Film und Medien Stiftung NRWNewsNews32nd European Film Awards: nominations for „The Traitor“ and „Gundermann“ by the Cologne-based production companies Match Factory and Pandora Filmproduktion

32nd European Film Awards: nominations for „The Traitor“ and „Gundermann“ by the Cologne-based production companies Match Factory and Pandora Filmproduktion

  • „The Traitor“ by Marco Bellocchio with 4 nominations for European Film 2019, European Director 2019, European Actor 2019, European Screenwriter 2019
  • Alexander Scheer nominated as European Actor 2019 in „Gundermann“ by Andreas Dresen
  • New European Achievement in Fiction Series Award for the directors of „Babylon Berlin“: Achim von Borries, Henk Handloegten and Tom Tykwer
  • Awards ceremony in Berlin on 7 December

As the European Film Academy (EFA) announced on Saturday during the European Film Festival in Seville, the Filmstiftung-backed mafia drama „The Traitor“ by Marco Bellocchio has received four nominations and the biopic „Gundermann“ (dir: Andreas Dresen) one nomination to participate in the race for this year’s European Film Awards. „The Traitor“ has been nominated for European Film 2019, European Director 2019, European Actor 2019 (Pierfrancesco Favino) and for European Screenwriter 2019. Marco Bellocchio wrote the screenplay together with Ludovica Rampoldi, Valia Santella, Francesco Piccolo and Francesco La Licata. Lead actor Alexander Scheer from „Gundermann“ has also been nominated in the category for „European Actor 2019“.

A total of 46 feature films from 31 European countries were in the preselection for the prestigious award. Over 3,600 members of the EFA will now vote for the winners in a total of 24 categories, including European Film 2019, European Director 2019, European Actress 2019, European Actor 2019 and European Screenwriter 2019.

The honorary awards for the 32nd European Film Awards have already been announced: the authors and directors of the „Babylon Berlin“ Achim Borries, Henk Handloegten and Tom Tykwer will receive the European Achievement in Fiction Series Award. The new award category aims to reflect the changes in the cinematic landscape and celebrate the great achievements in the development of European series. Another honorary award will go to the French actress and Oscar winner Juliette Binoche who is being presented with the European Achievement in World Cinema Award. The awards ceremony will be held on December in the Haus der Berliner Festspiele in Berlin.

About the films:

„The Traitor“ („Il Traditore“) is a biopic produced by Cologne-based Match Factory Productions about Tommaso Buscetta, the first Italian mafia boss to break the Sicilian mafia’s oath of secrecy. His testimony resulted in the conviction of hundreds of members of the Sicilian Cosa Nostra in Italy and the USA during the Maxi trials in the 1980s. The cast included Pierfrancesco Favino, Maria Fernanda Candido, Fabrizio Ferracane, Fausto Russo Alesi, Luigi Lo Cascio, Rosario Palazzolo and Filippo Parisi. Bellochio wrote the screenplay together with Ludovica Rampoldi, Valia Santella, Francesco Piccolo and Francesco La Licata. The executive producers were Kavac (I) and IBC Movie (I), other producers being Ad Vitam Production (F), Gullane Entretenimento (BRA), in association with the broadcasters ZDF and Arte. Pandora released the film theatrically, with world sales being handled by The Match Factory. It had already been announced in the middle of 2019 that the mafia drama had been sold to numerous territories including Spain, Japan, Russia and Portugal in addition to North and Latin America, Australia and Scandinavia. The Film- und Medienstiftung NRW backed the production with 400,000 Euros; principal photography included locations in Cologne. „The Traitor“ had its world premiere in Cannes and competed for the Golden Palm. Italy has now entered the mafia drama into the race for an Oscar nomination as Best International Feature Film. .

„Gundermann“ is about an excavator operator who writes songs. He is a poet, a clown and an idealist. He dreams and hopes and loves and fights. A spy who gets spied on. A do-gooder who doesn’t know better. He is torn. „Gundermann“ is a production of Pandora Film in co-production with Kineo Filmproduktion and Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg (rbb) – as part of its Leuchtstoff cinema initiative – and Arte. Alexander Scheer stars as Gerhard Gundermann. Anna Unterberger plays his wife Conny, and other roles are taken by Axel Prahl, Thorsten Merten, Bjarne Mädel, Milan Peschel and Kathrin Angerer. The film was shot at locations in NRW, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Berlin. Andreas Dresen directed, and Laila Stieler wrote the screenplay. The Filmstiftung NRW supported the production with 700,000 Euros, with additional funding coming from MBB, MDM, BKM, DFFF and FFA.

„Gundermann“ won the Golden Lola for the Best Feature Film at the 69th German Film Awards. The drama was also able take home trophies in another five categories (Best Lead Actor, Best Direction, Best Screenplay, Best Production Design and Best Costume Design) and was thus the evening’s big winner. The filmgoing audiences were just as enthusiastic: in total, around 350,000 cinema-goers saw „Gundermann“ in the cinema..

Special award for „Babylon Berlin“
The series by Tom Tykwer, Henk Handloegten and Achim von Borries is based on the internationally bestselling series of novels by Volker Kutscher and tells the story of the police inspector Gereon Rath who conducts his investigations in 1920s Berlin through a whole cabinet of curiosities in the world’s most exciting city between drugs and politics, murder and art, emancipation and extremism. Volker Bruch and Liv Lisa Fries can be seen in the leads. „Babylon Berlin“ is a joint series project of X Filme Creative Pool, ARD Degeto, Sky and Beta Film. The Film- und Medienstiftung NRW backed the production of the first two seasons with a total of 2 million Euros. Other funders were the Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, Creative Europe MEDIA and the German Motion Picture Fund. In addition to serving as co-producer, Beta Film handled international sales for the series.

The presentation of the European Achievement in Fiction Series Award is the latest chapter in the TV series’ unique success story: the production was sold to 100 territories, acclaimed by international critics and won numerous national and international prizes, including – most recently – the Bambi as Best German TV Series, the German Television Award, the Grimme Prize, the Bavarian Television Award, Austria’s Romy, the Spanish television award Premios Onda as well as the Magnolia Award of the Shanghai TV Festival. Moreover, the series has been seen by an audience in their millions in Germany, Europe and further afield. The third season will be launched on Sky on 24 January, 2020, with the free-TV premiere airing on ARD in autumn 2020.

The European Film Awards have been presented by the European Film Academy since 1988. More information can be found at www.europeanfilmacademy.org.