They came, we saw, they conquered


After ten days, the festival is coming to an end and all prizes have been awarded. FILMFEST MÜNCHEN congratulates all winners.

They came, we saw, they conquered

It's raining awards at FILMFEST MÜNCHEN and this time even without "real" rain. Also in this exceptional year, all award donors did not miss the opportunity to support the festival and thus make the award ceremonies possible. Many thanks for that!

German cinema new talent award


Yesterday, Friday, 07/09/2021, the German Cinema New Talent Award was already awarded in four categories: Best Production, Best Actor, Best Screenplay and Best Director. 

The award was decided by a three-member jury - this year it was actress Sophie von Kessel, actor Komi M. Togbonou and the artistic director of the Münchner Kammerspiele, Barbara Mundel. The German Cinema New Talent Award is one of the most important and most highly endowed prizes for young filmmakers in Germany. The prize, worth a total of 70,000 euros, is sponsored by Bavaria Film, Bayerischer Rundfunk and DZ Bank.


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Best Director: Nikias Chryssos for A PURE PLACE

The jury was thrilled by the absurd film about a cult with a compulsive washing habit and justified their decision thus:

"As all of us haven’t been to the movies in a long time, we as a jury became even more aware this week of what cinema is capable of. Through impressive images bursting with imagination and images loaded with cinematic effects, we realized once again what we can expect from motion pictures: everything that’s missing in life, perhaps even in everyone’s life! The unusual, the sometimes disturbing, peppered with visions of the unimaginable. We as the jury had the task of selecting the recipient of the New Talent Award for best director according to these criteria, and in this case this also included a wonderful cast of children. We’ve therefore decided to present the German Cinema New Talent Award in the category of directing to A PURE PLACE by Nikias Chryssos."

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Best Screenplay: Franziska Stünkel for THE LAST EXECUTION 

The drama about a Stasi climber through the ranks in the turmoil of the GDR was able to convince the jury: 

"There is, unfortunately, a circumstance that is a cause for concern: people are reading less than they used to. The fact that only a screenplay can get a society interested in a true story is sad enough, but apparently it’s necessary. This is an important German story that describes the authoritarian regime of the East German state in a way that is shocking and unnerving. The disturbing truth that the death penalty was applied in East Germany until the mid-1980s was, I believe, not widely known. Coming to terms with our shared history also involves making the unheard, the unspoken, the unseen and the repressed audible and visible.
For this reason, we, the jury, have decided:
The German Cinema New Talent Award for best screenplay goes to THE LAST EXECUTION by Franziska Stünkel."

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Best Production: Miriam Düssel for MY SON

The star-studded road trip movie featuring a mother and son trying to find their way back to each other came out on top in this category: 

"It is with great pleasure that we present the award for best production to the feature film: MY SON. This psychologically very sound story about an extreme mother-son relationship is modern, contemporary, and particularly touching. It accurately reflects an estrangement across two generations. The shocking start of the film has the viewer hooked from this first moment, and a road movie unfolds which mother and son experience together. Step by step, the impressive scenes of various landscapes and the terrific dialogue between mother and son turn the story into a true cinematic experience. In this way, a most authentic narrative unfolds between members of two generations who appear to have nothing in common, but who love each other deeply in spite of everything. The focus is always on the performance of the two excellent leading actors.
We are happy to present the award for best producer to Miriam Düssel."

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Best Actor: Martin Rohde for HEIKO'S WORLD

The Kiezkneipen comedy already has a large fan base. The jury was also convinced by Martin Rohde's performance:

"It is with great pleasure that we present the award for best actor/actress to Martin Rohde in HEIKO'S WORLD.
HEIKO'S WORLD is in many ways an unusual film and Martin Rohde is the “primus inter pares” of a wonderful ensemble of sad and valiant losers, of bizarre individuals who fought unselfishly against cold, poverty, humiliation, and loneliness. They fought for the vestige of a dream and hope for a better life. Heiko would do anything for his mother (played magnificently by Heike Hanold-Lynch), except that in the process he digs himself deeper and deeper into a hole, is cheated and betrayed. This is tragic and bitter, but Martin Rohde manages a fine balancing act that lends his character dignity and wit. Heiko remains calm, very calm — “Heiko will take care of it, Mama!” — but whenever he says this, we know it won’t go well. He will get his revenge, though — in his own way, with outsize tennis strokes, but more importantly with exceptional technique when playing darts. And this is how this perpetual loser, this pitiful and annoying survivor, becomes a minor winner through his great victory at darts in the pubs of Berlin. The way Martin Rohde plays it, unpretentious, precise, touching, witty, and with a convincing affinity for the world of darts, the sausage stands and corner pubs and the people who frequent them — we think it’s absolutely worth seeing.
Congratulations, Martin Rohde!"

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all the lucky winners: Franziska Stückel (the last execution), Miriam Düssel (My son), Martin Rohde (HEIKO'S World) and Alexis von Wittgenstein, as proxy for Nikias Chryssos (A PURE PLACE).

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Arri/Osram Award


The prize in the CineMasters competition is the main prize of FILMFEST MÜNCHEN and is donated by the long-standing partners ARRI and OSRAM. Bettina Reitz, President of the University of Television and Film Munich, actor and voice actor Max von der Groeben and Roger Diederen, art historian and director of the Kunsthalle München, selected the winning film from the ten entries in the competition and they chose ONLY THE ANIMALS by Dominik Moll as Best International Film:

“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.”

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CineVision Award


The CineVision Award is given to the Best International Emerging Film and is sponsored by MPLC. This year, the award jurors were theater director Pınar Karabulut, who has been part of the artistic management team of the Kammerspiele since 2020, Yodit Tarikwa, a permanent ensemble member of the Residenztheater Munich as an actress, and Mirjam Zadoff, director of the NS Documentation Center Munich. They chose a co-production from the Ivory Coast with France, Canada and Senegal: Philippe Lacôte's NIGHT OF THE KINGS.

“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 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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Bayern 2 und SZ audience award


All viewers have the opportunity to vote for their favorite film during the festival. On the last day the voting will be closed and the winning film will be announced. And this year they have chosen an exciting documentary film: The Bayern 2 and SZ Audience Award goes to the film TRANS - I GOT LIFE by Imogen Kimmel and Doris Metz.

All other prizes awarded at FILMFEST MÜNCHEN 2021 can be found on our prize overview page. And with that, the #ffmuc team says goodbye to all the visitors, guests and participating films that have set the mood in all weather conditions over the last ten days. What an adventure! Thank you so much for being part of it. 

See also

Representation matters! But it’s not enough.

Representation matters! But it’s not enough.

November 10 2023

Why representation is good for the visibility of diversity but bad for diversity in storytelling. A guest commentary by Letícia Milano and Johanna Faltinat.

Representation in Film, Vol. 2

Representation in Film, Vol. 2

October 30 2023

The images we see stay in our minds. Stories we hear tell us about our world. Who identifies with them? Who writes the screenplays for our films, who chooses the faces that appear in them, which environments get to be portrayed — and more importantly: which do not?

A new era at the Filmfest

A new era at the Filmfest

October 17 2023

As of October 2023, Christoph Gröner has assumed the role of director of FILMFEST MÜNCHEN and FILMSCHOOLFEST MUNICH. Coinciding with this is the announcement of further staff changes and revised festival dates for 2024.