Hell and In A Better World also picked up awards at the festival in St Petersberg.

Aki Kaurismäki’s Le Havre, Tim Fehlmann’s apocalyptic thriller hell, and Susanne Bier’s Oscar-winning In A Better World were among the prize-winners at this year’s Filmfest München (Munich) which closed July 2 with Kaurismäki’s FIPRESCI-winning Cannes competition title.

Fehlmann beat off competition from nine other candidates to win the best direction prize at the Young German Cinema Awards for his debut hell starring Hannah Herzsprung, Lars Eidinger, Stipe Erceg and Angela Winkler. The apocalyptic thriller, which was executive produced by Roland Emmerich, will be released theatrically by Paramount Pictures Germany this coming September.

Meanwhile, David Falko Wnendt’s Combat Girls (Kriegerin) picked up two of the Young German Cinema Awards: for best actress for Alina Levshin’s performance as Marisa and Best Screenplay for writer-director Wnendt.

“Extreme courage, zero clichés and the young actors make Combat Girls in every respect into an event,” was how the jury described Wnendt’s script. Combat Girls had its market premiere at Cannes’Marché du Film and is being handled internationally by EastWest Filmdistribution.

This year’s honours for best actor went to Golo Euler for his role in Ben von Grafenstein’s update of Ödon von Horvath’s play Kasimir und Karoline where, as the jury noted, Euler’s characterisation of Kasimir took the audience on “a rollercoaster of emotions.”

In addition, the award in the category of Best Production was presented to Berlin-based producers Benny Drechsel and Karsten Stöter of Rohfilm for Der Fluss war einst ein Mensch which was shot in Botswana’s swamps with Alexander Fehling in the lead. Fehling, who was Germany’s Shooting Star at last February’s Berlinale, also wrote the screenplay.

During this year’s Filmfest week, the Bernhard Wicki German Cinema’s “The Bridge” Peace Prize celebrated its tenth anniversary with the introduction of a new award and a focus on up-and-coming talents.

The Peace Prize’s organisers, who created the award in memory of the legendary German filmmaker Bernhard Wicki, presented their Main Prize to Susanne Bier for her Oscar-winning film In A Better World, while the Newcomer Prize was shared by Almanya (Almanya – Willkommen in Deutschland) by Yasemin Sanderelli and The Colour of the Ocean (Die Farbe des Ozeans) by Maggie Peren.

On the occasion of the Peace Prize’s tenth anniversary, a Special Award  – without any financial award – was given to the initiators of
the German-Palestinian Cinema Jenin project that had backed the documentary After The Silence, by two young German filmmakers Jule Ott and Stephanie Burger and Palestinian student Manal Abdallah.

After The Silence, which is being handled internationally by Telepool, received its world premiere during this year’s Filmfest.

Meanwhile, the Arri Award’s jury of filmmaker Lisandro Alonso, Russian festival programmer Sitora Alieva and German film critic Andreas Kilb named Kaurismäki’s Le Havre as the best foreign film screening at the Filmfest, and  the Shocking Shorts Award went to Timo Pierre Rositzki for Profil, and the CineVision Award to Paddy Considine’s Tyrannosaur.

In addition, John Malkovich and Otar Iosseliani were in town to accept their CineMerit Awards from the Filmfest’s Andreas Ströhl in his eighth and last outing as festival director, and veteran composer Michel Legrand received the „Look & Listen“ Telepool/BR Music Award.

A full list of the awards can be found at Filmfest München’s website www.filmfest-muenchen.de.