their German premieres.


The 2019 country-in-focus programme is brought to you with the kind assistance of the IRISH FILM INSTITUTE, CULTURE IRELAND and the ARTS COUNCIL of IRELAND.


4 expert juries, a youth jury and the audience will decide who is going to receive the total of 11 awards in the four competitions, all of them including a prize money amounting to 42,000 Euros.


The star-studded 2019 feature-film competition jury comprises the actresses Anna Thalbach and Jutta Hoffmann, the last-year's award recipient Wolfgang Fischer whose winning film STYX is currently nominated for 6 Lola Awards, the renowned production designer Susanne Hopf who is currently nominated for a Lola Award for her contribution to Andreas Dresemann's GUNDERMANN as well as one of the most successful German film editors Hansjörg Weißbrich (most recently working on 3 DAYS IN QUIBERON).


The 2019 jury of the German-speaking Federation of Film Critics deciding on the FIPRESCI Award regarding the feature-film competition entries comprises the film journalists Teresa Vena, Susanne Gottlieb and Radovan Holub.


The 2019 documentary-film competition jury deciding on the Best Documentary Film and Best Cinematography in a Documentary Film awards comprises the renowed cinematographer Sophie Maintignieux, director Marita Stocker and director and producer Arman T. Riahi.


The 2019 short-film competition jury comprises actress Thelma Buabeng, producer Britta Strampe as well as last year's award recipient and director Matthias Sahli.


For the very first time, the 7 entries of the children's and youth film competition, called LEO, will not only be screened at the festival cinema Filmpalast Capitol Schwerin but also in the new community centre Campus am Turm in the Schwerin district Mueßer Holz. Admission to these screenings will be greatly reduced.


Several awardees have already been decided on before the opening of the festival. The documentary film WENN WIR ERST TANZEN directed by the former professional dancer in the ensemble of the Mecklenburg State Theatre Dirk Lienig and co-directed by Olaf Winkler and Dirk Heth is going to receive the WIR Diversity Award of the non-partisan initiative "WIR. Erfolg braucht Vielfalt" ("Us. Success needs diversity") during the opening ceremony on April 30th.


At the opening ceremony, the renowned director Annekatrin Hendel and screenwriter Elke Rössler are going to be awarded with the The Film Residence Mecklenburg-Vorpommern screenwriter scholarschips endowed by both Künstlerhaus Lukas Ahrenshoop and FILMLAND MV, Annekartin Hendel with the honouree scholarship and Elke Rössler with the young-talent scholarship.


Film and stage actress Katharina Thalbach is going to receive the Golden Ox, the most important award of the 29th FILMKUNSTFEST MV for distinguished services to the German film culture, from the hands of Minister President of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania Manuela Schwesig at the Mecklenburg State Theatre during the festival's award ceremony on May 4th. Immediately after the award ceremony, the state orchestra of the Mecklenburg State Theatre is going to set the Chaplin silent-film classic THE GOLD RUSH from 1925 to music.


On Sunday, May 5th, honouree Katharina Thalbach will reminisce about her work and career during a so-called Werkstattgespräch hosted by Knut Elstermann. Her festival motion-picture tribute includes 7 of her films, 2 of which directed by Thomas Brasch (DOMINO, ENGEL AUS EISEN), as well as FLUCHT IN DEN NORDEN directed by Ingemo Engström.


As part of the accompanying programme of the 29th FILMKUNSTFEST MV, there will be a two-day film-industry conference focusing on topics relevant to the German film industry held on May 2nd and 3rd and organised by FILMCOMMISSION MV and FILMLAND MV. Along with a location tour for filmmakers through Schwerin and its environs on May 3rd, the focus of the first conference day will lie on the current status of film and media subsidies in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and the ever-changing challenges for film and media producers.


Ticket pre-sale will commence on April 23rd at the festival cinema Filmpalast Capitol Schwerin and online. On the FILMLAND MV website you will find in-detail information and printable images regarding all festival films. Please make sure to caption the aforementioned images with the respective copyright information.


The 132-page festival catalogue is available at the Filmpalast Capitol Schwerin multiplex, Hugendubel bookshop, culture café Platon, the Schwerin tourist information centre and in our webshop on payment of a nominal charge amounting to 5.00 Euros.


The FILMKUNSTFEST MV Android app provides the entire festival programm to go and is available from Google Play store.


2019 Honorary Award Recipient: Katharina Thalbach 

Ever since in late January it was dead certain who is going to receive this year's honorary award, press and public alike have been bitten with enthusiasm: one of the most distinctive and versatile faces of German cinema and one of the most successful and popular German film, TV and stage actresses, Katharina Thalbach, is going to receive the FILMKUNSTFEST MV's 2019 honorary award "The Golden Ox" from the hands of Minister-President of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania Manuela Schwesig in the Großes Haus at the Mecklenburg State Theatre on May 4th, 2019.

"With this award, we are going to honour Katharina Thalbach as one of the most admirable actresses of complex roles for having rendered outstanding services to the German film culture. She breathes life into both her leading and her supporting roles with unparalleled vividness. Strength and vulnerability are an integral part of her acting performance. Katharina Thalbach is an artist who may look back on an impressive film, TV and stage career in both the GDR and Germany," Festival Director Volker Kufahl explains his decision for this year's honouree.

2019 guest country: Ireland

The Republic of Ireland is going to enrich this year's FILMKUNSTFEST MV. 

"The history of Ireland is rich in tragic occurrences. Poverty and famine, British rulership and feudalistic structures, religious conflicts and rigid Catholicism, emigration, civil war, the conflict in Northern Ireland, depression and financial crisis, tax haven for the largest multicorporate enterprises in the world and most currently the Brexit that is threatening to re-open old sores," Festival Director Volker Kufahl declares. 

Along with the surely inevitable reflection on the current political situation in Ireland at the time of the FILMKUNSTFEST MV, taking place only a few weeks before the scheduled soft or perhaps hard Brexit, the festival is going to visualise this picturesque north European country by showcasing a selection of its diverse films including the latest feature films, documentary features and short films as well as a high-class accompanying festival programme focusing on literature, photography and music from and about Ireland.