Saturday, 7/1/2017

Lots of Love for LOVELESS

Second Win in Munich for Andrey Zvyagintsev

Lots of Love for LOVELESS

Maryana Spivak and Matvey Novikov in LOVELESS


The 35th International FILMFEST MÜNCHEN ended on Saturday, July 1 with a gala award ceremony at which British star Bill Nighy presented the German premiere of THEIR FINEST to the Munich audience.

The festival's top honor, the ARRI/Osram Award for best international film, went to LOVELESS by Andrey Zvyagintsev (his second win in Munich after LEVIATHAN 2014). The Russian director tells the story of Boris and Zhenya, who are going through a hideous divorce full of cruelty and recrimination when their son Alyosha suddenly disappears. LOVELESS won the Jury Prize at Cannes. The film "is the intense tale of a child's tragic disappearance in a family seemingly devoid of love, told without any excess pathos,"  the Jury declared. Zvyagintsev "crafts a tale of a society controlled from the outside, in which each individual is preoccupied with him- or herself. Love and empathy are absent yet omnipresent in this masterfully executed film."

This year's ARRI/Osram Award Jury consisted of director Valeska Grisebach (WESTERN), producer Markus Zimmer (Concorde Film) and actress Nastassja Kinski. Twelve films by internationally renowned directors screened at Munich in the CineMasters sidebar and competed for the ARRI/Osram Award, which carries a purse of industry goods and services valued at €50,000. Producers Alexandre Rodnyansky and Serguey Melkumov accepted the award on stage. A special mention went to Belgian film HOME directed by Fien Troch, and produced by Antonino Lombardo. LOVELESS will be screened again tonight, July 1 at 7:30 pm in the Rio 2 cinema.

The CineVision Award for best international newcomer film went to THE NOTHING FACTORY by Pedro Pinho about a group of factory workers who figure out their employer is stealing his own equipment, intending to outsource production. So the employeees resolve to fight back in a very creative way. The jury called the Portuguese film "a moving drama, a quirky musical, a precise documentary, a challenging essay film - buy 4 for 1 with this outstanding film about life in the times of turbo capitalism with Pedro Pinho's THE NOTHING FACTORY. In terms of content and aesthetics, the film uses its three-hour running time wisely and in a highly complex way. The film tells the story of a group of Portuguese factory workers who are losing their jobs but don't give in. The story is told, played, and filmed with empathy, but without ever asking for cheap pity - it rather makes you think for yourself since it doesn't give easy answers. THE NOTHING FACTORY is an energizing and highly entertaining expression of agitprop for the 21st Century." A Special Mention went to Chilean film LOS PERROS by director Marcela Said.

The CineVision Award carries a purse of €12,000 and is donated by rights society MPLC. Thirteen first and second films by international directors who blaze new trails with their films compete in the CineVision sidebar. This year's jury consisted of the founder of the Women Film Group Hyosook Hong, producer and GM of Razor Film Roman Paul, and writer, filmmaker and coach Sonja Heiss. The award was accepted by Tiago Hespanha, AD and screenwriter on THE NOTHING FACTORY. The film will be screened again tonight, Sat. July 1, at 10:30 pm in the Rio 2 cinema.

Munich's FIPRESCI Prize 2017 went to UGLY & BLIND directed by Tom Lass. The jury of the international critic's federation awarded their prize, which carries no purse, to the third film by the young Berlin Mumblecore auteur Lass, who co-wrote, co-produced, directed and acted the male lead: "The jury applauds the balance between drama, comedy and romance, and the great casting."

The One Future Prize awarded by the ecumenical Interfilm Academy Munich went to PURE HEARTS by Italian filmmaker Roberto de Paolis. The jury explained their decision: "Roberto de Paolis' multi-faceted debut film gives us an intelligent and moving look at the social problems of modern-day Italy. What at first seems to be a love story between two young people from very different backgrounds turns into a story of the modern refugee crisis." 

The festival's Audience Award presented by Bayern 2 and Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper went to STILL YOUNG directed by David Schlichter and "Killerpilze" drummer Fabian Halbig. The Audience Award winner will be screened again tonight, Sat. July 1, at 10:30 pm in the HFF Cinema 1.

The Kinderfilmfest Audience Award went to REVOLTING RHYMES based on Roald Dahl, directed by Jakob Schuh, Jan Lachauer and Bin-Han To, a BBC and ZDF production. Jakob Schuh and Jan Lachauer accepted the award in person in Munich, who tossed Snow White and Little Red Riding Hood and a few other fairly tales in a bag, shook them up and made all-new stories out of them. Snow White and Little Red Riding Hood become best friends, team up and take on the Big Bad Wolf. The Oscar-nominated directors delight the audience with a game of switcheroo based on the stories by the author of "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory".