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AWARDS

FILMFEST HAMBURG will again award numerous prizes this year to producers, directors, German distribution companies, young filmmakers and personalities who have rendered outstanding services to the film and television industry. The audience decides on the best film of this year’s festival edition.

Hamburg Producers Award for German CINEMA Productions

  • The Hamburg Producers Award for German Cinema Productions is awarded as part of the section GROSSE FREIHEIT. The producer of the winning film will receive 25,000 euros. The prize money is provided by the Hamburg Ministry of Culture and Media.

 

Laureate 2021

 

No One’s With the Calves Producers: Jonas Weydemann, Jakob Weydemann (Weydemann Bros., Hamburg)

 

Jury statement

 

“In the best case, producers make it possible to have an independent artistic vision. That requires courage and trust. Our award winners have demonstrated both by making possible a film that is as idiosyncratic as it is unsparing. An oppressive drama from the East German provinces, the life of a lost young woman caught between destructive hopelessness and the longing for escape. Like the life of its protagonist, the film leaves us in smouldering uncertainty and challenges us. Director Sabrina Sarabi and lead actress Saskia Rosendahl operate here in an almost frightening symbiosis that you almost want to follow into the abyss without resistance, despite all odds.”

 

Jury

Martina Haubrich, Producer; Julian Pörksen, Director & Dramaturg; Arman T. Riahi, Director & Writer (Austria)

 

 

Previous winners

 

 

 

Hamburg Producers Award for INTERNATIONAL Cinema Co-Productions

The Hamburg Producers Award for International Cinema Co-Productions is endowed with 25,000 euros provided by the Hamburg Ministry of Culture and Media and awarded to the German co-producer. The international production partner of the winning film receives a cinema grading worth around 15,000 euros from the Hamburg post-production company Optical Art.

 

Laureate 2021

 

Lingui German co-producer Melanie Andernach (Made in Germany Filmproduktion) / Cinema grading: pilifilms, Paris

 

Jury statement

 

“In the first scene of the film, a woman tears apart worn truck tyres in hard physical labour. She then bends the core of these old tyres to make decorative kilns, which she sells for survival. Captured in stunning images and magnificently edited, this opening is programmatic for the rest of the film’s story. The woman’s 15-year-old daughter is pregnant, the result of rape, and the daughter does not want to keep the child. But an abortion is against the country’s customs and laws, and not least against the religious convictions of the mother, who has to overcome herself to help her daughter. It is a film told in mature cinematographic language, with convincing performances in all trades, from camera, editing, costume, sound design and production design, all in the service of the story. It shows us a world where solidarity among women brings movement forward, encouraging us viewers that even in situations that seem hopeless, old coats can be cast off and new paths to a better future can be contested.”

 

The Stranger (Director: Ameer Fakher Eldin, German Co-Producer: Dorothe Beinemeier, Red Balloon Film) Special Mention

 

Jury

 

Andrew Bird, Film Editor; Mohammad Reza Jahanpanah, Cinematographer & Producer (Iran); Marie Luise Schmidt, Agent

 

 

Previous winners

 

  • 2019 You Will Die at Twenty German co-producer: Michael Henrichs (Die Gesellschaft DGS) / Cinema grading: Andolfi, Paris
    2018 Sibel German co-producer: Michael Eckelt (Riva Film, Hamburg) / Cinema grading: Les Films du Tambour, Paris
    2017 Arrythmia German co-producer: Eva Blondiau (Color of May, Berlin/Hamburg) / Cinema grading: Mars Media Entertainment, Moscow
    2016 Scarred Hearts German co-producer: Janine Jackowski, Jonas Dornbach, Maren Ade (Komplizen Film, Berlin) / Cinema grading: Hi Film Productions, Bucharest
    2015 One Floor Below German co-producer: Christine Haupt, Alexander Ris (Neue Mediopolis Filmproduktion, Leipzig) / Cinema grading: Multi Media Est, Bucharest
    2014 Welcome to Karastan German co-producer: Daniel Zuta (Brandstorm Entertainment, Frankfurt a.M.) / Cinema grading: 20 Stept Production, Tbilisi

Hamburg Producers Award for German TV Productions

The Hamburg Producer Award for German Television Productions is awarded in the TV section TELEVISIONEN. The producer of the winning film receives 25,000 euros. Since 2014, the prize money has been donated by the VFF, Verwertungsgesellschaft der Film- und Fernsehproduzenten. New this year is a special prize for serial formats. The prize money of 5,000 euros is also provided by the VFF.

