50th International Student Film Festival Sehsüchte

21.7. – 25.7.2021

When we picked up our work last year, we were all hoping to celebrate the anniversary edition in a world where people can come in big crowds and sit in packed cinemas again. But when the third wave announced itself, our confidence ceased as well. How can we – despite corona – live up to the expectations with our big celebration? This year’s motto already revealed the answer: Ignite not only refers to our Sehsüchte flame, but also represents fighting against letting it go out. The pandemic has been raging across the entire world. We can’t host a festival that tries to chase the illusion of a normal life free from corona. Numerous people have died, lost their jobs, or are mentally exhausted. It is crucial, especially for the cultural sector to not fall into the naive mindset, that everything will be ok now. It has been of utmost importance to us to organize a safe festival.

Our 50th edition will be happening both online and on site once again. Thanks to the warm season, the audience can look forward to films, live performances and panel discussions in an open air setting. Hungarian Arts School SZFE is this year’s guest in our Showcase section, whose students put up a breathtaking resistance against the extinction of their political independence. The Film University, too, was under the strict rule of the government back in the GDR as the country’s film school. Sehsüchte’s
history shows this as well. That is why we’re especially proud of our history exhibition which works through 50 years of festival history, showing at the same time that history is always a history of crises. Sehsüchte has to permanently reinvent itself in order to become what it is. Corona has had a lasting impact on the festival, but the flame keeps on burning and will always ignite itself again.

Motto / Theme / Focus ignite
Partner Country Hungary
Venues Film University Babelsberg KONRAD WOLF,
Thalia Programm Kinos,
Waschhaus Potsdam
Submissions 1076
Films 107
Countries 30
Events 30
Visitors 1600
Prize Money 35000 €


ProducerJudith Frahm
DirectorSamuel N. Schwarz, Valentin Wanker
EditorSamuel N. Schwarz, Valentin Wanker
AnimationEmilia Zieser, Giulia Falciani
CinematographyLucas Heinze
Colour GradingLucas Heinze
1st Camera AssistantPhilip Ratuschny
Grip & LightingKonrad Waldmann, Lenn Lamster
Sound DesignRichard Meyer, Wenzel Krah
MusicRichard Meyer, Wenzel Krah
DancerKaroline Strys
Line ProducerAnne-Kathrin Seemann
Mastering & DCPRobert Schaller
Postproduction SupervisorUli Kunz


Festival ManagementStefan Wirth, Luna Fischer, Anna Göpfert, Conrad Mildner
MarketingEva Lütticke, Katharina Delmenhorst, Florian Heidrich, Tinett Kähler, Louisa Jung, Annika Gedlek, Charlotte Hochegger, Nicola Land
Main ProgrammeNina Decker, Philip Eichel, Sonja Holzinger, Moritz Nehlich, Christina Demenshina, Sophie Glawe, Mimi Marie Dörp
Event ManagementChristin Huchel, Clara Veihelmann, Till Morgenfrüh, Alina Rehhahn, Hannah Köhne, Josephine Bischoff, Sebastian Möller Palza, Evelyn Radke
FutureLuisa Müller, Julia Schellenberg
Focus ProductionCarla Zech, Victoria Anders
SchreibsüchteSaskia Bender, Lisa Polster, Hannes Raphael
360°-FilmSaara Neumüller, Sebastian Esposito
Jury & Guest ManagementSara Rauschning, Lena Steinbüchel, Alissa Dornier
HistoryCansin Kuyukoey, Katharina Kauth
ScreeningArnim Donath, Henry Bock, David Marodnes
SoundWeronika Malinowska, Florian Weber
WebsitePhil Clausen
Live-StreamingIrma Heinig, Samuel Schwenk, Anton Yaremchuk
ExhibitionAnna Eschenbacher, Rita Eperjesi, Zainab Tariq, Johanna Hartmann, India Aparicio, Urszula Przybylska


Best Feature FilmSvenja Böttger, Luzie Loose
Best DocumentaryKenneth Gyang, Leona Goldstein, Alice Agneskirchner, Yulia Lokshina
Best ScreenplayLasse Scharpen, Verena Veihl, Karin Kaci
Best PitchLucas Schmidt, Stefan Titze, Janna Nandzik
Best ProductionCaroline von Senden, Murat Isgüder, Nadja Jumah, Mina Avramova, Björn Koll
Best 360° FilmLoulia Isserlis, Julia Leeb, Tobias Wüstefeld
Future KidsAmely Trinks, Leonore von Berg, Gemma Mues, Lydia Jahr, Anton Halten
Future TeensIrene Böhm, Katharina Widl, Justus Halten, Marwin Haas, Nils Wolf
Bester Kurzfilm & Bester AnimationsfilmPia Hellenthal, Annegret Richter, Frédéric Schuld

