We are all winners

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only the animals by Dominik Moll receives the ARRI/OSRAM Award.

Saturday, 07/10/2021

Ten exciting days and nine magical evenings have now passed for FILMFEST MÜNCHEN and those attending it. Some of that time was spent in the recently reopened festival cinemas, some of it under the starry sky, some of it even under umbrellas, which did not diminish the joy of finally being able to watch movies together on the big screen again. Prior to six excellent films concluding the festival this evening — citywide live, as it’s been since its opening — the festival awards were presented at the festival center in the Carl-Orff-Saal at the Gasteig.


these are the winners at the 38th FILMFEST MÜNCHEN


The highly endowed ARRI/Osram Award in the CineMasters competition has gone to Dominik Moll for ONLY THE ANIMALS, while the CineVision Award for best international film by an emerging director has gone to Philippe Lacôte for NIGHT OF THE KINGS, a co-production from Côte d’Ivoire, France, Canada, and Senegal. The FIPRESCI Prize for the best film in the New German Cinema section has gone to MONDAY UM ZEHN by Mareille Klein. The Bayern 2 and SZ Audience Award has gone to TRANS – I GOT LIFE by Imogen Kimmel and Doris Metz.


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ARRI/Osram Award

As the best international film (CineMasters competition), ONLY THE ANIMALS by Dominik Moll is being honored with the ARRI/Osram Award. “This film not only tells a deeply human story about loneliness and the search for love in a very sophisticated way; it also draws a connection between human transgressions and lies and major societal issues such as the consequences of colonialism. ONLY THE ANIMALS tells a gripping, suspenseful, and poignant story of how seemingly personal actions and interactions can lead to complex connections and dramatic consequences. In addition to this, the actors and actresses are excellently cast and without exception portray diverse, credible and immediately identifiable characters whose allure no one can escape,” the jury stated, adding, “Dominik Moll’s ONLY THE ANIMALS offers a lot of food for thought, not least about how we relate to our fellow human beings. For that reason, too, this French-German co-production is top-quality European cinema of the kind the jury would like to see more of.”

Bettina Reitz, president of the Munich University of Television and Film, Max von der Groeben, an actor and dubbing artist, and Roger Diederen, art historian and director of the Kunsthalle München, selected the winning film from the ten entries in the CineMasters competition. The award, worth 50,000 euros, is sponsored by traditional Munich-based companies ARRI and Osram.

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CineVision Award

The CineVision Award for best international film by an emerging director has gone to NIGHT OF THE KINGS by Philippe Lacôte. The jury explained its decision as follows: “Director Philippe Lacôte’s film explores the challenges of storytelling in a society ridden with violence. By coupling the beauty of pre-colonial Africa with harsh reality and the appropriation of its own history, the director advances an autonomous African narrative. Dancing, chants, and moments of tenderness fill the spaces of the prison for the duration of the story, which shifts away from its narrator and thus — possibly? — saves his life. An unbearable reality gives rise to a 21st-century fairy tale, a chamber play in a lawless space, a search for values in a world that turns people into both perpetrators and victims.”

The CineVision Award, worth 15,000 euros, is sponsored by MPLC Deutschland GmbH (Motion Picture Licensing Company). In competition in the CineVision section were ten first and second films by talented international directors whose cinematic style is breaking new ground.

Judging the award this year were stage director Pınar Karabulut, who has been a member of the Kammerspiele’s team of artistic directors since 2020; Yodit Tarikwa, an actress and a permanent member of the Residenztheater München ensemble; and Mirjam Zadoff, director of the NS-Dokumentationszentrum.

The CineVision jury also gives honorable mention to THE INNOCENCE by Lucía Alemany: “Lovingly and intimately, the camera follows the 15-year-old protagonist through a summer full of emotions, hopes, and disappointments in an impressive film by Lucía Alemany about the universal state of confinement and captivity in which many women — continue to — live.”

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The FIPRESCI Prizes are awarded by the Fédération Internationale de la Presse Cinématographique, the international association of film critics and journalists who cover film. At FILMFEST MÜNCHEN, a three-member international jury selected the best film in the New German Cinema section. In 2021, the FIPRESCI Prize has gone to Mareille Klein for MONDAY UM ZEHN. This year’s jury was comprised of Swedish critic, editor, musician, and actor Anders E. Larsson; Italian film critic, author, and university professor Marco Lombardi; and film critic, language teacher, film director, and lecturer Anne-Christine Loranger, who hails from Québec.

