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Stay the Same had its European Premiere this weekend at the 27th Stuttgart Filmwinter which showcases artists film, video and new media from around the world and won the Wand 5 Honorary Prize for Concept and Design chosen by the festival selection panel as their favourite film (the other prizes were decided by outside jury). This was amazing for me, considering the level of competition and quality of the other films. I was told it gave the selectors a warm feeling and it was praised for its concept.
The festival invited all filmmakers in competition to come out with their films and generously paid for flights. I had a wonderful weekend watching films, talking to other filmmakers and having some new cinema and digital media experiences (!). I got to stay with a local artist Julia and her family who made great coffee every morning, lent me maps, and generally looked after me.
Highlights of the festival (apart from the many excellent competition screenings) included a triple projector screening of Yoy Killed the Underground Scene by Wilhelm Hein accompanied by live music (and Gluhwein!) which was like being transported back to the sixties, a selection of films on nature including Trypps #7 (Badlands) and Cannot be Anything Against the Wind and coming home to find a little friend in my bed left by one of my host Julia’s children. The festival culminated in the funniest award ceremony I have ever been too (even though it was entirely in German – or maybe this helped) hosted by Mr. Köperl and Mr. Subke who quite literally punk rocked their way through the whole presentation .
I always forget, especially as there is so much travelling involved, that visiting festivals is a great way of putting a context to your work, have one’s eyes opened to new ways of filmmaking, hear feedback from all kinds of different people, and see where you currently fit in to things. It was very inspiring and incredibly useful when working in relative isolation. In the case of Stuttgart Filmwinter it was quite a lot of fun too. And of course very nice to win an award at my first European festival with the film. So danke Stuttgarter Filmwinter Festival for Expanded Media das ist sehr wunderbar!
Hopefully there will be more chances to the take this film to unexpected places.
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