Winning Films 2018

Best Feature Film: Brut

Director: Constantin Hatz

The film we chose to choose as “winner” or “best film” or – by our own terms – we would prefer to call “most inspiring” to future filmmakers is – at first sight – a perfect exploitation film, combining sex and horror and an exquisite set design with a defunct feminist dystrophy. the love-hate relationship between a mother and a daughter, tied together by bizarre rituals in a prison-like setting, that the film never chooses to leave.

In BRUT Writer/Director Constantin Hatz takes his audience on a journey in to the abyss of the female soul and at the same time into the realm an “arthouse” movie, in the true sense of the word.

Until it´s grim ending the cinematic quality of “suspension of disbelief” is milked to its fullest. we do believe the sick, yet in her very special way loving, mother is as real as her beautiful daughter torn between obedience and rebellion. BRUT is a cold, hostile, disciplined piece of filmmaking on one hand, with its meticuloulsly designed purist set, the absence of score, the chilling devotion that Luise Aschenbrenner and Anja Schneider give to their mysterious and rigid characters. On the other hand BRUTis a passionately disturbing – in a way very german – study in megalomania and the helplessness it´s build upon.

Above all, BRUT is a film that´s showing off its perfection as much as its questioning it. We would like to give the price for the best feature film to a film that stayed with us and troubled and impressed us like only very good films can: “Brut”.

Best Short Film Fiction: Rå

Director: Sophia Bösch

Rå, written and directed by Sophia Bösch and shot by Aleksandra Medianikova, doesn’t solely tell a great story of an initiation. It elevates this great story to a sensual experience and a true piece of cinema. Next to a wide range of human feelings the viewer closely experiences sensations like the weight of an elk, the bittersweet taste of a tiny wild berry, the moist warmth of a dog’s snout and the living forrest in its wilderness itself. Raw and delicate things seem necessarily intertwined. Beyond that Bösch manages to discuss and organize highly symbolic archetypes in such a subtle and sensitive way that this coming of age parable feels up to date as well as universal. Family and group dynamics resonate deeply familiar and authentic because the characters are approached with a generous latitude and devoted patience. This filmmaker doesn’t judge her characters, she listens to them and follows them in their particular logic as multilayered beings. In this way Rå achieves to reveal a system as well as portray a profound realization of a young women without throwing any of it’s characters under the bus. Although one might be tempted to read this tale as a feministic statement and therefore as an emancipation from an era of mansplaining and male entitlement, the filmmaker’s perspective isn’t particularly a female one. What is so astounding about it, is it’s objective nature ascending from a truly compassionate and holistic point of view.

Best Production: Tracing Addai

Production: Britta Strampe

Out of all the strong entries that we watched, we eventually chose a film which touched us from the first minute. The courage, the producer’s determination and persistence as well as the precision, with which the project was created over years, impressed us profoundly. The political relevance convinced us as much as the dramaturgical consequence and complexity. With its own visual language the film found a way to tell a story compellingly and to visit places which we could not see otherwise. The prize for the Best Production goes to the producer Britta Strampe for her film Tracing Addai.

Best Documentary Film: Meuthen’s Party

Director: Marc Eberhardt

„What a fucking shit“ – with these words the film starts. Director Marc Eberhardt shows us how smoothly the AfD front-runner Jörg Meuthen maneuvers through the election campaign in Baden-Württemberg. Thereby the camera stays always close to the slippery „sheep in Jack Wolfskin“. In the whirl of the successful election Meuthen eventually reveals his true self. These are the moments when the film decodes the double game of the protagonist. An important film, that observes closely and invites us to think about, how right-wing populists manage to spread right-wing thoughts and make them socially acceptable again.

„What a fucking shit…“ Is this democracy after all still capable to defend their values?

Best Documentary Short Film: Kristians Prelude

Director: Winand Derks van de Ven

Being concerned without showing consternation is greatest art.
This may be successful if the filmmaker himself is very close to the protagonist. But it does not have to. In this lucky case, the friend, bandkolleague and director Winand Derks van de Vin made it happen with his dry humour, restrained narrative and, of course, Kristian himself. But still – Within this big deep consternation this means absolutely nothing towards Kristians silent, hard and not least lonely fight against his brain cancer. We all know moments where it’s hard to find the right words. This is such a moment. Kristian – all the best for you!

Best Animated Film: Cream

Director: Lena Ólafsdóttir

Cream, written and directed by Lena Ólafsdóttir, has a witty, surprising and grotesque delivery of a dark humour commentary on the banality of life. This twisted waiting room episode revolves on the inevitability of the melting of an ice-cream, eventually life and death flash absurdly before our eyes while the health system remains passively absent. Cream follows through from a “Big Brother” point of view as if shot by CCTV destined to be watched by a voyeuristic eye. With painfully detailed and almost jumpy close ups on the various characters, Ólafsdóttir keeps us hooked disbelievingly on how these similarly human interactions take a monstrous turn. Cream achieves a striking over the top caricature of the worst in human nature with a promising end shot hinting on more waiting room rounds of horror struck interchanges.

Best Genrefilm: Mascarpone

Director: Jonas Riemer

selected by the audience

Best Music Video: Es ist schon okay

Director: Jonatan Geller Hartung

selected by the audience

Best Children’s Film: Made in France

Director: Lamia Akhabbar, Robin Cioffi, Brice Dublé, Stanislav Gruénais, Maxime Guerry & Alexia Portal

We, the kids jury of the Sehsüchte Student Film Festival 2018, think that MADE in FRANCE deserved the price, because we liked his creative design and the colorful pictures a lot. You can see, that very much work, love und time was put in this film. The animation played with our eyes and impressed us. The structure of the film with his surprising end was good and made us laugh.

Best Youth Film: Sirene

Director: Zara Dwinger

The choice was not easy for us teens jury. Now, the best youth film for us is the dutch film SIRENE. We liked especially his good soundtrack and the wonderful play. SIRENE even Adressen themes like transsexuality and transgender and makes the audience thinking. Thats why this film won.

Best Screenplay: Le Heder

Screenwriter: Ella Cieslinski

In LE HEDER Ella Cieslinski tells the story of a bretonic family, in a very impressive way. The family comes together in the remote estate of the parents, because of their 40th wedding day.
Inbetween the complex family dynamic, not only old intra-familial,  but also resent political conflicts of europe are reflected.

The jury is positive about the atmospheric coherence and the fully differentiated character-drawing of this ensemble piece.

Best Pitch: Das kaputte Mädchenkollektiv

Pitch: Uta Hörmeyer