 

Laureate 2021

 

Sleepless in Portugal Producer: Jürgen Schuster (Fandango Film, Cologne)

 

Jury statement

 

Sleepless in Portugal comes across as feather-light and allusive. The setting, a holiday home with a pool and a dreamlike view over the Algarve coast, might lead one to expect simple television escapism. But Sleepless in Portugal is not like that. The film, precisely directed by Florian Froschmayer, explores the broad field of love in a surprising, profound and life-smart way. It is also entertaining thanks to the brilliant, quick-witted dialogues and the constantly surprising screenplay by Sathyan Ramesh. The film takes its time to watch two adults, played magnificently by Ulrike Tscharre and Oliver Mommsen, as they gradually look at each other with different eyes. We watch as friendship turns into love. An impossible love, because at home the husband and wife are waiting. The script prepares a wide field for the excellent ensemble of actors, including Melika Foroutan and Barry Atsma. The love story culminates in a grandiose third act, in which all the protagonists clash, and the most beautiful, contradictory and surprising realisations about life and love. The film was shot in Corona times under difficult conditions and with high production risks. And to the producer we owe – as we have heard – the only kiss exchanged between the newly in love. Many thanks for this kiss and for the confidence of the makers and the editors (Christoph Pellander and Katja Kirchen from Degeto) in the genre of love film, which was fulfilled here at its best. Congratulations to producer Jürgen Schuster and producer Julia Röskau from Fandango Film!”

 

Waiting for the bus Producers: Ulf Israel, Reik Möller (Senator Film, Berlin) / Special Award Serial Formats

 

Jury statement

 

“We chose Waiting for the bus because the series comes across as pure, as if you were watching people interacting through a burning glass. A supposedly simple setting that unfolds into a true cosmos of lifelike philosophies of life in which the actors always negotiate and live their conflicts at eye level with themselves and with the viewer. The tender view of the characters, wonderfully directed by Fabian Möhrke, reaches and touches us. Beyond the human component, we also learn a lot about the characters’ specific GDR past without any didactic educational mission behind it. The series thus offers a stage to a topic that is sometimes underrepresented on German television. In the concept of Waiting for the bus, there is no possibility of hiding – the setting is pure and naked and thus radical and courageous. Here, producers Ulf Israel and Reik Möller create a space, a stage for a chamber play of the highest order, in which the wonderful actors around Ronald Zehrfeld, Felix Kramer and Jördis Triebel are on top form. Sophie Decker’s and Oliver Bukowski’s clever, exciting, witty and also truthful dialogues make the audience feel, fever and argue along with them. Profound themes come across as light-footed as a ‘refreshing breeze in high summer – mixed with a hint of diesel smell’. We don’t just watch, we think, feel, argue along and want to know more and more about the characters and their worries and dreams.You want to keep watching – an absolute must for a serial format.”

 

Jury

 

Lisa Blumenberg, Producer; Luise Wolfram, Actress; Max Zähle, Director

 

 

Previous winners

 

  • 2018 Aufbruch in die Freiheit Producer: Heike Wiehle-Timm (Relevant Film GmbH Hamburg)
  • 2017 Meine fremde Freundin Director: Stefan Krohmer. Producers: Hubertus Meyer-Burckhardt and Christoph Bicker (Polyphon Film- und Fernsehgesellschaft Hamburg)           
  • 2016 Apropos Glück Director: Ulrike Grote. Producer: Heike Wiehle-Timm (Relevant Film GmbH Hamburg)
  • 2015 Frauen Director: Jan Ruzicka. Produzentin: Brit Possardt (Calypso Entertainment GmbH)
  • 2014 Polizeiruf 110: Familiensache Director: Eoin Moore. Producer: Iris Kiefer (filmpool fiction)
  • 2013 The TV Producers Award was not awarded
  • 2012 Mörderische Jagd Director: Markus Imboden. Producer: Claudia Schröder (Aspekt Telefilm-Produktion GmbH)
  • 2011 Tödlicher Rausch Director: Johannes Fabrick. Producer: Ulrich Aselmann (d.i.e. film GmbH)
  • 2010 Etwas Besseres als den Tod Director: Nicole Weegmann. Producers: Ralph Schwingel and Stefan Schubert (Wüste Film)
  • 2009 Mörder auf Amrum Director: Markus Imboden. Producer: Claudia Schröder (Bremedia Filmproduktion GmbH)
  • 2008 Machen wir’s auf Finnisch Director: Marco Petry. Producer: Astrid Kahmke (Bavaria Fernsehproduktion)
  • 2007 Kuckuckszeit Director: Johannes Fabrick. Producer: Babette Schröder (magnolia Filmproduktion)
  • 2006 Ich wollte nicht töten Director: Dagmar Hirtz (2006). Producers: Gloria Burkert and Andreas Bareiss (BurkertBareiss)

The Political Film of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung

The Friedrich Ebert Foundation has been awarding prizes to socially engaged cinema since 2013. Documentaries and feature films in the »Veto!« section compete for the prize money of 5,000 euros. The prize is awarded for the best directorial work.

