B3 2021: presentation of BEN Awards marks festival start – 8 awards go to artists from 6 countries B3 program starts on 16 October with 80 contributors from 25 countries

Frankfurt/Main, 15 October 2021

The sixth B3 Biennial of the Moving Image started today, October 15, with a gala at the festival center, Astor Film Lounge MyZeil, in Frankfurt/Main. During the gala, the internationally acclaimed BEN Awards were presented. Since 2013, the B3 Biennial of the Moving Image has honored established artists and emerging talents. U.S. American director Oliver Stone received this year's B3 BEN in the category Lifetime Achievement (Honorary). Filmmaker and author Hito Steyerl received the Honorary BEN Award in the category Arts. Additional awards were given to artists from Germany, Russia, Serbia, South Africa, and the US.

From October 16, the complete film, art and conference program of B3 will become available online and partly offline, featuring about 80 contributors from over 20 countries. For the art program (Moving Image Forum), 40 works by 25 artists from 20 countries have been selected. The conference program will feature 50 speakers. The B3 film program presents around 35 short and feature-length films from 20 countries, including 32 international and German premieres.

This year's central exhibition venue is the MyZeil shopping center in downtown Frankfurt. Here, 40 moving image works by 25 artists will transform 5 vacant stores of around 1,000 square meters into temporary galleries for current media art.

U.S. American director, screenwriter and producer Oliver Stone has received this year's B3 BEN in the category Lifetime Achievement (Honorary). Filmmaker and author Hito Steyerl received the Honorary BEN Award in the category Arts.

Since 2013, the B3 Biennial of the Moving Image has been honoring established artists and emerging talents with the internationally acclaimed BEN Awards. Works by B3 Biennial participants that deal with new narrative techniques in a particularly innovative way vie for the main and emerging talent prizes. Previous main prize recipients are Laurie Anderson (2013); Brian Eno (2015); Jonas Mekas & Ingvild Goetz (2017); Steve McQueen (2019); and Willem Dafoe and Anne Imhof (2020).

More awards by category:

Best Emerging Talent

Sergey Barabanshikoff (RUS, 2021), RUSSIAN DOLLS

RUSSIAN DOLLS are a limited collection of NFT dolls that bear reference to the artist’s roots. The main design idea is to stylistically combine the cultural past and present within these characters. Traditional Russian dolls (matryoshkas) come in several pieces, a fact that is also reflected in the Faraday collection in the form of several series of 3 dolls in a row. The main idea with regard to collecting is competition – this is the first NFT competition where collectors can't buy everything they want. Instead, they have to buy a series of 3 to get a 4th doll which then takes them to the next level.

Best Short Film


By Khulekani Mayisa (RSA, 2021)

This film re-writes herstory. It reimagines a world where women finally experience their first dance with freedom. The title, derived from a Zulu phrase meaning "All the best" or "Peace be upon you" is a call for all [black] women to come and exist as they truly are: relieved from societal expectations and the patronizing attitudes often accompanied with "Women's Month" in South Africa. Instead, the women are welcomed with the soft landing they deserve.

Best Game


By Igor Simic (SRB, 2021)

After the Great Ecological catastrophe, the ultra rich moved to Tesla City on Mars. The rest of us died. Now, citizens of Mars take flights to Earth and play golf in the ruins of human civilization. However, one of the Mars mission pilots cannot fit in the new Martian society. The homesick pilot uses his connections at Golf Club: Wasteland for one last solo trip to Earth. The game is available on Sony Playstation, Microsoft Xbox, Nintendo Switch and PC.

Best Immersive and Time Based Art


By Sin Wai Kin (CAN, 2021)

IRRECONCILABLE DIFFERENCES presents a conversation between two individuals who signify two sides of a false dichotomy. Wearing faces reimagined from the Chou (clown) archetype in Cantonese and Peking Opera, and exaggerated curves, costumes and wigs, the characters clown the visual language of identity categories such as gender and race, as well as spoken and gestural language and its relationship to polarised positionalities.

Best Feature Film


by Nana Mensah (USA, 2021)

"Queen of Glory" is the story of Sarah Obeng, the brilliant child of Ghanaian immigrants, who is quitting her Ivy League PhD program to follow her married lover to Ohio. When her mother dies suddenly, she bequeaths her daughter a Christian bookstore in the Pelham Parkway section of the Bronx where Sarah was raised. A follow-up on the classic immigrant's tale, Queen of Glory provokes laughter and empathy, as its heroine is reborn through her inheritance.

Rotraut Pape Inspiration Award

Brenda Lien (GER)

From 2012 to 2020, filmmaker, screenwriter, and composer Brenda Lien studied art with a focus on film and animation at Hochschule für Gestaltung Offenbach. Rotraut Pape was her mentor. While still a student, Lien's films were screened at numerous international film festivals and won multiple awards. Brenda Lien positions herself as an intersectional feminist and diversity activist in her films as well as in her public work.

About B3 – An Alliance for the Moving Image

As a cross-media, cross-genre and international moving image festival offering film screenings, exhibitions, conference and workshop programs as well as various competition formats, B3 addresses the discourse on all trends and developments pertaining to the moving image in the areas of film, art, games and VR/XR. The aim of the Biennial, which was launched in 2012, is on the one hand to create a broad interdisciplinary alliance for the moving image, and on the other hand to offer the international cultural and creative industries a comprehensive platform for innovation and exchange. From October 15 to 24, 2021, the sixth edition of the B3 Biennial will offer the world's film, art and media professionals an international platform for innovation, exchange and visibility. B3 2021 will take place as a hybrid festival. A total of around 80 contributors from 25 countries will be featured. The B3 Biennial of the Moving Image is organized by the Offenbach School of Design (HfG) and funded by the Hessian Ministry of Science and Art (HMWK). Kulturfonds Frankfurt RheinMain and Wirtschaftsförderung Frankfurt are main sponsors. Partners include Kulturfonds Frankfurt RheinMain, Wirtschaftsförderung Frankfurt as well as Sylvia and Friedrich von Metzler. Strategic partners are the Frankfurt Book Fair, THE ARTS+, Film London and many more. Main event partners are ASTOR Film Lounge MyZeil, MyZeil Shopping-Center, and Satis&Fy.

Press contact
Susanne Tenzler-Heusler
T: +49 173 378 6601
M: presse@b3biennale.de