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.

LUCAS Trennung

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.

LUCAS Awards

Section 8+

  • Best Feature Film (5,000 €) dona­ted by the Sparkassen-Kulturstiftung Hessen-Thüringen
  • Best Short Film (2.000 €)

Section 13+

  • 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 €)

All Sections

  • Award of the Stadtteiljury
  • ECFA-Award (unen­do­wed)
  • Audience Award (unen­do­wed)
  • MOZAIK Bridging the Borders Award (unen­do­wed)
LUCAS Trennung

Selection Committee

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.

Selection Committee | Feature Film 

Kirsten Taylor
Editor, Film Educator & Author

Kirsten Taylor is a free­lan­ce edi­tor at the film edu­ca­ti­on por­tal 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.

Stefan Stiletto
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 He runs trai­ning cour­ses for mul­ti­pli­ers and work­shops for child­ren and young peo­p­le on all kinds of edu­ca­tio­nal film topics.

Henning Adam
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.

Selection Committee | Short Film 

Holger Twele
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.

LUCAS Trennung


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.

Jury 8+

Marie Christiane Hermann (11)
Heinrich-von-Gagern-Gymnasium, Frankfurt


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)
Heinrich-von-Gagern-Gymnasium, Frankfurt


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)
Film Producer


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.

Jury 13+

Helena Polić (16)

Musterschule, Frankfurt


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)

Musterschule, Frankfurt


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 Bild

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.

Lilly (lilia)

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 

»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.

New: Stadtteiljury

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.

LUCAS Trennung

Film Guests

LUCAS Trennung

Film Talks

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.

LUCAS Trennung

Sponsors & Partners


Media partners


LUCAS welcomes its guests to

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