Oskar Roehler's drama No Place To Go (Die Unberuehrbare), which had its premiere in Cannes last month as part of Directors Fortnight, was the evening's big winner at the 50th German Film Awards in Berlin on June 16, winning the Best Film award, the DM1m ($494,000) Film Strip in Gold, and Best Actress, worth DM20,000 ($9,900) for lead actress Hannelore Elsner.
In addition, the Film Award jury made amends for Wim Wenders' disappointment at this year's Academy Awards by presenting him with the newly created Best Documentary Award, worth a total DM400,000 ($197,000) for his international hit music documentary Buena Vista Social Club.
Wenders was so elated at winning the prize that he subsequently went on stage with actor Joachim Krol to join the veteran German band BAP in the rendition of their song Vill Passiert, which is also the title of Wenders' latest film, a documentary about BAP "with fictional elements" shot this spring in North Rhine-Westphalia.
Film Strips in Silver, with purses each worth DM800,000 ($395,000) to be invested in future feature films, were awarded to Leander Haussmann's Sonnenallee and Sebastian Schipper's Gigantic (Absolute Giganten) while the award for another new category this year - children's and young people's film - worth DM500,000 ($247,000) went to the animated feature Blue Bear (Kaptn Blaubar).
Apart from Hannelore Elsner's award for Best Actress, other distinctions - all worth DM20,000 ($9,900) to the recipients - went to Uwe Ochsenknecht (Best Actor for his performance in Fussball Ist Unser Leben), Henriette Heinze (Best Supporting Actress for Wege In Die Nacht) and Edgar Selge (Best Supporting Actor, Drei Chinesen Mit Einem Kontrabass).
One surprise - although encouraging for Germany's documentary sector - was the awarding of this year's Best Director Film Strip in Gold to Pepe Danquart for his film about an East Berlin ice hockey club Home Game (Heimspiel). Danquart's documentary beat off competition from feature film colleagues Wim Wenders (The Million Dollar Hotel) and Veit Helmer (Tuvalu).
The film crew Film Strips in Gold were awarded this year to Lothar Holler (for his production design on Sonnenallee), Juergen Juerges for his cinematography on Wege In Die Nacht (Paths In The Night) and to Monika Schindler for her editing on Hans Warns - My 20th Century.
In addition, an honorary Film Strip in Gold was presented to veteran producer Gyula Trebitsch for his services to the German film industry, while Stefan Ruzowitzky's horror hit film Anatomie attracted both Audience Awards for Best German Film and Best Actor/Actress (Franka Potente) and Pedro Almodovar added a German Film Award to his sizeable collection of international distinctions for All Above My Mother which was picked as Best Foreign Film.