2 Awards & 1 Special Mention for Philippine films at German exground filmfest (Wiesbaden)

exground filmfest celebrated the successful conclusion of its 31st edition this past Sunday evening after ten days featuring the best of independent cinema. Following the screening of the program for the German Short Film Competition, cash and material prizes worth approximately 20,000 euros were awarded in seven competition sections. The presence of over 100 film industry guests from Germany and abroad and the great number of festivalgoers in attendance testified once again to the great popularity of the festival, which reaches far beyond the city limits of Hessen’s state capital.

Alberto „Treb“ Monteras II received the youth jury award for the best feature film for RESPETO. Photo: Peter Fischer / exground filmfest

This year’s Country Focus of exground filmfest was devoted to the extraordinarily vibrant film culture of the Philippines. Part of the Focus programme were 21 short and feature-length films as well as two exhibitions, two panels featuring high-calibre guests and lectures on the subjects of a full century of Philippine filmmaking and the current human rights situation in the country. The festival was happy to welcome many guests like Raymond and MIkhail Red, Raffy Lerma and Kiri Dalena.

Two of last night awards and a special mention were given to Philippine filmmakers:
In the International Youth Film Competition of the exground youth days Alberto „Treb“ Monteras II received the youth jury award for the best feature film for RESPETO:

“The Philippine film RESPETO has convinced the youth jury in many ways. It introduces us to the frightening conditions of a country where people can be shot by the police on mere suspicion on the street. The film makes excellent use of the language of cinema at all levels: camera, sound and music, effects and the authentic presentation merge to a unity. In the midst of a scene marked by violence, drugs and corruption, Hendrix pursues his dream of asserting himself as a rapper in Manila’s hip-hop scene. Fast-paced, driven by the pulse of music, “Respeto” shows the struggle for respect and recognition – and how important it is to have role models. With the power of hip-hop, Hendrix manages to counter the conditions and the lack of perspective with something. A real youth film!”

Still from “Respeto”

Cash prize: 2,500 euros, endowed by the State Capital of Wiesbaden

At the 15th exground gong show competition the “Golden Gurke” (Cucumber) and a cash prize of EUR 50 went to Jet Leyco for his short film “Women of Wiesbaden”.

Jury Statement: “The jury was impressed with the high quality and the wide range of topics of the submitted films. No wonder only two films got the gong from us and were dismissed. Jet Leyco’s short film was very exceptional. Even more impressive was the fact that he just flew in in the morning of the 19th, learned about this competition and shot the film to hand it over in the evening just before the show started.”

The special mention in the International Short Film Competition went to Man Of Pa-aling [Manong Ng Pa-aling] by E del Mundo:

“Evoking in black & white the bleakness of an otherwise beautiful underwater landscape, this film explores the triviality and the grandness of human existence. The jury bestows this special mention to Man Of Pa-aling [Manong Ng Pa-aling].”

Full list of prize winners at exground filmfest 31

exground filmfest would like to thank all of its supporters and sponsors.

Ever since I watched Takeshi Kitano's "Hana-Bi" for the first time (and many times after that) I have been a cinephile. While much can be said about the technical aspects of film, coming from a small town in Germany, I cherish the notion of art showing its audience something which one does normally avoid, neglect or is unable to see for many different reasons. Often the stories told in films have helped me understand, discover and connect to something new which is a concept I would like to convey in the way I talk and write about films. Thus, I try to include some info on the background of each film as well as a short analysis (without spoilers, of course), an approach which should reflect the context of a work of art no matter what genre, director or cast. In the end, I hope to pass on my joy of watching film and talking about it.