The Schwerin Filmkunstfest took place for the 28th time this year. Schwerin is the capital of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and former residence of the Dukes of Mecklenburg, with an old castle in the Neo-Renaissance style and an Old City with small trails. Now it´s the capital of the German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern at the Baltic Sea. That´s why the Filmkunstfest concentrates on movies from Finland, Lithuania, Estonia, Denmark, Poland, Russia, Sweden and Latvia. A big highlight this year was the Focus to Georgia, former part of the Soviet Union. We saw classics like Giorgi Shengelaia´s “Pirosmani” from 1969. The director developed both the structure and the aesthetic of the film the pictures of the painter Pirosmani. Also, the 2015-production “Winter Song” by a master of his craft, Otar Iosseliani, about the closing of refugee camps in contemporary Europe was very impressive.
The Filmkunstfest has four competitions (feature, documentary, kids and short films) with five juries. Our jury and the feature film jury had the same movies to evaluate.
The focus of Schwerin´s competition are German-language movies (German, Austrian, Swiss), but they have also co-productions in other languages. So “Die Flucht” is a Turkish film in Turkish and Syrian language with German subtitles, co-produced by German and French TV-companies. Another movie came from Bulgaria, shot in Russian Yakutia, co-produced also by German and French TV. “Nanouk” (Àga) tells from the hard life of an old couple of reindeer hunters in an icy region. The film was dubbed into German.
We had a competition of high quality this year. All movies would have been worthy of our award because of their high artistic level. Some of the movies were presented before in other festivals, like our winner, “In den Gängen”, which debuted in competition at the Berlinale. It`s a story about the people and the mysteries in a wholesale market, filmed in a realistic style.
The “Goldener Ochse” is the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Filmkunstfest. Actor Henry Hübchen, formerly from East Germany, was deservedly honored. He was a well-known actor in movies of the East German state company DEFA and managed to carry on his career into reunified Germany after 1991.