Innovation Award / Best Short Film
In truly original, astounding fashion, FIGURANT finds a connection between all the nameless people who are mere bit players in the movies, in war, in the economy, bearing away lasting injury. In the tradition of Czech fantastic art, fiction and film, Jan Vejnar blurs the borders between realities and ages. But how he lets us experience the disorientation of being an interchangable plaything of immovable forces lacking all empathy is wholly unique and contemporary. In all this, the film never becomes a dry thesis - one deeply feels these things instead of analysing them intellectually. With a masterful sense of rhythm and atmosphere, it builds a fully tangible world - and focuses on Denis Lavant in his magnificent corporeality and humanity to tell the timeless, universal story of the "volunteers" out of necessity, the relegated Everyman, in a new, remarkable way.
The Innovation Award is presented by all nine jury members.
Anna Rot, born in 1983, grew up in Vienna. She started her acting education at the University of Music and Performing Arts Graz and graduated in 2008 with a diploma after changing to the University of Music and Drama Rostock. This was followed by her first engagement at the Deutsches Theater Göttingen and her first feature film "In 3 days you're dead 2" by Andreas Prochaska, 2008. Since then she has made numerous TV feature films in Germany and Austria. For the lead role in the movie "Day and Night" by Sabine Derflinger, Anna Rot was awarded the Best Actress Award at the New York City International Film Festival 2011. Since 2009 she worked among others at the Schauspielhaus Graz, with the theater collective "copy & waste", at the Meiningen Theater, at the Théâtre de Belleville, at the Comédie de Caen, France and at the Nibelungen Festival in Worms. At the opening of Werk X in Vienna, she played the lead role in "Eldorado", staged by Marius von Mayenburg. Her last theatrical work was "Gewonnene Illusionen" (UA) by "copy & waste" at the Schauspiel Leipzig and the musical piece development "Frankenstein" (UA) at the Deutsche Oper Berlin directed by Maximilian von Mayenburg.
Leonie Stade is a freelance writer, director and producer. Born in 1988, she grew up in Lindau on Lake Constance. After graduation in 2007 Stade went on a trip around the world and worked for several years as a model in Paris and Milan. Since 2009 she studied directing at the University of Television and Film Munich. Her first documentary about a Munich prostitute was presented in the exhibition Subjective - Documentary in the 21st Century in the Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich.
Her second short film "Zwei Quadratmeter Leben", about the so-called Cage People in Hong Kong, was nominated for the 2013 CNN Journalist Award. In 2013 she founded the Man on Mars film production. Stade worked as a freelance writer for Frontal 21 (ZDF) and La Vita (BR) and made numerous commercials. The film "Nowhereman" was created together with Annika Blendl and ran in the competition on the Max Ophüls Prize. Since 2015, Stade studies production at HFF Munich in second degree. In 2015 her movie "Mollath – Und plötzlich bist verrückt" was released in cinemas. Previously, the film premiered at the Munich Film Festival and was first broadcast in December 2015 in the BR. In 2019, with the feature film "All I Never Wanted", Leonie Stade completed her studies with the degree.
Born in 1983 in Landshut, actor Maximilian Dirr, grew up in Germany and Italy, and today is working in film and television in both countries.
Maximilian studied acting at the “Teatro Stabile di Genova” in Genoa where he graduated in 2010. Right after his studies he joined the ensemble of the Teatro Stabile di Genova and participated in numerous productions there.
Before he made his debut on German television with ZAPPELPHILIPP , which won the FIPA d'Or Award for Best TV Film in 2013, directed by Connie Walther, Maximilian Dirr has already appeared in several Italian film and TV productions. This was followed by numerous national and international productions, including Ridley Scott's pilot for the thriller series THE VATICAN (2013), KOMMISSARIN LUCAS (2014), the dystopian BBC mini-series SS-GB (2015), etc.
His first film role was in 2012, playing alongside Geoffrey Rush in Giuseppe Tornatere’s drama THE BEST OFFER.
In 2017 Maximilian Dirr was seen in German cinemas in the comedy MARIA MAFIOSI, directed by Jule Ronstedt. 2018 in the based upon true events war drama , SOBIBOR, directed by Konstantin Khabenskiy.
Last year Maximilian Dirr celebrated his first world premiere at the 75th Venice International Film Festival with Mario Martone´s drama CAPRI REVOLUTION, which was part of the official competition program.
Catherine has always been an adventurer, with many wanderings between Colombian jungles and the Sahara Desert. All this meant great preparation for the twisting journey of independent filmmaking.
After studying Philosophy and Anthropology at university, it was only a matter of time until she pursued what has always been her biggest passion full-time, making movies.
