Lights film festival

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The LICHTER festival logo

The Lichter Filmfest Frankfurt International is a film festival that has been taking place once a year since 2008 - each spring - in Frankfurt and the Rhine-Main region. In addition to regional film productions in the competition for the best short and long film, international films, VR productions and video art will also be shown. In 2020 the 13th Lights Film Festival will take place from April 21st to 26th. The international film program and the accompanying program are dedicated to the thematic focus “power”.


The Lichter Filmfest Frankfurt International took place for the first time in 2008 on the initiative of festival director Gregor Maria Schubert under the name of Lichter Filmtage Frankfurt / Rhein-Main. Founded by Gregor Maria Schubert, Stephan Limbach, Mark Liedtke, Alexander Dumitran and Cordula Mack, it is now managed by Gregor Maria Schubert and Johanna Süss, who are supported by a team of volunteers.

In the years that followed, the festival was expanded from a retrospective for regional film productions to a competition and an internationally oriented film show. The festival moved from the former AtelierFrankfurt not far from Frankfurt Central Station to the former Frankfurt Turmpalast cinema in downtown Frankfurt. The response increased from 3,300 visitors in the first year to 12,000 festival guests in 2015. The film festival uses vacant spaces in Frankfurt, such as the diamond exchange or the Vau office building, and plays them with films and events during the festival and beyond. For example, the Lichter Art Award (founded in 2008 as "Kunstlichter", curated by Saul Judd since 2010) honors new video art; Installations and discussions in the festival center show new perspectives and approach the film and festival theme from a theoretical perspective. In 2012, the Lichter Filmfest Frankfurt International was recognized as a motion detector by the Federal Government's “Initiative for Culture and Creative Industries”. In 2013 the film festival took place under the patronage of Volker Schlöndorff . From 2014 to 2017, Leander Haußmann , Edgar Reitz and Doris Dörrie followed in this role. Since 2014, the "Lichter Kritikerblog", in cooperation with the Hessian Film and Media Academy and under the direction of Bert Rebhandl, has given students the opportunity to engage with the medium of film in a journalistic way. At the initiative of Edgar Reitz, a conference in 2018 focused on the future of German cinema. Around a hundred filmmakers worked with the Frankfurt Positions on the future of German film to develop a concept that recommends fundamental innovations in funding and financing, training and film education, sales and cinema culture. A continuation with new priorities is planned as part of the 13th LICHTER Film Festival. In addition, the procedural implementation of the paper will be discussed further.

The festival is financed from public grants, donations and sponsoring, and in 2012, 2016, 2017 and 2018 also via crowdfunding .


Outside of the competition, an international film program will be shown that has been dedicated to a thematic focus since 2012. After "Revolution" in the first year, 2013 was the topic of "City". 2014 was about "Humor, comedy and comedy". In 2015, films from all over the world on the subject of "money" were shown. In 2016, the festival focused on "borders". In 2017 the focus of the international program was on "Truth", in 2018 on "Chaos" and in 2019 on "Nature".

In addition to film screenings, the program also includes panel discussions and industry talks for filmmakers in the Rhine-Main area. In addition, other cultural events such as the “Frankfurter Sequenzen” event series, the “Freiluftkino Frankfurt” or the “Sommerkino im Altwerk” take place throughout the year. In addition to film screenings, this also includes concerts or rounds of talks and discussions. The light film festival is also a regular guest in the cinemas of the region and the partner cities.


  • International film program (main topic)
  • Regional film competition (short film, feature film)
  • Films outside the competition (short film, feature film)
  • Future of German Film (feature film)
  • Virtual Reality Storytelling Competition (International Competition)
  • Thematic accompanying program (lectures, panels, industry discussion)
  • Lichter Art Award (international competition with exhibition)

Festival cinemas and venues

Opening of the 9th LICHTER Film Festival Frankfurt International

The Lichter Filmfest Frankfurt International plays in different cinemas and locations in Frankfurt and the Rhine-Main region. The following venues have existed since 2006.

