Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck's feature debut Das Leben Der Anderen was the big winner at the weekend's BavarianFilm Awards taking home prizes in four categories.

Thethriller, set in East Germany of the mid-1980s picked up the prizes forBest Screenplay and Newcomer Director as well as for Best Actor (toUlrich Muehe for his portrayal of Stasiofficer). In addition, the film's producers Max Wiedemannand QuirinBerg were awarded the NewcomerProducer Prize by the VGF collection society.

The film will be released by BuenaVista International in German cinemas on March 23.Thisyear's top honour $242,229 (200,000 Euros) Producers Award went to Goldkind Film and Broth Film, the co-producers of Marc Rothemund's SophieScholl - The Final Days - the German entry for this year's Foreign LanguageOscar, while Andreas Dresen was named Best Directorfor his comedy Summer In Berlin (Sommer Vorm Balkon)which has been seen by over 165,000 cinema goers in its first week of release.

Aheadof the world premiere of Hans-Christian Schmid's filmRequiem in Berlin's competition nextmonth, the lead actress Sandra Hueller was named BestNewcomer Actress, while the honours for Best Newcomer Actor went to Max Riemelt for his performance in DominikGraf's Der Rote Kakadu,a film which is also being tipped to premiere at the Berlinalefestival.

Otherfilms recognised in this year's lineup of winnerswere Hermine Huntgeburth's The White Masai(Best Actress), Philip Groening's Into Great Silence (Best Documentary),Hans W. Geissendoerfer's Snowland (Best Cinematography), Ben Verbong's Es Ist Ein Elch Entsprungen (Best Family Film). The jury alsogave a Special Prize to screenwriter-director-producer Christian Wagner for hislatest feature Warchild,andthis year's Honorary Award recognised the career of actor-director MaximilianSchell.