Film programme

The EMAF screens experimental and artists’ films from around the world and is interested in forms that move along disciplinary peripheries or between film and performance, document and experiment. Short and long, digital and analogue films that relate to social and political reality in an exploratory and questioning way find their place here. At the same time, the EMAF is open to works that test new forms of cinematic presentation. Our aim is to make cinema a space for encounter and exchange: a space for projections beyond the status quo.

EMAF’s film programmes are developed in collaboration with international curators, artists and theorists who, as members of the programming team„ select the contributions for competition and feature film programmes, or are invited to develop their own thematic programmes and series.

Three prizes are awarded as part of the Competition: the EMAF Award (endowed with 3,000 Euro), the Dialogue Award (endowed with 2,000 Euro) and the EMAF Media Art Award of the Association of German Film Critics (endowed with 2,000 Euro).


International Competition

Feature Film

Artist in Focus: Phil Collins

Feelers, Sensors

SPECTRAL. Unburdened Recollections

Awards and Jury Statements 2024

EMAF Award: I Am Also Part of the Three Turns by Monica Maria Moraru

The jury awards the EMAF Award to I Am Also Part of the Three Turns by Monica Maria Moraru for its delving into the history of the earthquake that happened in Bucharest in 1977 and the attempt to rewrite this historical ‘so-called’ natural catastrophe, which was instrumentalized by the political authorities. The film puts forward the apparent stability of orders – whether natural or political, in the purpose of requisitioning these categories and our relation to them. Natural catastrophes and political ruptures are intertwined throughout the film, history traverses the images of the film through its voices, objects, bodies, and cracks. Glass cups and plates start to reflect and echo the fragility of these given systems – the fragility of the ground we stand on.

Special Mention EMAF Award: Belfi by Ismaël Iken

The jury would like to make a Special Mention of Belfi by Ismaël Iken. In a light playful manner, Belfi responds to the weight of the passing of time, repetition, redundancy, and the financialization of the urban landscape. By following crumbs of bread and inaccessible money, the film raises the question of survival in the city and plays with the illusions and promises of economic mobility. Belfi takes us on a cyclical derive across seasons and streets, and ends with a handing over of the uncashable treasure.

Dialog Award

Dialog Prize: The Cyan Garden by Peng Zugiang

The jury awards the Dialog Award to The Cyan Garden by Peng Zugiang for its haunting and beautiful historical archaeology into the sounds and voices of an underground radio station. This excavation into the voices of the Malayan revolution brings back a historical intimacy as well as a history of the intimate as it was organized at the time. All of this makes for an affective relation to that moment that traverses the limits of broadcast with its inherent glitches and spectral frequencies.

Special Mention Dialog Prize: detours while speaking of monsters by Deniz Şimşek

The jury would like to honor detours while speaking of monsters by Deniz Şimşek with a Special Mention for the Dialog Award. In the film, the landscape becomes a witness to a history of violence around Lake Van. From the depths of the bottom of the lake to the story of an aerial helicopter crash- from the myths that historically inhabit the mountain to the memories of the genocides of the Armenian and Kurdish people. The landscape starts to speak to our present-day ongoing violence

Media Art Award of the German Filmcritics (VDFK)

EMAF Media Art Award of the Association of the German Film Critics (VDFK): Hey Sweet Pea by Alee Peoples

How to describe the feeling that a gigantic nothingness is slowly consuming everything? And how — in the very act of dealing with this relevant and far too big question — not to become so abstract as to encounter this nothingness with very little that is concrete? One film in the program has given us a particularly convincing cinematic answer: By listening to what the mother leaves on the mailbox and getting a sense of how she cloaks her longing for closeness by dictating a Walmart shopping list; by looking at what happens to the landscape around you and observing how it disappears under construction foil, becoming invisible under concrete crusts, or becoming property behind fences. By taking the Never-ending Story told to children and adults out of the virtual world and transferring it to the concrete reality that we inhabit. And by making films with almost nothing, with only what is at hand, that can be visually grasped or audibly perceived, and doing so by being — at the same time — masterly and modest, playful and insisting, depressed and humorous.

Special Mention EMAF Media Art Award of the Association of the German Film Critics (VDFK): The Wind is Taking Them by Ann Carolin Renninger

What we can see is an alert, childlike gaze that is interested in everything: tardigrades and trees, fire, the universe, and the Big Bang. He takes everything as it is, everything is important. With the wisdom of age, a gaze on stones that acknowledges their crystalline structures and tries to gauge the temporal dimensions of their existence. A childhood afternoon, a human lifespan, an era of the earth. The present is a moment of sunny joy by the equanimous sea, the present is news of war brought by the radio. Gentle observations in a familiar, neighborly realm that come together to form something big: a measurement of the existential dimensions of experience and imagination; from the microscopic to the vastness of space. What we can see, with cinema, with this film: For a wondrous attempt to put the world – and ourselves – into perspective, we award an honorable mention to The Wind is Taking Them by Ann Carolin Renninger.


Our senses are the foundation from where we find our way in the world. They are the interface between our inner self and the outside world. Millions of nerve endings connect our brain to a constantly changing stream of sensory impressions, from which it assembles the external stimuli into a coherent picture of the world, and the internal stimuli into a picture of ourselves. These experiences feel real to each of us, but they are never objectively accurate. We are all sensorially unique, our perception is influenced by our way of thinking, distorted by individual emotions and expectations.

The artistic contributions to the exhibition Feelers, Sensors engage the question of what role sensory perception plays in human and non-human experiencing of the world, what role it could play in the future, and how technologies such as artificial intelligence or “sensing machines” are changing the way we access and interact with our environment and each other.



An important meeting place for emerging artists, the EMAF Campus presents current projects by classes from leading European art and film schools. This year, classes from Germany, Belgium, Norway, and Spain will be guests, presenting exhibitions and film screenings developed especially for the festival.

On the occasion of its 35th anniversary, the Academy of Media Arts Cologne is presenting a broad selection of experimental short films from recent decades, showing student productions in various media formats: from web series to material films, from found-footage music videos to autobiographical films.

The film programmes of the KASK art academy in Ghent, which were created in 2022 and 2023 by master’s students in film, animation, and photography, move thematically between alienation from and immersion into one’s own world.

Under the title In the Belly of the Vacuum Cleaner, the Norwegian Kabelvåg School of Moving Images is developing an exhibition around the image of the vacuum cleaner, which, like our consciousness, sucks in the environment, collects it, and reassembles it into new (dis)orders.

With BLACKBIRDS SINGING IN THE DARK, the joint exhibition of the University of Osnabrück and the Universidad de la Laguna Tenerife portrays the perspectives of a young generation marked by the current presence of crises, wars, social injustices, and social traumas. Harmony of Mindscape, another project by students from the Department of Art at Osnabrück University in collaboration with students from Osnabrück’s Music and Art School, allows visitors to experience how they react to certain stimuli and to sense the point when they change.