“Modern Europe is a multifaceted continent where people from various cultures are coming into ever closer contact. Such interaction creates a friction that can also be a source of openness. The film chosen by the FIPRESCI jury is about two very different people who share a common emotional state of loss and longing. This deceptively simple film, brilliantly acted, obliges us through its elegance and poetry to confront invisible, everyday discrimination and embrace love as the only medicine. It is our honor to give the international critics’ prize to Monday um Zehn, written and directed by Mareille Klein,” the jurors stated.

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Audience Award

The Audience Award is presented on the final day of the festival. All festival attendees had the opportunity to vote for this award on the Filmfest website and thus determine the audience favorite in the festival program. The Bayern 2 and SZ Audience Award has gone to the film TRANS – I GOT LIFE by Imogen Kimmel and Doris Metz.

German Cinema New Talent Award

On Friday, talented young individuals from Germany were honored with the coveted German Cinema New Talent Award. The award for best director went to Nikias Chryssos for his film A PURE PLACE; Franziska Stünkel received the award for best screenplay for THE LAST EXECUTION; the award for best producer went to Miriam Düssel for MY SON; and actor Martin Rohde was honored for his acting performance in HEIKO’S WORLD.

(For more details on the German Cinema New Talent Award, see yesterday’s press release.)

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Bernd Burgemeister Fernsehpreis

The 2021 Bernd Burgemeister TV Movie Award was presented at FILMFEST MÜNCHEN to producers Sibylle Stellbrink, Henning Kamm, and Michael Lehmann from Real Film Berlin along with Felix von Poser from Amalia Film for the historical drama 3 ½ HOURS (directed by Ed Herzog). The Bernd Burgemeister TV Movie Award is presented to the producers of the best TV movie from the New German TV Movies section.

other awards presented at FILMFEST MÜNCHEN


Margot Hielscher Award

Since 2019, the Margot Hielscher Award has been presented at FILMFEST MÜNCHEN to an outstanding national or international artistic personality who has distinguished him- or herself at a young age through versatility and achievements in various cultural disciplines. This year, actress and director Franka Potente was honored with this award. The prize money of 10,000 euros is donated by media publishing executive Peter Graf von Schall-Riaucour, the nephew of actress and singer Margot Hielscher, who passed away in 2017.


One Future Prize

The people of our century have only One Future, which they all share. Since 1986, this award from the Interfilm Akademie München, headed again by Eckart Bruchner since January 2020, has honored films screened at FILMFEST MÜNCHEN that ethically and aesthetically address the indivisible future of this world.

This year, the One Future Prize has gone to the German film THE LAST EXECUTION by Franziska Stünkel. The jury gave honorable mention to THE PINK CLOUD by luli Gerbase (Brazil) and to the children’s film MISSION ULJA FUNK by Barbara Kronenberg (D, L, PL).

The 2021 One Future Special Award was presented to film producer Rob Houwer.



Fritz Gerlich Film Prize

The 9th Fritz Gerlich Prize ceremony at FILMFEST MÜNCHEN on Wednesday, July 7, 2021 honored TOPSIDE by Celine Held and Logan George. This is the story of a mother and daughter on an involuntary odyssey through a hostile New York — spectacularly directed and given a haunting performance, particularly by eight-year-old Zhaila Farmer.

The jury (Marcus Ammon/Sky, Alexander Bothe/DBK, Christina Ebelt/writer and director, Dr. Sandra Krump/Archdiocese of Munich und Freising, Claudia Tronnier/Arte) explained their decision: “In the jury’s opinion, TOPSIDE is worthy of the Fritz Gerlich Film Prize because it addresses the issue of human dignity by depicting the extreme social gap that forces the characters into situations that are almost without hope. The preservation of dignity is shown in the portrayal of the mother, the attainment of dignity in the mother’s decision. In this we see a relatedness to Fritz Gerlich’s stance: even in an extreme situation that appears hopeless, a person can arrive at a decision that transcends him- or herself, making it possible for someone else to have a new beginning, a new life.”


Unified Filmmakers Awards

The award-winners of the first edition of the international Unified Filmmakers Festival were announced on Thursday evening during the 38th International FILMFEST MÜNCHEN. The prizes were awarded in the two categories “Short films of up to 5 minutes” and “Short films of 5 to 20 minutes”.

While most winners were chosen by a distinguished international jury, members of the audience were also able to vote for their favorites in advance. In total, more than 500 entries were submitted by filmmakers from all over the world. The main theme of the Unified Filmmakers Festival was the coronavirus pandemic.

