The complete programme for 2022

Get ready for this year's selection!

With a programme that is exciting and diverse in every respect, the traditional International Film Festival Mannheim-Heidelberg (IFFMH) is going into its 71st edition on 17 November. A total of over 60 films from more than 40 countries will be screened. Its historical origins extend back exactly 100 years to 1922.

Have a look at the film overview.

The international competition ON THE RISE

In the international competition ON THE RISE, the IFFMH 2022 is screening exclusively first and second works. This year, precisely 50 percent of the films are debuts. Almost half of the films in the competition are by women. In geographical terms, the spectrum covers all inhabited continents and ranges from Costa Rica to Tunisia and Sudan to South Korea and Australia. All films in the IFFMH competition are German premieres.

As our programming deadline approached, the following works were added to this series of outstanding competition films by talented international directors. The Portuguese entry ›Wolf and Dog‹, a debut film that’s as emotionally charged as it is visually powerful. Director, cinematographer and photographer Cláudia Varejão explores an island in the Azores that threatens to become a prison for its queer inhabitants. She effortlessly interweaves documentary and fictional elements to create a passionate love story.

›A Tale of Shemroon‹ by the talented Iranian director Emad Aleebrahim Dehkordi is about a love of a completely different kind. It is about two brothers who are as opposite as they are close to each other. At the same time, the film takes a look at the world of nouveau riche young adults in northern Tehran, a world marked by drugs and excessive behaviour that is rarely seen in Iranian cinema. With great virtuosity and finesse, director Dehkordi turns up the suspense. Little by little, a noose of dependencies, family conflicts and long-pent-up aggression tightens around the neck of one of the brothers.

›The Maiden‹ also revolves around young people – but on the other side of the world, in Canada. Director Graham Foy’s debut, shot on 16-millimetre film, is the most powerful North American independent film of the year, the ›Stand by Me‹ of our time. His gently observant camerawork paints a lyrical picture of a frail generation.

The female protagonist in ›Suna‹ is already in the second half of her life. This film marks Turkish director Çigdem Sezgin’s return to the IFFMH. She was previously at Mannheim-Heidelberg in 2015 with her debut film, ›Wedding Dance‹. Like her debut, her latest film deals with the shortcomings of marriage as a social institution. Suna, a 50-year-old former actress, sees marriage as the key to her financial security and having a roof over her head. But both of these benefits have their limits: spending money is scarce, and the union presided over by the imam by no means guarantees that she is the legal inheritor of her house. Director Çigdem Sezgin dissects the conventions in Turkey and paints a sensitive portrait of a woman searching arduously for her place in a male-dominated world.


PUSHING THE BOUNDARIES complements the competition with innovative works by established directors, including a whole series of exciting German premieres this year.

This section is always open to the diversity of cinematic genres: ›Blanquita‹ by Chilean director Fernando Guzzoni, for example, is a particularly intense political thriller. When Blanca becomes a key witness in a nationwide scandal, she implicates the political system and its actors in an unprecedented way. Based on real events and with reference to the Jeffrey Epstein case, ›Blanquita‹ reflects on guilt and truth outside the courtroom. In precisely composed images, the director and his cinematographer Benjamín Echazarreta capture the claustrophobic, almost hopeless, situation of the protagonists. And finally, they transform their rage into a force that gives hope.

Another film in this section has us revisit Walter Hill, the old master of the western. In ›Dead for a Dollar‹, the legendary American director succeeds in repositioning the genre in a way that is as confident as it is contemporary. This is a tribute to classic Hollywood cinema and the Italo-western, and it’s star-studded: Rachel Brosnahan, Christoph Waltz, Willem Dafoe and Benjamin Bratt, are among the actors in this film.

Another film having its German premiere at IFFMH 2022 is ›Stella in Love‹ by Sylvie Verheyde. In her latest work, the French director places the autobiographical protagonist of her celebrated earlier film ›Stella‹ on the threshold of adulthood, and thus in the midst of deeply divided France in the 1980s. Verheyde conjures up this era and phase of life like a wild dream that could suddenly end at any moment. As she faces the dreariness of everyday life, complete with her mother (Marina Foïs) suffering from depression, her only way out is found in the most ostentatious club in town: Les Bains Douches. There she meets André, who dances like a young god.