Catherine founded her own Berlin-based production company, Studio Saboteur, in 2013. Her debut film, the neo-Giallo short YELLOW, screened at over 50 festivals worldwide was praised by critics and audiences alike. The film was a bonus feature on Arrow Video’s US & UK release of cult Giallo BLOOD AND BLACK LACE and had a Soundtrack out on vinyl by Death Waltz Records, quickly selling out.
Since then, she has produced Japanese Sci-Fi road movie FONOTUNE starring Guitar Wolf, Kiki Sukezane (Westworld) and Kazushi Watanabe (Visitor Q) as well as the American Comedy Drama SOFTNESS OF BODIES, which premiered at the LA Filmfest in 2018.
Konstantin Hockwin since 2013 member of the kommkino, Nuremberg's oldest alternative cinema. After two years he took over the management of the film archive and since 2017 also the program management. A special focus is placed on giving independent productions and short film programs a showcase. Since 2015 co-operator of the independent journalistic platform italo-cinema.de. he founded the label Forgotten Film Entertainment in 2014, which specializes in high-quality home video releases of old genre films and has also been expanding its focus to distributing up-to-date independent film productions since 2018. After theatrical releases such as the dark fairy-tale HAGAZUSSA – A HEATHEN’S CURSE, the award-winning A YOUNG MAN WITH HIGH POTENTIAL is just opening.
Sabrina Reiter, born on August 5th 1983 in Klagenfurt, is an Austrian actress and director. She successfully started her career in 2006 by taking the leading role in the movie "Dead in 3 days" for which she was awarded with the Undine Award as best acting debutant. At the Berlinale in 2007 she was introduced as the Austrian representative of the 25 European "shooting stars". Since then she continuously thrives in movie- and TV-productions. In 2017 she gave her first debut as a director with the short film "Unsere Zeit wird kommen". In that same year she directed a music video for the Austrian band "Fox shadows" in Cuba. In March 2018 she successfully directed another music video for the American band „Foreign Air". Currently she is preparing to direct a third music video and she was elected to be part of a script lecture in Kitzbühel August 2018.
After high school he studied media and communication science in Augsburg since 2003 and worked in several film production companies in Munich. 2006 he switched to producing and media economics at the University of Television and Film Munich, where he produced a number of short movies, that run on festivals and won awards.
After his studies he produced the first feature THREE HOURS that was distributed theatrically in Germany and founded the film production company “brave new films” in 2013. With his company he realized several documentaries and a documentary series as well as the Grimme-Award nominated feature fiction movie THE PROCEDURE. His company focusses on the development of author driven arthouse, genre movies and documentaries for German and international distribution. He participated in various international co-production programs. He was nominated for his work for the Studio Hamburg Nachwuchspreis und the First Steps Award and his films received several awards on festivals.
Born in Siegen in 1990. From 2011 to 2017 she studied production and media economics at University of Television and Film Munich. Work as a producer: Her documentary "Nadeshda " was awarded for the German Human Rights Film Award in 2014, and "An ideal place" won the prize for Best Film in the section “Perspektive Deutsches Kino” at the Berlin International Film Festival in 2015. Her final film "Luft" will be released in German cinemas in 2019. The docu-series "sooner or later", which she produced together with Marius Ehlayil received the First Steps Award 2018.
Since 2017, Isabelle and Marius have been VGF Fellows at Munich Film Center with their company wirFILM. They are currently preparing three feature films a series and finish a documentary.
Niederbayer with heart and mind – an enthusiastic cultural activist, film curator, presenter, organizer and film jockey. During his studies of political science, sociology and visual anthropology he co-founded the student cinema U-Kino at the LMU, was theatre director of the Munich cinema Lupe 2 and from 2005 to 2011 responsible for the legendary TRÄUMER parties. Since the first edition he has been a supporter of the Underdox Filmfestival.
He founded the Queer Film Festival Munich (QFFM) and was its director until the end of 2016. Together with Dunja Bialas he has organized the Filmkunstwochen München since 2016. He is a founding member and board member of QueerScope - Verband der unabhängigen queeren Filmfestivals in Deutschland as well as co-initiator and speaker of "Festivalarbeit gerecht gestalten!" and the resulting AG Festivalarbeit in verdi. He has been a member of Artechock since 2016 and writes about documentary films for kinozeit.de since 2019. For DOK.fest Munich he has been a programmer with a focus on German-speaking countries since 2011 and project manager of the DOK.tour since 2014. With further projects (BILDWERFER, SONIC ICONIC, RECLAIM THE STREETS) he explores the possibilities of cinema in public space.