Monday, May 28, 2007

Cannes 2007: Script award for Fatih Akin

Already one of the darlings of Germany's new cinema, Fatih Akin has picked up the screenplay award at Cannes for "The Edge of Heaven/Auf der anderen seite/Yasamin kiyisinda" as well as picking up the award from the Ecumenical Jury. Why three titles? Because Fatih Akin is a German of Turkish descent who has taken another look at the lives of people affected by the two countries. His first film, "Head On", was already an uncompromising quest for identity. He followed it with "Crossing the Bridge", a commendable documentary about musicians in Istanbul. He says of the characters in "The Edge of Heaven", that "they reflect a part of me, something that changes every day, because I change my mind every day. And I was inspired by the people I met during my trip to Turkey for 'Crossing the Bridge', people who are trying to change the world with music. Activism and political passion can be very sexy."

For the full interview, see Cineuropa. For the official site of "The Edge of Heaven" (in Turkish).

Monday, May 07, 2007

"Grave Decisions" picks up German script award

Germany has just dished out its Lola awards for local movies. The country has been on an upward swing for 10 years, when "Run, Lola, Run" opened a series of remarkable movies including "Goodbye Lenin" and more recently "Downfall" and "Other People's Lives". Perhaps not coincidentally, the awards are called Lolas, and in the latest ceremony "Grave Decisions" picked up awards for the best direction (Marcus H . Rosenmueller) and best screenplay (Marcus H . Rosenmueller and Christian Lerch) as well as picking up a joint Silver Lola with "Perfume: The Story of a Murderer".

"Grave Decisions/Wer früher stirbt, ist länger tot" is a comedy produced by Roxy Film in Bavaria, following a young boy whose mother died at his birth. When he later realises this, he tries to find a new wife for his father. It works, except that the new love is already married.

Interestingly, this is a first feature for both Rosenmueller and Lerch (who is also a noted sound designer). Check the official site in German.

The full list of Lolas:

Best Film - Gold Lola:
Four Minutes by Chris Kraus

Best Film – Silver Lola:
Perfume: The Story of a Murderer by Tom Tykwer and Grave Decisions by Marcus H . Rosenmueller

Best Children's Film:
Hands Off Mississippi by Detlev Buck

Best Documentary Director:
Workingman's Death by Michael Glawogger

Best Actress:
Monica Bleibtreu (Four Minutes)

Best Actor:
Josef Bierbichler (Winter Journey)

Best Supporting Actress:
Hannah Herzsprung (Life Actually)

Best Supporting Actor:
Devid Striesow (The Counterfeiter)

Lifetime Achievement: Armin Mueller-Stahl

Best Director:
Marcus H . Rosenmueller (Grave Decisions)

Best Screenplay:
Christian Lerch, Marcus H. Rosenmueller (Grave Decisions)

Best Cinematography:
Frank Griebe (Perfume: The Story of a Murderer)

Best Editing:
Alexander Brenner (Perfume: The Story of a Murderer)

Best Production Design:
Uli Hanisch (Perfume: The Story of a Murderer)

Best Costume Design:
Pierre-Yves Gayraud (Perfume: The Story of a Murderer)

Best Score:
Gerd Baumann (Grave Decisions)

Best Sound Design:
Stefan Busch, Dirk Jacob, Michael Kranz, Frank Kruse, Matthias Lempert, Hanse Warns, Roland Winke (Perfume: The Story of a Murderer)

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

UK event investigates the "dark art" of script development

Script development is often the subject of debate in Europe, usually followed by the claim that there is not enough of it. But what does it entail? A UK event will look at what they call the "dark art" of script development. I quote: "Who are these people who have been granted the right to fiddle with our scripts? And what is the dark magic they practice? Great script development can free a potentially brilliant script from the snags that are holding it back but for many writers and directors it remains a frustrating enigma.

An evening of questions and answers with two of the most respected script executives in the country Dan MacRae and Sarah Golding. Don't think about writing another script until you've heard what they have to say.

Dan was formerly Deputy Head of the Development Fund at the UK Film Council and an Executive at Working Title. His credits include RED ROAD and the forthcoming ATONEMENT.

Sarah is currently Head of Development for Potboiler Productions and was previously Head of Development for Skreba Films, Development Manager at Zenith Productions and Script Consultant for Yorkshire Television and Fair Game Films. Her credits include THE CONSTANT GARDENER, DEEP WATER, BROTHERS OF THE HEAD and the forthcoming THE BEST TIME OF OUR LIVES".

Date: Wednesday 9th May
Time: Doors and bar open at 6.30pm, event from 7.30pm
Venue: Lighthouse, 28 Kensington Street, Brighton, BN1 4AJ
Cost: £5/£4 concs Lighthouse’s Digital Lounge. Spaces are limited. Reservations at

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

European movie houses to award European movies at Cannes

I've always thought that the discussions about scriptwriting should be opened more towards other players in the chain. The people that run movie houses, for example, are never included. But at the end of the day, they are the ones that decide to run a movie and eventually decide to pull the plug!

So I was interested to learn that a network of European movie houses has been awarding prizes to European films at Cannes and other festivals for four years already. Once again, it will be awarding its Label prize to the best European film in the Directors’ Fortnight/Quinzaine des Réalisateurs section.

A jury of four Europa Cinemas exhibitors will award the Label at Cannes, with the winning film receiving the invaluable support of extended theatrical exposure and additional promotion from the Europa Cinemas network. Previous winners have included 12 :08 East of Bucharest / A Fost sau n-a fost?, Live and Become / Va, Vis et Deviens and more recently Spain's Camino de los ingleses/Summer Rain at the Berlinale. To find out more, click the logo above