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'Toni Erdmann' producers scoop awards at Filmfest Hamburg

Berlin’s Komplizen Film won prizes for Radu Jude’s Scarred Hearts and Emin Alper’s forthcoming Sisters - Kiz Kardesler.

Komplizen Film, the producer of Maren Ade’s tragicomedy Toni Erdmann, scored a double success during last week’s Filmfest Hamburg (Sept 29 - Oct 8), which had opened with Ewan McGregor’s directorial debut American Pastoral.

The Berlin/Munich production company was awarded the Hamburg Producers’ Award for European Cinema Co-Productions for Radu Jude’s adaptation of Max Blecher’s autobiographical novel, Scarred Hearts, which had premiered in Locarno in August where it won the Special Jury Prize.

Komplizen Film had served as the German co-producer for Ada Solomon’s Hi Film Productions on the production of Scarred Hearts, after the Romanian producer served as a production partner on Ade’s Toni Erdmann.

In addition, producers Jonas Dornbach and Janine Jackowski were awarded development support with their Turkish colleague Nadir Öperli of Liman Film for Emin Alper’s next feature Sisters - Kiz Kardesler.

This funding decision was taken by the German-Turkish Co-Production Development Fund at a session held in Hamburg during the Filmfest.

Filmfest Hamburg Awards

The Filmfest’s 24th edition came to an end at the weekend with the announcement of the winners from its six juries.

They included the Art Cinema Award, which went to Xavier Dolan’s It’s Only The End Of The World. The award comes with a cash prize of $5,600 (€5,000) towards the film’s PR campaign. The film will be released by Weltkino in German cinemas on 29 December

The prize for the best political film in a competition sponsored by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation was presented to Monika Borgmann and Lokman Slim’s Tadmor about the eponymous brutal Syrian prison which the jury described as “one of the most impressive, astute and courageous films that we have seen in recent years,” while the NDR Young Talent Award went to Turkish filmmaker Mustafa Kara for his second feature film Cold Of Kalandar.

Another Romanian director, Cristian Mungiu, received the Hamburg Film Critic Award for striking the balance between societal, private and moral conflicts in his latest feature film Graduation, and the Michel Award for the best film in the Michel Filmfest for Children and Young People was given to Lola Doillon’s Fanny’s Journey, based on Fanny Ben-Ami’s autobiography Le Journal De Fanny set in German-occupied France in 1943.

Meanwhile, the Filmfest audience voted with a resounding 94.8% for Jesper W. Nielsen’s The Day Will Come to received the Commerzbank Audience Award.

Earlier in the week, Filmfest director Albert Wiederspiel had presented Liane Jessen, head of TV drama and feature films at Frankfurt’s Hessischer Rundfunk, with the Film Festbesteck award for her long-standing attachment to the Hamburg festival.

Industry events

As in previous years, the Filmfest provided the backdrop for a number of industry events organised with the German Film Academy, Hamburg’s regional film fund Filmförderung Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein and European Film Promotion as well as the first one-day Series Lab conference on long-running TV series in Europe.

20 European production companies including the UK’s Origin, Luxembourg’s Iris Productions, Denmark’s Zentropa, Germany’s Letterbox Filmproduktion and the Netherlands’ Lemming Film were able to exchange experiences and project ideas during the Series Lab with funders from South Tyrol’s IDM, the German Federal Film Board (FFA), Creative Europe MEDIA and Film Fund Luxembourg, distributors Red Arrow International, Beta Film, ZDF Enterprises, BBC Worldwide, and broadcasters RAI, SVT, ZDF, RTL and Sky Deutschland, among others.

Meanwhile, the sixth funding session of the German-Turkish Co-Production Development Fund – with development support totalling $140,000 (€125,000) going to six projects including the adaptation of the well-known Turkish novel The Last Step – came as news was confirmed that Turkey will be leaving the EU’s Creative Europe programme at the end of this year.

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