You disabled your car! Unfortunately you and many others don't read workshop procedures before carrying out workshop work. You fall into the trap as a DIYer of doing what you have always done on older cars and then get it wrong. V.W regard replacing parts like this as 'Workshop service operations' and they assume you have the same knowledge, experience, and tools to carry out the work:Has anyone else experienced this? Pretty ridiculous for such a simple filter change to cause a total debilitation of the car.
Modern efficient EFI engines pass very small amounts of fuel through their fuel injectors. V.W High pressure fuel injection pumps are of two distinct types: Mechanical driven from the camshaft and electrical using the battery. When you replace a fuel filter even assuming you filled the filter can with fuel? There will be a lot of trapped air, particularly if fuel has run back from fuel lines. You can imagine getting that air through timed fuel injectors the size of pin holes using engine cranking is virtually impossible.
You need to know and follow the safe procedure used on your engine for bleeding the fuel system. It's not a common 'one fits all' procedure. I can use my own method without diagnostics which is not now regarded as safe workshop practice, but search Google. V.W will advise the safest method for their shops to use.
When an engine is fitted with an electric HP fuel pump, a diagnostics fuel system purge is an automatic procedure that opens all the fuel injectors and runs the fuel pump for about 30 seconds. Ultra safe with no high pressure fuel squirting about and starting fires! This is usually long enough for air to be forced out, but may need to be repeated if cranking doesn't start the car.