The top prize of the MUNICH INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF FILM SCHOOLS goes to a young French director and a comedy from Austria wins three of the festival's awards
Two films, one from France, the other from Austria, are this year's big winners: the French short "Ce Qui Me Fait Prendre Le Train" ("What Makes Me Take The Train") won the VFF Young Talent Award. The award (and €7500 in prize money) is donated by the Verwertungsgesellschaft der Film- und Fernsehproduzenten (VFF).
25-year-old director Pierre Mazingarbe, from the film school Le Fresnoy in the north of France, reinterpreted the tale of Orpheus and Eurydice in a 15-minute B&W film. A girl descends into the underworld to bring back two dead friends. "With imagination and never-ending ideas incorporated into a surprising reinterpretation of the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, director Pierre Mazingarbe took us on a journey into another world and then brought us back home", so the international jury. "Images we will never forget."
The other very successful film is "Das Begräbnis des Harald Kramer" ("The Funeral Of Harald Kramer") by German director Marc Schlegel from the Filmakademie Wien. His dark comedy about a man allegedly - but not really - dead and the events at his funeral won three awards: Best Screenplay (the Luggi Waldleitner Award), Best Production of a German Language Film (the Panther Award goes to producer Philipp Grandits) and the Interfilm Academy Munich's Prix Interculturel for the film that best fosters intercultural dialogue.
"That fact that the two big winners are a poetic black & white film and a colorful black comedy show the wide spectrum of films in this year's competition" remarked Festival Director Diana Iljine. "The quality of the films, regardless of the genre, was very high."
Ten prizes worth more than €50,000 were awarded at the festival's award ceremony on Saturday evening in the University of Television and Film Munich's cinema. Two went to the UK: "Cocoons" by Joasia Goldyn (NFTS Beaconsfield) won the Wolfgang Längsfeld Award for Most Original Film. "Auschwitz On My Mind" (Lizkor Velo Lishkoach) by Assaf Machnes (Met Film School London) won the Arte Short Film Prize.
The ARRI Award for Best Documentary went to Ukrainian Lesia Kordonets from the Zurich University of the Arts. The star of her film, "Balazher. The Correction of Reality", is an old public bus in the Ukraine and the film depicts the lives of its passengers in the post-socialist country. Jan-Marcello Kahl won the Student Kamera Award for "Nicht den Boden berühren" ("Don't Hit The Ground"). Andreas Bruns from the Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg was presented the Climate Clips Award for his spot "Atemberaubend" ("Breathtaking"). The Hofbräu Trophy for the Best Beer Commercial went to Adrian Campean and Mateusz Smolka from the University of Television and Film Munich for "Einfach Himmlisch" ("Close To Heaven").
Young directors from 18 countries presented 46 films in one week and connected with enthusiastic Munich audiences. "Public interest was enormous", commented Iljine, "Many of the screenings were sold out a day in advance."