  • Atelier Frankfurt
  • Caligari film set
  • Cantata hall
  • Cinestar Metropolis
  • Comoedienhaus Wilhelmsbad
  • E-cinemas
  • First floor
  • film club Offenbach
  • Offenbach Harbor Cinema
  • Cinema in the German Film Museum
  • Cinema in the Leather Palace
  • Mousonturm artist house
  • See the cinema
  • mmk lecture hall
  • Murnau-Filmtheater Wiesbaden
  • Naxos Hall
  • Praunheimer workshops
  • Pupil - cinema in the university
  • Rex art house cinema
  • TOR Art Space
  • Tower Palace
  • Zoo Society House

Visitor numbers

The 2018 Lichter Filmfest has grown from an improvised cinema and 3,300 visitors in the first year to over a hundred films and events and 13,000 visitors.

Prizes and awards

The winning films in the categories “Best Short Film” and “Best Long Film” will each be honored by a jury with a “Light Bembel ”. In addition, the Lichter Art Award will be presented for the best contemporary video art production. The prize is endowed with 1,000 euros. An international award for the best virtual reality film has been awarded since 2017 . The prize money for 1st place is 1,000 euros.


The Lights-Bembel is presented to the winners of the LICHTER Film Festival Frankfurt International

The winners will be presented with the "lights"; a typical Frankfurt cider jug. The regional feature film award of the Dr. Marschner Foundation is endowed with 3,000 euros. For the best short film, 1,000 euros will be awarded in cash. In addition, the Binding Audience Award of 2,000 euros will be awarded. From 2016 to 2018, the festival honored the best contribution in the international program with the International Feature Award and prize money of 1,500 euros.

  • Regional feature film: The end of the year for Sung-Hyung Cho
  • Regional short film: Adam's apple by Johannes Baptista Ludwig and Sascha Geerdts
  • Regional feature film: At the age of Ellen von Pia Marais
  • Regional short film: N Gschichtn by Eva Becker
  • Special mention by the jury: The very last from Otmar Hitzelberger
  • Regional feature film: Babycall by Pål Sletaune
  • Regional short film: The old woman by Ariane Mayer
  • Regional feature film: In the Land Between by Melanie Gärtner
  • Regional short film: Misguided by Lukas Rinker
  • Audience award: The Meta-Morphose. Slightly out of tune in the spotlight by Daniel Siebert
  • Special mention by the jury: Wildwechsel by Gunter Deller
  • Regional feature film: Head held high by DocView
  • Regional short film: Bahar in Wonderland by Behrooz Karamizade and RE50 in the direction of Wächtersbach by Leslie Bauer
  • Audience award: The Scrapbox by Daniel Herzog (director) and Robin Wissel (creative director)
  • Special mention by the jury: My circumcision by Arne Ahrens , Peter Rist - Idealist by Michael Schwarz and Qasbegi by Michel Klöfkorn
  • Regional feature film: Sin & Illy still alive by Maria Hengge and Conduct! Every movement counts from Götz Schauder
  • Regional short film: A bit of normality by Michael Schaff and Thomas Toth
  • Audience Award: Carlo, Keep Swingin ' by Elizabeth Ok
  • LICHTER Courage Price: XX-XX — X — Woven paper by Michel Klöfkorn
  • Special mention by the jury: Tide pools by Pablo Zinser, Why is the table sloping! / Why everyone likes money! by Stefan Vogt
  • Regional feature film: My brothers and sisters in the north of Sung-Hyung Cho
  • Regional short film: In the Distance by Florian Grolig
  • International Feature Award: Les Sauteurs by Abou Bakar Sidibé, Estephan Wagner and Moritz Siebert and Masaan by Neeraj Ghaywan
  • Audience award feature film: on a scale from 1-10 by Katharina Uhland
  • Audience Award Short Film: In the Distance by Florian Grolig and "The old man and the bird" by Dennis Stein-Schomburg
  • Special mention from the jury: Zuniel Kim's long-distance runner
  • Regional feature film: A Gravame - the steel mill, death, Maria and the mothers of Tamburi by Peter Rippl
  • Regional short film: About pressure by Sebastian Binder and Fred Schirmer
  • International Feature Award: I am not Madame Bovary by Feng Xiaogang
  • Audience Award Feature Film : Ghostland by Simon Stadler and Catenia Lermer
  • Virtual Reality Award: Sergeant James by Alexandre Perez
  • Regional feature film: Male friendships from Rosa von Praunheim
  • Regional short film: Horizont by Peter Meister
  • International Feature Award: Blue My Mind by Lisa Brühlmann
  • Audience Award Feature Film: Women of the Venezuelan Chaos by Margarita Cadenas
  • Virtual Reality Award: I, Philip by Pierre Zandrowicz
  • Regional feature film: Khrustal by Darya Zhuk
  • Regional short film: We will survive by Nele Dehnenkamp
  • Audience Award Feature Film : The Watson's Hotel by Peter Rippl, Ragunath Vasudevan and Nathaniel Knop
  • Virtual Reality Storytelling Award: The Real Thing by Benoit Felici

