The Berlin Film Festival announced on Friday the award winners for the Perspektive Deutsches Kino which focuses on local German cinema.
The Compass-Perspektive-Award for the best film of the programme went to Janna Ji Wonders for the film Walchensee Forever. On the closing evening of the Perspektive Deutsches Kino, jury members Melanie Andernach, Bernd Lange, and Mia Spengler awarded the prize, which is endowed with 5,000 Euros. The director received a real compass as a trophy, which will symbolise orientation and guide her into a bright future.
The jury said that “This film is a crystal.” “The longer you look at it, the more you discover new facets. It portrays women of a family in Bavaria over five generations. Supplemented by extraordinary material obtained from the family’s private archive, the protagonists report honestly, cleverly, and directly to the camera. Accordingly, an overall picture of private life in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries emerges from these individual stories,” it said during the ceremony.
“Everything that is told remains personal and individual and, not least because of the modest attitude of the filmmaker and her protagonists, it develops an overwhelming strength. Cleverly assembled, clearly filmed and narrated and produced with warm-heartedness, we listen to and watch Apa, Norma, Anna, Frauke and Janna. The silent chronicler of it all is the Walchensee, which connects all their lives,” the jury added in their report.
The two Kompagnon-Fellowships Perspektive Deutsches Kino and Berlinale Talents went to Hristiana Raykova (for her film 111 von Hristiana Rykova) and to Ian Purnell (for his film Arctic Link von Ian Purnell) respectively.
Since 2017, the Kompagnon-Fellowship has been awarded for a new film project to an author and/or director from Berlinale Talents as well as to a director of Perspektive Deutsches Kino. With the Kompagnon-Fellowship, the Berlinale Talents and the Perspektive Deutsches Kino wish to sustainably support directors and screenwriters living in Germany in their work. In addition to the scholarship endowment of 5,000 Euros (short films: 2,500 Euros), the award also offers a mentoring programme with extra-occupational coaching aimed at strengthening one’s personal hallmarks and at networking within the industry. The jury members Melanie Andernach, Bernd Lange, and Mia Spengler awarded the prizes.
On 111 von Hristiana Rykova, the jury said “The Bulgarian journalist Miroluba Benatova could no longer accept the new conditions of her news channel. She refused to have the questions prescribed and the answers dictated to her.”
The jury added “The director Hristiana Raykova accompanies Miroluba Benatova on her journeys. Passengers become the reflection of a society, in a country that ranks 111th in the world and last in the EU in terms of freedom of the press.”
On Arctic by Ian Purnell, the jury said that the film is “a hybrid documentary and a visual essay. There is a ship in the Arctic. It will lay the longest fiber optic cable under the eternal ice to provide the world with faster internet connections. This is only possible due to climate change.”
The hybrid documentary Arctic Link by Ian Purnell combines the stories of the people on the ship with the reality of life in the Arctic village and in virtual love stories. Moreover, it relates human desires to the irreversible effects of our actions on the planet.
The Heiner-Carow-Prize 2020 for the promotion of German cinematic arts went to Natalija Yefimkina for Garagenvolk.
The prize, worth 5,000 Euros and sponsored by the DEFA Foundation, is awarded for the first time in the Perspektive Deutsches Kino competition. The prize honours documentaries, features, or essay films that address the social and political issues of today and in history with extraordinary aesthetic means. A three-person jury consisting of Annekatrin Hendel, Anne Möller, and Jan Speckenbach selected the winning film.
“The director allows us to peer into a microcosm that seems like a parallel world to us. The complex world of a morbid garage complex in a mining town in northern Russia is reminiscent of an allotment garden colony,” the jury said in their report, adding “In each of these small garages, as the film increasingly takes its time in observing, a universe of its own begins to unfold. Characters that seem bizarre at first become reflectors of society. Love, friendship, and alcohol, dreams of prosperity and the future as well as inklings of joy all find a home here.”
Since 2013, the Berlin-based DEFA Foundation has been awarding the Heiner-Carow-Prize at the Berlin International Film Festival (Berlinale). It recognises German feature films, documentaries, or essay films in the Panorama category. The prize is 5,000 Euro and the winner is determined by a three-person jury.
With this award, the DEFA Foundation commemorates filmmaker Heiner Carow (1929-1997), who directed films in the Babelsberg Film Studios such as They Called him Amigo (1959), The Russians are Coming (1968), The Legend of Paul and Paula (1973), and Icraus (1976). For his film Coming Out (1989), he received the Silver Bear in the Competition section at the Berlinale in February 1990.
The Heiner-Carow-Prize is part of the Berlinale awards that are given by independent juries, which bestows awards on behalf of external organisations and institutions independent of the festival.