The following films received prizes:

Jury awards in the category “Short films of up to 5 minutes”: RUN GIRL RUN, directed by Anna Roller (Germany); PHOSPHOROS, directed by Susana Serrano (El Salvador); and THE STAY-AT-HOME HEROES, directed by Todor Nikolov (Bulgaria).

Jury awards in the category “Short films of 5 to 20 minutes”: SOMETIMES I WISH I WAS ON A DESERT ISLAND, directed by Eli Jean Tahchi (Canada); OK, KAREN, directed by Hugo L. V. e Oliveira (Brazil); THE SHACK, directed by Tebogo Chologi (South Africa); and BONAPARTE, directed by Jesper Quistgaard (Denmark).

Audience awards in the category “Short films of up to 5 minutes”: HOT WATER, directed by Sam Batour (Poland); BEING, directed by Malak El Araby (Egypt); and CIARAN, directed by Ruairi Bradley (Ireland).

Audience awards in the category “Short films of 5 to 20 minutes”: THE PITCH, directed by Ken Kwek (Singapore); MEETING FAREWELL, directed by Harashta (Indonesia); and THE MISSION, directed by Marianna Ölmez (Germany).


Starter Film Awards by the City of Munich

The Starter Film Awards, presented by the City of Munich since 1985, have a long tradition. In 2019, the presentation of these awards was included in FILMFEST MÜNCHEN for the first time. Each year, three Starter Film Awards, each worth 6,000 euros, are awarded to films of outstanding artistic quality, especially those made by young, unestablished Munich filmmakers. The aim is to support innovative, up-and-coming young directors and producers from the region.

The 2021 award-winners are: Linda-Schiwa Klinkhammer for MAMANAM, Josef Fink for DORFJUGEND, Verena Wagner for SCHICHTELN, and Denise Riedmayr (director), Lillian Malan and Philipp Link (production) for AN ANNA.


Cinema Awards by the City of Munich

The Cinema Awards by the City of Munich honor movie theaters that are playing a noteworthy part in maintaining Munich’s diverse cinema culture. In recognition of their efforts, the City of Munich annually awards six prizes, each worth 7,500 euros. The aim is to support the continued existence of art house cinemas. In 2021, twelve Special Awards for Cinema Culture of 6,000 euros each were presented in addition to the Cinema Awards on a one-off basis in order to strengthen the visibility of movie theaters. These awards represent support for Munich’s movie theaters during the pandemic and are intended to help ensure that the cinemas will soon be able to return to delivering culturally sophisticated screenings.

The award-winners are:

Thomas Kuchenreuther for the ABC Kino
Fritz Pressmar and Christoph Pressmar for Filmtheater Sendlinger Tor
Thomas Wilhelm for the Neues Rex Filmtheater
Daniel Kuonen and Kerstin Schmidt for the Rio Filmpalast
Marlies Kirchner for Theatiner Filmkunst
Wolfgang Bihlmeir, Bernd Brehmer, Doris Kuhn, and Erich Wagner for the Werkstattkino

The Special Awards for Cinema Culture have gone to:

Markus Eisele and Christian Pfeil for the Arena Filmtheater
Hans-Joachim Flebbe for the Astor Film Lounge im ARRI
Jonathan Rosenwanger for the Cadillac and Veranda
Klaus Ungerer for the Cinema
Bruno Börger and Heinrich-Georg Kloster for the City/Atelier theaters
François Duplat and Georg Kloster for Kino Solln
Thomas Kuchenreuther for the Leopold Kinos
Markus Eisele and Christian Pfeil for the Monopol Kino
Mathias H. Wild and Matthias Stolz for the Museum Lichtspiele
Anne Harder for the Neues Maxim
Thomas Wilhelm for the Neues Rottmann
Louis Anschütz and Hermine Bek for the Studio Isabella


Children’s Media Prize “The White Elephant”

The White Elephant was awarded for the 19th time in 2021 as part of the Kinderfilmfest at FILMFEST MÜNCHEN. The Children’s Media Award honors outstanding productions for children and young people in the areas of cinema, television, games, apps, the Internet, and audio. The prize money, totaling 14,000 euros, is provided by the Verwertungsgesellschaft der Film- und Fernsehproduzenten mbH (VFF).

Romy Lou Janinhoff received the award for best performance by a newcomer for her role in MISSION ULJA FUNK. You’ll find an overview of the other award-winners here.