Overjoyed winners, from left to right: Timo Schwarz, cinematographer REGENBOGENENGEL, Daniel Büttner & Max Baberg, directors FALLEN GELASSEN, festival director Nicky Schulte and Pierre Schoeller, director of VERSAILLES
Münster has truly been gripped by film fever for 5 thrilling days and nights during the 13th Münster Film Festival. The city’s Cineplex welcomed around 7,000 visitors to the festival’s screenings, setting a new record. The expert juries debated the merits of each film into the early hours of the morning before finally deciding on the following winners.
The European Feature Film Competition awards the best director an attractive € 7,500. The winner is:
Pierre Schoeller for VERSAILLES (France 2008)
The jury, consisting of Irene Visedo, Holger Franke und Matthias Luthardt, explains its decision as follows:
A young boy adopts a man who has turned his back on civil society and lives in the forest. By meeting the child, the outsider discovers the possibility of love and responsibility which he had long since forgotten. An existential, difficult, socially charged tale that is both well observed and positively poetic yet free from excessive sentiment. A film full of toughness, physicalness and tenderness, told by the characters and their contrariness.
Three prizes are awarded in the German-Language Short Film Competition. The Großer Preis from the Filmwerkstatt Münster (worth € 5,000) is sponsored once again this year by Grimm & Partner Unternehmens- und Wirtschaftsberatung. The award goes to:
FALLEN GELASSEN — LET FALL (Germany 2008) by Daniel Büttner and Max Baberg
The short film judges Katharina Liebert, Florian Mischa Böder, Robert Gwisdek and Peter Stockhaus explained the rationale behind their decision as follows:
The animated film Fallen gelassen by Daniel Büttner and Max Baberg manages to effortlessly create a natural and extraordinarily lively image of our modern world. In this stylized abstraction, narrative precision permeates throughout this multi-faceted and thoroughly entertaining film. The boys of Peppermill Berlin party harder than Walt Disney would have allowed.
The WDR Sponsorship Award from Landesstudio Münster is worth € 2,500 and the winner is:
REGENBOGENENGEL — RAINBOWSKIN (Germany 2008) by Anna Kasten
Andrea Benstein, head of the WDR Studio Münster explains her choice as follows:
Regenbogenengel is a poignant depiction of the last days of a young person who sees no hope for himself in this life and decides to kill himself. It also tells the story of the only helpless witness to this drama, the victim’s young brother. And almost as an aside, the film demonstrates the mindless violence among the youth of today, including its defenseless victims.
Anna Kasten and her team have managed to convey speechlessness and inner turmoil, the boundary between life and death, between hope and despair with simple imagery and in the amazingly appropriate language of a child. The jury from WDR Studios Münster therefore came to the unanimous conclusion that Regenbogenengel is a more than deserving recipient of the WDR Sponsorship Award.
The Audience Award, sponsored by the Münstersche Filmtheater-Betriebe is worth € 1,000 and was awarded to:
WAGAH (Germany, 2009) by Supriyo Sen
A fascinating documentary from the Indian-born film-maker Supriyo Sen: since India and Pakistan split in 1947, there has only one crossover point on the 3,000 kilometer long border. Its name is Checkpoint Wagah and for normal citizens it is almost impassable. Yet every day a ritual takes place here: in a carnival-like atmosphere, amid the noise of military parades, people can – if they get close enough to the gate – greet old friends and acquaintances on the other side. Until the border is once again closed in the evening, an act rich in symbolism.
The school jury awarded the prize for the best short film on the topic of »Courage« and the winner here is:
WIDERSTAND — RESISTANCE (Germany 2008) by Baris Aladag
Four juvenile activists are violating a military parade. But they are on a watch. Will their plan succeed in the end?