Golden Key

With the support of the City of Kassel, the Golden Key will be awarded for the twentieth time for the best up-and-coming documentary work. The Golden Key is awarded in two categories: for the best documentary short film up to 66 minutes and for the best documentary feature film of 66 minutes or more. Both prizes are endowed with 2,500 € each. Nominated are works whose directors were not older than 35 years at the time of completion. Exceptions to this rule are decided – in justified cases – by the festival's selection committees. From this year's program, 26 works were nominated for the Golden Key.

Since 2017 the Golden Key is an officially listed and recognized competition of the German Federal Film Board (FFA). By participating in the Golden Key competition, films produced in Germany, with a running time of up to 30 minutes, can earn 5 points for reference film funding.

The Golden Key, derived from the Grimm fairy tale of the same name, is intended to help open doors for further cinematic careers.

Jury 2022

Guangli Liu graduated from Le Fresnoy - Studio national des arts contemporains in 2020. Passionate about image-making, he has developed an art practice around painting, video art, 3D animation, and virtual reality. His works attempt to question how the digital medium fits into contemporary storytelling and the reconstruction of our collective memory. 2021 he won the prize Golden Nica at Ars Electronica and Golden Key Award for best short film at Kassel Dokfest.

Ata Mehrad was born in Iran in 1989. His artistic path started with music. Attending the university was the next step for him in advancing his artistic path: In 2006, he started acting in a theater and 2009 he directed his first play. Finally, he was introduced to documentary film and entered the world of cinema in 2014. Currently he is working as a director, editor and producer in this field. Also, he has launched Artunity in 2018, an online platform for promoting the works of a new generation of artists. His film Faryad ro be bad (Shouting at the Wind) was the opening film of Kassel Dokfest 2019.

Johanna Süß, born 1979 in Frankfurt, is festival director of the LICHTER Filmfest Frankfurt International. She studied politics, art history and theater, film and media studies in Mainz and Frankfurt. In addition to independent cultural projects such as the Freiluftkino Frankfurt, she is responsible for the Initiative Zukunft Deutscher Film and has been involved in the board of the Hessian Film and Cinema Office since 2014. She is also active in the Initiative Hessen Film and the Working Group of Film Festivals in Germany.

Dr. Susanne Völker has been head of the cultural department of the city of Kassel since 2017. Previously, the art historian and cultural manager worked as curator and director for several museums and since 2012 was as founding director entrusted with the project management for the GRIMMWELT Kassel. Susanne Völker studied art history, philosophy, law and museum management in Hamburg and Vienna and did her PhD in cultural studies on UNESCO World Document Heritage in cultural education.

Florian Wüst is a Berlin based film curator. He has curated film programs and exhibitions for international art institutions and festivals, like most recently the IMPAKT Festival 2022 in Utrecht, together with Erik Bünger. From 2016 to 2020 Wüst was the film and video curator of transmediale. He is co-founder of the Berlin Journals on the history and present state of the city, an ongoing series of publications that address the social, cultural, and econimic changes in Berlin and other cities.

Award Winners

2022 Feature Film: Marusya Syroechkovskaya: How to Save a Dead Friend

2022 Short Film: Evgenia Arbugaeva, Maxim Arbugaev: Haulout

2021 Feature Film: Stefan Pavlovic: Looking for Horses

2021 Short Film: Guang Liu: 当海里长出森林 (When the Sea Sends Forth a Forest)

2020 Feature Film: Radu Ciorniciuc: Acasa  – My Home

2020 Shortfilm: Francesca Bertin: L`Artificio

2019 Feature Film: Jialing Zhang und Nanfu Wang: One Child Nation

2019 Shortfilm: Markus Fiedler, Nanna Katrine Hansen, Thomas Elsted and Stanley Edwards: Cast Away Souls

2018 Feature Film: Jasmin Preiß: Sweet Meadow

2018 Shortfilm: Agnes Lisa Wegner: No Fucking Ice Cream

2017 Ziad Kalthoum: Taste of Cement

2016 Ognjen Glavonic: Dubina Dva

2015 Mea de Jong: If Mama Ain't Happy, Nobody's Happy

2014 Leslie Tai: The Private Life of Fenfen

2013 Gabriel Serra: La parka

2012 Antoine Bourges: East Hastings Pharmacy

2011 Carmen Losmann: Work Hard - Play Hard

2010 Viera Cákanyová: Alda

2009 Thomas A. Østbye: Human

2008 Mario Hirasaka: Die Ryozanpaku

2007 Jess Feast: Cowboys & Communists

2006 Sarah Vanagt: Begin Began Begun

2005 Susanne Jaeger: Vater und Feind

2004 Alexandra Gulea: Die Daumendreher (GOD PLAYS SAX; THE DEVIL VIOLIN)

2003 Sandra Jakisch: 08/15 – Leben am Rand von Köln

2002 Klaus Stern: Andreas Baader- Der Staatsfeind