Magazine > Berlinale 2012 Diary: FilmFestival Cottbus awards 3 East European films
15 Feb 2012

Berlinale 2012 Diary: FilmFestival Cottbus awards 3 East European films

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By way of awarding a total of three prizes, the FilmFestival Cottbus, together with the East-West cooperation market connecting cottbus (coco), launches itself into the new festival season. During the traditional East European Brunch hosted at the federal representation offices of the Federal State of Brandenburg in Berlin on Wednesday, director Marc Bauder was awarded the 21st FilmFestival Cottbus sponsorship award endowed by the DEFA Foundation with 4,000 Euro. Bauer receives the award for his feature film début DAS SYSTEM – ALLES VERSTEHEN HEISST ALLES VERZEIHEN (The System, Germany 2010). In its laudatory speech, the DEFA Foundation emphasised not only Marc Bauder's gripping staging of a story telling how a family breaks apart due to the system it lives in, but also the outstanding achievement of actor Jacob Matschenz in the leading role. The young talent from Berlin impersonated Mike, the son of the family, who ultimately is able to disconnect himself from the authority wielded by former GDR secret service men. In the past year, Jacob Matschenz was a guest at Cottbus in the capacity of a member of the international jury.

The 21st FilmFestival Cottbus sponsorship award donated by the Gesellschaft zur Wahrnehmung von Film- und Fernsehrechten (GWFF) went to Joanna Malicka, a Polish production student. The GWFF stipend endowed with 4,500 Euro enables her to spend a study visit abroad. Joanna Malicka has been a student in the field of production at the well-established university for film PWSFTviT in Łódź since 2008 and has been attending a production course at the Andrzej Wajda Master School of Film Directing in Warsaw since 2011.

Like every year, visitors to the by now 22nd issue of the FilmFestival Cottbus in November 2012 can look forward to a representative overview over contemporary Eastern European film productions. The popular programme series "Focus" once again tackles the diversity found in Eastern Europe. In the past festival year, the starting point of this cinematographic review was "Eastern Europe by Regions", whereas this year, the attention will be focused on an "Eastern Europe by Religions". The emphasis here is on works dealing with the history and the current debates regarding the relationship between the religions and various denominations, such as Catholicism, Protestantism, the Orthodox Christian Churches, Judaism and Islam.

During the reception, a third award was presented by connecting cottbus. The coco Special Pitch Award went to the main award winner of the 21st FilmFestival Cottbus, TWILIGHT PORTRAIT (Russia 2011). Director Angelina Nikonova tells an unusual story of revenge with a young woman from the Russian middle class as the protagonist. The award, which includes the invitation to pitch her next project at connecting cottbus, was accepted by Alexander Rodnyansky on behalf of the director. The successful Russian producer of arthouse and mainstream films was president of the international festival jury in Cottbus in 2011 and this year is represented at the Berlinale competition with the film JANE MANSFIELD’S CAR.

Activities continue from 6 pm onwards in the context of the Cinema Total /CT5 programme in the rooms of the Collegium Hungaricum Berlin (.CHB). Here, the FilmFestival Cottbus and coco together with the .CHB host the "Cottbus Lounge", supported by the Instituto Cervantes and the Brazilian embassy in Berlin.

The 22ndFilmFestival Cottbus will take place this year from 6th to 11th November. connecting cottbus will be held between 8th to 9th November 2012. In the past year, a total of more than 140 films from 33 countries were screened during the six festival days and more than 19,000 visitors constituted a new record as regards audience.