The students’ platform - editorial 2021

This year we’ve received over 400 submissions from across the globe. It has been impressive to see the diversity and creativity of young filmmakers and made a selection of final films everything else then easy. A difficult question : Which stories do we want to tell?

The stories our films tell are not always spectacular at the first sight.  Sometimes all they do is taking us to  turning points, these moments in the everyday life of a person where our life twists and that usually comes along with questioning who we are or how we want to be seen. Just as in our opening film  SHEDDING SKIN IN LATE JUNE, a film that takes place over packing suitcases some days right before Alia is returning to Libanon for her father‘s wedding. It is in  these moments, where sometimes just ”being there with a camera“ , closely observing casually unfolds in a story that is unique yet relatable.

Rather than relying on fancy gear or funding, the stories we have chosen often rely on a filmmaker’s strong commitment to a current topic and a close relationship with their protagonists. Like in TERRA INCOGNITA, a long-term visual research project of  anthropologist Shirley van der Maarel that takes us to a deserted Italian village that is meant to become a home for asylum seekers - But how to make a home in a place others choose to leave? Or in DEUTSCHLAND IST EIN TRAMPOLIN, where we follow Demian and Romeo, two young asylum seekers on navigating themselves through the hardly understandable logic of Germany’s asylum policy.

There is no one way to tell a story, but rather it is each story that demands a different way of being told. Unusual situations often result in unusual ways of storytelling. Such as in DON’T COME HOME THIS YEAR a film that unfolds its narrative entirely through a collage of short viral video messages of Romanian migrants stuck in the Austrian-hungarian Border during Covid-19.

And sometimes the stories our films tell are hardly stories at all. No end, middle or beginning, but rather films that take us to how it feels like to ”be there” at a certain moment and time and feeling the time passing in the rhythm of it’s surroundings. With TALAMANCA, SWEET SALTY WIND and TENACE we are showing three unusual sensory films that make us immerse ourselves in a specific environment and let us observe closely and listen instead of telling: How does it feel to be there?

You can watch all of our selected films stretched over the 10 Days festival period (May 6 - 16)

We’re looking forward to meet you!

The selection committee of the students’ platform: Carsten Stark, Nora Duchêne, Savyasachi Anju Prabir, Thomas John, Nika Senica, Artem Funk, Sofia Saeed