The Neisse Fish have been awarded: The German feature film "Altri Cannibali" (Other Cannibals) takes Main Prize at the 19th Neisse Film Festival

Grosshennersdorf/Ebersbach - May 21, 2022

Tomorrow, Sunday, in the tri-country corner on the Neisse River the 19th Neisse Film Festival is coming to a close. This year te tri-national film festival presented over 90 films in three competitions and various topical film series, as well as accompanying events such as film discussions, exhibitions, a reading and concerts, in over 20 locations in Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic. On Saturday evening at the awards ceremony at the Erbersbach theatre, the Neisse Fish sculptured awards created by Andreras Kupfer from Strahwalde were presented to their winners.

The "Neisse Fish: Best Feature Film", sponsored with an award of €10,000 by the Saxon Ministry for Science Culture and Tourism (SMWK) went to the German film "Altri Cannibali" (Other Cannibals) by Francesco Sossai. The jury, consisting of the German film director Eline Gehring, the Polnish film composer Adam Walicki and the Czech director and screenwriter Tomáš Pavlíček had to decide between nine different films, three from each countr (Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic). As the jury summarized, „Through its dialogues, its authentic staging and a stunning camera work, this film creates contrasting emotions that almost unbearable feelings arise. With its extremely original, deeply thought-provoking and surprising story-telling, the character development takes the audience through many unexpected levels and combines completely new emotions. At the same time it is touching, sad and lonely, it is also darkly funny. But most of all, it is an existential journey through one man’s solitude, longing for friendship…"

The Prize for best acting, sponsored by the city of Zittau, has been awarded to Walter Giroldini for his performance in "Altri Cannibali.“ In their statement, the jury pointed out that, "This actors' presence blew our minds from the first until the very last scene. Because his authenticity is breathtaking, we were instantly connected to his way of expressing.“

Ivana Kanhäuserová and Antonín Matějovský were granted the award, sponsored by the city of Görlitz, for best production design in the Czech feature film "Kdyby radši hořelo" (Somewhere over the Chemtrails) by Adam Koloman Rybanský. "With its minimalistic, economic and precise work, this production design supports the director's perspective on many levels. Without losing the authenticity of the actual location, it creates its own cinematic world," praises the jury.

The Neisse Fish for the best screenplay, sponsored by the Region of Liberec, went to film directors Adam Koloman Rybanský and Lukáš Csicsely, authors of “Kdyby radši hořelo” (Somewhere over the Chemtrails). With this award, the jury honors the "satiric form [with which] this screenplay explores the issues of the raise of nationalistic and conservative tendencies without falling into the trap of moralisation. Inspired by the Czech New Wave tradition, it combines distant observation with empathetic and humorous approach to its characters.“

Honorable mention in the feature film category goes to Annika Pinske's film, "Alle Reden übers Wetter"/"Talking about the Weather“.

Best Documentary: "Gdy kwiaty nie milcha" (When Flowers are not Silent)

The Polish film, "Gdy kwiaty nie milcza" (When Flowers are not Silent) by Andrei Kutsila has been given the award for best documentary, sponsored with €5,000 by the regional campaign "So geht sächsisch“. The jury, consisting of the German filmmaker and theatre director Daniel Kötter, the Czech producer Hana Blaha Šilarová and the Polish documentary filmmaker Piotr Stasik say in their statement that this is a film which "manages to find a cinematic approach despite its political topicality and urgency. A film that works through the great political narrative of the revolutionary struggle against oppression and authoritarianism in individual, private everyday situations. A film that shows a subtle understanding, not only of the women's perspective, but in its timing knows how to tell the political dimension of everyday life through the eyes of the women involved, and to create relevance beyond the activist historical moment through careful directorial intervention in raw reality. Not out of political opportunism, but out of the conviction that, especially in the current times, it is imperative that political and artistic filmmaking come together.“

Honorable mention in the documentary film competition has been given to "Láska pod kapotou" (At Full Throttle) by Miro Remo.

Best Short Film: “Puszcza: Dyptyk” (The Wildwood Diptych)

The Polish submission “Puszcza: Dyptyk” (The Wildwold Diptych) by Szymon Ruczyński and Katarzyna Małyszko is the winner of the award for best short film. The film is inspired by the ongoing conflict around one of the most valuable forests of Europe - the virgin forest of Białowieża - and tells the story of an ancient forest - from the perspective of the nature and of one person. The recipient of this award, sponsored by the Student Council of the University of Applied Sciences Zittau/Görlitz in the amount of €1,000, was decided upon by the German filmaker Till Giermann, the Polish film director Anna Pawluczuk and the Czech author, documentary film director and producer Linda Dědková. In its announcment the jury states that „This film draws us far away into its magic world. It shows us that the term "Family" includes more than simply people. The film takes us on a journey through an exciting, mysterious and very alive place which is essential for our survival: into the oldest jungle of Europe. We as a jury marvel at the ecological attentiveness with the amazing animation and the special sense of humour.“

Honorable Mention in the Short-Film Competition goes to "Amazonky" (The Amazonas) by Magdalena Sienicka.

