Award winners 2015

Award Ceremony in the Photo Diary

Best Film:
VFF Young Talent Award

Sponsor: VFF Verwertungsgesellschaft der Film- und Fernsehproduzenten mbH
Prize: 7,500 €

by Simon Tillaas
The Norwegian Filmschool

the little death
Simon Tillaas and Prof. Dr. Norbert P. Flechsig (VFF)

The Jury: THE LITTLE DEATH is a wonderfully told story about adolescence, loss of childhood, love, sorrow, friendship, and the wonders of adulthood. It's poetic, full of love to its characters, precise, not too long not too short, in fact a perfect little gem of a movie. We live and feel with 12 year old Julia and her father, and by the end of the film we are left with hope for the future of the next generation. And so is the jury regarding director Simon Tillaas. Your film is beyond promising, and we are looking forward to many more in the future.


Best Script:
Luggi Waldleitner-Award

Sponsor: Family Waldleitner
Prize: 3,000 €

by Vladimir Tagić
Faculty of Dramatic Arts Belgrad

emergency exit
Prof. Janko Baljak with Michael Waldleitner

The Jury: At the beginning we laughed. And we were thankful. Laughter means letting go. Even, as in EMERGENCY EXIT, things seem to revolve around grotesque bureaucracy and a stolen first aid kit. If it’s well-written, our laughter muscles and emotions get moving. Good comedies are always tragedies, too - a truism but difficult to make. Vladimir Tagić has written a witty and original screenplay. By setting simple dialogue and action slightly outside of expected social norms, he succeeds in showing us the violence between people in everyday life. Simple. Brilliant. Images that stick with us. Words for an invisible, intangible feeling of the increasing brutalization in day-to-day society – not political crisis situations or terrorist threats. By the housewife’s front door monologue, at the latest, this Serbian Absurdistan becomes a universal one. And we keep laughing louder and louder in the vortex of this soft-spoken anarchistic vicious circle in which smoking is prohibited, a man would rather do without his hearing aid, and another man for whom going shopping is no more than a slap in the face. Just before the end we really let loose and laugh and are wonderfully vulnerable for the moment in which our laughter sticks in our throats. Too late for the emergency exit.  


Best Documentary:

Sponsor: Arnold & Richter Cine Technik
Prize: 4,000 € worth of rental services by ARRI

by Lisa Gerig
Zürcher Hochschule der Künste

Lisa Gerig

The Jury: The winner of this award is not only a filmmaker but a humanitarian whose desire is to help those less fortunate. That is the inspiration behind a film that tells an untold story concerning the current issue of refugees. The filmmaker's eyes are the audience's guide, literally showing events the way she witnesses them, portraying the stories and plight of the unseen protagonists. The viewer is asked to join the filmmaker on her daily pilgrimage, to endure what she endures, experience what she experiences, and try to comprehend what she is discovering. Nonjudgmental in tone, the filmmaker does not directly cast blame, comment or impose an opinion. She simply provides facts in order to shine a light on the despair of those who have come to a country known for its neutrality, its security and its freedom - a country that many would expect much more of. The audience is left to come up with its own verdict. Subtle in style, yet powerful in its punch, this documentary is a skillful piece of filmmaking that seeks to use its art form to expose more than what the media wants to share. In telling the stories of a handful of individuals, it speaks for all those struggling for a new life in an ever growing crisis that cannot be ignored. 


Best Camera:
Student Camera Award

For students of a German language university
Sponsor: Film & TV Kameramann
Prize: 1,000 €

by Khaled Mzher
Camera: Alexander Hasskerl
Deutsche Film- und Fernsehakademie Berlin

Director Khaled Mzher

The Jury: Cinematography is much more powerful when it doesn't set out to be a quest for perfection - or just an illustration of the script. Images can lead us to places that can't be reached by words. In WADA’, the character lacks words to express his feelings, so the cinematographer has chosen sensitively to let us enter in those moments of life with shots that do not force emotions on us but allow them time to arise. It's Berlin today but from a perspective never seen before. In every frame we perceive visually that the Berlin of the protagonist is haunted by Syria, by both its beauty and its violence.



Sponsor: arte Television
Prize: Arte buys the broadcast rights to a film no longer than 15 minutes for up to 6000 €

by Basile Vuillemin
Institut des Arts de Diffusion

Basile Vuillemin

The Jury of the ARTE-Shortfilm-Award (Barbara Häbe and Daniela Muck): We are happy to award Belgian director Basile Vuillemin the ARTE Short Film Prize for his film FINGERTIPS (“Du bout des Doigts”). The grim story about the loss of a child lying in a coma is told with great sensitivity and empathy. The director won us over with an outstanding cast and intense directing that went straight to the heart. A family drama, compactly told, with universal appeal. This is the high art of the short film. Our congratulations!  


Best Production:

For students of a European university
Sponsor: Panther GmbH
Prize: Panther's state-of-the-art dolly equipment for a period of four weeks worth 5,000 €

by Michael Binz
Kunsthochschule für Medien Köln

herman the german
Producer Maike Drinhausen

The Panther-Award Jury (Lydia Bittl, Andy Fitz, Christopher Schuller): The film amused the jury with its witty narrative style. The numerous effective gags keep the audience curious to the end as to how Herman will come to grips with his predicament. The excellent directing as well as the superb use of lighting gave the film a very professional look. The overall production value and the outstanding cinematography also contributed considerably in impressing the jury.  


