Film und Medien Stiftung NRWNewsPressMajor haul of prizes for three Filmstiftung-backed films

Major haul of prizes for three Filmstiftung-backed films

  • „Rojo“ von Benjamin Naishtat, co-produced by Cologne-based Sutor Kolonko: Silver Shell for Best Direction, Best Actor and Best Cinematography
  • „High Life“ by Claire Denis, produced by Cologne’s Pandora Film – awarded the FIPRESCI Prize – with Juliette Binoche, Robert Pattinson, Lars Eidinger and others
  • „Immersed Family“ by Maria Alché receives the Horizontes Award for Latin American cinema, also co-produced by Pandora Film
  • A total of five Filmstiftung-backed productions screened in the programme

Filmstiftung-backed productions were awarded a total of five prizes at the 66th San Sebastián International Film Festival won Saturday evening. The Argentinian thriller „Rojo“ by Benjamin Naishtat received three awards: the Silver Shell for Best Director went to Benjamin Naishtat, his lead actor Darío Grandinetti was recognised as Best Actor with the Silver Shell, and the director of photography Pedro Sotero received the award for Best Cinematography. In the Horizontes Latinos sidebar, the Horizontes Award went to the co-production „Immersed Family“ by María Alché. The FIPRESCI Critics Prize was presented to Claire Denis for her work „High Life“, which was also co-produced by Cologne’s Pandora Film. The Festival Internacional de Cine de San Sebastián was held this year from 21 to 29 September.

„Congratulations to the producers of Sutor Kolonko and Pandora Film, whose films were awarded a total of five prizes in San Sebastian. We are very pleased about the international recognition of their work. It is also nice that 'Rojo‘ and ‚High Life‘ can be seen at the Film Festival Cologne in a few days' time“, says Petra Müller, CEO of the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW.

About „Rojo“ / Competition
Benjamin Naishtat wrote the screenplay and was the director on „Rojo", a production of Pucará Cine (ARG) in co-production with Cologne-based Sutor Kolonko, Desvia (BR), Ecce Films (FR), Bord Cadre (CH) and Viking Film (NL). The lead roles are played by Dario Grandinetti, Andrea Frigerio and Alfredo Castro. The Filmstiftung backed the film with 35,000 Euros, with additional support coming from the World Cinema Fund, INCAA, IBERMEDIA, CNC, NL Film Fund and Hubert Bals Fund. World sales are being handled by Luxbox. About the film: Argentina in the 1970s. Naishtat describes in ¨Rojo¨ the tense atmosphere and the social tensions shortly before the putsch and the military dictatorship in 1975. Political violence dominates the land. A good time for bad deeds.

About „High Life“ / Competition
The new film by Claire Denis (screenplay and direction) was shot almost entirely in Cologne’s Medienparks NRW Studios. The lead roles are taken by Robert Pattinson, Juliette Binoche, André Benjamin, Mia Goth, Lars Eidinger, and Jessie Ross in her first feature film role. „High Life" is a production of Cologne-based Pandora Filmproduktion and Alcatraz Films (FR), The Apocalypse Company (UK), Madants (PL) with Andrew Lauren Productions (USA), in co-production with Arte France Cinema, ZDF/Arte in association with Canal+ and Ciné+. The Filmstiftung NRW backed the project development and production with 1.25 million Euros, with additional support coming from DFFF, MBB, FFA as well as CNC, the British Film Institute and the Polish Film Institute. Pandora Film Verleih will release the film in the cinemas, with Wild Bunch handling world sales. ¨High Life¨ premiered at the Tornto International Film Festival and will be shown in the programme of the Film Festival Cologne in October. About the film: Deep space. Beyond our solar system. Monte and his daughter Willow live together onboard a spaceship. They are the only survivors of a crew made up of convicted felons who had bought themselves out of their sentences by going on this mission without any chance of return. In complete isolation, father and daughter approach their destination – a black hole in which time and space have ceased to exist. In 2016, the directing legend Claire Denis was presented with the Film Award NRW during the Film Festival Cologne. The highly decorated filmmaker began her career as an assistant director to Jacques Rivette, Costa Gavras, Jim Jarmusch and Wim Wenders. In 1988, she made her feature film debut ¨Chocolat¨ which screened in the Competition of the Cannes Film Festival.

About „Immersed Family“ / Horizontes Latinos
Director and screenwriter María Alché, who has made her feature film debut with „Immersed Family“, celebrated the film’s world premiere at the beginning of August in Locarno. The leads are played by Mercedes Morán and Esteban Bigliardi. The Filmstiftung backed the Argentinian-Brazilian-German-Norwegian co-production between Pasto Cine (ARG), Cologne’s Pandora Filmproduktion, Bubbles Project (BRA) and 4 1/2 (NOR), with 60,000 Euros. About the film: Marcela’s harmonious family life threatens to disintegrate when her sister and close confidante Rina dies unexpectedly. Clearing out Rina’s flat brings many memories of her parents' generation to light; suddenly, her uncles and aunts are sitting there in the flesh around the coffee table, and Marcela has to defend her mother against nasty accusations. When she Then meets Nacho, a friend of her daughter’s, she decides to go on a little journey with him.

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