The worries and travails of a teenager are also the central theme in the family drama ›Winter Boy‹. Director Christophe Honoré, who is known for his melancholic romantic comedies, tells the story of 17-year-old Lucas (Paul Kircher), whose life is falling apart. Helped by his mother (Juliette Binoche) and his brother, he finally attempts a fresh start. Like few others, Honoré has mastered the ability to bring a family structure to life in such a way that every facet conveys strong emotions. Whether it is the unconditional love of the mother, the gay desires of the younger brother or the detachment of the elder one, everything is intertwined. In San Sebastián, this film received the award for best leading actor.

As it honours the French director and screenwriter Alice Winocour with the Grand IFFMH Award, the festival is screening her latest film, ›Paris Memories‹, as a German premiere. In this sincere and sensitively directed film, Winocour once again tells the story of a traumatised woman (Virginie Efira) who tries to get back to a normal life and who might even profit from the terrible experience.

Paris Memories, Copyright: Dharamsala, Darius Films, Pathé Films, France 3 Cinéma

Closing film

The festival’s closing film on 27 November is also a German premiere: ›Chiara‹, the story of a saint and a revolutionary. Clare of Assisi prays and fights for her freedom and for recognition by the pope as well as for women’s rights. At the Venice Film Festival, ›Chiara‹ was the big winner of the competition. A total of five awards went to director Susanna Nicchiarelli, costume designer Laura Montaldi and leading actress Margherita Mazzucco, who is a real find.


In the FACING NEW CHALLENGES section, now in its third year, the IFFMH explores the current potential of motion pictures outside the realm of narrative cinema. To this end, the festival looks beyond cinemas as it involves new, sometimes unusual, venues. In 2022, the Kunsthalle Mannheim will once again be the main location. Two works from the ›landscapes and bodies‹ series by the German video artist Daniel Kötter will be presented in the atrium there for the duration of the festival. In this series, Kötter deals with the extraction of natural resources in various parts of the world and with the exploitation of the environment and of people. Specifically, ›Water & Coltan‹ and ›Gold & Coal‹ will be screened. The audience can expect a very special sensory experience. Using the VR headsets provided, visitors can experience the works as 360-degree films and immerse themselves in another world for about 50 minutes at a time. The images appear more close up than ever.

An outstanding aspect of Kötter’s films is their coupling of a contemplative observation of landscapes and solid criticism of political realities. As a highlight, the IFFMH and Kunsthalle Mannheim will be screening the film ›Oil Shale‹ from the same series by Kötter in an exclusive live film concert with the Estonian noise techno band KEETAI on 23 November.

Moreover, the IFFMH is this year cooperating for the first time with another powerhouse of the arts in the Rhine-Neckar metropolitan region: the Mannheim National Theatre. In its Studio Werkhaus, Heiner Müller’s ›Philoctetes‹ will be presented in a production by the multi-award-winning director Jan Bonny — not as an ordinary stage production, but as theatre conceived for the screen. Following his work on stage at the Schauspielhaus Basel, the director filmed a continuation of the play in cinematic form with the actresses Bibiana Beglau (in the role of the narrator), Aenne Schwarz, Rosa Lembeck and Elmira Bahrami, lending the play a completely different kind of physicality and timelessness.

All the films at IFFMH 2022, listed alphabetically by section:

