"We can hardly believe it ourselves, here it comes: The 1st Braunschweig Film Festival!", the founders of the Filmfest rejoiced in 1987. Twenty university students, graduates of the Braunschweig film class and members of the "Filmkoop" had come together because the cineastic offerings in the city were not enough for them.
Basically, voluntarily and with great enthusiasm, they put together their own program and founded the "Filmfest Braunschweig." Today, by the way, the International Filmfest Braunschweig is the oldest film festival in Lower Saxony, a public festival with about 27,500 visitors, including about 300 professional visitors such as directors, actors, producers, composers and journalists. Film fans can look forward to an exciting festival week with a total of 246 feature and short films, film concerts, documentaries, talks and many other special events.
Young European cinema at a high level is a focus of the festival. Der HEINRICH (audience award for European debut and second films), the VOLKSWAGEN FINANCIAL SERVICES FILMPREIS (jury award for European debut and second films), the German-French youth award KINEMA and the main award Die EUROPA for outstanding acting performances and services to European film culture underline the orientation.
In total, the festival awards ten film prizes worth a total of 67,000€. Two prizes have been newly added in 2022: The film prize ECHT is awarded in cooperation with the Verein für sexuelle Emanzipation e.V. to lesbian, bisexual, gay, trans*, inter and queer filmmaking. The short film award Die EDDA is awarded to an international short film and is chosen by the audience.
A retrospective of internationally renowned film composers, music documentaries, music videos and a discursive framework of lectures and discussions round off the profile of the Braunschweig International Film Festival and give the audience and the press room for discoveries.
Braunschweig International Film Festival devotes itself to a long neglected aspect of cinema history and culture: the close relationship between film and music. Since 2002, we have invited famous film composers such as Craig Armstrong, Shigeru Umebayashi, Michael Nyman, Jean-Michel Bernard and Marcel Barsotti to present a selection of their films and talk about their work in a music masterclass.
In collaboration with the Braunschweig State Orchestra, one of the world's oldest cultural orchestras, the festival also presents film concerts featuring new compositions and German premieres, such as the film concerts "The Artist" with Oscar-winning composer Ludovic Bource or "Blancanieves" by Alfonso di Vilallonga.
With the European Actors Award »THE EUROPA« Braunschweig International Film Festival honors an actress or actor for his or her outstanding artistic performances and contribution to European film culture. In addition to the prize money of 25.000 Euros donated by main sponsor Volkswagen Financial Services AG, a bronze statue called EUROPA, will be awarded.
Authentic historic sights and old quarters, post-modern architecture, a rich cultural heritage, urban charm and expansive parks and natural landscapes – Braunschweig, the city of “Henry the Lion” and home of 257.000 inhabitants, unites the past and the future, the historic and the visionary, the traditional and the innovative.
Writer Wilhelm Raabe, composer Louis Spohr and mathematician Friedrich Gauß lived here and through them art, science and esprit developed. Braunschweig is home to the Herzog Anton Ulrich-Museum, the first public museum to open in Germany in 1754. Lessing’s “Emilia Galotti” premiered in 1772 as did Goethe’s “Faust I” in 1829. Since 1963 Lower Saxony’s only university for fine arts is located in Braunschweig.