COTTBUS: Kirsten Niehuus of Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg was the surprise winner of the Cottbus Film Festival’s Lubina award at the festival’s opening night, 8 November 2016.
Niehuus was visibly surprised and pleased by the award, which was presented by the internationally acclaimed German film director and a personal friend of Niehuus, Andreas Dresen.
Explaining the choice, festival director Bernd Buder told FNE, “The Lubina is given to someone who promotes films with Eastern Europe.” While film festivals don’t typically hand out awards to film funders, Buder noted that one of the previous recipients was a regional politician, and added, “We’re always asking these people for money, but we don’t give them back anything.”
Niehuus has been instrumental in establishing and raising the film funding profile in her position as Managing Director of Film Funding at Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg. The German-Polish Film Fund, a collaboration between Medienboard, the Polish Film Institute and Leipzig funding body MDM (Mitteldeutsche Medienförderung), was established under her leadership. Niehuus also plays an important role in the funding of the Cottbus Film Festival as well as its companion industry event, connecting cottbus, which takes place on 10 and 11 November.