  • Opening Film

    Diary of a Fleeting Affair, Emmanuel Mouret, France

  • Centre Piece

    The Beasts, Rodrigo Sorogoyen, Spain/France

  • Closing Film

    Chiara, Susanna Nicchiarelli, Italy/Belgium

  • Midnight Screening

    Unicorn Wars, Alberto Vázquez, Spain/France

    • El Agua, Elena López Riera, Spain/Switzerland/France
    • Ashkal, Youssef Chebbi, Tunisia/France
    • Astrakan, David Depesseville, France
    • The Dam, Ali Cherri, Sudan/France/Serbia/Germany
    • How Is Katia?, Christina Tynkevych, Ukraine
    • I Have Electric Dreams, Valentina Maurel, Costa Rica/Belgium/France
    • Joyland, Saim Sadiq, Pakistan
    • The Maiden, Graham Foy, Canada
    • Next Sohee, July Jung, South Korea
    • The Sixth Child, Léopold Legrand, France
    • Sons of Ramses, Clément Cogitore, France
    • Suna, Çigdem Sezgin, Turkey/Spain/Bulgaria
    • A Tale of Shemroon, Iran/France/Germany/Italy
    • Valeria Is Getting Married, Michal Vinik, Israel/Ukraine
    • Wolf and Dog, Cláudia Varejão, Portugal/France
    • You Won’t Be Alone, Goran Stolevski, Australia/UK/Serbia
    • Blanquita, Fernando Guzzoni, Chile/Mexiko/Luxembourg/France/Poland
    • Dead for a Dollar, Walter Hill, USA/Canada
    • Forever Young, Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, France
    • Leila’s Brothers, Saeed Roustaee, Iran
    • Manticore, Carlos Vermut, Spain
    • The Night of the 12th, Dominik Moll, Belgium/France
    • Pacifiction, Albert Serra, Spain/France/Portugal/Germany
    • Paris Memories, Alice Winocour, France
    • Stella in Love, Sylvie Verheyde, France
    • Stone Turtle, Woo Ming Jin, Malaysia
    • Vera, Tizza Covi/Rainer Frimmel, Austria
    • When the Waves are Gone, Lav Diaz, Philippines/Denmark/Portugal/France
    • Winter Boy, Christophe Honoré, France
    • A Woman, Jean-Paul Civeyrac, France
    • Palm Trees and Power Lines, Jamie Dack, USA
    • Rodeo, Lola Quivoron, France
    • Safe Place, Luraj Lerotić, Croatia
    • Skin Deep, Alex Schaad, Germany
  • RETROSPECTIVE (in chronological order)
    • Salomé, Charles Bryant/Alla Nazimova, USA 1922
    • The Women, George Cukor, USA 1939
    • Paris Frills, Jacques Becker, France 1945
    • Puzzle of a Downfall Child, Jerry Schatzberg, USA 1970
    • Pink Narcissus, James Bidgood, USA 1971
    • The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant, West Germany 1972
    • Ludwig, Luchino Visconti, Italy/France/West Germany 1973
    • Picnic at Hanging Rock, Peter Weir, Australia 1975
    • Orlando, Sally Potter, UK/Russia/Italy/France/Netherlands 1992
    • The Virgin Suicides, Sofia Coppola, USA 1999
    • Girlhood, Céline Sciamma, France 2014
    • The Handmaiden, Park Chan-wook, South Korea 2016
  • Children`s Filmfestival
    • Bigman, Camiel Schouwenaar, Netherlands
    • Comedy Queen, Sanna Lenken, Sweden
    • The Exploits of Moominpappa, Ira Carpelan, Finland/Poland
    • Gandhi & Co., Manish Saini, India
    • Girls Go Movie Special (highlights, 2017–2022), diverse, Germany
    • My Small Land, Emma Kawawada, Japan/France
    • Oink, Mascha Halberstad, Netherlands/Belgium
    • Sun & Daughter, Catalina Razzini, Bolivia/Spain/Germany
  • Hommage Benoît Debie
    • Love 3D, Gaspar Noé, France/Belgium 2015
    • Spring Breakers, Harmony Korine, USA 2012
    • Vinyan, Fabrice du Welz, Belgium/France/UK 2008
  • Grand IFFMH Award Alice Winocour
    • Paris Memories, France 2022
    • Proxima, France/Germany 2019
    • Philoctetes (Heiner Müller), Jan Bonny, Germany 2022
    • Gold & Coal/Oil Shale/Water & Coltan, Daniel Kötter, Germany 2020–2021

The 71st IFFMH will be held from 17 to 27 November.

You’ll find media kits in our download area for the press here.

If you have any questions, please contact our agency Filmpresse Meuser.

The festival wishes to thank its sponsors and partners.