Visionär Film Festival – Encounters with New Talents defines itself as an interdisciplinary, transnational platform for networking and the exchange of actors in the fields of film, visual art, and music. Its vision is to promote young talents and to contribute to the intercultural dialogue by visually presenting different socio-political issues and the different cultures that live in Germany. Through film, we hope to contribute to the sustainable promotion and representations of different cultures – which we consider essential as part of individual and social development.

Founded in 2017 in Berlin and established in 2019 in Mainz as well, Visionär film festival invites new directors from all over the world to Berlin and Mainz. Visionär pays close attention to those directors who, for the first time, use the format of the full-length feature film, breaking with familiar patterns to pursue new narrative and aesthetic paths. With the Visionär Film Festival we want to offer to these new voices of cinema a platform to present their films in Berlin and  Mainz and at the same time promote the exchange between audience and directors.

Conceived and developed as a permanent periodic event, Visionär aims to establish itself as a Talent Scout that supports new auteurs and to create a platform that promotes the creativity of the new generation of directors. Given the complexity of film distribution and its commitment to balance both the economic and the artistic, festivals have become indispensable places of networking and exchange. As an open space for new voices, ideas and experiments, they are often the only way to present works that are denied as commercial distribution channels. These difficult circumstances, which particularly affect young directors, led to the idea of the Visionär Film Festival, which has committed itself to the screening of auteur films. We want to bring new cultural aspects to Berlin and Mainz with the festival. Cinema and the city of Berlin are therefore two essential players in the cultural project that is Visionär Film Festival, a cinematographic and visionary experience in the city of avant-garde and new trends par excellence.

Through its specific, emotionally engaging forms of presentation, the film – like no other medium – is able to promote intercultural dialogues by sensitively addressing cultural differences as well as similarities. We believe that the directors we introduce can open up new perspectives on our current society and thus make a contribution to important social debates. We intend to bring together new directors with moviegoers, not only to discover new films but also to make them confront new topics and new cinematic techniques. Moreover, we encourage a discourse with each other through different cultures and perspectives.

The film program always pays special attention to the less represented countries and cinematographies, but also to BIPOC and LGBTQI+ issues and filmmakers.

Festival’s sections:

→ Competition: a selection of 9 first or second feature films that have attracted attention at prestigious festivals around the world, but have not yet been screened in Berlin.

→ Short Berlin Encounters: we show short films by young Berlin directors through an Open Call. We will show a selection of 20 short films in total. We want to strengthen the local scene and also to enforce the vision of Berlin as a vibrant cultural city – in which artists from different disciplines come together.

→ Homage: we honor an internationally established director with the screening of his/her debut film: this homage to his/her beginnings should encourage the young filmmakers to trust their talent and to critically oppose the economic constraints of the film industry.

→ Kino Sonico: an experimental silent film evening, a multimedia event dedicated to re-interpret and re-discover silent films from the past century through contemporary experimental music.

→ Panorama – Country/Topic in Focus: a short film selection presenting a region, or a deep insight on a topic.

Besides the presentation of the films, young directors, professionals, and the audience are invited to participate in panel discussions. Visionär provides an Audience Prize and Jury Prize, consisting of industry professionals.

Visionär Film Festival was founded and is mainly curated by Francesca Vantaggiato, curator, event organiser and  film critic.

Visionär Film Festival was established in Berlin in 2017 and in Mainz in 2019 thanks to the synergy of professional people working for years in the fields of audiovisual and music production, film critique, and cultural management, artistic production, literature, and journalism.