From Cannes to Leipzig at the Filmkunstmesse


It’s almost here. Sound the alarms, grab the popcorn and prepare your tissues – film festival (and fair) season is upon us!

Though you may not be able to don a frock and rock the red carpet in Cannes, you can certainly get your film festival fix this year. For one, Leipzig will soon host the 16th Filmkunstmesse (from Monday, Sept. 19, until Friday, Sept. 23). This film industry fair, which is open to the public in the evenings, means five days of cinematic pleasure.

The fair ranges from fascinating-sounding documentaries to children’s films. It’s got a highly attractive array of “arthouse films” as well as venues, such as Passage Kinos and Salles de Pologne.

Over its 5-day period, the Filmkunstmesse will boast 167 showings of 74 new films. About half will be exclusive screenings, while the other half will be available for the public (you) to indulge in. With 13 films imported from Cannes and the Berlinale 2016, and a new film straight out of the Venice Film Festival, this event brings the heart of the cinematic landscape to the Leipzig horizon.

Filmkunstmesse is coming to Leipzig and we give you some of the highlights.

Filmkunstmesse highlights

One film that has been turning heads at the Venice Film Festival is Tom Ford’s Nocturnal Animals. As his first film since the critically acclaimed A Single Man, Nocturnal Animals has been described as an enthralling, suspenseful film noir that delivers a story riddled with revenge, pain and love. To watch this, you need to have gotten special permission, though.

Besides this internationally renowned thriller, the Filmkunstmesse presents itself as a chance to highlight German-language cinema.

Included in the list of public screenings is Die Mitte Der Welt. Directed by Jakob M. Erwa, it’s a screen adaptation of Andreas Steinhöfel’s prominent novel. It tells the story of two young boys and their infatuation with one another. It’s a raw representation of new love and family relationships, while offering a nuanced interpretation of pain, conflict and cathartic romance – emotions which are embedded in the experiences of many same-sex couples.

The film fair also seeks to engage with current events and reflect dutifully on the themes of current film via seminars and workshops. With at least one workshop per day, the Filmkunstmesse allows members of the industry a chance to meet, network and exchange ideas on the cinematic universe.

The full list can be seen online, but some promising lectures for industry members include “What are you doing for movies?” – a dialogue between young producers and movie makers, on Wednesday, Sept. 21; and “Technology madness in digital cinema,” on Thursday, Sept. 22. The podium discussion at 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 20, is open to the public, and the organizers would like to encourage everyone to attend. The theme is the role of film in European cultural identity.

Filmkunstmesse is coming to Leipzig and we give you some of the highlights.
Amy Adams, star of Nocturnal Animals, at the 2009 Oscars. By Chrisa Hickey, CC BY 3.0, Wikimedia Commons.

And the winner is…

Naturally, with many film festivals and fairs, there are awards. They can be the measure of success for many of those working in cinema, and this recognition of talent will undoubtedly be a highlight of the Filmkunstmesse.

From Sept. 22, the Guild Film Awards will hold the “National,” “International,” “Dok-Film,” and “Children’s Film” awards. Certainly something to look out for. The organizers say they will give away some tickets to attend the awards, on the film fair’s Facebook page.

Filmkunstmesse is coming to Leipzig and we give you some of the highlights.

The full program for the film fair is now online, and it promises to be as brilliant as it sounds. It’s Cannes 2.0: It’s got the films, the awards and the workshops; it’s just cheaper, everyone dresses like a hippie and Kristen Stewart isn’t here trying to speak French. Non Kristen, oui, non, Sacré bleu, merci, au revoir.

By Deanna Hallett

Filmkunstmesse is coming to Leipzig and we give you some of the highlights.

German and Politics Erasmus student in Leipzig. A lover of global politics, current events and all things that her generation usually finds boring. A guitarist and attempted (don’t ask) lyricist for Little Moon. Self-defining (or self-defeating) hipster. Unique snowflake, LGBT+ activist, social butterfly and cheesecake lover with a passion for writing about anything that can provoke thought.


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