Award Winners

The winners in the various categories will be announced at the virtual awards ceremony of the 44. Grenzland-Filmtage International Film Festival 2021.

Those who want to watch the winning films will have the opportunity to do so here. All winning films will be available for streaming again as a "complete package" (package price 15,- €) from Friday, 23.04., 10.00 pm until Sunday, 25.04., 12.00 am.

ZuKi Film Award Children's Film

(donated by Zukunft Kinder e.V.)

Award Winner: CAT LAKE CITY

Director: Antje Heyn | Germany 2019

Jury Film Award "Eastern European Film"

(donated by Stadt Selb)

Award Winner: BLINDFOLD

Director: Taras Dron | Ukraine 2020

Jury Statement

This year seven Eastern European films were shortlisted for the prize. Our decision fell on the Ukrainian film "Blindfold". This film touched us all deeply: great actors, sensitive director, memorable insights into the current everyday life in Ukraine, a country striving to become a member of NATO and the EU.

We see fighting scenes in the boxing ring only, albeit with howling soldiers as spectators. The film follows the character of Julia and thus reflects the war back on the "home front", on the women. Julia has the status of a war widow. She reluctantly allows herself to enter into a relationship with another man when she slowly starts to gain trust in him. He belongs to a higher social class, very nicely characterized by stylish home decor - in contrast to her poor living conditions. However, she is soon relegated back to her own social class and role which is dictated by society. From then on she supports the efforts of women who struggle to find out the real fate of those who fight or who have fallen on the front, at the risk of being betrayed by blackmailers. Julia's encounter with war invalids also changes her view of the events. Just as we could change our point of view, based on daily news in papers and on the TV - if we weren't "blindfolded" by the sheer numbers at the countless locations around the world.

Jury Film Award "Newcomer Film Award"

(donated by Sparkasse Hochfranken)

Award Winner: ISAAC

Director: Jurgis Matulevicius | Lithuania 2019

Jury Statement

The jury of this year's festival for the Best Newcomer Award honors a film that is in good tradition to the early years of the Grenzland-Filmtage, which have always had the goal of taking a cinematic look at our neighboring Eastern European countries and finding out what current issues filmmakers there are dealing with. A lot has happened since then. After the fall of the Iron Curtain, not only did the borders open up, but new independent states also emerged or were able to reconstitute themselves. For example, Lithuania: The independent state of Lithuania has only existed in this form for 31 years. So far, we know very little about Lithuania as a film country. It is therefore all the more gratifying that we were able to present the debut feature film of the young Lithuanian director Jurgis Matulevicius in Selb, which was rightly nominated for the European Film Award.

His topic concerns both us Germans and Lithuania. Historically, relatively little is known about the fact that even during the occupation of the Baltic countries, the Nazis deported the majority of the resident Jewish population and murdered them in concentration camps there. They were not infrequently supported by the local population, who associated the German invasion with the hope of being freed from the Soviet foreign rule that existed at the time. This in turn continued immediately after the end of the Second World War.

The film takes up this political dilemma and tells it through an individual and yet universal story of guilt and atonement. "Isaac" is about a man who, in the turmoil of that time, gets carried away by the heated atmosphere and, during a massacre instigated by the Nazis, kills his Jewish neighbor, by whom he feels betrayed. This incident in the Lithuanian city of Kaunas in 1941 is historically documented and a stain on the history of this city that one does not want to be reminded of. We know this problem from Germany as well. Here, too, there are cities that have had to painfully come to terms with the events of the Nazi era.

We from the jury find it courageous that a filmmaker of this country dares to tackle such a taboo topic in his debut film, which touches a national trauma. The film Isaac is therefore, in our view, not only a haunting personal drama about guilt, repression and atonement, but also an important socially relevant film. And it convinces with its own individual film language, which is characterized by fluid camera work and sets aesthetic accents with the alternation between black and white and color settings. We wish this film, which so far could only be shown at European festivals but not yet in its own country, not only an open-minded audience in its home country, but also beyond that the international appreciation it deserves. Congratulations Jurgis Matulevicius.

Audience Film Awards

(donated by Rosenthal GmbH)

Audience Award Winner Feature Film Category: TWO IS A MAGIC NUMBER

Director: Holger Borggrefe, Stefan Hering | Germany 2020

Audience Award Winner Medium Length Film Category: EL MONSTRUO INVISIBLE

Director: Javier & Guillermo Fesser Perez de Petinto | Spain 2019

Audience Award Winner Short Film Category: BETWEEN A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE

Director: Mads Koudal | Denmark 2019

Audience Award Winner Documentary Film Category: MUTWAERTS

Director: Sabine Katharina Schmid | Germany 2020