Two Lions for Filmstiftung-backed co-productions in Venice
Roy Andersson wins Silver Lion for Best Direction for „About Endlessness“ / Leone del Futuro – „Luigi De Laurentiis Award“ for Best Debut Film goes to „You will Die at Twenty“ by Amjad Abu Alala
The 76th Venice International Film Festival (28 August to 7 September) ended this evening with a gala award ceremony and the presentation of the Lions. The Swedish director Roy Andersson received the Silver Lion for Best Direction for the Filmstiftung-backed international co-production „About Endlessness“. Andersson had already won a Golden Lion in 2014 for the Filmstiftung-backed film „A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence“ . The Filmstiftung-funded drama „You will Die at Twenty“ by Amjad Abu Alala had attracted attention as the first Sudanese film to screen in the Giornate degli autori sidebar and was now presented with the „Lion of the Future“, the „Luigi De Laurentiis Award“, for Best Debut Film.
„Our congratulations to Roy Andersson who not only thrilled the audience and critics, but also convinced the jury. What a great success for the old master and his producer!“, says Petra Müller, CEO of the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW. „And congratulations are also in order for the director Amjad Abu Alala and his Cologne-based co-producer Michael Henrichs for the Leone del Futuro. Two Lions for two films which are now being shown in Toronto – we are absolutely delighted!“
About „About Endlessness“ (Competition)
In his new film „About Endlessness“, the multiple award-winning director Roy Andersson uses fantastic elements to reflect on human life in all its beauty and cruelty, in its sublimity and banality, in its striving and stumbling. Essential Films co-produced with Roy Andersson Filmproduktion (SE), Parisienne de Production (F), 4 ½ Fiksjon (NOR) in association with broadcasters ZDF and Arte. Neue Visionen will be releasing the film in German cinemas, Coproduction Office is handling world sales. The Filmstiftung backed the film with 100,000 Euros, along with MBB. Martin Serner and Jan-Eje Feeling star. The renowned arthouse director and the Filmstiftung have a long-standing working relationship, and his work ¨ You, The Living¨ screened in Un Certain Regard in Cannes in 2007.
About „You Will Die at Twenty“ (Giornate degli autori)
Muzamel is the longed-for child of deeply religious parents. They live in a village on the Nile. His ritual blessing is interrupted by dervishes. This gives rise to the curse that he will di on his 20th birthday. Everybody in the family, school and mosque believed that this will happen. Jaiballah and Naiema are temporary companions, as is the old roughneck Suleiman who has returned from Khartoum. Finally, Muzamel is standing in front of his grave. He must decide for himself: surrender to the curse, or can he escape it? Amjad Abu Alala directed from a screenplay by Youssef Ibrahim. Mustafa Shehata and Islam Mubarak can be seen in the leads. The Cologne-based production house Die Gesellschaft DGS produced with andolfi (FR), DUOFilm (NOR) and Transit Films (EGY) in co-production with Station Films (SDN) and Film Clinik (EGY). The Filmstiftung supported the film’s postproduction with 25,.000 Euros. Additional funding came from the World Cinema Fund and the Doha Film Institute, among others.