The ten-member selection panel for the 30th Dresden Film Festival drew up the shortlist from no fewer than 2,200 animated and short feature films. Mandy Müller, member of the panel for national films, identifies a clear trend among the filmmakers towards social critique: “The theme of ‘Flight and Displacement’ – in other words, the refugee crisis – is increasingly coming in for more subtle treatment.”
Social critique has a long tradition at the Dresden Film Festival, which was founded in the spring of 1989 as a forum for films that were either banned or rarely shown in the GDR.
How cartoons saved the Dresden Film Festival
When the Berlin Wall fell, the organisers looked for a new thematic dimension. With Dresden being home to the DEFA animation studios, the idea of a festival for cartoons seemed highly appropriate.
Oberhausen, Berlin, Hamburg – Germany certainly has bigger short film festivals. However, the Dresden Film Festival has not only firmly established itself on the national scene in the last three decades but also acquired a significant international reputation. In recent years, it has pulled in around 25,000 extra visitors to the city. With prize money totalling €67,000, the Dresden Film Festival is one of the best-endowed short film contests in Europe.