Jonathan Ng

Animation / Art / Design

Blog · 25th Filmfest Dresden

Last week I attended one of the coolest film festivals in Europe, the 25th Filmfest Dresden, flight paid courtesy of SODEC. My film Requiem for Romance was screened in a special presentation focusing on Quebec Animation that included Malcom Sutherland’s Umbra, Patrick Desilet’s Mulvar is Correct Candidate, Theodore Ushev’s Joda, and kino filmmaker Alexandre Roy’s Tigre. A nice detail, they made one of my the images into the screening’s post card.

The special program was curated by Ian Gailer, the organizer of Festival REGARD sur le court métrage au Saguenay. My film was selected for this great festival and was shown back in March, but I couldn’t attend because I was in Hong Kong at the time. Typical that we had to hop all the way over to Germany to meet and hang out.

I made a point to pick up a phrase of German each day. Germans were very apologetic for their “difficult grammatical language” but were also eager to teach me. 1) “Ich bin animation filmemacher.” – I am an animation filmmaker. 2) “Ich freue mich in Dresden zu sein.” – I am glad to be in Dresden. 3) “Ich hoffe Ihr möchte meinen film.” – I hope you like my film. I basically said this in the introduction at all of my screenings, at which point the audience applauded heartily and I bowed.

Filmfest Dresden is one of the most supportive festivals for short films in Europe, giving out a total of over 60,000 Euros in prize money. Although I wasn’t in competition this year, it was really great to see such support for the independent and short film community. The selections came from all over the world, and I met filmmakers from Ethiopia, Georgia, Belgium, UK, Greece and from all over Germany.

I found people in Dresden to be super friendly. It was interesting to see that beer on the street is not frowned upon. And young people congregating outside in the middle of downtown at night drinking beer peacefully with no law enforcement presence was somewhat refreshing. The best thing about it was that beer is freely allowed in the cinema and just when it seems like people are walking out of the theatre between films, and you’re thinking, “Damn, people are leaving,” nope, they are just coming back in with more beers. “Prost!”

I went into the “alt stadt”, the old city, which was fire-bombed out of existence and rebuilt to look as it was in the past.

I ate at the Canadian Steakhouse, haha, because I was curious what would be the German interpretation of Canadian food. Actually, it was pretty deluxe Canadian food, in that they had buffalo and moose meat and Vidal ice wine.

I actually met quite a few people from Canada, attending festival screenings but not related to filmmaking. Most of them were scientific researchers, as Dresden is an engineering and science hotspot, so the international community is comprised mostly of scientists. I also randomly ran into a guy from Montreal at a local food spot in Neustadt (new city), he works in the marketing department for a semi-conductors company. Such a crazy coincidence that we were both from Montreal, that I invited him to the my screening and he bought a couple of my prints.

This blog is part of a collection of blogs that can be found on Film Annex. Please leave your comments and share.

Leave a Comment