Cottbus Film Festival


Years running: 34 (since 1991)

Cottbus Film Festival

Festival of East European Cinema.


Cottbus is one of the festivals founded in East-Germany after the end of the GDR. Based on the GDR film movement, the Cottbus film festival has developed into one of the most important crossroads between the East European and the West European feature film industries in all of Europe, and is regarded in Germany the best place to meet up with representatives of Eastern European film. Guests from 30 countries and numerous premieres make Cottbus a major event for many distributors, cinema operators and buyers. In 2001 a board of trustees was founded to ensure further development; the festival's Honorary President is István Szabó. Within the framework of the festival «Connecting Cottbus» was established as a forum of the film industry to encourage contacts and the co-development of projects between East and West. In addition: workshops, roundtable talks, exhibitions, concerts. 


Feature Film Competition:

  • Main Prize for Best Film (divided equally between the director and producer)  — 25 000 €
  • Special Prize for Best Director — 7500 €
  • Award for an Outstanding Actress — 5000 €
  • Award for an Outstanding Actor — 5000 €

Short Feature Competition:

  • Main Prize — 2500 €
  • Special Prize — 1000 €

U18 German-Polish Youth Film Competition:

  •  Prize for Best Youth Film — 3000 €

Other Awards:

  • «Cottbus ins Kino» — Award for the Promotion of a Festival Film 10 000 €
  • GWFF Promotional Award 4500 €
  • Cottbus Discovery Award 2500 €
  • DIALOG Award for the promotion of intercultural understanding 3000 €
  • Best Début Film Award 3000 €
  • Audience Award 3000 €
  • Fédération Internationale de la Presse Cinématographique (FIPRESCI) Award
  • Ecumenical Jury Award 


  • The film competitions are intended exclusively for East European films finalised as of January1st, 2022.
  • The works preferred are expected to be the (co-)director’s first to fifth feature length film.
  • German premiere is required.
  • Definition East European films:  its producer or one of its co-producers and/or director resides in one of Europe’s post-socialist countries (including all successor states of the Soviet Union).

Documents and Other Requisite Items

  • a properly completed registration form including the director’s brief biography, 
  • portrait photo and filmography (to include documentary works, shorts and student — films) as well as a synopsis of the work in question. 
  • Screener: DVD or Link (e.g. vimeo or youtube, at all possible with German or English subtitles)
  • A complete dialogue/text list (in German or English)
  • Still photographs and a film trailer

Selection Media Type: DVD or Link

Screening Media Type: DCP

Audio language: original

Subtitles language: English and/or German

Premiere Requirements

National premiere required.

Jury and Organizers

Director — Roland Rust




Official Website



Film Festival Cottbus
Karl-Marx-Straße 69
D-03044 Cottbus

Phone: +49 (355) 43107-15

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Dates & Deadlines
  • Deadline
    July 15, 2023
  • Event Dates
    7 — 12 November 2023
Categories & Fees

German − Polish − Czech Youth Film Competition. Alongside feature-length films this programme section is also open to medium length works with a running time of between 30 and 50 minutes.

  • Deadline — free

East European feature length films (including documentary and experimental works of a feature film nature) with a running time of no less than 50 minutes.

  • Deadline — free

East European short length films (including documentary and experimental works of a feature film nature) with a running time of no more than 30 minutes.

  • Deadline — free
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