 

Laureate 2021

 

La Civil Directed by Teodora Ana Mihai

 

Jury statement

 

“With La Civil, director Teodora Ana Mihai offers a gripping film about a kidnapping, injustice, corruption and violence that makes skilful use of cinematographic means. The film tells the story of Cielo, a mother in Mexico who searches for her daughter, who has been kidnapped by a cartel, on her own and learns in a terrifying way the extent of a society permeated by criminal structures. With its depiction of civil courage, La Civil has a strong and universal political message. The film also shows an individual, female self-empowerment in a patriarchal society and furthermore paints a horror picture of a country in which the state’s monopoly on power and trust in authority has eroded and as a result chaos, violence and arbitrariness can enter one’s life at any time. In her first feature film, director Teodora Ana Mihai shows an impressive flair for the use of cinematic stylistic devices: the sudden loss of control after the abduction of the daughter as well as the depiction of raw violence and its consequences are portrayed through the skilful optical use of depth of field, while the camera skilfully stays close to the protagonist at all times through long sweeping plan sequences. The impressive landscape shots and cityscapes are convincing in their design and colouring, suspending time and space. The plot remains open for a long time, the film always exciting. The elliptical narrative creates a pull and drives the story forward. Distressing, suspenseful scenes skilfully alternate with quiet, thoughtful moments. The characters develop credibly and show a realistic complexity. In particular, lead actress Arcelia Ramirez carries the film with her virtuously portrayed desperation and at the same time her sheer indomitable will to fight and assert herself. La Civil is a strong debut film by a director with a great flair for filmmaking and for politically explosive topics. For these reasons, the jury has decided to award Teodora Ana Mihai the 2021 Friedrich Ebert Foundation Political Film Award in the »Veto!« section for the best directorial work.”

 

Jury

 

Didi Danquart, director; Marco Arellano Gomes, journalist; Caroline Mutz, editor

 

 

Previous winners

 

ART CINEMA AWARD

Since 2008, the Art Cinema Award of the International Association of Art Cinemas (CICAE) has also been presented at FILMFEST HAMBURG. All films with a German distributor are nominated. The association’s large network supports the distribution of the winning film throughout Europe. Filmförderung Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein is supporting the award with a sum of 5,000 euros to fund PR measures by the German distributor.

 

Laureate 2021

 

Paris, 13th District Directed by Jacques Audiard

 

Jury statement

 

“The 12 nominated films of the Art Cinema Award of the 29th edition of Filmfest Hamburg offered us a rich and diverse panorama of contemporary cinema. Choosing the winner was a difficult decision; after careful consideration, we feel that Paris, 13th District is the one that stands out for its artistic merit and audience-pleasing potential. Paris, 13th District by veteran French director Jacques Audiard features stories of love and loneliness set against the backdrop of the towering apartment buildings of Paris’ 13th arrondissement. Four characters in their early 30s, reflecting the multicultural and multiethnic fabric of today’s big cities, fall in and out of love in search of meaning. The apparent austerity of the black and white photography provides a perfect balance between the sexiness and playfulness of the plot and dialogue. The script feels natural and has a good rhythm, which is most likely the result of Jacques Audiard’s collaboration with Léa Mysius and Céline Sciamma. The actors are perfectly cast and, with the exception of Noémie Merlant, quite unknown, which gives the film freshness. This impression is reinforced by the modern soundtrack. All this, together with the prestige of Jacques Audiard, makes for a cocktail that will appeal to people all over the world, especially young adults. Fortunately, many national distributors have already taken notice of the film and it will soon be available for programming. We are convinced that Paris, 13th District will be successful in art house cinemas and congratulate the director and his team on this beautiful, fresh film.”

