Download Programme / Festival starts on September 9th

We are finally going ahead with much of our programme in Cologne, with an online version of its feature film competition. The Debut Feature Film Competition, with €10,000 for the winner, has been won by Maya Da-Rin for A FEBRE (THE FEVER). Dortmund | Cologne IWFF today announces its rescheduled programme for September. From 9 to 13 September, several Cologne cinemas and the 2020 Festival’s online platform will present around 50 films. Advance tickets are now available online at

Download programme (in German) 

Unfamiliar circumstances call for unfamiliar formats: The Festival opening ceremony on 9 September at Cologne’s spacious Filmpalast cinema will also include the award ceremony. The juries have already selected the winners for each award. The winner of the International Debut Feature Film Competition 2020 can also now be revealed: Maya Da-Rin receives the €10,000 prize for THE FEVER, which premièred at Locarno in 2019 and collected that festival’s Best Actor prize. The film deals with the dramatic changes in the living environment in the Brazilian Amazon region.

The international jury was made up of Claudia Steffen (CEO, Pandora Film), Maria Paula Lorgia (researcher and curator, Columbia) and Huei-Yin Chen (curator, Women Make Waves Taiwan).

Other winning films in the categories for short films for children and young people, young up-and-coming female artists and cinematography are to be announced by honorary guests on 9 September.


Following the award ceremony, the Festival’s opening film will be the German première of the documentary BECOMING BLACK, in which director Ines Johnson-Spain takes a critical look at her own childhood as a black German girl in the GDR. This film, highly relevant and politically symbolic in its theme given the current climate, also marks the opening of the Festival’s Focus: After Reunification 1990|2020. Marking the 30th anniversary of the unique historical event of German reunification, the Festival’s extensively researched programme puts spotlights on the film-making experiences of female directors in East Germany. The Festival is particularly delighted to welcome to Cologne numerous guests from the Focus line-up, including Annekatrin Hendel, Tina Bara, Kerstin Honeit, Ines Johnson-Spain, Therese Koppe, Grit Lemke, Barbara Metselaar, Thanh Nguyen Phuong and Tamara Trampe.

On the big screen at last – desired! film lust & queer

The Festival will show certain specials as well as the entire set of films from its LGBTQI* section desired! - film lust & queer in cinemas. Cologne’s queer cinema audience can look forward to a series of strong new films from a wide variety of genres, dealing with topics of real relevance in terms of content and aesthetics – transgender and pregnancy, intersexuality and the political dimensions of the queer body are represented in the programme alongside a (retro)look at the ground-breaking work of artists such as Barbara Hammer, Rasheedah Phillips and Moor Mother aka Black Quantum Futurism, Eileen Myles, Audre Lorde and Dynasty Handbag (QUEER GENIUS, Chet Pancake).

All events at the cinemas will be held in compliance with official health and hygiene regulations.

Online: streaming of competition feature films

For anyone wishing to experience the Festival who cannot make it to Cologne, six of the eight debut feature films in the competition selection will be available during the Festival via a streaming platform. After so many months of being on tenterhooks, the Festival team is very much looking forward to welcoming the film audiences and the film-makers to a live shared cultural experience once again.

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