Lights Art Award

Winner of the Lights Art Award 2012

The Lichter Art Award has been presented for the best contemporary video art production since 2011. The competition is curated by Saul Judd.

  • Winner: Luciana Lamothe for Caja Tarro Silla Marco
  • Other finalists: Mario Asef, Hanna Hildebrand, Jessica Sehrt, Rebecca Ann Tess
  • Jury: Judith Hopf , Saul Judd, Matthias Ulrich
  • Winner: Oliver Husain for Dear What's Your Face
  • Other finalists: Young Joo Lee, Yuki Kishino, Sabine Loew, Clemens Wilhelm
  • Jury: Mike Bouchet, Saul Judd, Sophie von Olfers
  • Winner: John Skoog for Sent på Jorden
  • Other finalists: Etienne de France, Jennifer Gelardo and Iván Robles Mendoza, Lena Grewenig, Henrike Naumann
  • Jury: Saul Judd, Felix Ruhöfer and Simon Starling
  • Winner: Bertrand Flanet Unmanned Distances
  • Other finalists: Clémentine Coupau, Andrew de Freitas, Murray Gaylard, Luiz Roque
  • Jury: Peter Gorschlueter , Karola Gramann , Saul Judd
  • Winner: Jonathan Van Essche The Second of August
  • Other finalists: Mandy Krebs, Ayla Pierrot Arendt, Alina Vasilchenko, Anna Zett
  • Jury: Katharina Dohm, Saul Judd, Tasja Langenbach
  • Winner: James N. Kienitz Wilkins B-Roll with Andre
  • Other finalists: Zanny Begg, Fabiano Mixo, Yalitsa Riden, Sita Scherer and Tina Schönfelder
  • Jury: Saul Judd, Fabian Schöneich, Vivian Trommer
  • Winner: Tobi Sauer Simba in New York
  • Other finalists: Holger Jenss, Luzie Meyer, Stefan Ramírz Pérez, Fritz Laszlo Weber
  • Jury: Saul Judd, Olaf Stüber, Mathilde Ter Heijne
  • Winner: Jakob Engel Waiting for Record
  • Other finalists: Nikita Diakur, Martin Kohout, Ingel Vaikla, Gerald Zahn
  • Jury: Stefanie Böttcher, Sergey Harutoonian, Saul Judd
  • Winner: Andrew de Freitas WEIGHT
  • Other finalists: Endre Aalrust, Zanny Begg, Natasha A. Kelly, Lisa Kori
  • Jury: Tamara Grcic , Christina Lehnert, Saul Judd

Virtual Reality Storytelling Award

A prize for the best virtual reality film has been awarded in the international competition since 2017.

