Visionär Goes Mainz #3

We are overjoyed to be back in Mainz for the 3rd time from October 8 – 10 in the iconic CAPITOL&PALATIN!

Last year our event, like the entire cultural sector and beyond, suffered the impact of the general pandemic situation. For this reason, this year we decided to repeat the focus on the up-and-coming young filmmakers from Northern Europe and to promote an exchange between them and the audience. We are convinced that the directors we show can open up new perspectives and visions on our society and thus contribute to important social debates. The stories the filmmakers tell are as diverse as the different cultures of the Northern European countries: local and universal, empathic and abstract, analytical and stirring, daring and new.

The selected films are chosen to represent, in an innovative cinematic way, the current state of the Northern European world. We support feature-length films that overcome the traditional classifications of genres and are bold enough to take a look at the present: a present which oscillates between realistic, fantastic and political realities. Through their subjective point of view, which can be read in the visual language and the stories told, they give insights into different cultures and realities of life. As ambassadors, they give contemporary insights into everyday life and bring other cultures closer to the audience by addressing contrasts and similarities. The medium of film is suited like no other to transport stories and emotions that everyone can understand. The pictures arouse feelings that speak a universal language.

Countries in focus of this year’s edition are Denmark, Finland, Georgia, Norway and Sweden. Visionär will offer a selection of first/second feature films, short films and the homage to a well-established director.

Opening Night: KINO SONICO

As part of the 3rd edition of Visionär Film Festival Mainz, KINO SONICO presents a film concert evening at CAPITOL&PALATIN for the Opening Night.  A women’s project in which the well-known electronic musician Akkamiau develops new scores for the silent film La Tierra de los Toros (The Land of the Bulls, 1924) by Musidora

KINO SONICO aims to reinterpret and rediscover historical films through contemporary experimental music. Through its anachronistic approach, KINO SONICO aims to condense new connections, counterpoints, and areas of tension into an intense body of work. Akkamiau has an extensive background in experimental music as well as experience with works that incorporate cinematic elements. 

Musidora is best known for her roles as a silent film actress, particularly for her portrayal of the mythical figure in black tights Irma Vep in Louis Feuillade’s soap opera Les Vampires. Musidora was also active as a director and producer. Many of her films are considered lost, but three important works have survived: For Don Carlos – Sun and Shadow – Land of the Bulls. The latter was restored by the CNC – Centre national du cinéma et de l’image animée.

Homage to Aki Kaurismäki: Calamari Union

The festival always opens with a tribute to an internationally established director, who we honour with the screening of his/her debut film. This homage to the beginnings is intended to encourage young filmmakers to trust their talent and to critically confront the economic constraints of the film industry. The first feature-length films are always groundbreaking: often still inspired by their role models, they show the will to develop an unmistakable signature, which is reflected in both style and content. These films are often freer and more courageous than later films, which are often under enormous market pressure to succeed.

In 2021 Visionär will pay homage to the Finnish director Aki Kaurismäki by showing his second feature film: the surreal comedy Calamari Union (1985), whose cast includes well-known Finnish actors and rock musicians.

Kaurismäki is known for his extremely minimalist style. He has been called an auteur filmmaker because he writes, directs, produces and usually edits the films himself, adding his personal “drollery and deadpan” style. Events are shown in a plain way and the characters are usually left alone to deal with the consequences. However, despite their tragedies and setbacks, the characters do not give up and eventually survive.

Kaurismäki’s most acclaimed film is The Man Without a Past (Mies vailla menneisyyttä), which won the Grand Prize and the Ecumenical Jury Prize at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival. The Other Side of Hope (Toivon tuolla puolen, 2017) won the Silver Bear for Best Director at the 67th Berlin International Film Festival.

Northern European films: 3 debut films by northern European directors

Charter by Amanda Kernell, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, 2020, 94’
Disco by Jorunn Myklebust Syversen, Norway, 2019, 95’
And Then We Danced by Levan Akin, Sweden, Georgia, 2019, 113‘

Short films: Panorama Nordic | Female and Queer Voices 

This curated section is organized around a topic or a geographic region. Each time, this opens up the possibility of discovering different places, with the aim of presenting to the public their new and most daring voices. The selection is made up of different formats, genres, styles and narrative structures to ensure a broad vision of filmmaking and celebrate its diversity. For the next edition in Mainz we present a selection of short films under the theme Female and Queer Voices.

Short film selection:
– The Confirmation (Konfirmanden) by Marie-Louise Damgaard, Denmark, 2019, 18‘
– The Tongues (Njuokcamat) by Marja Bål Nango and Ingir Bål, Norwegia, 2019, 15‘
– Grab Them by Morgane Dziurla-Petit, Sweden, 2020, 13‘
–  I’m Listening (Kuuntelen) by Katja Korhonen, Finland, 2019, 12‘