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Alice Kanterian

Alice is a correspondent, covering Venice and other international film festivals.


Festival of future storytellers - I met them in Munich at FilmschoolFest

Celebrating with Fatima Kaci winner for "The Voice of Others" at the closing party on 18.11.2023, her friend German actor Richard Manualpillai took our picture


Of course Munich as a city is always worth visiting, and in case you are into films you should not miss the international film festivals taking place in the Bavarian capital, bringing glamour into the city, transforming several spots into red carpet venues. This transformation occures not only once but twice a year. Industry professionals, film students and cinephiles have in the months of June and respectively November one single goal. Towards the end of June the prestigious Filmfest Munich takes place. This festival might be listed as a B festival and „We are very happy with this!“ new appointed festival director Christoph Gröner (and previously creative director) told me while I was attending the Filmschoolfest 12-18.11  a second reason for visiting Munich. Gröner is passionate about films.

At the beginning Gröner moderated masterclasses with Mads Mikkelsen, Alice Rohrwacher or Bong Joon Ho for seven years and wrote film reviews for majour German magazines like Abendzeitung, Süddeutsche Zeitung, Blickpunkt:Film and Film & TV Kameramann.

From 2011 on he focused on German talents and films, and from 2014 on international celebrities as well. Then in 2019, he became the artistic director of the Filmfest Munich, and now just recently in October 2023 he has been appointed as the new festival director of the Filmfest Munich. Congratulations on the new job!


While in Munich I did not miss the chance to attend also the closing film of the Romanian Film Days on 19.11. This festival www, is organised by the Romanian-German film director Brigitte Drodtloff and takes place at the Filmmuseum. This year closing film was „The windseeker“ and the audience was impressed. Director Mihai Sofronea received from Brigitte Droftloff a cine merit award, a stylized sculpture in the Constantin Brancusi style. Sofronea who wrote also the script attended also the very engaging and quite emotional Q&A.

The Windseeker

When Radu learns he only has a few more months to live, he flees until he ends up in a remote village, at Nea Pavel's, where he finds refuge in his small cottage at the top of a hill. Time passes and Radu begins to live a new life, forgetting about death and enjoying the simplicity of the moment. Together with the old man he roams the environs "seeking for wind". But when he realizes that he has fallen in love with a woman from the village, he remembers his imminent ending. Where will the wind take him from there?

The closing ceremony of the Romanian Culture Days will take place on 24.11 at the Consulate General of Romania in Munich.

Unlike Cannes Film Festival, where only industry professionals have acccess, in Munich the film festivals are open to the public. Makus Söder, Bavaria's minister president had bigger dreams for the Filmfest Munich, he was dreaming to overcome the Berlinale! While his dream remain as it is for the moment, just a dream, as a consequence the festivals budgets are secured and both festivals in the lucky position to be able to invite and cover the accomodation and flight costs of students from all over the world. Their films have been selected and part of the competition and they are representing their film schools abroad.

Miranda Namicheishvili (The Load) was one of the winners on 18.11 at the award ceremony of the Filmschoolfest Munich which ended after six festival days of screenings and panels with an entertaining ceremony moderated by the dream team Malte Borkmann und Christina Wolf and a great afterwards party. Not only is Miranda a talented director who received the Wolfgang Längsfeld/Freundeskreis Award she is also an astrologer and full of surprises, she was also the DJ at the party afterwards. She is originally from Tbilissi, a beauti ful city and the capital of Georgia, which I recently visited before attending in August the Mestia International Mountain Film Festival founded by Khatuna Khundadze. It was in Mestia also where I also met her professor Lela Ochiauri, Head of Department of Film Critisizm and Theory at the Shota Rustaveli Theatre and Film University. In order to meet the dean of this excelent university I had to wait till the Filmschoolfest Munich: film director and Tbilisi Student Film Festival founder Dato Janelidze was heading the Georgian film school delegation.

The Load

Her short film „The load“ tells the story of 33-year-old Matthew, who is attempting to enter the United States illegally in order to help his brother, who is in prison there. Following a strict diet and practicing his breathing and his ability to contort himself, he prepares to make the arduous crossing in a narrow wooden box. When he finally gets onto the container ship, he discovers that he’s not the only one on his way to the promised land.




Fatima Kaci is a French screenwriter and director and this year lucky winner of the VFF Young Talent Award for her short „The Voice of Others“. The prize is endowed with 10,000 Euros and goes to the best film. This award is sponsered by the German Royalty Collecting Company of Film & TV Producers Ltd. (VFF). Fatima previously wrote and directed the short documentary THE CEMETERY (2021) and the short film SPARE PARTS (2022). Her latest short film, was selected for the La Cinéfondation section at the Festival de Cannes in 2023. There she also received the Lights on Women Award from Kate Winslet, who chaired the jury. Kaci is currently working on her first feature film.


The Voice of Others

Rim is an interpreter at asylum hearings, where she translates the dramatic stories of escape told by people hoping to start a new life in France. Day after day, she sees how a careless answer to a skeptical query can ruin a person’s chance at having a better future. Rim, who is from Tunisia, knows the right answers, and the procedure brings back memories of her own story. But as an interpreter, she lends nothing more than her French voice to those affected and is not allowed to speak for them – well, not really. THE VOICE OF OTHERS shows how harsh laws are confronted by an even harsher reality.

