The Art Cinema Award from the International Confederation of Art Cinemas goes to The Rider by Chloé Zhao (distribution: Weltkino Filmverleih).
Excerpt from the jury’s statement: It has been a pleasure, and at the same time a challenge, to choose a film for this award due to the high standards. The CICAE jury has unanimously decided to present the Art Cinema Award to the film The Rider. As a semi-documentary film about the life and fate of the rodeo rider and horse trainer Bradey, The Rider explores themes and motifs of the Western genre.
The film shows us that despite harsh circumstances, despite threatening natural beauty and social misery, it is possible to live a life, thanks to hope and solidarity.
The Sichtwechsel Award, issued by the German Foreign Office, goes to the director Nele Wohlatz for her film The Future Perfect.
Excerpt from the jury's statement: ... One piece of work in particular stands out from this series of films. It deals with the effects experienced by a person coming to an unknown city, faced with an unfamiliar language, and confronted with unfamiliar emotions. A German writer and director, who lives and works in Argentina, has achieved a dual “change of view”: by looking at a young Chinese woman who is learning Spanish there. It shows, as Ludwig Wittgenstein once said: “The limits of my language are the limits of my world.” We are delighted to present the Sichtwechsel Award to director Nele Wohlatz for her semi-documentary film “The Future Perfect".
The NDR Young Talent Award for a feature film debut and/or second directorial work goes to the director Eliza Hittman for her film Beach Rats
Excerpt from the jury's statement: ...In her second feature film and with impressive authority, New York director Eliza Hittman takes us drifting into the abyss with her main character during a summer in Brooklyn. The story is captivating from the very first second with its dramaturgical stringency and psychological consistency. The actors – above all the formidable Harris Dickinson – are highly credible and modern. The camera produces a seductive intimacy that one cannot and would not want to escape. Meanwhile, Hittman condenses her narrative into scenic jewels. Beach Rats does not hide behind aesthetic gimmicks or narrative oddities, but has emotional attitude and is so tender, sensual, direct, pulsating and vulnerable that we leave the cinema feeling moved and aware of what filmmaking means: love for the spectator...
The jury also has a special mention for Satan Said Dance by Kasia Roslaniec.
The Political Film of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation Award goes to director Emil Langballe for his film The Wait.
Excerpt from the jury's statement: ...The Wait is the poignant portrayal of young Rokhsar, who has been forced to flee Afghanistan with her family and has been in the asylum queue in Denmark for years, constantly threatened with deportation. We get to know Rokhsar as a self-confident girl who is perfectly integrated into everyday life in Denmark. She speaks fluent Danish, loves going to school and has been chosen as footballer of the year at the sports club. However, this almost uncanny integration ideal is damaged in two ways – partly due to the indiscriminate actions of the authorities, but perhaps even more so due to the steadily increasing responsibility that falls on Rokhsar’s shoulders. For she alone has to defend the interests of her family. Director Emil Langballe has accompanied Rokhsar and her family for many years. He quite rightly places all emphasis on his engaging protagonist, who reflects her situation and bravely opposes her supposed fate, even if it threatens to break her. The Wait, with a clear view of the essential, asserts an urgency that has captivated us.
The FILMFEST HAMBURG Critics' Award, chosen by film critics and cultural editors from German news magazines, online media, radio stations and daily newspapers, goes to Florida Project by Sean Baker.
Excerpt from the jury's statement: ...Florida Project tells the story of six-year-old Moonee, who lives with her single, completely overburdened mother in a cheap motel in Florida. Moonee's story is drastic, very drastic, and Sean Baker takes an intrepid, never euphemistic, completely unsentimental look at this harsh reality. Nevertheless, as a spectator, the film never leaves you in the lurch, because it also shows a child’s resilience and its unbridled imagination. And because the film takes all of its characters seriously: no one is criticised, regardless of people’s own desperation and failure...
The jury also has a special mention for the film Lieder für die Ewigkeit (Songs for Eternity) by Pat Collins.
The Commerzbank Audience Award in the Euro-visual section goes to For Your Own Good by Carlos Therón.
The MICHEL Film Award, awarded by the Hamburg Culture Foundation and the Ian and Barbara Karan Foundation, goes to 1:54 by Yan England.
Excerpt from the jury’s statement: The winning film grabbed the attention of the entire jury right from the start, since we were all very moved by the message of the film. In the film there were many emotional moments and the special themes included: bullying, cyberbullying, friendship, love and freedom. The topics were dealt with in a sensitive and serious way so that they could be understood and experienced by us all. The successful technical implementation has greatly supported the film and made it a captivating experience. As a jury, we agreed straight away...
The Hamburg Producer Awards were handed out yesterday:
The Hamburg Producer Award for European Cinema Coproduction goes to Eva Blondiau (Color of May) for the film Arrhythmia by Boris Khlebnikow.
Excerpt from the jury's statement: ...The film tells us with great humanity the story of a young Russian couple who are living under extreme working and social conditions, and who are fighting for their dignity and love. We were fascinated and moved by the way this film has managed to master even the most grotesque and harsh situations with great humour. The two main actors are just wonderful. The end is a promise that we would like to believe.
The prize is provided by the Ministry of Culture and Media of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg.
The Hamburg Producer's Award for German Television Production goes to Hubertus Meyer-Burckhardt and Christoph Bicker (Polyphon Film- und Fernsehgesellschaft) for Meine fremde Freundin (My Strange Friend)by Stefan Krohmer.
Excerpt from the jury's statement: ...the television film produced for ARD/NDR tells the story of a woman who has to recognise that her only friend has wrongly accused a man of having sexually abused her. The jury recognises that the producer and director have chosen a sensitive topic for this film. This is a convincing, cohesive drama thanks to the compelling book and direction. The film, as one of the few contributions of the competition, builds its story unpretentiously, without sensationalism.
Since 2014, the prize has been provided by the VFF Verwertungsgesellschaft der Film- und Fernsehproduzenten (collecting society for film and television producers).
Yesterday, director, author and photographer Wim Wenders received the Douglas Sirk Award.
Full jury statements as well as photos of the awards will be on our website from 15/10/2017.
The 26th FILMFEST HAMBURG will take place from 27 September to 6 October 2018.