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The Nominees for the „German Independence Award – Best German Film“


Five excellent German films will compete for the jury’s favor.

„German Independence Award – Best German Film“. The nominees:

Stillleben: In entering the world of stoically maintained facades or normalcy, writer/director Sebastian Meise rips a page from a seemingly picture perfect family portrait that will forever change their lives. Some things are best left unsaid. And in young Lydia’s family most things are. Capturing a subsurface of denial with explosive silence, Meise’s debut feature is as morally haunting as the secret it unveils. With an alluring cameo by “Soap & Skin” singing sensation, Anja Plaschg, the main cast soars with raw grit. Premiered at Rotterdam, Meise’s been likened to such Austrian masters such as Haneke and Glawogger.

Oh Boy: In his stunning debut feature, Director Jan Ole Gerster captures the core of a young generation without a compass. Following a seemingly ordinary day in the life of young Nico, a recent college dropout (played by Tom Schilling with bold authenticity), the film flows through the streets of Berlin and through the lost eyes of its protagonist. Like an homage to early Woody Allen, Gerster’s eye is unflinching as the mundane comic details of life’s little tragedies come alive with delight.

Zero Killed: This first feature by award-winning experimental director, Michal Kosakowski, could not be more relevant- or terrifying. A group of seemingly normal people with no criminal history agree to be interviewed about their murder fantasies. Offered the chance for their fantasies to be filmed, the only condition was they had to act in these films themselves, as either the victim or perpetrator. And they do. The result of these ‘non criminal’ fantasies of average people is shocking. Bold, insightful, harsh.  

The Dragonfly and the Rhinoceros: Following the 2008 Berlinale premiere of her feature debut ‘Die Besucherin’, accomplished filmmaker, Lola Randl, explores one night of a young writer, Nina (Fritzi Haberlandt), and aging actor (Mario Adorf) trapped in a hotel together. In their case, opposites don’t attract. So a night of role-playing between the youthful writer and the elderly sentimentalist becomes a life-changing nocturnal playground for both. As mismatched allies in a night of misfortune, their honest intensity is spectacular- recalling such rare pairing delights as  ‘Lost in Translation’ and the German indie-gem “Absolute Giganten”.

The Visitors: Constanze Knoche, in her powerful debut feature as writer/director, explores life’s lies and the hard pursuit of happiness. Old conflicts come to light when Jakob (played by award-winning German actor Uwe Kockish, “Weisessensee”) surprises his adult- yet still financially dependent- children with a visit. His wife (played by the celebrated Corinna Kirchhoff) may have been sleeping when ‘dad’ made his sudden and surprising decision to open the floodgates, but she is quickly on the scene. But torn by their pressure to succeed, the youth struggle to keep up a surface of life in Berlin- and Knoche weaves together the disparate ensemble brilliantly.