  • Winner: Alexandre Perez Sergeant James
  • Other finalists: Linara Bagautdinova, Uwe Flade, Henry Stuart, Ali Weinstein
  • Jury: Astrid Kahmke, Eckart Köberich, Kay Meseberg, Marco Heutink, Ralph Benz
  • Winner: Pierre Zandrowicz I, Philip
  • Other finalists: John Hsu, Georgy Molodtsov, Max Solomon, Theodore Ushev
  • Jury: Tomislav Bezmalinoviv, Vanessa Kincaid, Eckart Köberich
  • Winner: Benoit Felici The Real Thing
  • Further finalists: Astrid Schult / Jürgen Brügger / Jörg Haaßengier, Marc Zimmermann, Sngmoo Lee, Kuan Yuan Lai
  • Jury: Kai Beck, Philip Weiss, Ricarda Saleh


A jury made up of filmmakers and film experts decides on the winning films in the categories "Best Feature Film" and "Best Short Film" and, since 2016, in the category "Best International Feature Film". Previous jury members:

  • Birgit Lehmann (director), Bahman Kormi (cameraman), Sebastian Popp (film producer)
  • Feature film: Christoph Thoke (film producer), Tatjana Turanskyj (film director, film producer, screenwriter and actress), Anne Ratte-Polle (actress)
  • Short film: Martina Valentina Baumgartner (film producer), Stefan Kriekhaus (screenwriter), Achim Forst (film editor)
  • Short film: Isabel Berghout (actress), Lili Kobbe, Hendrik Schmitt
  • Feature film: Stipe Erceg , Linda Söffker, Nico Sommer
  • International Feature Award: Max Linz (director), Barbara Schweizerhof, Hermann Vaske (film producer)
  • Short film: Robert Hertel (film producer), Sylve Hohlbaum (director), Christel Schmidt (editor)
  • Feature film: Numan Acar (actor), Reza Brojerdi (actor and producer), Pepe Danquart (director), Mischka Popp (filmmaker)
  • International Feature Award: Niko Apel (director), Nicole Baum (editor), Betty Berr and Rainer Wothe (festival directors)
  • Short film: Andreas Heidenreich, Lilo Mangelsdorff, Peter Rippl
  • Feature film: Uwe B. Carstensen, Carolin Weidner, Julia Zange
  • International Feature Award: Giacomo Abbruzzese, Uri Aviv, Simon Stadler
  • Short film: Isabel Gathof, Jonatan Schwenk, Ralph Förg
  • Feature film: Birgit Gamke, Jenny Schily , Susanne Heinrich

Main topics

Since 2012, the Lichter Filmfest has been devoting itself to one thematic focus in the international program and the accompanying program with lectures, roundtables, performances and experimental discussion formats.

  • 2012: revolutions
  • 2013: City
  • 2014: humor, comedy and comedy
  • 2015: money
  • 2016: limits
  • 2017: truth
  • 2018: chaos
  • 2019: nature
  • 2020: power


Web links

Commons : Lights Film Festival  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Magel, Eva-Maria: "So it should go on!", In: FAZ am Sonntag [2009]
  2. Record: 10,500 visitors at the "Lights" film festival ( Memento from May 17, 2014 in the Internet Archive )
  3. ^ Eva-Maria Magel: Lights for the film. In: . March 10, 2008, accessed October 13, 2018 .
  5. - ( Memento of the original from March 4, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  7. Gutting, Peter: "In No Man's Land", in: Die Rheinpfalz [2011]
  8. Dannenberg, Pascale Anja: "Lights of the Big City", in: FAZ [2013]
  9. ^ "Humor, comedy and comedy" as the motto ( Memento from March 26, 2014 in the Internet Archive ), echo from March 23, 2014
  10. - ( Memento of the original from March 24, 2015 in the web archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /