LUCAS – International Festival for Young Film Lovers
#44 from September 30th to October 7th 2021
Lights out and film on at LUCAS #44: From September 30 to October 7, Germany’s oldest film festival for young audiences presents award-winning cinematic art for everyone from four years old to 18plus.
Families and film lovers of all ages can expect outstanding cinema experiences in Frankfurt, Offenbach, and Wiesbaden. School classes, children’s and youth groups in Germany can also access most films of the competition program via video-on-demand.
21 carefully curated feature films and a selection of short films (all of them German premieres) will compete for the coveted LUCAS awards. In addition to the competition program, LUCAS presents classics of film history, short film programs for the very youngest and other series, some of which are created by children and young adults. During the festival week, a special focus is on film talks, in which filmmakers from all over the world enter into dialogue with the audience.
Participation at LUCAS means “Get involved!”. As moderators, festival reporters, film critics, jury members, or curators – young film fans are invited to participate in a variety of ways throughout the festival.
For representatives of the film industry, conferences and panel discussions take place that deal with topics of film education and current trends in children’s and youth film production.
LUCAS – International Festival for Young Film Lovers is organized by DFF – Deutsches Filminstitut & Filmmuseum e.V.
Competitions & Awards
In the competition sections 8+, 13+ and 16+ | Youngsters, LUCAS presents a selection of outstanding international feature films, documentaries, animations, and experimental films. A total of 21 feature-length films and a selection of short films compete for the coveted LUCAS awards.
The feature films have a running time of more than 59 minutes and have not yet been shown in German cinemas. A selection committee travels to festivals and industry meetings to select competition entries for the sections 8+, 13+, and 16+ | Youngsters from the strongest current productions worldwide. It’s not premiere status, but quality that counts!
With its short film competition, LUCAS has earned itself a special reputation in recent years. From the best international submissions of up to 30 minutes running time, a selection committee puts together several competition programs for the 8+ and 13+ sections, all of which are German premieres.
- Best Feature Film (5,000 €) donated by the Sparkassen-Kulturstiftung Hessen-Thüringen
- Best Short Film (2.000 €)
- Best Feature Film (5.000 €)
- Best Short Film (2.000 €)
- Award for an Outstanding Cinematic Achievement (2.000 €)
Section 16+ | Youngsters
LUCAS Youngsters Award (5.000 €)
- Award of the Stadtteiljury
- ECFA-Award (unendowed)
Audience Award (unendowed)
- MOZAIK Bridging the Borders Award (unendowed)
To network LUCAS even better and to strengthen the lively exchange of the program the festival has appointed a selection committee for feature films and one for short films to screen the films and select them for the sections 8+, 13+ and 16+ | Youngsters. In addition to Julia Fleißig, head of LUCAS Film Festival, the commissions are made up of five other proven film experts.
Editor, Film Educator & Author
Kirsten Taylor is a freelance editor at the film education portal kinofenster.de and a film educator, primarily for the project “Filmklassiker sehen – Filme verstehen”, which has been run by the Deutsche Filmakademie since 2013. In addition, she writes film reviews and creates film reports as well as film education materials. One focus of her work is on children’s and youth film.
Film Educator and Film Journalist
Stefan Stiletto is a film educator, film journalist and editor. He designs and creates film education material, writes for Filmdienst, Kinderfilmwelt, the Kinder- und Jugend-Filmportal and Kinofenster.de. He runs training courses for multipliers and workshops for children and young people on all kinds of educational film topics.
Berlinale Co-Production Market, FSK & FSF
As auditor of the FSK (Freiwillige Selbstkontrolle der Filmwirtschaft in Wiesbaden) and FSF (Freiwillige Selbstkontrolle Fernsehen, Berlin), Henning Adam intensively deals with issues of youth protection and media effects. He is involved in the production and evaluation of films in an international context at the Berlinale Co-Production Market, where he is co-responsible for the cooperation with the Frankfurt Book Fair. Among others, he previously worked for the film distributor Rapid Eye Movies in Cologne.
Journalist and Film Educator
Holger Twele is a freelance film journalist and film educator and has worked for many years for the Bundesverband Jugend und Film, the Deutsche Kinder- und Jugendfilmzentrum and the Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung, among others.
Dr. Ursula Vossen
Producer & Author / HessenInvestFilm
Dr. Ursula Vossen has long-standing experience as a producer for television and film as well as in film promotion. She is the author of numerous books and articles on film studies.
The juries 8+ and 13+ are equally composed of young film fans and industry professionals. They decide on the awarding of five LUCAS prizes in the competitions 8+ and 13+. A jury of young European film enthusiasts reward the LUCAS Youngsters Award to a film in the 16+ | Youngsters section.
An ECFA jury also awards an ECFA Award in the 8+ section, since 2018 Cinema without Borders has awarded a prize to a competition film and the audience award is decided by the festival visitors.
Marie Christiane Hermann (11)
Marie’s love for cinema did not stop due to the Corona pandemic: if she can’t go to the cinema, the cinema will come to her. Its atmosphere is irreplaceable for Marie. For her, however, it’s not the place that counts, but the quality of the film – and in the best case, it makes her laugh. At LUCAS, she is curious about the different perspectives of jury members.
Arthur Podlesnov (11)
Arthur plays the piano and therefore pays particular attention to the background music in films. A visit to the cinema always means lots of surprises for him – be it an exciting plot twist or a large group of applauding Eintracht fans who are also sitting in the cinema. Action films and comedies are on the top of Arthur’s list, but he also looks forward to discovering new genres at LUCAS.
Sophia Röse (11)
Helmholtzschule, Frankfurt am Main
Sophia has already gained experience as a film editor. That’s why she pays attention to tiny details in films. When the lights go out in the cinema and her concentration is completely on the screen, she is gripped by a great sense of anticipation. Last year she missed this feeling extremely. She is therefore more than pleased to be able to go to the cinema with the other jurors.
Christoph Mushayija Rath (Germany)
Christoph Mushayija Rath worked as a freelance photographer and filmmaker in Senegal. In collaboration with CinéBanlieu Dakar, he shot several short films and documentaries. He then studied directing at the German Film and Television Academy Berlin (dffb). Rath is currently head writer and director for a sitcom commissioned by ZDFneo.
Martina Lassacher (Austria)
Head of Festival
Martina Lassacher is co-director of the Vienna International Children’s Film Festival, director of the Pitanga Institute, KinderKinoWelten Austria and other projects. She taught film theory at various Austrian universities and has been appointed to numerous international juries.
Roman Klink (Germany)
Author & Dramaturge
Roman Klink studied cultural and media education in Merseburg. Since 2001 he hasworked as a freelance film journalist and in film public relations, developing his own fictional material. At ARD Degeto, Klink is involved in international feature film purchasing and in providing edi-torial support for cinema co-productions. Since 2013 he has worked as a freelance author, editor, dramaturge, and project scout.
Helena Polić (16)
In her childhood Helena had already recognized the art of film – thanks to her father. She still loves going to the cinema with him. According to Helena, the crucial factor for a good film is the script, the suspense and the right actors and actresses. When the film is shown in its orig-inal version, all her senses are focused on the film experience.
Augustin Kolck (15)
Augustin’s circle of friends loves films. Along with his friend Arthur, they like to exchange ideas about sophisticated films that have a well-thought-out plot and are not so easy to decipher. So it is logical that Augustin is a big fan of film director Quentin Tarantino. He is already looking forward to exciting cinema days and lively discussions with his jury colleagues.
Selma Schwab (14)
Humboldtschule, Bad Homburg
Selma writes stories herself and therefore pays special attention to the plot of a film. She is impressed by films that shine with a great soundtrack or take a strong stand against injustices and racism. She loves films like STAND BY ME (US 1986. Director: Rob Reiner) in the cinema because of all their emotional moments. As a juror, she wants to contribute to exciting discus-sions.
Boris Bakal (Croatia)
Theater & Film Director
Boris Bakal is a theatre and film director, actor, curator, author, and educator. He has been a visiting professor at various international universities and co-founder of numerous associa-tions, including Bacači Sjenki/Shadow Caster, an artists’ platform that has already received several awards for its work.
Charlotte Giese (Denmark)
Spec. Advisor Danish Film Institute, Film Educator
Charlotte Giese works as a Special Advisor at the Danish Film Institute in Copenhagen with a focus on film education. Here she founded the department for children and young people and developed nationwide film education programs for schools. She also advises film institutions in Africa and the Middle East on programming.
Gert Hermans (Belgium)
Film-networker, Editor in chief ECFA-Journal
Gert Hermans is editor-in-chief of the ECFA Journal and has been part of numerous juries of European festivals. He has worked on several national and international projects to promote challenging children and youth films, collaborated with young filmmakers and teachers and has organized seminars and panels on film production for JEF Film Festival.
Lilia Staykova (17, Bulgaria)
Cinema is a source for creative inspiration for Lilia. Her poems and paintings are influenced by films such as ATONEMENT (GB 2007. D: Joe Wright) and PORTRAIT DE LA JEUNE FILLE EN FEU (FR 2019. D: Celine Sciamma). Films that deal with women’s rights and address the LGBTQ community have significantly shaped her identity.
Kyrill Krause (16, Germany)
For Kyrill, it is crucial that a film has a good interplay of music and images to leave a lasting impression. If the dialogue and the key scenes of the film are also perfect, the 16-year-old’s quality criteria are completely fulfilled. He is particularly fond of the films of Christopher Nolan.
Carolina Esposito (17, Italy)
From Carolina’s point of view, a film may not change the world, but it can at least change the life of a single person. AMERICAN BEAUTY (US 1999. D: Sam Mendes) is one such film that turned her life upside down. According to her, good films open people’s eyes, make them laugh and cry, show respect, love, and happiness.
Juniper Adams (18, Germany)
Corona can also do some good: Juniper spent her time in lockdown watching many films that are more than pure entertainment. They can challenge, like Juniper’s favorite film MELAN-CHOLIA (DK/SE/FR/D 2011. D: Lars von Trier) or show her new perspectives. In any case, it is important for her to reflect on her own life in what she sees.
Kaloyan (18, Bulgaria)
Films can change the way we look at the world. For example, they motivate Kaloyan not to simply ignore climate change, but to do something about global warming. Kaloyan has also found his vocation in cinema. Obviously, he would like to become a director or an actor.
Alessandro Cinelli (17, Italy)
Alessandro likes to go to the cinema alone because then he can concentrate fully on the film. For him, an exciting plot and outstanding actors are the decisive features of a good film. So, it’s no surprise that PULP FICTION (US 1994. D: Quentin Tarantino) is Alessandro’s favorite film. He is equally enthusiastic about horror films.
ECFA juries are made up of European experts of children’s and youth film. At numerous festi-vals they award films with the “ECFA Award”. This award qualifies the films for the annual competition for the “Best European Children’s Film of the Year”, which is awarded during the Berlin International Film Festival.
The third ECFA jury member this year, alongside Martina Lassacher and Boris Bakal (see Jury 8+ and 13+), is Laura Schubert. Schubert is a literature and media scholar as well as a literature and film educator. She has worked at the Kurzfilm Agentur Hamburg since 2013, and two years later she took over as co-director of the Mo&Friese Kinder Kurzfilm Festival. Schubert also works as a freelance curator and film facilitator as well as a theatre writer.
Martina Lassacher (Austria)
Head of Festival
Boris Bakal (Croatia)
Theater & Film Director
Laura Schubert (Germany)
Festival Organiser and Author
»Cinema Without Borders« is an international network of film industry actors that promotes diversity, inclusion and social justice in film. »Cinema Without Borders« presents the annual »MOZAIK Bridging the Borders Award« at selected film festivals. The award recognizes films that bring people closer together across geographical, religious, ethnic, cultural, and economic boundaries and address issues of social justice.
Members of the »Cinema Without Borders« Jury 2021: Keely Badger, Parisa Barani, Susan Mor-gan Cooper, Chale Nafus, Rachel O’Meara, Yeganeh Taheri and Bijan Tehrani.
The »Stadtteiljury« consists of young people aged ten and over from one of Frankfurt’s neigh-borhoods. LUCAS #44 starts off with kids, who prepare for their jury duties in the festival week with a one-week workshop at the Medien-Studio-Bornheim. At the end of the festival, they will select a winning film from the short film competition. The project offers the opportunity to combine film with various cultural, artistic, and creative forms of expression. This includes film reviews, podcasts, interviews and much more. By doing so, Frankfurt’s young, diverse voices get the recognition they deserve. The »Stadtteiljury« is sponsored by the Stiftung Polytechnische Gesellschaft.
At LUCAS, all screenings are accompanied by film talks, since the intensive exchange with what has been seen and with the filmmakers is at the core of a film festival.
LUCAS welcomes film guests on-site in the cinema and all film screenings are accompanied by film mediators. Due to the pandemic, new discussion formats have also been developed: The festival offers live-online conversations with filmmakers following the screening, and a “Get involved!” project has produced pre-recorded online Q&As between young LUCAS alumni and international filmmakers of nine competition films.
An overview of the currently confirmed guests can be found here.
The pre-recorded online film talks can be found here:
Online Film Talks (Recordings):
Q&A | ANY DAY NOW
Q&A | MISSION ULJA FUNK
Q&A | SOUL KIDS
Q&A | PAPER SPIDERS
Q&A | SWEET THING
Q&A | NELLY RAPP — MONSTERAGENT
Q&A | BULADO
Q&A | LA TRAVIATA, MY BROTHERS AND I
Q&A | THE CASTLE