Fatih Akin's Golden Bear-winning Head-On (Gegen DieWand) was the big victor at this year's German Film Awardsin Berlin on Friday evening (June 18).

The film bagged five Golden Lolas in total - for bestfilm, best direction, best lead actress (Sibel Kekilli), best lead actor (BirolUenel) and best cinematography (Rainer Klausmann).

Silver Lolas for best film went to Sylke Anders' Kroko andSoenke Wortmann's The Miracle Of Bern (Das Wunder Von Bern),while Golden Lolas were presented to Aelrun Goette's The Children Are Dead (bestdocumentary), Bernd Sahling's Blindgaenger (best children's& youth film) and Sofia Coppola's Lost In Translation (bestforeign film).

The ceremony was overshadowed, however, by the tragic death of veteranscreenwriter and producer Peter Maerthesheimer from heart failure at the age of67 just hours before during a meeting of the German Film Academy on Fridayafternoon.

Maerthesheimer's credits included collaborating with the legendaryRainer Werner Fassbinder on his much feted TV series Berlin Alexanderplatz as well aspenning the screenplays for Fassbinder's The Marriage Of Maria Braun, Lola and DieSehnsucht Der Veronika Voss. Margarethe von Trotta (Rosenstrasse) is working on anadaptation of his 2000 novel Ich Bin Die Andere.

In addition, the recent proposals by Hamburg's Culture Senator Karin vonWelck to slash her contribution for the city's film fund by 50% (see ScreenDaily.com, June 17) came infor fierce criticism in many of the prize-winners' speeches.

Head-On's producers Stefan Schubert and Ralf Schwingel pointedout that director Fatih Akin's career from his short films through to Head-Onhadonly been possible over the past ten years thanks to the continual support ofFilmFoerderung Hamburg, while Akin called on State Minister of CultureChristina Weiss to ask von Welck to withdraw her proposal. "We really needthe money," Akin said, "I'd like to stay in Hamburg because, for me,home is where I earn my dough."

In his acceptance speech for his Audience Award Lola, Peter Lohmeyersaid succinctly: "I live in Hamburg and would like to work there. I'd liketo see my children and not have to always go away [to other regions forproductions]."

Moreover, Minister Weiss, who had herself served as Hamburg's CultureSenator before coming to Berlin in 2002, used her opening address which focusedon the promise of the new generation of German filmmakers to argue that "acut in film funding at this time is certainly not the right answer."

Meanwhile, the ceremony also saw Golden Lolas for"outstanding individual artistic achievements" handed out in thefollowing categories:

Best Supporting Actress - Fritzi Haberlandt (LearningTo Lie)

Best Supporting Actor - Detlev Buck (Berlin Blues)

Best Editing - Sarah Clara Weber (Quiet As A Mouse)

Best Score - Max Berghaus, Dirk Reichardt, StefanHansen (Erbsen Auf Halb 6)

Best Production Design - Natascha E. Tagwerk (SchultzeGets The Blues)

Best Filmed Screenplay - Sven Regener (Berlin Blues)

Best As -Yet-Unfilmed Screenplay - Marei Gerken (TheFar Side Of The Sea)

In addition, veteran actor Mario Adorf - known internationally for hisroles in The Lost Honour Of Katharina Blum, Lola, The Tin Drum and Rossini - received theHonorary Lola to a standing ovation from the 2,000-strong audience for"outstanding services to German cinema"; and Wortmann's TheMiracle Of Bern picked up both of this year's audience awards for "German Film ofthe Year" and "Actor of the Year" (for lead actor PeterLohmeyer).