This year, for the first time, the City of Hof is awarding two short film prizes, each worth 2,500 euros. Among 51 films, the audience could vote both on site in Hof cinemas and until November 7th at the streaming festival. In addition to the Jury Short Film Award 2021, which went to Marlena Molitor for her film SORT OF GROWN UP and already was awarded on October 29, the Audience Short Film Award 2021 was decided today. Three films made it into the final round. Audiences across Germany chose the following short film:
AYSHA by Cengiz Akaygün
With haunting images, AYSHA depicts a moving document of the situation of people in a fundamentalist system. 10-year-old Aysha sits with her sister in a backyard in Afrin, Syria, where a strict woman quizzes them both on the Quranic verses. While Aysha’s sister passes the exam in exemplary fashion, Aysha has difficulty quoting the verses. Unlike her sister, Aysha rejects the female role imposed on her, provoking the woman’s disapproval. When Aysha resists, the situation escalates.
The director Cengiz Akaygün was born in Stuttgart in 1979 as the son of Kurdish guest workers. He studied Communication and Media Sciences. Later, he began making films, first image films, then also short films. He celebrated great festival success with his short film THE TANGERINE TREE (2018). The 13-minute film AYSHA is his fourth short film.
Second and third place went to the films MARTYRS OF STRIVING by Alexander Fischer (Peskador) and FREE FALL by Emmanuel Tenenbaum. We congratulate all three filmmakers!
The Hof International Film Festival was founded in 1967 with screenings of short films. Often short films are the first signature of talent and at the same time increasingly important as an independent format, especially in the digital age of short attention spans. Since time immemorial, the festival has shown a short and feature-length film together in equal measure in a cinema screening. To give short films more of a spotlight, the city of Hof awards in the 55th anniversary year of the Hof International Film Festival (26-31 October 2021 plus 7streamdays with films on demand until 7 November) for the first time a jury and an audience short film award, each endowed with 2,500 euros. We thank the city of Hof for this commitment.
Ana Radica & the Team of the Hof International Film Festival