It does stick out. But it’s more of an indirect coincidence. Our programme has no quotas. We watch the films and select them based on their quality. And especially the films that we have from Ludwigsburg this year came to us at different times and over various channels. You don’t just drive to Ludwigsburg, watch all the films and then choose three films for the programme at the end of the day. Long-term processes and connections often play a role.
Stefan Schaller, for example, attracted my attention with a film last year, but it had been completed at the wrong moment in time. When he presented Jedem das Seine (To Each his Own), which even went beyond my expectations, it became clear to me that it had to run in this year’s programme. In this way things often develop bit by bit, as opposed to playing film academies off of one another. It is always about the particular film. The final statistical result is – seen purely mathematically – coincidental. But perhaps this school is in a good state right now.
As every year, there are also several films that were made in cooperation with television. Are the television institutions sufficiently engaged and do they support young, imaginative filmmakers? Or are they sometimes too risk-averse?
I don’t think they are too risk-averse. One has to watch out a bit that at the end one doesn’t spawn too many young filmmakers (laughs). No, they do it very well, though it only takes place on two levels: The flagship is surely “Das kleine Fernsehspiel” on ZDF, which places no restrictions upon its support of young directors, whether it is the content, the form or time. For them, it’s really about the material that they want to develop and produce with the filmmakers. Of course a lot of film students who are making their first feature end up here. Often enough proper cinema formats originate out of this work.
A further possibility is offered by “Debüt im Dritten” at the various ARD channels, at which you can observe the same phenomenon, just somewhat less precisely formatted. The fact that the private channels don’t have an engagement in this field lies, I believe, in the nature of the thing: they don’t have a cultural obligation. And you can only support young talent if you have a cultural obligation.
“It seems you somehow need the small…”
Family matters always come up in your programme again and again. This time in two films sons tackle their double-edged relationship to their fathers: Martin Busker’s Höllenritt and Polar by Michael Koch. Does something like the collapse of the nuclear family and adjustment to the parents’ new partners lie behind this?
Interestingly, the theme is really booming this year, even if it has, as you say, always played an important role at the Perspektive. It can be explained by the general, worldwide tendency that family is again considered valuable. It’s becoming a refuge, a defence against the societal and economic consequences of globalisation. At this year’s festival the topic seems to be omnipresent. You see it even more in the Competition films than in the Perspektive. Again and again and in all sections, it’s about broken relationships, and the relationship of the children to their parents and vice versa. It seems you somehow need the small, because the big is getting bigger all the time. That’s how I would explain it.