Filmfestival Münster #17 - The award winners

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After five festival days and nights at the Schloßtheater, full-house shows and enthusiastic audiences who participated with joy and commitment in the film ratings for the audience awards, after almost 80 short and feature films in 45 shows, intense discussions and exciting encounters, Filmfestival Münster draws to a close. At the very end, the competitions' award winners were honoured.

"The audience's feedback was exceptionally good. The particularly warm atmosphere and the close proximity of filmmakers and audience the location allows proved our decision to move the festival back to the Schloßtheater right", says festival director Carsten Happe. The festival, taking place for the first time since 2003 at the Schloßtheater again, settled in its "old new home" rapidly and enjoyed great popularity among the Münster audience. Around 60 filmmakers - some of them presenting their films face-to-face to the audience -, judges and participants of the symposium felt obviously in good hands at the festival.

The award for Best Directing within the European Feature Film Competition, including prize money of 5,000 Euros, goes to Icelandic filmmaker Guðmundur Arnar Guðmundsson for his feature film debut "Heartstone". The film is located in a remote fishing village at the rough Atlantic coast during a shimmering Icelandic summer and develops a coming- of-age drama getting under one's skin. "Heartstone" is the 35-year-old's first feature film and has already won the Queer Lion at the film festival as well as numerous other festival awards. "Director Guðmundur Arnar Guðmundsson succeeds in making all of his characters shine, even the pettiest secondary roles. With great empathy, he directs his young actors towards peak performances. His personal and unsentimental approach to the chilly life in a lonesome Icelandic fishing village as well as his confident directing make every single second of this 129-minute long film worth watching", the jury's statement by Ada Condeescu, Micah Magee and Markus Knüfken reads.

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"Heartstone" by Guðmundur Arnar Guðmundsson (Photo: Salzgeber)

Within the Short Film Competition for contributions from Germany, Austria and Switzerland, prizes at the total value of 4,000 Euros were given. The Great Prize of the Filmwerkstatt, including prize money of 3,000 Euros, goes to "Ruah", the short film debut of Swiss actor and director Flurin Giger. The 18-minute short film creates an apocalyptic scenario, a relentless end-time drama in the snowy Alps, and convinced the jury "with an innovative interweaving of several narrative threads united only in the end in an unpredictable way ... This debut already shows explicitly an individual form language paired with an impressive narrative vision", the judges statement by Kristina Scepanski, Matthias Kutschmann and Wanja Mues reads.

The short film "Kaputt" by Volker Schlecht and Alexander Lahl was honourably mentioned. On the basis of memories of formerly detained women of the infamous DDR workhouse Burg Hoheneck, the short film "depicts in an outstanding way a tragic episode of the most recent German past in animated images".

The Audience Award within the Short Film Competition, donated by the Münstersche Filmtheater-Betriebe and including prize money of 1,000 Euros, goes to "Obst & Gemüse" by Duc Ngo Ngoc. The warmhearted culture-clash comedy causes an astounding German-Vietnamese friendship to flourish in a Berlin greengrocery. Native Vietnamese Duc Ngo Ngoc lives in Berlin and depicts part of his own biography in this film. He studies direction at Film University Babelsberg since 2015.

The Audience Award within the section Westphalia Connection, donated by Westfalen Initiative and including prize money of 500 Euros, goes to documentary film "Werner" by Rainer Bärensprung from Bielefeld, a quirky biopic about a man going his own way despite or maybe even because of all adversities.

Only in two years, Filmfestival Münster will take place at the Schloßtheater again, but in September next year, the ZEBRA Poetry Film Festival will attract festival visitors to the Schloßtheater again.