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FESTIVALS Germany

Oldenburg gives priority to creativity

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The 14th Oldenburg International Film Festival (September 12-16) is giving more attention than ever to young German film talents this year. The new Otto Sprenger Prize, which for the first time will award a film for its innovative aesthetics and novel themes, has been added to the established German Independence Award (GIA) for Best German Film (a prize worth €8,000, which encourages cinematographic audacity and receives funding for English subtitling).

The contenders for this year’s GIA are as follows: Austrian title Mad World [+see also:
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by Jakob M. Erwa, grand winner at the 2007 Diagonale Festival; Autistic Disco, in which Hans Steinbichler (Hierankl, Winter Journey [+see also:
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) puts the social idealism of its characters to the test of individual feelings; Underdogs by Jan Hinrik Drevs, which will have its world premiere; Für den unbekannten Hund (“For the Unknown Dog”) by Ben and Dominik Reding, out November 8 in Germany; and lastly, The Unpolished [+see also:
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, Pia Marais’ feature debut, which won her a VPRO Tiger at Rotterdam. The latter three titles are the three nominees for the Otto Sprenger Prize.

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Other works in the programme include French/German/Kazakh co-production Ulzhan [+see also:
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by Volker Schlöndorff, with Philippe Torreton and Switzerland’s David Bennent; French films La Disparue de Deauville [+see also:
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, the second feature from actress Sophie Marceau in which she stars with Christophe Lambert; and Maïwenn le Besco’s debut feature Forgive Me [+see also:
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, starring Pascal Greggory.

Further German titles are Friedemann Fromm’s Alte Freunde (“Old Friends”), with Jürgen Vogel and Marie Bäumer, and Hendrik Handloegten’s Ein spätes Mädchen (“A Late Girl”).

Oldenburg is also presenting documentaries in a section entitled Midnite Xpress, which is interested in the most provocative titles in cinema today; a retrospective on Abel Ferrara; and a category called Brave New World, dedicated to entertaining utopias.

(Translated from French)

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