Filmfest Dresden 2024

Deadline | Event Dates (period)
16/04/2024 - 21/04/2024
Dresden, Germany
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Final submission deadline
Submission/Registration Fee

Festival Description:

FILMFEST DRESDEN was founded in 1989 before the imminent collapse of the GDR and reunification of Germany. The short film festival focuses on short film in all its facets, and has become one of the most important festivals of its kind throughout Germany. FILMFEST DRESDEN is also one of the best-endowed short film festivals in Europe with prizes and awards worth more than €67,000. It attracts more than 20,000 international and national visitors, including 550 professionals.

2024 Coverage

For the 36th edition of Filmfest Dresden (16 to 21 April 2024), more than 370 short films from 62 countries compiled in the three Competitions and various special programmes are awaiting the audiences. In addition to the film programmes, the etc. - events.trainings.connections. section with its wide-ranging special programme consisting of panel discussions, a masterclass and other events, intended for media professionals and interested members of the public, is being held during the week of the festival. A total of 60 films in the three Competitions (National, International and Central German) are vying for the 16 “Golden Horsemen” and special awards, endowed with €72,000 in prizemoney and due to be announced during the Awards Ceremony on Saturday, 20 April. This evening, the eight independent juries are awarding the 14 prizes, in addition to two further audience awards. 

One focal area of this year’s Filmfest Dresden is focusing on the theme of “Dreaming Utopia: It’s going to be beautiful” and explores various forms and representations of utopia. Four programmes deal with architectural utopias and imaginary architectures, the phenomenon of Afrofuturism, postcapitalist mind games and Home and homeland as a utopia.

Traditionally, there are a large number of animated films throughout the whole festival programme. In the long-standing Animated programme series Filmfest Dresden presents Dirty Animations – Contemporary Animated Films from Chile curated by the Chilean artists Cristóbal León and Joaquín Cociña (Diluvio). The programme brings together works by companions and filmmakers who, like themselves, consistently go their own way in life and for whom the creative process is a space of opportunity for exciting new discoveries. The programme Animated 2: Drift Mode is curated by Veneta Androva, winner of the Golden Horseman Animated Film - International Competition & LUCA Film Prize for Gender Equality 2021. 

Two performances await the audience in Dresden: In his Animation Film Show Oscar© winner Thomas Stellmach (1997 Academy Award for the animation film “Quest”) is presenting his prizewinning works and chatting about what you find in the animation filmmaker’s toolkit. In a gaming live lecture the Total Refusal media guerrillas are guiding us through the digital metropolis of Los Santos, the digital cityscape of the GTA V video game. The award winning collective also curated one programme in the Thematic Focus “Dreaming Utopia: It’s going to be beautiful”.

Full programme

Call for Entries (Archive):

Submission conditions for 36 FILMFEST DRESDEN

Eligible for submission are short films up to 30 minutes running time (incl. credits) - exception: Central German Competition. FILMFEST DRESDEN is not a premiere festival, therefore a film premiere is not necessary.

  • For the National and International Competition, only short fiction and animation films (incl. hybrid forms such as AnimaDoc, experimental or documentary fiction) produced after 31 December 2021 will be considered
  • .For the International Competition: all production countries except Germany, German co-productions are accepted
  • For the National Competition: production country Germany, German co-productions are accepted
  • For the Central German Competition, animation, short fiction, experimental and documentary films with a connection to the federal states of Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and/or Thuringia (e.g. production location, content or biography of the filmmaker) are eligible.
  • Running time max. 40 minutes (including credits). Note: please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if the film to be submitted is over 30 minutes long. The submission platform Shortfilmdepot accepts films up to 30 minutes.

Important information

2021 Festival Coverage

The 33rd edition of Filmfest Dresden will take place from July 13-18. A total of 368 short films from 64 countries are being screened in the Competition sections and special programmes. The festival’s venues in Dresden as well as the open-air locations on Neumarkt square and at the Film Nights on the Banks of the Elbe event are presenting 211 events in total.

As in the previous year, certain sections of the etc. - events.trainings.connections training and events programme are being digitally transmitted. The films in the International and National Competitions, as well as in the Regional Film Night event, are competing for a total of nine “Golden Horsemen” and seven special prizes. With two new awards, the prize money has increased this year and now amounts to €70,500 (2020: €68,000).

One focal area of this year’s Filmfest Dresden is on the subject of activism in the context of an artistic or filmic approach. A range of films and series are seeking to find a balance in the relationship between politics and cinematography, such as in the three programmes from the MOVE TO CHANGE! FOCUS ACTIVISM series. Yet again  the number of animated films competing in the National and International Competitions is as high as usual with 30 entries. The filmmakers have adapted their ideas using an extremely wide spectrum of animation techniques, ranging from classic cartoons, to object animation through to 3D computer animation and experimentation with various formats.

2020 Festival Coverage


Event Dates

  • From 16/04/2024 to 21/04/2024



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