First program highlights of the 20th Filmfestival Münster

Participants of the European Short Film Competition and the Westfalen Connection have been determined.

From more than 800 entries for the European Short Film Competition, 32 films were selected to compete together for the grand prize of the Filmwerkstatt Münster – endowed with 3,000 euros. The 2023 jury is made up of actress Michelle Barthel, director and writer Erec Brehmer, and director and writer Fitore Muzaqi. Short feature films, documentaries, animated films and experimental films from a total of twelve European countries from Finland to Portugal were selected.

“Many of the films we selected are characterized by a creative approach to socially pressing issues such as climate change, right-wing extremism, sexualized violence or homophobia,” comments Carsten Happe, joint festival director with Risna Olthuis, on the program selection.

Filmmakers who have participated in past editions of the Filmfestival Münster will also be back, including Stefan Langthaler (Fabiu), Patrick Müller (Spellbound) and Jan Soldat (Crazy Dennis Tiger).

Screenings of the six competition programs in the Short Film section are Sept. 23-24, 2023; in addition, there will be repeats Sept. 25-27, as well as the final run for the Audience Award with the top-rated films on Sept. 28. The audience favorite in this category will be awarded a prize of 1,000 euros, donated by Münstersche Filmtheater-Betriebe.

The program of the Westfalen Connection, the section for regional film productions, is made up of 12 short films in two competition programs, as well as three feature-length films.

“The filmmakers include up-and-coming talents like Jakob Bey (17) and Amechi Oji, (16) as well as “old hands” (Horst Herz, 69),” says program maker Risna Olthuis. “In their films, the participants deal with current topics such as AI or #metoo, but also with historical material, such as in A Lady’s Rituals by the team from Haus Kummerveldt or in Wild Wild Westfalen which was shot entirely in Low German.” The films of the Westfalen Connection, which were made in the context of the Münster Art Academy, the Dortmund University of Applied Sciences and Arts or as independent projects, among others, can be viewed on September 30 (short films) or spread throughout the festival period. The Westfalen Initiative Foundation will award the best short film, chosen by a jury, with 1,000 euros, and the best feature-length film with 1,500 euros.

The first titles have also been announced for the European First Feature Film Competition, including The Quiet Girl the only Irish-language film to date to be nominated for an Oscar, or White Plastic Sky a Hungarian animated film that addresses the effects of climate catastrophe in one hundred years in a spectacular future scenario. As with the other six films in this section, these are directorial debuts that give new impetus to European cinema and stand out narratively and visually. The jury prize in this category will be awarded on September 30 and is endowed with 5,000 euros.

The entire program of the 20th Filmfestival Münster will be published on September 01. The festival cinema will again be the Schloßtheater Münster.