69th International Film Festival Mannheim-Heidelberg

12.11.2020 to 22.11.2020
Mannheim and Heidelberg
L'enfance nue (Maurice Pialat)

In the retrospective: "Naked Childhood" (L'enfance nue) by Maurice Pialat (© Europacorp, Roissy Films)

The Ecumenical Jury, which viewed the films of the International Film Festival Mannheim-Heidelberg 2020 online, awarded its prize to "Una promessa" by Gianluca and Massimiliano De Serio and gave a Commendation to "The Slaughterhouse" by Abbas Amini from Iran. The main prize of the festival, the International Newcomer Award, worth €25,000, was won by "My Mexican Pretzel" by Nuria Giménez Lorang (Spain 2019), who also received the Fipresci Jury Prize. Other prizes went to "Single Cycle" by Zhang Qi from the People's Republic of China (Rainer Werner Fassbinder Award) and to "Lorelei" by Sabrina Doyle (USA 2020; Audience Prize and Student Jury Prize).

The first festival in Mannheim and Heidelberg of the new team under Sascha Keilholz, after the departure of Michael Kötz in 2019, had to take place entirely in digital space according to the new Corona regulations for November 2020. Originally, physical performances were to take place in both cities in addition to the online offerings. The festival showed films in five sections: ON THE RISE is the international competition for first to third works by new authors, PUSHING THE BOUNDARIES is dedicated to innovative films by already established filmmakers, and FACING NEW CHALLENGES to works on the border between film and other arts. A retrospective with an annually changing focus - this time under the title "Le deuxième souffle" with French films of the generation following the canonical authors of the Nouvelle vague from 1968-1983 - and a children's film festival completed the programme.

Link: Festival website




The Stonebreaker

The film tells the story of a widowed father and his son forced to work as illegal farm laborers in southern Italy. Framed by a scene of familial warmth and tenderness and told through an intensely personal aesthetic, Una Promessa shows the deeper significance of love in a world of poverty, humiliation, and death. The film leaves us with a strong statement on human dignity and the need for breaking the circle of exploitation and violence. A sign of hope remains with the boy who can begin something new. (Photo:© Shellac Films)

The Slaughterhouse
Directed by:

The Slaughterhouse follows the fate of three men who cover up the traces of corpses they discover in the company meat freezer. Shot as a crime film with a stark visual palette, the film places an internal moral crisis at the heart of the narrative rather than representing a more straightforward external conflict with the authorities. The film asks us, how can we be human in inhumane circumstances and in that sense bears a universal message that echoes well beyond the borders of Iran. (Photo: © Irimage)

More about the festival

The 69th International Film Festival Mannheim-Heidelberg (IFFMH) asserted itself as a powerful advocate for discovering new voices in world cinema. In that way, the festival held true to its mission in a particularly turbulent time.