Downfall wins BBC World Cinema Award
by Annika Pham
30/01/2006 - Oliver Hirschbiegel’s portrayal of the last days of the Third Reich in Downfall [trailer, film focus] was voted the Best foreign language film of the year last Thursday night at London’s National Film Theatre where the BBC4’s World Cinema Awards were celebrated for the third consecutive year.
This year’s jury comprising actress Amanda Donohoe, producer/director Stephen Woolley and journalist Jonathan Romney picked Downfall out of six contenders including Wong Kar-Wai’s 2046 [trailer], Zhang Yimou’s House of Flying Daggers, Agnès Jaoui’s Look At Me [trailer], Alejandro Amenábar’s The Sea Inside [trailer] and Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s Tropical Malady. Those films had themselves been shortlisted by UK film critics, heads of film schools and leading festival directors who were asked to choose their six favourite foreign-language films from 180 titles released in the UK in 2005.
Janice Hadlow, controller at BBC Four said that «the judges must have found it challenging to pick a winner from such a diverse range of brilliant films», and thought that Downfall was an «extraordinary and brave» film because of the story it told and «how it captured the public imagination»>
Released by Momentum, Downfall was indeed the most popular foreign language film of 2005 in the UK with over €2,8M.
The previous winners of the BBC4 World Cinema Award were the Russian drama The Return in 2004 and the French/Belgian/Canadian animated film Belleville Rendez-vous [trailer] in 2003.