Winning Films

Germany/Kenya, 2021 | Producer: Kevin Anweiler, Felix Hultsch, Linda Karuru, Krysteen Savane, Ledama Sempele, Wenzel Steinmetz

Susanne travels to Kenya as a EU representative in order to estimate possible aid for a village that was attacked by terrorists. While the survivors hope for a collaboration on eye-to-eye level, it’s not more than a usual procedure for Susanne. She only realizes the consequences of her behaviour when it’s already too late.

 Best Production

France, 2020 | Director: Naïla Guiguet

From a drug-oversaturated techno event at 145 bpm to the after party at dawn: In an apartment, still showing the traces of last night, Dustin, a young trans* person, and their crew search for sense and connection in the melancholic atmosphere of the fresh of day - an exploration of affection, desire and identity.

 Best Feature Film Short

Germany, 2020 | Director: Annelie Boros

Johanna’s dangerous talent is showing early - after a traumatizing loss of control she is forced to keep her powers in check. As she gets older, it’s getting harder and harder to do, so she contacts a secret group. The members want to unleash Johanna’s powers and tempt her to more drastic steps.

 Best Genre Film

Have a Nice Dog!
Germany/Syria, 2020 | Director: Jalal Maghout

Held captive in Damascus, surrounded by war, a lonely man waits for his chance to leave the country. His isolation causes him to lose himself more and more in escape fantasies and monologues. Only his dog Baroud is there to respond with silence.

 Best Animation Film

Germany, 2019 | Director: Süheyla Schwenk

Hayat has to leave her home behind. She reaches Berlin together with her husband and gets accomodation with his relatives. His aunt rejects Hayat because she is Kurdish and makes it difficult for them to settle. When they finally have hope again, a stroke of fate and a ruthless system force Hayat to make an inhumane decision.

 Best Feature Film

Milch ins Feuer oder Katinkas Ballenpresse
Germany, 2020 | Scriptwriter: Justine Bauer

Nichts als Wiesen erstrecken sich am Horizont Katinkas ländlicher Idylle. Hinter der nüchternen harten Arbeit des Bauernlebens kommen allerdings die Probleme der eigentümlichen Landgesellschaft zu Tage, die es erschweren, das Leben einfach hinzunehmen wie es ist.

 Best Screenplay

Monkey Girl
Germany, 2020 | Director: Isabelle Caps-Kuhn

All of Alva’s friends are boys. Together, they spend a never ending summer full of adventures in Berlin. The ten-year-old girl is the wildest one of them all: loud, cheeky, untamed - but still the day comes when her friends don’t want to have her around anymore. Only because she is a girl.

 Future Kids

My Vietnam
Germany, 2020 | Director: Tim Ellrich, Hien Mai

When married couple Bay and Tam fled Vietnam and came to Germany 30 years ago, their children’s future was the priority. With great restraint, the film observes and reveals melancholic connections to their old home, which they sustain through video chats, boozy karaoke nights and streamed funerals.

 best documentary (long)

Poland, 2020 | Director: Wojciech Olchowski

An atmospheric performance leads through nature and destruction.

 Best 360° Film

Son of the Streets
Poland/Germany/Lebanon, 2020 | Director: Mohammed Almughanni

Palestinian boy Khodor grows up in the refugee camp Shatila, close to Beirut, without any papers. While fighting for citizenship, his right to education and health care, harrowing family secrets are revealed.

 best documentary (short)

The Purple Child
Germany, 2020 | Director: Tanja Hurrle

After a depressive episode, Lou’s mother can’t get out of bed anymore. All while this was supposed to be a special birthday for the sixteen-year-old. When her crush surprises her with an invitation to a concert, Lou is torn between taking care of her mom, and following her growing feelings for Matz.

 Future Teens

Croatia/Germany, 2020 | Screenplay: Julia Klier, Christoph Krüger

In der Woche vor Ihrer Firmung wird die junge Valentina Zeugin von einem sexuellen Übergriff auf ihre beste Freundin. Die konservative Dorfgemeinschaft sieht darüber hinweg, was Valentina dazu treibt, den Abgründen in ihrer patriarchalen Gemeinde nachzugehen.

 Best Pitch

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