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FILMFEST HAMBURG announces first awards

6. October 2023


At the festive awards ceremony on 6 October 2023 at the Patriotischen Gesellschaft, the three Hamburg Producer Awards were presented by Hamburg’s State Councillor for Culture Jana Schiedek. The prize, which has been in existence since 2014, recognises the special achievements of German producers and film and television production companies. It is awarded in the competition categories “International Cinema Co-Productions”, “German Cinema Productions” and “German Television Productions” with prize money of 25,000 euros each. The special prize for serial formats is endowed with 10,000 euros.


The Hamburg Producer Award “International Cinema Co-Productions” goes to the producer of Fabian Driehorst (Fabian&Fred) for the international co-production with Spain Sultana’s Dream (director: Isabel Herguera, screenplay: Isabel Herguera, Gianmarco Serra). The jury (Britta Imdahl, acting agent; Martin Langer, cinematographer; Malika Musaeva, director) was carried away by the poetic dream and the artful realisation of the animated film: “Isabel Herguera adheres to cinematic rules and at the same time breaks them. A special experience. More than a film.”


The prize in the category “German Cinema Productions” was won by producer and director Katharina Huber for her film A Good Place. According to the jury (Hans-Christian Schmid, director; Alexander Simon, actor; Nele Wohlatz, director), the film demands “to get involved in a reality all of its own”. And the citation goes on to say: “With a sure sense of casting, visual language, music and dialogue, the countdown to the launch of an ominous rocket is on. While some fantasise about colonising new galaxies, others wonder what remains of humanity as violence increases between them to engage in a reality all their own.”


The prize money for both categories totalling 50,000 euros is provided by the Authority for Culture and Media.


The winners of the Hamburg Producer Award “German Television Production” are the producers Jakob Claussen and Uli Putz (Claussen + Putz) for Sörensen catches fire (director: Bjarne Mädel; screenplay: Sven Stricker based on his novel of the same name). According to the jury (Thelma Buabeng, actress; Arne Feldhusen, director; Ali Hakim, producer and director), the production succeeded in mixing genres well, “combining the crime genre with comedic elements. The film takes a serious subject like abuse with unique linguistic wit and mixes it with dark accents. Finely crafted characters and a subtly implied love story are supported by stunning imagery and unusual visual composition.”


The jury also awarded an honourable mention to the production The flood- death on the dike (Director: Andreas Prochaska, Screenplay: Daniele Baumgärtl, Constantin Lieb, based on the novel Hauke Haiens Tod by Andrea Paluch and Robert Habeck; Production: Nordfilm, Kerstin Ramcke, Katinka Seidt, Wilfried Hauke).  “With its coherent and densely narrated plot, a special ensemble and extremely powerful images, this film creates a captivating undertow that is impossible to resist,” the jury statement reads.


The prize money for this award of 25,000 euros is donated by the Verwertungsgesellschaft der Film- und Fernsehproduzenten (VFF), which also provides the prize money for the special prize for serial formats of 10,000 euros.


This year, this special prize went to the producers Katrin Haase and Oliver Arnold (U5 Filmproduktion) for the series Füxe (director: David Clay Diaz, Susan Gordanshekan; screenplay: Joe Hofer, David Clay Diaz). In the jury’s statement it says, among other things, “The series Füxe succeeds in dealing with complex topics such as social participation and classism without falling into clichés or simplifications. The striking portrayal of the Corps milieu and the nuanced production help the series leave a profound impression.”


Two award ceremonies already took place on Thursday, 5 October. At the MICHEL Children and Youth Film Festival, the MICHEL jury selected the film Totem by Sander Burger and, after a video message from the visibly moved director, presented the new MICHEL prize MAJA, donated by Hamburg cinema operator Hans-Peter Jansen and worth 10,000 euros, to producer Paula Lichte (Leitwolf Film), who was present. For the jury it was important “that people with a migration background and POCs can recognise themselves (… ). No matter where you come from or what you believe in, you are important and unique (…).”


The jury of the Molodist Kyiv International Film Festival, consisting of actress Alina Levshin, psychologist and journalist Svitlana Uvarova and director David Wagner awarded the Scythian Deer and 2,000 USD to Christina Tynkevych for her film How is Katia?.


The jury gave an honourable mention to the films Luxembourg, Louxembourg by Antonio Lukich and Rock.Paper.Granade by Iryna Tsilyk.


The other FILMFEST HAMBURG prizes will be awarded on 7 October before the closing film Paradise is Burning.

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