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61st Mannheim-Heidelberg International Film Festival, 2012

FIPRESCI Prize: "Mushrooming" (Toomas Hussar)

The Mannheim-Heidelberg International Film Festival is the sixth oldest international film festival in the world (after Venice, Cannes, Berlin, Locarno, Karlovy Vary). It is a festival devoted to the discovery of new talents and shows only films which have never played at another big festival before. Here, established names of the filmic intelligentsia share the table in the main Zen-like lounge with neophytes from across the world, with some fresh vocabularies.

Not only is the film festival accessible to 1,000 visitors from the branch, and to buyers, directors, and journalists, it is also a widely acclaimed festival for the public, with approximately 60,000 visitors every year.

The 61st edition of the International Mannheim-Heidelberg Filmfestival saw its cinemas experiencing a full house, even in a less financially gracious year like 2012. It opened on November 8th in Heidelberg, with the screening of Not So Modern Times (Tiempos Menos Modernos) by the Patagonia born and raised director Simón Franco. It is a film that to this day, after more than 40 different film screenings, still titillates our sensitive memory. It is a minimalistic yet haunting film about an old cattle farmer from Patagonia who flirts for a while with modernity, only to find out that his fascination goes far more to the wild and slow life of a gaucho, in a paradise of forests, mountains and ancient traditions.  

This year, the festival screened 19 titles in the main International Competition, 9 more outstanding films by international newcomers in the section of International Discoveries, 7 films in the "Special Screenings" section dealing with the ardent question of HOW to live, and 5 films by the Polish Master, Krzysztof Kieslowski, who died in 1996.

Many directors who went on to world fame, such as François Truffaut, Wim Wenders, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, (the aforementioned) Krzysztof Kieslowski (receiving a tribute presentation in this edition), Jim Jarmusch, Lars von Trier, Bryan Singer, and Thomas Vinterberg, all showed their first movies at the Mannheim and Heidelberg International Film festival. (Giulia Dobre)

61st Mannheim-Heidelberg International Film Festival (November 8-18, FIPRESCI Jury: Giulia Dobre (Romania, President), Nanna Frank Rasmussen (Denmark), Alberto Ruiz RAMOS (Cuba), Gyözö MÁTYÁS (Hungary), Wilfried Reichart (Germany). FIPRESCI Award: In the International Competition Section 2012: Mushrooming (Seenelkäik) by Toomas Hussar (Estonia, 2012, 93min). Print source: Allfilm (Saue 11, Tallin 10612, Estonia) e-mail:; Tel: +372 672 9070; Cell: +372 56 467 769, World sales: déjà-vu film UG,, +49 4063 66 55 44, Germany.


Long Live Cinema! If what the intellectuals responsible for promoting quality films believe to be true, then the de-humanizing pressures of the global economic machine and the physical isolation caused by online social networks should only increase the future importance of cinema. Wilfried Reichart lays bare his theoretical sources. arrow.

Daughters of a Lesser God: Women, Islamic Tradition and Emancipation Politics. Alberto Ramos looks at four films from the program that provides very different accounts of female emancipation and challenges to the traditional attitudes of male-dominated societies. arrow.

Being Lost in... Where Actually? Reality Check! Mátyás Győző finds Estonian film Mushrooming (Seenelkäik) to be an interesting situational day zero take on what happens when famous people get lost in the woods and need to deal with the basic realities of existence. arrow.

Love (and Food) in the Times of (Financial) Cholera. Films about relationships and films about the relationship to food provided an original flavor to many of the subjects in this year’s program. Giulia Dobre had a strong appetite for many of them. arrow.



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Mannheim 2012

bullet. Index
bullet. Long Live Cinema!
bullet. Lesser God
bullet. Being Lost In...
bullet. In the Times of Cholera