European Short Film Competition Programme 1

Boom and Bloom (A 2022)
Strangers In The Dark (FIN 2023)
The Smile (NL 2022)
homesick (D 2022)
Piecht (D 2023)

Boom and Bloom

Austria 2022 – 23:57 min – Director: Stefan Langthaler

In the Austrian Alps, father and son set out on a hike to finally climb to the top of their emotional world. After “Fabiu” (Filmfestival Münster 2021), Stefan Langthaler returns with an intense family drama starring Simon Schwarz and Nils Hohenhövel.

Stefan Langthaler

Stefan Langthaler was born in 1987 in Vienna, where he studied at the Vienna Film School from 2008 to 2013. Stefan produced several films that have been presented at the New Hampshire Festival, the Festival of Austrian Film and the Festival du Court-Mètrage de Clermont-Ferrand, among others. Especially his work on the film “Fabiu” stands out, as he received the “Thomas Pluch Screenplay Award” for it.

Strangers in the Dark | Pimeän vieraat

Finland 2023 – 12:48 min – Director: Perttu Inkilä & Jenni Pystynen

Strangers in the Dark is an experimental film of how light pollution makes glow-worm’s love life a living hell. Combining different techniques from animation to archive material the film follows glow worm’s attempts to find a partner in an environment that is no longer dark at night. The story about light and darkness moves from the scale of planetary to microscopic, from the calmness of nature to a hectic city and from artificial light to the green shimmer of glow-worm’s behind.

Perttu Inkilä

Perttu Inkilä is a Helsinki-based cinematographer who has produced dozens of music videos and several short films. She graduated from Metropolia University of Applied Sciences. Her interest as a filmmaker is more about the subconscious effects that light and movement on screen have on us, rather than informative storytelling.

The Smile

Netherlands 2022 – 16:00 min – Director: Erik van Schaaik

When a world-famous film star is accused of eating his female co-stars, his career goes down the drain. That wipes the smile off his face! Do we – the audience – have a role in such scandals? Are we perhaps part of the problem?

Erik van Schaaik

Dutch filmmaker Erik van Schaaik started filming at the age of twelve, creating super-8 short films that made it to international television. During his study graphic design, Erik started working for Dutch television, creating a series of animated films, live action drama and documentaries, in a variety of styles and techniques. For the big screen he created award-winning animated short films Vent, The Phantom Of The Cinema and the stop-motion horror comedy Under The Apple Tree.


Germany 2022 – 06:57 min – Director: Maja Bresink

“When I was little, my mother said to me that my body is my home. – I’m homesick.” A woman’s voice talks about the state of her body after a male sexual assault. A small, intimate documentary about a big, ever-shocking subject.

Maja Bresink

Maja Bresink was born on January 13, 1998 in Frankfurt a.M. and has been studying directing at the Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg since 2021. On the way to her studies she worked on some ZDF and feature film productions. In 2021 Maja realized her first short film project “Motschekiebchen”, which won the first place at the GirlsGoMovie Festival 2021.


Germany 2023 – 29:53 min – Director: Luka Lara Steffen

For 17-year-old Johanna, a vacation in idyllic Piecht is anything but relaxing. While her mother dreams of an ecological alternative life, a real nightmare unfolds for Johanna. She bravely tries to get to the bottom of what is happening, but encounters brutal resistance.

Luka Lara Steffen

Luka Lara Steffen studied screenwriting and directing at the Academy of Media Arts Cologne from 2014 to 2022. During her time there, she made several short films and a long documentary. In 2022 she was awarded the “Shoot” award from the Internationales Frauenfilmfest Dortmund + Köln.