Brendan enchants Brunswick

Brendan Gleeson was the star guest at the anniversary edition of the International Braunschweig Film Festival. The irish actor recieved the Europa, the festival's main award for his outstanding performances and his contribution to European film culture. The price is endowed with 15.000 euros and sponsored by Volkswagen Financial Services. In his speech, he spoke about the changing role of movies and hoped for more entertainment of the audience by European filmmakers.

The winner of die audience award "Der Heinrich" proved that it doesn't have to be by no means a leightweight topic. Dutch director Joost van Ginkel won the award for the best European debut or second feature film with „The Paradise Suite“.

For the first time an international jury awarded the best film of the "Beyond" section with the "Schwarzer Löwe" (Black Lion) endowed with 2.500 euros. This section shows films that venture into new territory. Director Lika Alekseeva, producer Andrea Stärke and direcotr Huan Vu awarded the iranian production "Lantouri" by Reza Dormishian. All three prices are sponsored by Volkswagen Financial Services.

The French-German Youth award KINEMA was awarded to  the father-son-drama „A Taste of Ink“ by french director Morgan Simon. Star guest of the section "music and film" was scotish composer Patrick Doyle. The festival awarded him the "White Lion" for his lifework. Doyle presented his score to the charming romantic drama "It" from 1927 premiered in Germany.

For the first time the festival organized  a film concert every evening. Prelude was the opening concert "Henry V" by Laurence Olivier with the Staatsorchester Braunschweig. Less classic than experimental the 1. Deutsche Stromorchester presented the british silent-documentary "Drifters" from 1929 with ice-crusher next to synthesizer.

The Duo Coloris performed fully electronical G.W. Pabst's "Die Büchse der Pandora" in the Bartholomäus-church, where also the british dark waver "In the Nursery" were presenting "The Fall of House of Usher" by Jean Epstein from 1928 in front of a full audience.

"Sound on Screen" presented music from Great Britain, expecially dedicating to the Stone Roses with i.e. german premieres  like "The Stone Roses" by Shane Meadows and "The Beat is the Law" by Eve Wood.

Relating to the filmcultural exchange with Normandy, actress Manal Issa presented "Parisienne" by Danielle Arbid. Polish Cinema was also . With movies as oscar winning "Ida" and Miasto 44", the section "Unsentimental encounters" focused polish cinema and retrospects on last year's cinematic miracle.

Associated with the exhibition "This was tomorrow - Pop Art in Great Britain" the festival showed in cooperation with the Kunstmuseum Wolfburg the Beatles-movie "A Hard Day's Night" and Antonioni's "Blow-up". In cooperation with the Staatstheater Braunschweig the festival hosted a conference called "Feindliche Schwestern - zum Verhältnis von Theater und Film" with guests like Angela Schanelec and Falk Richter. The section "Shakespeare Remmi-Demmi!!!" curated by Olaf Müller was dedicated the greatest playwrites in in history. In the section "Green Horizons" were shown six feature films and a short film program dealing with sustainability.

The "Heimspiel" section supports the the work of regional filmmakers. Crowd puller were the "Sanddorn" crime movies by Jonas Jarecki. The "Heimspiel" price "Die Goldenen Vier Linden" were awarded by blogger Steffi Krause, Marc Fehse, the director of Cinestrange and "Sommerkino" orignizer Leon Kluth to "DeXit" by Lars Jordan.

Another award for his life's work was dedicated to Karl Maier for his contribution to film culture of Lower Saxony. With the section "30 Jahre Film&Medienbüro"Maier sent the audience - supported by many guest like Hans-Erich Viet and Franziska Stünkel, on a cinematic time journey.

The main sections "New International Cinema" and "New German Films" had rarley so many international guests and german premiers. Peruvian dircetor Klaudia Reynicke presented her family drama "Il Nido", lithuanian director Ignas Miškinis his war criminal thriller "King's Shift" and actress Elina Vaska the latvian drama about a 17 year old on her own in "Mellow Mud".

The section "New German Films" was introduced by director Lusie Brinkmann with "Beat Beat Heart". Oswoldo Diaz Medina presented hin intercultural generational portrait "Youkali" as a german premiere. Chris Kraus, 2006's "Heinrich" winner with "Vier Minuten", came again tu Brunswick - this time with his new holocaust comedy "Die Blumen von gestern". Alltogether the festival showed 344 films - 134 feature films and 210 short movies from over 50 countrys including 48 german premieres.

Festival director Michael P. Aust gave a throughout positive summary: "My goosebumps-experience was Brendon Gleeson: Our "Europa" award winner touched the audience and gave deep insights. We also had a delighted audienc, great guests, smart films - without a single US movie in our main section - slightly rising visitor numbers. 

Last three year's work and the support of our regionial partners came to fruition. A special thanks goes to the main sponsor Volkswagen Financial Services, whose gift to the award ceremony was a contract extension for two more years.