Down-to-earth attitude mixed with poetry – alongside the international Feature Film Competition, FilmFestival Cottbus presents the Short Film Competition and the U18 Youth Film Competition, which showcase the entire creative spectrum of the Eastern European cinema. For the first time, the winners of these two competitions will also be honoured with the FFC award LUBINA.
The 30th FilmFestival Cottbus will take place from November 3 to 8, 2020 in Cottbus and five other locations in the region as well as online from November 3 to 21 nationwide.
Emotions every minute: the Short Film Competition
The 30th FFC Short Film Competition presents eleven films from a total of twelve production countries. Loaded with acumen and easiness, they turn old certainties upside down and showcase a wide range of emotions. The stylistic spectrum ranges from the direct cinema style of SHERBET to a Belgrade night of love with a passionate beginning and a flat end, to black comedies such as the Slovakian GREETINGS FROM NIGERIA, in which two worlds collide: an old man and the Internet.
Again and again, the protagonists give offence to those around them: In 100 EURO, two Romanian moonlighters in Vienna go after their promised payment, in the Armenian CHRISTMAS ROAST, a charismatic debt collector discovers his acting talent, and in THE SCHOOL BUS, a Turkish village school gets a school bus – but no driver. A teacher decides to put herself behind the wheel and, like most of the protagonists in this year's FFC Short Film Competition, takes destiny into her own hands.
Just like the women in THE NEWS, who upset the patriarchal hierarchies of a remote Albanian village with a television interview, a lesbian daughter in EGGSHELLS (Bulgaria), who wants to reconcile with her father, and an ex-soldier in the Ukrainian BULLMASTIFF, who copes with his war trauma with the help of a stray dog.
Whether the ‘narrowness‘ of a Greek village as in VOUTA or the expanse of the Northern Siberian taiga as in SULPHUR: the protagonists – while searching for their own personal truths – get caught up in the contradictions, which then develop at a rapid pace into passionate discourses about guilt and fate, responsibility and willpower.
These stories are sometimes told with rage, sometimes with understatement, often with a tendency towards grotesque, as in the Russian SEEMED, in which a teacher finds a huge butt in his backyard and posts it immediately on the Internet, thus going viral on the social media.
The winners of the Short Film Competition will be awarded two prizes: The best short film will receive 2,500 EUR award, sponsored by the Druckzone Cottbus. The special prize, dedicated to the director and sponsored by Tiede+, is combined with a 1,500 EUR award.
Desire, anger and silence: the U18 Youth Film Competition
First love and lots of misunderstandings – this is how one could casually summarise the teenage years. Seven competition entries and five other short films in this year's U 18 Youth Film Competition prove there is much more to it. As authentic and as close to everyday life as possible, typical and less typical youth topics are dealt with, between longing and existentialism, cyber-career and analogue bullying, another trip with parents, and mourning between anger and silence. Intense film experience from a total of nine production countries.
The film selection ranges from the Kazakh drug career story 18 KILOHERTZ to a portrait of a Polish influencer by the title SWEAT and OTTO THE BARBARIAN, which accompanies a Romanian punk (Marc Titieni’s outstanding performance as Otto) who has to cope with his girlfriend’s suicide and is in search of emotional balance between defiant silence and desperate cynicism. The world premiere in the programme – I AM THE SEA – imaginatively combines classic coming-of-age motifs with neo-realist observations from the everyday life of a young adult wastepaper collector in Istanbul.
In addition to the long feature films, five short films (out of competition) reflects youth‘s experience from the USA, through Turkish Riviera to the Lubusz Land, including three short films by the students of the 5th Lyceum of Krzysztof Kieślowski’s name in Zielona Góra - Polish partner city of Cottbus. This year once more, a German-Polish-Czech student jury will choose the best youth film.
The U18 Youth Film Competition is supported by the IHK Cottbus. The best youth film will be awarded with 5.000 EUR, sponsored by the city of Cottbus.