 

Jury

 

Ioana Dragomirescu, Coordinator of Cinema Elvire Popesc, Bucharest; Tanja Helm, Managing Director of the Otto Preminger Institute, Innsbruck; Benedikt Possberg, ZOOM Cinemas, Brühl

 

 

Previous winners

 

SICHTWECHSEL FILM AWARD

The Sichtwechsel Film Award honours directors who work and make films in other countries across national and cultural borders. Both filmmakers who have had to leave their home countries involuntarily and filmmakers who make films outside their home countries for artistic or private reasons are considered. The prize is endowed with 10,000 euros.

 

Laureate 2021

 

Olga Directed by Elie Grappe

 

Jury statement

 

“How does it feel to be forced to leave one’s homeland due to serious political problems and move to a country that promises freedom and success, but one’s soul and mind are constantly preoccupied with the pain of family and friends? Elie Grappe’s Olga addresses this conflict in a wonderful way. Tender and unpretentious, carried by Nastya Budiashkina’s brilliant acting, the film depicts Olga’s inner turmoil and explores a young Ukrainian generation’s desire for movement and change.”

 

Jury

 

Shirin Barghnavard, Director, Iran; Sabine Böbbis, Costume Designer, Paulina Lorenz, Producer

 

 

Previous winners

 

NDR Young Talent Award

Since 2012, Norddeutscher Rundfunk has awarded the NDR Young Talent Award to filmmakers who show their feature film debut or second directorial work at FILMFEST HAMBURG. The NDR Young Talent Award is endowed with 5,000 euros and replaces the annual prize Die Elfe, which has been awarded since 2008.

 

Laureate 2021

 

Hive Directed by Blerta Basholli 

 

Jury statement

 

“A portrait of a strong woman, sensually framed, that sheds light on a dark chapter in recent European history. The clear statement of a talented filmmaker, as subtle as she is courageous.”

 

Jury

 

Ofir Raoul Graizer, Director & Writer; Philine Rosenberg, Editor; Lysann Windisch, Programme Director & Manager

 

 

Previous winners

 

Critics’ Choice Award

Film critics and cultural editors from German news magazines, online media, radio stations and daily newspapers award the prize to a film from the programme that stands out for its original point of view. The un-endowed Film Critics’ Prize replaces the Hamburg Film Critics’ Prize, which has been awarded since 2004, and is awarded in cooperation with the Association of German Film Critics.

 

Laureate 2021

 

Vortex Directed by Gaspar Noé

 

Jury statement

 

“With great sensitivity and almost documentary veracity, Gaspar Noé tells in Vortex about an old married couple at the end of their lives. She (the great Francoise Lebrun) is demented, he (the great Dario Argento) has a heart condition, yet they want to stay together in their flat, which is a reflection of their past. In order to portray both the couple’s inseparable community and their alienation due to illness, Noé uses split screen almost throughout – an aesthetic device that is as daring as it is powerful and shows what cinema can be. Vortex challenges us in terms of content and aesthetics. For this we thank Gaspar Noé.”

 

Jury

 

Yun-Hua Chen, Film International; Karin Franzke, Hamburger Abendblatt; Wenke Husmann, ZEIT online; Danny Marques, NDR 90,3; Christoph Petersen, Filmstarts.de; Hanns-Georg Rodek, Die Welt; Philipp Stadelmaier, Süddeutsche Zeitung

 

 

Previous winners

 

COMMERZBANK AUDIENCE AWARD

The Commerzbank Audience Award honours the best film of the festival. Exceptions are the films of the TV section and the MICHEL Film Festival. The prize money is 5,000 euros and has been donated by Commerzbank since 2015. The audience decides by ballot which film will be awarded the prize.

 

Laureate 2021

 

Little Palestine, Diary of a Siege Directed by Abdallah Al-Khatib

 

 

Previous winners

 

MICHEL AWARD

The film prize of the Children and Youth Section has been awarded since 2003. Initially as Emil, since 2004 as the MICHEL Award. Since 2021, the prize sponsor has been the Körber Foundation Hamburg, which provides the prize of 5,000 EUR.  A jury of children and adolescents chooses their favourite from all the films shown in the international competition.

 

Laureate 2021

 

The Ape Star Directed by Linda Hambäck

 

Jury statement

 

“In the last five days we have seen many different films. We have discussed a lot about the films, analysed and criticised them. In the end, it was not easy to make a decision with so many different and worth seeing films. Nevertheless, one film in particular touched us, made us think and made us laugh. The film has a great theme: it’s about family being what you make of it – whether it’s your biological parents or not. This important message was conveyed through great animation and playful details. That’s why we are happy to announce the winning film of the MICHEL Children’s and Youth Film Festival 2021: The Ape Star by Linda Hambäck!”

 

 

Previous winners

 

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