PT_04_Jury Work                                                                     20/10/2018

Mountain Film Tegernsee, 16th International Festival from 17 – 21 October 2018

 Insights Behind the Curtain

The bright sunshine, glittering lake and alluring peaks of the enchanting Tegernsee mountain world disappear behind thick blinds and darkness spreads. The jury is in session over the next four days. By now, the prizes have been awarded and their work is completed. We hand over to the jury to sum up its impressions.

“It was great to once again dive deeply into the world of films without any distractions until our eyes started to blur,” raves Christine Kopp, when the curtain finally lifts again. The Swiss author and editor was already part of the Tegernsee jury 15 years ago. “On one hand much has remained the same,” she says. The same patterns, strengths, weaknesses. On the other hand, she was able to discover novel, creative aspects in this year’s films. “And drones, drones, drones. They’re quite the hype right now, but I am sure that will change in a few year’s time.”

A Privilege
Carla Braun-Elwert, who previously won Tegernsee’s Audience Prize, also enjoyed her work for the jury. “It is a real privilege to be part of this jury and to profit personally from this deep analytical work.” The question arises what really matters, what makes a mountain film outstanding. “This also entails questioning my own work as a film maker. It’s something I will take home and hopefully it will help improve my films.”

Camerawoman Susan Gluth also appreciates this fantastic opportunity to check up on her convictions, prejudices and values. “This intimate exchange with the audience in a small place, all these encounters — that’s rarely possible and very exciting!

Eye-to-Eye Discussions
We learn how jury decisions were made from Sebastian Marseiler, a documentary film maker from South Tyrol: “These were eye-to-eye discussions during which we kept examining new perspectives. This wasn’t about persuasion tactics and votes, but about truly listening to one another and creating unanimity.”

Another jury member who loves this kind of creative interaction is the initiator of the Salzburg Mountain Film Festival, Michael Bilic: “This is where I discover whether my opinion is solid. Am I on the right track or did the film seduce me?” In Tegernsee he was particularly impressed by the way “the whole town turns into a mountain film festival.”

Space for Courage
The jury was particularly impressed by the sheer range of films in Tegernsee: “In Salzburg we select the best films and show what our audience wants to see,” explains Bilic. Here in Tegernsee, the competitive component — Germany’s only mountain film competition — adds not only suspense but also diversity: “It creates space for courageous films, extraordinary production methods and alternative approaches.”
This applies especially to young film makers, even if their work is still rough around the edges: This year, the Otto Guggenbichler Prize for the Best Junior Film goes to Alexej Funke, an award which is not solely meant as a distinction but also as encouragement to further develop what’s already there. “Dare, ye young ones, to shoot films straight from the heart,” Sebastian Marseiler declaims and adds with a smirk: “for what is more amusing than beautiful and ingenious balderdash?”