The 31st Braunschweig International Filmfestival 2017


The 31st edition of the Braunschweig International Film Festival started with MATRIX LIVE.F FILM IN CONCERT and matrix composer Don Davis himself was conducting the Staatsorchester Braunschweig. Way above 1.000 visitors were watching the sci-fi thriller. Thanks to a sponsor, they could decide by themselves, whether they would take the red or the blue pill.

The next evening, academy award winner Jan A. P. Kaczmarek started a lecture concert, moderated by Matthias Hornschuh, in the Braunschweiger Schlossarkaden. The polish composer talked about his work and the difference between Hollywood and Europe. The lecture concert was supported by the Staatsorchester Branschweig and played tracks from movies like "Hachi: A Dog's Tale" or "Unfaithful", which were also shown in the retrospective dedicated to Kaczmarek.

Two musicians from Berlin completed the festival's film concert program: bass player Inma Galiot and her ensemble "La Rosa Negra" underlined the dark atmosphere of Anna Levinson's grafic novel "Evelyn" with a primed piano and effects.

Regarding the reformation day and in cooperation with the Evangelische Landeskirche, the festival presented Stephan Graf von Bothmer with the film concert "Luther".

The section "Music & Film" was completed by two lectures about music videos: "Was wollen die? Musik Video Showcase“ by Tanja Godlewsky und and musician Gregor Schwellenbach from the institute for popular music from the Folkwang University.

Ukrainian artist and curator Alina Gordiyenko presented in „Watch the Music – Eastern European Way“ Eastern European music video's development before and after the drop auf the "Iron Curtain".

"Sound on Screen" presented six current music documentations, including the german premiere of "Placebo: Alt.Russia" with director Charlie Targett visisting Brunswick.

"Neo Western" was a special thematic focus this year: Hungarian Puzta instead of prairie as in the german premiere of the hungarian production "Coyote" by Márk Kostayá. Or severe cold instead of scorching heat in "Law of the Land" by Jussi Hiltunen from Finland.

The screening, which was sold out quite immediatly, was from the "Heimspiel" section, which is supporting local film productions: The Sanddorn thriller "Kontrollverlust", known as the brunswick version of the "Tatort" series.

Our two workshops attracted also many visitors. Tim Mittelstaedt and Anna Weisenberger from APITs Lab of nordmedia informed about 360°- and VR-technology. Sebastian Droschinski and Nick Buckenauer from Hamburger Wendie Webfest presented the „Webserie, das unbakannte Wesen“ (webseries - the unknown beeing).

Once again, the "New International Cinema" was the festival's best visited film section. The german premiere of french-american "Katie says goodbye" by Wayne Robert, Kirsten Tan's "Pop Eye" from Thailand and "The Square" by Ruben Östlund were the biggest crowd puller

"Fikkefuchs" by Jan Henrik Stahlberg and "Simpel" by Markus Gollers from our "New German Films" section were also sold out. Director Barbara Albert presented "Licht" (Light), Oliver Kienle and Markus Reinecke showed their thriller "Die Vierhändige". Mascha Schilinski presented her chamber drama "Die Tochter" and Tomm Lass his comedy "Blind & Hässlich" (blind and ugly). Felix Randau's ötzi thriller "Der Mann aus dem Eis" and Martin Guggisberg's "Usgrächnet Gähwilers" completed the "New German Films" section.

„Beyond“ shows movies that ventures into new territory. The section's best film ist awarded with the "Schwarzer Löwe" (Black Lion) which is endowed with 2.500 Euros. The price is supported by Volkswagen Financial Services. With „Beyond: Faith“ the festival thematized with six films including two german premieres the question how to find the path of faith.

Director Nathalie Teirlinck from Belgium visited the festival with "Past Imperfect". Game of Thrones actor and main actro in the british thriller "Bad Day for A Cut" Nigel O'Neill from Ireland. Furthermore, the festival showed the black comedy "Charleston" by Andrei Cretescu, „A Date for Mad Mary“ from Ireland by Darren Thornton and the french belgian adventure movie „Les Cowboys“ by Thomas Bidegain.

The festival ended with strong women: Star guest Nina Hoss recieved the "Europa", endowed with 15.000 Euros. 

„A Date for Mad Mary“ excited the audience and was awarded with the "Heinrich", the audience award for the best debut or second feature film, endowed with 10.000. Actress Charleigh Bailey recieved the price for irish director Regisseur Darren Thornton.

The "Schwarzer Löwe“ for the best film of the "Beyond" section was awarded by a jury with producer Dagmar Niehage, filmmaker Nicole Wegner and film composer Gregor Schwellenbach to Federica Di Giacomo for „Libera Nos“. 

Director Nathalie Teirlincks "Past Impfercet" won the german-french youth award KINEMA. Nora Fingscheidt from Brunswick convinced the "Heimspiel" jury composed of actor Detflef Bothe, dircetor Anna Linke and last year's winner Lars Jordan with her documentary "Ohne diese Welt" (Without this world) about a Mennonites' communal in Argentina.

"The festival was a big triumph. I am happy we had so many interesting filmmakers, actors and film composers as our guests. Four of five prices were awarded richly deserved to women, who found their own cinematic language. It shows the progress of european cinema compared to german cinema.", said festival dircetor Michael P. Aust, contented about the this year's success 

Altogether, the festival showed 264 movies from 42 countries on six days. Thereof, 100 feature films, including 21 german premieres and one world premiere. Furthermore, there were 164 short films, including 30 as german and five as world premiere. Moreover, the festival showed 32 music videos and about 30 movies shot by children and youngsters.