17-02-2010

FNE in Berlin: FilmFestival Cottbus and Connecting Cottbus Award Winners

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Cottbus has awarded its "Distribution Support Prize for a festival film From Cottbus to Cinema" to distributor Alpha Medienkontor.

The Weimar-based distributor received the prize today at the East European Brunch of FilmFestival Cottbus and Connecing Cottbus. The prize sponsored by Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg GmbH as well as Film und Video Untertitelung Gerhard Lehmann AG Potsdam-Babelsberg is endowed with 13,500 Euros and supports the theatrical release of the feature film THE RAINBOWMAKER (Germany Russia Netherlands Finland 2008) by Georgian director Nana Djordjadze. The film will be released in theatres in Germany on February 25. Djordjadze's fairytale story about a weather forecaster who uses supernatural powers to fight for the love of his family was screened as the closing film at the 19th FilmFestival Cottbus.

Bernhard Sallmann´s Science-Fiction documentary DREAMS OF THE LAUSITZ (Germany 2009) received the Promotion Prize of the DEFA Foundation. The DEFA Foundation substantiates the choice as follows: "The film also refers to the DEFA picture The Pains of the Lausitz by Peter Rocha. It provides a recent portrait of a landscape, its inhabitants and the changes it went through. Especially the powerful imagery conveys an idea of the atmosphere in the region. Sallmann´s vision of the changes in an industry landscape gives courage, even though there still is a long way to go." The film deals with the aftermaths of opencast mining in the Lausitz region. Viewer interest at the 19th FilmFestival Cottbus was strong, with an audience largely coming from the region described in the film.

As the first winner of the upcoming 20th FilmFestival Cottbus, Russian film student Anastasia Posnova was awarded the Promotion Prize of the GWFF. "With Anastasia Posnova, who was born the same year the Berlin Wall came down, the festival is promoting a very promising talent," festival director Roland Rust said. "She studies film production at the renowned Moscow film school VGIK and will use this scholarship to further her education in an institute abroad." The prize is endowed with 4,500 Euro.

The East-West co-production market Connecting Cottbus gave the Special Pitch Award to young director Vladimir Perisic from Serbia. Persisic´s disturbing war drama ORDINARY PEOPLE won (among others) the Main Prize for Best Film in Cottbus 2009. The Special Pitch Award enables Perisic to pitch his newest project at the upcoming Connecting Cottbus pitch.

All winners were present to receive their awards in person. Before the East European Brunch, a meeting of the sponsorship association "Friends of the German-Russian Film Academy" was held in Berlin.