Saxon Film Association Special Award for "Klondike" by Maryna Er Gorbach

The film association of Saxony awarded a special prize this year to "Klondike" by Maryna Er Gorbach. This prize honors a single film from the entire program which is dedicated particularly to the understanding of the cultural and ethical differences or similarities between countries. In their statement upon conferring the award, the jury expresses that, "[t]his feature film brings us, in a very suggestive and at the same time strongly committed way, to the very fine line between love and hate, between family ties and nationalistic delusions, between life and death. Its main characters are located throughout the film within the microcosm of a home and its immediate surroundings. Here they become witnesses and actors in a concentration of suffering, pain, hopelessness, the inability to communicate, death, rebirth and hope."

Honorary Award for Katharina Thalbach

The Neisse Film Festival awarded its Honorary Award to Katharina Thalbach. Very connected to both theatre and film, the little lady belongs to the big actresses of our day and has greatly shaped both stage and screen throughout our country. As a four-year-old she was already on stage, and had her film debut in the war drama "Gerichtet bei Nacht" when she was only six years old. A virtuosic voice which is one-of-a-kind in her field and which has allowed her to play even men's roles. With her productions in both eastern and western Germany, she has captivated viewers and listeners in the entire country.

Audience Favourites

The audiences were also asked their opinion: the audience favorite for the best feature film in the programme of the 19th Neisse Film Festival, sponsored by the regional ZVON public transport association, was awarded to “Poslední závod” (The Last Race) by Tomáš Hodan. The favourite short film was “Mona & Parviz” by Kevin Biele. This award was sponsored by the newspaper Sächsische Zeitung.

The 20th Neisse Film Festival will take place May 23-28, 2023.

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Download shots from the award-winning films here: 

Download impressions from the Awards Ceremony of the 19th Neisse Film Festival here:

More impressions from the 19th Neisse Film Festival are available here via dropbox:

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All Awardees at the 19th Neisse Film Festival:

Neisse Fish: Best Spielfilm (sponsored by thte Saxon Ministry of Science, Culture and Tourism/SMWK)
“Altri Cannibali” (Other Cannibals) by Francesco Sossai (DE)
endowed with 10,000 Euros

Best Acting (sponsored by the city of Zittau)
Walter Giroldini for “Altri Cannibali” (Other Cannibals) by Francesco Sossai (DE)
endowed with 1,000 Euros

Neisse Fish: Best Production Design (sponsored by the city of Görlitz)
Ivana Kanhauserová and Antonín Matějovský for “Kdyby radši hořelo” (Somewhere Over the Chemtrails) by Adam Koloman Rybanský (CZ)
endowed with 3,000 Euros

Neisse Fish: Best Screenplay (sponsored by the Region of Liberec)
Adam Koloman Rybanský and Lukáš Csicsely for “Kdyby radši hořelo” (Somewhere Over the Chemtrails) by Adam Koloman Rybanský (CZ)
endowed with 1,000 Euros

Honorable Mention in the Feature Film Competition
“Alle Reden übers Wetter” (Talking About the Weather) by Annika Pinske (DE)

Neisse Fish: Best Documentary (sponsored by "So geht sächsisch.")
"Gdy kwiaty nie milcza" (When Flowers Are Not Silent) by Andrei Kutsila (PL)
endowed with 5,000 Euros

Honorable Mention in the Documentary Film Competition
“Láska pod kapotou” (At Full Throttle) by Miro Remo (SK/CZ)

Neisse Fish: Best Short Film (sponsored by the Student Council of the University of Applied Sciences Zittau/Görlitz)
“Puszcza: Dyptyk” (Urwald: Diptych) by Szymon Ruczyński and Katarzyna Małyszko (PL)
endowed with 1,000 Euros

Honorable Mention in the Short Film Competition
“Amazonky” (The Amazons) by Magdalena Sienicka (PL)

Special Award of the Saxon Film Association
"Klondike" by Maryna Er Gorbach (UA/TR)
endowed with 1,000 Euros

Honorary Award of the Neisse Film Festival
Katharina Thalbach (DE)

Audience Favourite - Feature Film (sponsored by ZVON)
“Poslední závod” (The Last Race) by Tomáš Hodan (CZ)
endowed with 1,000 Euros

Audience Favourite - Short Film (sponsored by the Sächische Zeitung)
“Mona & Parviz” by Kevin Biele (DE)
endowed with 600 Euros

The 19th Neisse Film Festival's patrons are Michael Kretschmer, minister president of the state of Saxony; Martin Půta, Hauptmann of the Region Liberec, and Rafał Gronicz, Mayor of Zgorzelec.

The 19th Neisse Film Festival is sponsored through and with funds from the: Sächsischen Staatsministerium für Wissenschaft, Kultur und Tourismus (Saxon Ministry for Science, Culture and Tourism), Kulturraum Oberlausitz-Niederschlesien, Landkreis Görlitz - Wokrjes Zhorjelc (district/county), Sparkasse Oberlausitz-Niederschlesien bank, Mitteldeutsche Medienförderung, Kulturstiftung des Freistaates Sachsen, Deutsch-Tschechischer Zukunftsfonds, Bundesstiftung zur Aufarbeitung der SED-Diktatur, Stiftung für deutsch-polnische Zusammenarbeit, Liberecký kraj, KubiMobil.
his festival is co-financed with tax money on the basis of the finances as decided by the budget adopted by the Saxon Landtag members.