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Niederrheinisches Filmfestival 2023--3.jpg
Festival Awards 2022
Winner Dutch Competition


Luca Meisters

Netherlands (2023)

15:00 min.


Jury statement

An intriguing and intimate film, MAGMA captivates with its camerawork that brings us close to the main character, allowing audiences to intimately sympathize with young Esra. Witnessing her internal battles with her father's situation and the consequential lie she fabricates at her new school is heart-wrenching, revealing her deep desire to belong. The portrayal of Esra's struggle is tragic and compelling, highlighted by the extraordinary Leah Fischer, whose star is just beginning to shine in the acting firmament. Her performance is brilliant, rendering Esra's experience both intimate and universally resonant, as she grapples with the weight of her deception amidst the quest for acceptance.

Winner German Competition

Der Lokführer

Christian Wittmoser & Zuniel Kim

Germany (2021)

5:45 min.


Jury statement

In „Der Lokführer“, every frame is a short poem in itself, a grim yet stylish tableau that visualizes the tragic experiences of the protagonist with strong, lingering imagery. The filmmakers have masterfully intertwined the words of the narrator with a visual artistry that breathes life into each syllable, inviting us into a pictorial world where words and shadows merge into a melancholic dance. It's as if the canvas becomes a window into the soul of the man whose story unfolds in dark tones—a narrative of responsibility and the specter of death. 'Lokführer' is not just an animated film; it is an emotional odyssey that captures the essence of its subject matter with grace and power. The jury is particularly struck by the way the visual storytelling complements the verbal narrative, creating a resonance that is both beautiful and haunting. It is a film that does not shy away from the gravity of its themes but presents them with such dignity and artistry that we are left both touched and contemplative.

Winner Audience Award


Lidi Toepoel

Netherlands (2021)

14:00 min.

Special mention Dutch Competition


Niels Bourgonje 

Netherlands (2022)

14:59 min.


Jury statement

"Shut" earns a special mention for its masterful suspense and exploration of the human psyche. Jonas's harrowing return to his estranged father captured our attention with a narrative that's as psychologically rich as it is sinister. The film's grip on tension and atmosphere is commendable, weaving a story that kept us guessing until the end. It's a standout piece in thriller cinema, deserving high praise for its chilling journey into the unknown realms of the mind.

Special mention German Competition


Ciara Borgards 

Germany (2023)

3:00 min.


Jury statement

A short but powerful film, beautifully animated. The story is very poetic: by breaking free, the dancing figure is scared and vulnerable at first, but she discovers that she now has the freedom to dance wherever she wants and that it's actually something positive that has happened to her. Sometimes we don't realize it when we're somehow trapped - sometimes out of a false sense of security, and that change can be a good thing when you do manage to 'escape'. The film embodies that kind of feeling. Technically, the film is a joy to watch: the character design and animation are amazing, with detailed textures and beautiful lighting. Music and sound design are great too and make the film complete.

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