I got quite intrigued by this short, this has been my job many years ago and for many years while I was still studing, I was working as an interpreter for the German authorities and interpreting for asylum seekers at their interviews. A big responsability and a difficult task: I had as an interpreter to be neutral, not supporting or helping the refugees, not to get emotional, just the opposite of Rim.


Andrea Erja studied cultural and social anthropology at the University of Vienna, with a focus on media and visual anthropology. Alongside her studies, she has worked at documentary film festivals, including Ethnocineca in Vienna and DOK.fest München. Since October 2022 she has been studying documentary film directing and television journalism at the HFF-University of Television and Film Munich.

Her new short „Cupid be with you“ was screened as part of the HFF Special 2 program. In her short in a kind of purple confessional, people between the ages of 20 and 82 take turns sitting together, with a lattice window between them. They talk about finding the right partner, sexual orientation, online dating... Her short is dedicated to Ionel, her Romanian grandfather.


Bogdan Alecsandru, born in 1998, is a young Romanian filmmaker from Bucharest who explores the intersection of anxiety and intimacy in fiction. After a bachelor’s degree in film and television directing he just graduated in film directing from the prestigious UNATC “I. L. Caragiale”. His previous short films have been screened at national and international film festivals.

Watch his Interview



The night practice

The new goalkeeper on a youth soccer team faces bullying and hostility from nearly all of his teammates. Only one of the boys, Robert, is nice to him, and they become friends. As the two grow closer, however, Robert turns out to be guarding a bloody vampire secret.

Christina Winter, the moderator of the Q&A was apparently thrilled by his short: she did her master on the queer representation in vampire films.



with Indian director Triparna Maiti and Mexican film director Adrián Monroy Molina at the HFF 


Tripana Maiti studied multimedia with a focus on animation at St. Xavier’s College in Kolkata. Recently, she graduated from the Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute, and her work in short films and television commercials has given her two years of experience in storyboard art and art direction. She currently lives in Chennai, where she aspires to make animated films.raduated in Kolkata and recently lives in Chennai, where she aspires to make animated films.S he brought the 7 min animation "Water" to the Filmschoolfest.


Neerbhukhi, a peaceful demoness, wants nothing more than to be one of the humans. However, the villagers will not accept her because they believe she is responsible for a severe water shortage. Following a traumatic incident with the humans, the demoness hides in a dried-up well and bursts into tears. Her tears pour forth in a raging torrent and flood the well. It is said that the demoness still cries in the well and that the village has been blessed with water ever since.


Adrián Monroy Molina studied design and visual communication at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Méxicoilm and film directing at the Centro de Capacitación Cinematográfica. He has been an animation supervisor on Cartoon Network projects. His documentary VOLVER A RESPIRAR is icurrently in post-production and he is developing his first feature-length film, ESTRELLAS EN EL PATIO.


Catalina, a young woman with cerebral palsy, is eager to have her first sexual experience. She hires a sex worker to fulfill her wish, but things don’t go as planned. Instead, as the two women indulge in the city’s nightlife, their initially ephemeral encounter turns into something unexpectedly meaningful.


Besides the screenings panel discusions and master classes completed the program for future storytellers. I attended two events: one panel discussion on social sustainibility at film schools and a master class by German producer Ingo Fliess on the way to the Oscars with „The Teachers' Lounge“


Social Sustainability: How Can Film Schools Become More Diverse and Accessible in a Sustainable Way?

On Thursday the 16.11, diversity and inclusion experts from Copenhagen, London, and Berlin spoke about their experiences at their universities. As gatekeepers and door-openers, film schools can shape and actively change the future of the film industry. But how can we guarantee that the issues of diversity, inclusion, and accessibility have not only temporarily come to the forefront, but are sustainably applied and integrated into the structures of film schools and consequently into those of the film industry? Fatih Abay (European Film Academy), Dee Kerai (London Film School) and Jakob Høgel (National Film School of Denmark) discussed different aspects while Aida Begović (Diversity and Inclusion Strategy Coordinator) moderate the discussion.

“An Outsider on Its Way to the Oscars”: A Case Study of THE TEACHERS’ LOUNGE with Producer Ingo Fliess

During his master class on Friday the 17.11 Ingo Fliess, producer of THE TEACHERS’ LOUNGE, founder and managing director of the production company if... Productions talked to the students about this success story and a possible (outsider) chance at the Oscars.

The production and distribution of THE TEACHERS’ LOUNGE illustrates too well the fallibility of the industry. This film was misjudged or underestimated from the beginning. Director lker Çatak and producer Ingo Fliess had to defend their concept and hope. This paid of, "The teachers' lounge" not only received the German Film Award in no fewer than five categories, including in the best feature film category, but was also recently selected as the official German entry for best international feature film for the 2024 Academy Awards.

Check his keynote




Festival director Christoph Gröner with the moderators of the closing ceremony Christina Wolf and Malte Borkmann, in the background the festival team. Watch his video Interview!












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