Extraordinary response at the BEYOND Festival


The 9th BEYOND “Future Design” festival ended successfully this weekend. This year the expert symposium, the film festival and the art exhibitions were drawn into virtual space due to the Covid-19 situation. For four days, live broadcasts from the ZKM studio were transmitted from 9:30 to 21:00.

The idea born out of necessity has increased the festival’s reach a hundredfold. The BEYOND “Future Design” festival, consisting of the international symposium FUTURE DESIGN and the simultaneously held film festival CLIMATE CHANGE, brought together artists, scientists, and activists from almost 40 countries.

The discussions with experts from the fields of art, science and technology focused on climate change in a broader sense. Discussion rounds were offered on topics such as artificial intelligence, future design, “Green New Deal(s)” and, as a highlight, “New narratives for the 21st century”. The sessions were moderated by Annabelle Mandeng, Kathleen Schröter, Ludger Pfanz, Gülsel Özkan, Christopher Schneider and Holger Volland.

The highlight of the numerous, also regional, roundtable discussions on climate change with, among others, Mayor Bettina Lisbach, Dieter Bürk (DGB), Jonathan Köhler (Fridays for Future/Scientists for Future) and Dennis Lehr (Climate Alliance), which focused on the topic “Global Thinking – Regional Action”. These and many
other discussion groups will be available on the platform and social media such as Facebook in the future.

After four days of intensive online discussions, art exhibitions and numerous international films and panels, the winners have now been announced. *

The jury was composed of film and media experts from all over Germany.**

The winners of the film festival are: Jared P. Scott (USA) with his film “The Grea Green Wall” USA, Christoph Hertel (Germany) with “After us the flood” and Davide Marinho (Italy) with “Talamanca”.

Every year the BEYOND-Festival awards the “Best Tought Award” of the FUTURE DESIGN-Symposium. This award was given to Elizabeth Wanjiru Wathuti, Kenyan environmental and climate activist and founder of the Green Generation Initiative, which encourages young people to love nature and be environmentally conscious at a young age. She has now planted 30,000 tree seedlings in Kenya with her initiative.

“With the award of Elizabeth Wanjiru Wathuti, we honour not only her commitment and initiative, but also the young people on our planet who, day after day, are committed to our future and to living together with all other actors in our Biosphere Earth. These young people challenge us every day to take on our share of responsibility for what we have in common,” says festival founder and director Ludger Pfanz, explaining the reason for this honour.

The festival was streamed live on the website and shared on several social networks. In the social networks alone, there were 86,200 impressions and 33,000 video views. The Future Design platform, which was set up specifically for this purpose, still needs to be evaluated. The lectures and panels of this year’s event will continue to be available on the website www.beyond-filmfestival.com and in social networks. “We are overwhelmed by the response” comments festival manager and head of the Gülsel Özkan film festival. “It shows that our themes are more and more resonating in the middle of society.”

All fifty festival films are available on demand and can be viewed until August 10th. In the coming months, the online platform will feature further conferences, workshops and projects under the motto FUTURE DESIGN. More information: www.beyond-filmfestival.com and www.beyond-festival.com

  • The prize for the best short documentary went to Davide Marinho with his film “TALAMANCA”.
    Jury statement: “Filmic narration without losing many words: The fight with the banana trees in the opening sequence in slow motion and especially the moon reflected in the rain forest drop (the moon falls at 16:08) are unforgettable moments of this work. A sensitive, meditative observation of the highest cinematic perfection, which allows us to dive into a distant world, where a family still lives in symbiosis with the nature of the jungle. Beyond a purely factual form of presentation of research results and without reflecting only superficially on content, in “Talamanca”, a so-called “Visual Anthropology”, original sources become the basis of a free film art research and knowledge-forming emphatic representation in the time-based medium: “Talamanca” convinces us of the necessity of artistic emancipation from the older siblings of social anthropology, science and literature, and of what can only be said through the audiovisual.”.
  • The prize for the best short feature film went to director Christoph Hertel with his film “After us, the Flood”
    Jury statement: “Is it possible to make a farce about the end of the world (at least a small one) that almost comes across as a fairy tale or parable? Which in its pictorial ideas and mise-en-scène reminds us of great role models such as the Swedish master director Roy Andersson? With his film “After us the Flood” Christoph Hertel succeeds in this little feat, which he provides with an important message. Because just like in the world we live in, the population of the fictional village of Klein-Reibach does not want to know about the imminent dangers. And rather close their eyes to the inevitable fate.
    As unusual as the stylistics of the short film with its handmade special effects, as fresh and original is the tone of the sensitively overdrawn grotesque. And perhaps this, in addition to admonishing words, of which there are enough at present, is also a method of drawing attention to climate change and all its dangers – with a balanced mixture of humour and seriousness.”
  • The award for best documentary went to director Jared P. Scott with his film “The Great Green Wall”.
    A film that gives hope! A film about an ecological and social project that is fascinatingly ambitious. A film that is carried and driven by a vision. When the Great Green Wall will ever be finished on 8,000 kilometres across Africa is not decisive. What is important is rather the will to change, the power of the music and the boundless optimism in this film. They have a contagious effect. Thomas Sankara is quoted as saying, “We must dare to invent the future.” That sets the tone. When grandiose music then celebrates a departure into sustainability and is paired with masterful cinematic craftsmanship, great narrative art emerges. The director Jared P. Scott has succeeded in creating a homage to a future project – at the same time an invitation to a feast for the senses.

    The jury consisted of film and media experts from all over Germany:
  • Frank Gessner, Professour at the University of Babelsberg
  • Jutta Krug, editor for documentary films at WDR Cologne
  • Joachim Kurz, Programme Coordinator Kinemathek in Karlsruhe
  • Roman Lipski, AI artist and painter from Berlin
  • Marita Marschall, actress from Hamburg
  • Gülsel Özkan, director from Ettlingen
  • Alexander Salomon, Member of the State Parliament for Karlsruhe and
  • Jason Stewart, media and film student and Beyond Festival coordinator from Karlsruhe.
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