The Neisse Film Festival comes around from 18-23 May 2021 for the 18th time. Approximately 600 film entries have reached the festival organizers at Kunstbauerkino Grosshennersdorf, hoping to be chosen for one of the competition slots and eligiblity for one of the eleven coveted Neisse Fish. Among the submitted productions from Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic are full-length films that tell the stories of young peoples' worlds and about growing up; documentaries that take a critical look at the relationship between generations or between humankind and nature; and short films addressing people in exceptional circumstances in a wide variety of ways. Which of these make it into the final line-up for the festival program will be decided by early April.
"We are delighted that, in spite of the restrictions on production options due to the Corona pandemic, so many filmmakers have submitted their entries to the Neisse Film Festival," stated Ola Staszel from the three-person festival leadership. "Our preparations for the festival have already begun. Naturally we are keeping an eye on the current infection levels and are adjusting our planning accordingly. We hope that by May the arthouse movie theatres in the region will be able to reopen and that we can welcome a great number of film-lovers in our three-country corner of Europe," added Staszel.
Europe Put into Practice in the Three-Country Corner on the Neisse Since 2004 the Neisse Film Festival has presented current full-length, documentary and short films each May in the three-country region where Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic meet. What began with the idea of showing films in three countries has grown to become a cultural bridge for film fans and arthouse cinemas from the three neighbor countries and an important meeting place for national and international filmmakers as well as represenatives of the film industry. The program crosses national borders and, in addition to three competitions and various topical selections which expand our horizons in looking at relationships between the peoples of eastern Europe and at the various ways the past and present are being looked at, it features additional events such as concerts, readings, exhibitions and parties.
Under the rubric of "Mother Europe," the 18th Neisse Film Festival is directing its focus onto that which unites Europeans - onto the roots of the European Idea, what makes Europe what it is today, and what a future for Europe may look like. The Neisse Film Festival in its trinationality has, from the very beginning, stood for an open, socially just and tolerant Europe. Prosperity gaps, democracy deficiencies and nationalistic thought patterns, however, call this into question and endanger even long-standing, obvious-feeling freedoms. The film festival would like to approach this discussion with its focus series this year and contribute to a discourse within society via an international festival from the center of Europe, inviting one and all to participate.
The 18th Neisse Film Festival opening is planned for 18 May 2021 in the Gerhart Hauptmann Theater Zittau. The award ceremony is planned for 22 May in the Filmtheater Ebersbach. In addition to the best full-length, documentary and short films and the audience favorite, awards will also be granted for the best acting, best screenplay and best production design. In addition, a special prize will go to one film from the whole festival lineup which best contributes to neighborly understanding between Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic. The honorary award at this year's Neisse Film Festival goes to the Czech film director and screenwriter Helena Třeštíková.
The 18th Neisse FIlm Festival is sponsored by: the Saxon Ministry for Science, Culture and Tourism; the Upper Lusatian-Lower Silesian Cultural Region (Kulturraum); District of Goerlitz - Wokrjes Zhorjelc; Sparkasse Oberlausitz-Niederschlesien Bank; Mitteldeutsche Medienförderung (MDM), Kulturstiftung des Freistaates Sachsen, German-Czech future fonds and Liberec Region. This festival is being financed in part by tax money as per the budget passed by the members of Saxony's state parliament.