Marcus Mittermeier's feature debut Muxmauschenstill, which will be screening in the Berlinale's Perspektive Deutsches Kino, was the big winner at this year's 25th jubilee edition of the Max Ophuls Prize Film Festival (26 January - 1 February, 2004) for newcomer German-language cinema in Saarbrücken.
The black comedy by Berlin-based Schiwago Filmproduktion received the Max Ophüls Prize - with Euros 18,000 for best director and Euros 18,000 for the film's German distributor -, the School Jury Prize, and the Audience Award, while lead actor and screenwriter Jan Henrik Stahlberg shared the SR and ZDF Screenplay Prize with Struggle by Ruth Mader, Martin Leidenfrost, and Barbara Albert.
Meanwhile, the Film Prize of the Saarland Prime-Minister with a Euros 6,500 distribution grant and Euros 5,500 for the director went to Austria's Michael Sturminger for his story of an impossible love between a mother and son in Hurensohn which will have its market premiere at Berlin's European Film Market this week.
The line-up of prize-winners is as follows:
Max Ophüls Prize - Muxmauschenstill, dir: Marcus Mittermeier (Ger)
Best Newcomer Actress - Johanna Bantzer in Straehl (dir: Manuel Flurin Hendry)
Best Newcomer Actor - Stipe Erceg in Yugotrip (dir: Nadya Derado)
Film Prize of the Saarland Prime-Minister - Hurensohn, dir: Michael Sturminger (Aust/Lux)
Short Film Prize - Grauzone, dir: Karl Bretschneider (Aust)
Feature-Length Film Support Prize - Verflixt Verliebt, dir: Peter Luisi (Switz)
Film Music Prize of Saarland Medien - Meret Becker in Pipermint...Das Leben Moeglicherweise (dir: Nicole-Nadine Deppe, Ger/Lux)
School Jury Prize - Muxmauschenstill, dir: Marcus Mittermeier (Ger)
The Screenplay Prize of SR and ZDF - Struggle, screenplay by Ruth Mader, Martin Leidenfrost, Barbara Albert (dir: Ruth Mader/Aust) and Muxmäuschenstill, screenplay by Jan Henrik Stahlberg (dir: Marcus Mittermeier/Ger)
Interfilm Prize - Der Gläserne Blick, dir: Markus Heltschl (Ger/Aust); recommended: Mondlandung, dir: Till Endemann (Ger)
Audience Award - Muxmauschenstill, dir: Marcus Mittermeier (Ger)