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For this new edition of the festival, we have put together a very diverse program for you, featuring around 200 international productions – a cross section of the state of international cinema in 2015/2016 selected from nearly 3,000 short and feature film submissions, as well as the cream of the crop from our numerous trips to other festivals. And for us, the biggest tribute to our uncompensated efforts that we can imagine would be to have as many of you as possible come along with us on this cinematic journey. Lean back and relax in the comfy seats at Caligari FilmBühne and Murnau Filmtheater, or come over to the iconic Kulturpalast, let yourself be carried away to other worlds and cultures, enjoy audience favourites from other festivals and take the opportunity to enter into a dialogue with our over 100 expected film guests.

This year, exground filmfest offers quite a bit of new in addition to the tried and true. For the first time, we will be presenting an award in our series "Made in Germany" – and it will be the first such honour ever, in the world, bestowed by a jury composed of inmates from a correctional facility. The award "DAS BRETT" is endowed with a minimum of EUR 1,000 and made possible with the generous support of "Die WERFT – Kulturbühne in der JVA Wiesbaden" (a cultural platform in Wiesbaden’s correctional facility). All told, the competitions at exground filmfest now as a result feature prize money totalling over EUR 20,000.

A further first: all of the feature and documentary films in the 8 pm time slot at Caligari FilmBühne will also be shown with German subtitles – and the same also goes for all of the feature-length films screening in this year’s country focus section for Iran. In addition to a rich film program, a panel discussion will treat the country’s production conditions, the Iranian indie rock band "Langtunes" will perform live at Kulturpalast and an exhibition featuring work by Iranian video artists will take place in Nassauischer Kunstverein. Films from the country focus will also be screened in select cinemas in Darmstadt and Frankfurt/Main. Here we would like to thank all of our co-operation partners and especially Kulturfonds Frankfurt RheinMain, without whose generous support this comprehensive look at Iran’s film, art and music scene would not have been possible.

Once again, in their 13th edition the exground youth days will take young viewers on an exciting cinematic journey to other countries and cultures too. How do young people live in other parts of the world? What is on their minds as they make their way towards adulthood? What are their passions – and what are their worries or hardships? Here too we will be showing all feature-length films with German subtitles this year.

In order to successfully manage the Herculean task of putting on exground filmfest, it takes the combined efforts of external staff members, interns and over 100 helpers during the festival itself. That’s why we would like to sincerely thank all of those who have made exground filmfest 29 a reality through their assistance. That also goes for all of our supporters, patrons, partners and friends of the festival, whose financial support made it possible to organise exground filmfest 29 at all in the first place. A special thanks is due here to the State Capital of Wiesbaden, the Hessian State Ministry for Higher Education, Research and the Arts, the HessenFilm und Medien GmbH as well as Kulturfonds Frankfurt RheinMain.

We look forward to ten eventful festival days full of new (cinematic) impressions!

Your festival team at exground filmfest