The European Feature Film Competition is being held for the tenth time since 2005, and for the third time only debut films by young directors are competing for the Best Director prize, which is awarded by an international jury and comes with €5,000 in prize money.

Eight films are being shown in this competition for the first time in Münster and they have already won numerous prizes at international festivals. This year’s selection demonstrates an enormous stylistic range and a remarkable sensitivity to the issues that preoccupy the filmmakers.

These are often very personal stories that at the same time reflect the moods of society as a whole. With protagonists who doubt the prevailing conditions, who take their fate into their own hands and try to shape the future on their own authority. The big issues of our time, such as the climate crisis, female self-determination or unequal power relations, resonate in the films – and the way they are treated is inspiring, stirring and entertaining in equal measure.

  • Es brennt
    Based on a true case, this surprising feature film debut by young director Erol Afşin becomes an indictment of everyday racism in Germany that is as powerful as it is poetic. Followed by Q&A with actor Nicolas Garin.
  • Nos Cérémonies | Summer Scars
    Simon Rieth’s dark and fantastical feature debut explores the entangled bonds of two brothers between rivalry and childhood trauma. Followed by Q&A with director Simon Rieth and actors Raymond Baur and Simon Baur. (Original with English subtitles)
  • The Quiet Girl
    The first Irish-language film to be nominated for an Oscar, this is a gentle and deeply hopeful tale of people trying to leave pain and loneliness behind. (Original with German subtitles)
  • I Have Electric Dreams
    A compelling coming-of-age drama set in Costa Rica that won three top prizes at the Locarno Film Festival: Best Director, Best Actress, Best Actor. (Original with English subtitles)
  • White Plastic Sky
    The very first animated film in competition: a science fiction dystopia as fascinating as it is melancholy, as a mind game on climate catastrophe. (Original with English subtitles)
  • Sister, What Grows Where Land Is Sick
    A very personal debut work by the young Norwegian director Franciska Eliassen about a generation that has grown up in the wake of climate crisis, Corona, terrorist threats and financial crisis. (Original with English subtitles)
  • Banel & Adama
    An intense and magnificently photographed drama about love, self-assertion and social constraints, this was the only debut in the running for the Palme d’Or at Cannes this year. (Original with English subtitles)
  • Empty Nets
    With his visually impressive debut film, director Behrooz Karamizade unfolds a poetic love story and at the same time paints a haunting portrait of the young generation in Iran: he tells of their hope for a freer future and sheds light on the life-threatening flight movements in contemporary Iran. (Original with German subtitles)