Dear visitors of the Filmfest,


What do you think of when you think of innovation in film? That an artificial intelligence like ChatGPT writes the screenplay or that software composes the film music? Innovation is about courageously breaking new ground, experimenting and testing boundaries. This is what the competition category Innovation stands for, in which the Bremen State Media Authority awards two prizes: the best narrative innovation and the best visual innovation. Behind each innovation are courageous and creative people who have more than earned their award. That is why we are very pleased that the Innovation Award has found its permanent place within the Filmfest Bremen. Enjoy Filmfest 2023 and be inspired by innovation, courage and the joy of experimentation!

Cornelia Holsten – Director of the Bremen State Media Authority (Photo: © Jens Jeske )

The international Innovation competition stands for unusual and surprising narrative styles, the skillful use of technology, creative, sometimes unconventional image design and themes that open up new worlds. Across all genre and format boundaries, the films in this category seek artistic, technical and narrative experimentation and surprise their audiences. Far removed from the usual formats and narrative structures we are accustomed to from television or cinema, new experiences and perspectives can be gained here. An experiment worth getting involved with.

From over 300 submissions, the ten-member screening committee selected 16 shorter works and five feature-length films – from dystopian animated films to documentary-style confrontations with the past and virtual worlds. Experimental, footage, science fiction and drama combine here to create new horizons.

Jury prizes

Best Visual Innovation

endowed with 1.500 EUR, donated by the Bremische Landesmedienanstalt


Best Narrative Innovation

endowed with 1,500 EUR, donated by the Bremen State Media Authority


Best Technical Innovation

endowed with 1,500 EUR


On 14 April at 11:30 a.m., the jury of experts for this section will announce the winning films in the Kleines Haus theatre will announce the winning films.


Jenni Zylka 

Secret agent Jenni Zylka is a cultural journalist specializing in film, media and music for, among others Spiegel, taz, Tagesspiegel, epd Film, Rolling Stone, RBB, WDR, Deutschlandradio and ZDF, writes bestsellers and screenplays, headed and curated the “Perspektive Deutsches Kino” section at the Berlinale and is a delegate for German newcomer films there, heads the series section of the “Nordische Filmtage”, is a member of the Grimme Prize jury, moderates film talks for film festivals, reviews television content for the FSF and writes for the media watch blog Altpapier.

Sarah Aspinall

Sarah Aspinall is an award winning film maker, producing and directing documentaries for BBC,C4, Sky Arts and other major broadcasters. Her film have delved into the mysteries of JD Salinger’s reclusiveness, the cover up of the Windscale reactor fire and the truth about Charles Dickens’s secret lover and have explored the worlds of Andy Warhold, Anaïs Nin, Philip Roth, Rod Stewart and the Beach Boys to name but a few. Her filming has taken her on several trips around India and the US, across Mexico and up the Nile. Her childhood memoir Diamonds at the Lost and Found was published by Fourth Estate, Harper Collins in 2020.

Thorsten Schaumann

Thorsten Schaumann has been Artistic Director of the International Hofer Filmtage since 2017. He is also a member of the advisory board for film, television and radio at the Goethe Institute, the Events & Series jury at Hessen Film & Medien and the program advisory board at Urania Berlin. Thorsten Schaumann also teaches at the HFF Munich, the Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg and the Filmwerkstatt München.

Björn Hoffmann

Björn Hoffmann has been working at Pandora Filmverleih since 2004 and has been one of the main people responsible for the work of one of the most important film distributors in the arthouse sector in Germany since 2018. The company’s well-known productions include “Rabiye Kurnaz vs. George W. Bush”, “Only Lovers Left Alive”, “Close” and all films by Aki Kaurismäki. Björn Hoffmann is also chairman of the “AG Verleih”.

These are the nominated films:

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