Film Festival Cologne crowns Tommaso, One Child Nation and Easy Love its winners
by Ioana Florescu
- Awards were also bestowed upon Nicolas Winding Refn, Hideo Kojima and August Diehl
The 29th edition of the Film Festival Cologne ended yesterday with an awards ceremony that took place in the city’s E-Werk. This year, the gathering, which unspooled from 10-17 October and opened with Quentin Dupieux’s Deerskin [+see also:
interview: Quentin Dupieux
film profile], showcased a varied selection of audiovisual works and featured talks with renowned guests from all over the world.
“Contemporary filmmakers, international stars and works produced in North-Rhine Westphalia: with its 29th edition, Film Festival Cologne once again provides a magnificent overview of audiovisual works. Themed Sessions and Artist Talks will once again deepen perspectives, EWIP and Crew Call will bring together members of the creative industry, and the various sections of the festival will once again delight the audience,” Petra Müller, managing director of Film- und Medienstiftung NRW, accurately predicted before the event started.
Substantial awards were handed out at this year’s edition. Tommaso [+see also:
interview: Abel Ferrara
film profile] (Italy), the latest feature by maverick director Abel Ferrara, which stars Willem Dafoe in the title role and tells the story of an American artist living in Rome with his young European wife and their three-year-old daughter, was named Best Fiction Film and scooped the Hollywood Reporter Award, a prize endowed with €10,000. The feature, which was first presented as a special screening at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year, competed in the Best of Cinema Fiction section at the Film Festival Cologne, a category that brought together a series of other Cannes titles.
One Child Nation (China/USA) by Chinese-born American director Nanfu Wang emerged triumphant in the documentary category and received the Phoenix Award, a prize also valued at €10,000. Earlier this year, the movie, which examines China's one-child policy, scooped the Grand Jury Prize in the US Documentary section of the Sundance Film Festival.
As for the Film Award NRW, a prize that rewards the best contribution in the Made in NRW (North-Rhine Westphalia) competition section with €20,000, this went to Tamer Jandali’s Easy Love (Germany), which premiered in the Perspektive Deutsches Kino section of the 2019 Berlinale and focuses on seven hedonistic men and women aged between 25 and 40 from Cologne, who are trying to find happiness and gratification in life.
Furthermore, cult director Nicolas Winding Refn (aka NWR) received the Film Award Cologne, a prize endowed with €25,000 that honours personalities whose work has made an outstanding contribution to the further development of film and media language. For contributing to the future of audiovisual storytelling in a visionary and creative way, Japanese game developer Hideo Kojima was crowned with the newly created Cologne Creative Award (€10,000). Lastly, this year, the International Actors Award, also valued at €10,000, went to German actor August Diehl, who gained international recognition after starring in Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds [+see also:
film profile] and more recently played the lead part in Terrence Malick’s A Hidden Life.
Nicolas Winding Refn, Abel Ferrara, Hideo Kojima, August Diehl and Nanfu Wang were all present at the festival and discussed their work during this year’s Artist Talks, which took place at the Wallraf-Richartz-Museum in Cologne yesterday.
On 16 October, Danish director Winding Refn and visionary games developer Kojima also participated in the festival’s Future Day – Perspectives of Visual Culture. The event, moderated by Domenico La Porta, editor-in-chief of Cineuropa and new-media manager at Wallimage Creative, tackled the future of entertainment, films and games by means of extensive talks with both Kojima and Winding Refn, who also spoke about their recent works. Kojima, who made an appearance in NWR’s Too Old to Die Young, talked about the influence of film history on his upcoming Death Stranding, and Winding Refn, who lends his face and body to one of Death Stranding’s characters, spoke about his interest in the narrative possibilities of video games and presented his streaming platform “byNWR”, which features all-but-forgotten B movies.
Among this festival’s special side events were also the European Series Day, the Global Day, which focused on storytelling as a tool for development policy, and the Crew Call Cologne, to name but a few.
Here is the complete list of winners at Film Festival Cologne 2019:
Phoenix Award for Best Documentary
One Child Nation - Nanfu Wang (China/USA)
Film Award NRW for Best Film in the Made in NRW section
Easy Love - Tamer Jandali (Germany)
Film Award Cologne
Nicolas Winding Refn
Cologne Creative Award
International Actors Award
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