Awards – Offenbach am Main – Director Volker Schlöndorff honored with Hessian film prize – Society

Offenbach (dpa / lhe) – Director Volker Schlöndorff was awarded the honorary prize at the Hessian Film and Cinema Prize. Schlöndorff accepted the award on Friday. Due to the corona, the gala took place on a smaller scale in the Capitol in Offenbach. Around 350 guests were invited. They strolled over a red carpet into the hall decorated with oversized Oscar statues.

In a video message, Prime Minister Volker Bouffier (CDU) praised Schlöndorff, who was born in Wiesbaden, as a “real Hessen” and “great intellectual spirit” who is passionate about the interests of film culture. The Oscar winner (“The Tin Drum”) repeatedly takes up social debates in his works. In his acceptance speech, Schlöndorff recalled the beginning of his career. At that time, one of his short films was banned by the Wiesbaden-based Voluntary Self-Control of the Film Industry (FSK). Later he learned to appreciate the liberality of Hessian film funding. He appealed to encourage small cinemas in particular. “Film without a cinema is like music without a concert hall,” he said.

The Hessian Film and Cinema Prize has been awarded since 1990. In addition to the undoped honorary award from the Prime Minister, productions related to the state are selected. After the 2020 break, the main focus of the works this year was on freedom rights, equality and dealing with death.

The Belarusian director Aliaksei Paluyan won the newcomer award for “Courage” endowed with € 7,500. In it he documents the protests in his home country against the ruler Alexander Lukashenko. Paluyan came to Kassel to study directing in 2012, “Courage” is his thesis and at the same time his second Hessian film award: in 2019 Paluyan won the short film category. The up-and-coming talent was “a remarkable personality” who made a name for himself in the international film landscape, according to the laudation. Paluyan combined his honor with the demand to support the opposition in Belarus. He himself wants to work to ensure that nobody dies in prison there.

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The jury awarded “Le Prince” by Lisa Bierwirth the prize of 20,000 euros for the best feature film. In her production she addresses the clash between the neighborhood and the cultural crowd in Frankfurt. In the documentary category, Antonia Kilian came out on top with “The Other Side of the River”. There was also 20,000 euros for this. The work deals with the struggle of Syrian women for emancipation.

Britta Hammelstein and Jens Harzer were honored as best actress and actor with the Hessian Television Prize, which the Hessian Broadcasting Corporation had awarded. Hammelstein, who was switched on via video, was honored in the role of a peasant woman in “Today Kainer dies here”. In the western comedy, a terminally ill named Kainer sets off on one last journey. He ends up on a farm in the Hessian province of all places. The film was shot in Mossautal in the Odenwald, among other places.

The Harz native, who grew up in Langgöns in Central Hesse, was honored for his performance in the tragic comedy “Calm! Here Lothar dies”. In it he embodies a man who loves his dog more than people. This changes in the course of the film. Both works were shown on ARD in April.

The film and cinema award is endowed with a total of around 250,000 euros. Around 150,000 euros of this are shared by 24 small movie theaters. Some of them are non-commercial.

© dpa-infocom, dpa: 211022-99-702102 / 3