PRIX INTERCULTUREL for Best Film Fostering Intercultural Dialogue

Sponsor: Interfilm Akademie München
Prize: 5,000 €

by Arthur Lecouturier
Institut des Arts de Diffusion

do you even know
Arthur Lecouturier

The Interfilm Jury (Pfarrer Eckart Bruchner, Galina Antoschewskaja, Ileana Cosmovici, Dr. Peter Marinkovic): After the sudden and unexpected death of her boyfriend, Alexandra, who is pregnant, has six days to decide whether or not to have the baby. At first she seems intent on having an abortion. She has six days to make a decision. Arthur Lecouturier focuses on a fundamental anthropological problem and opens an ethical discourse that is relevant in all cultures. He provides food for thought without becoming moralistic or prejudging any decision. The plot remains surprising. The audience is challenged to make its own virtual decision. Lecouturier succeeds in showing us loneliness and speechlessness with subtle imagery and portrays what the protagonist is going through with great sensitivity and authenticity. The excellent casting, lighting and the reduced colors are also worthy of praise. Congratulations on an unpretentious film rich with symbolism, intimate and yet never voyeuristic.  



Sponsor: Freundeskreis-Wolfgang-Längsfeld e.V.
Prize: 3,000 €

by Michael Binz
Kunsthochschule für Medien Köln

herman the german
Producer Maike Drinhausen with jury members Zeng Zeng and Matthias Kammermeier

The Jury of the Wolfgang-Längsfeld-Award (Henriette Kaiser, Matthias Kammermeier, Zeng Zeng): With its entertaining and surprising narrative structure, its unconventional style, its irony and sarcastic take on the world, and – equally important – its professional look, the film captured the hearts and minds of the Wolfgang Längsfeld Prize jury for 'Most Original Film'. Especially praiseworthy are the directing and acting, the harmonious interplay of production design and cinematography, as well as the subtly precise screenplay. A winning combination.  


Climate Clips Award

Sponsor: Nagelschneider Stiftung
Prize: 1. Prize - 5,000 €, 2. Prize - 3,000 €, 3. Prize - 1,000 €

climate clips
Christian Ricken and Moritz Rautenberg (1. Prize for SWEATY SANTA), Jury Member Gisela Scola, Benjamin Leichtenstern (3. Prize for ANGIE BABY), Miguel Villares (2. Prize for MASTERPIECE) and Jury Member Brigitte Bruns

by Moritz Rautenberg & Christian Ricken
HFF München

The Climate-Clips-Jury (Beatrice Scola, Gisela Scola, Brigitte Bruns): It’s Christmas Eve. Santa Claus - ‘ dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot’ - and his sleigh of reindeer are flying through the sky. Children in America are waiting for him to come down their chimneys with presents. But – thanks to global warming – they’re in for a big surprise! The clip plays with cherished traditions in regard to worldwide climate change and poses serious questions about global warming in a humorous way. The jury was impressed by the idea, its implementation and its brevity. Congratulations!

by Miguel Villares
Miami AD School Madrid

With short shots of war crimes and catastrophes, MASTERPIECE warns us of the total annihilation of the planet. The media diverts our attention to sensational incidents instead of focusing on the causes of what could very well bring about the deaths of billions of people. The jury was impressed by how news shots were succinctly intercut with man-made climate change and how those consequences were invoked in the narration. Congratulations!

3. Prize: ANGIE BABY
by Benjamin Leichtenstern
HFF München

Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Barak Obama are sitting on a wooden bench enjoying the beautiful Alpine panorama during the G7 summit meeting at Castle Elmau in 2015. The clip pokes fun at how little is really being done – politically and financially - about climate change and how politicians tend to put off long-term global problems. The jury appreciated the use of satire and caricature and found it both entertaining and effective. Congratulations!  


Hofbräu Trophy

Sponsor: Staatliches Hofbräuhaus in München
Prize: 5.000 €

by Moritz Rautenberg & Christian Ricken
HFF München

outer space
Christian Ricken and Moritz Rautenberg

The Hofbräu Jury: We don’t know how many people have had “close encounters of the third kind” in a pub. But that’s what happens in this year’s Hofbräu Trophy 2015 winning film OUTER SPACE by Moritz Rautenberg and Christian Ricken. “May the force be with us!” It seems “highly illogical” and yet “fascinating” that the aliens, who are technically far superior to us, choose a pub in the sticks as “undiscovered country” for their research into mankind. Even the man at the bar who is beamed up with his beer seems to be just a coincidence at first glance, if it weren’t for the beer: “We are Hofbräu Beer – Resistance is futile!” We don’t know who the aliens are, where they come from and what they plan to do with our beer. So “hailing frequencies are open!” This is Hofbräu München speaking: You do actually need a licence for our beer! However “the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.” And after all, the aliens have made absolutely the right choice. So we call out to them as intergalactic brand ambassadors: “Live long and prosper! Cheers and prosit!"