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FESTIVALS Germany

System Crasher wins the 2019 Filmkunstfest

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- German director Nora Fingscheidt's first feature was the big winner at this year's gathering in Schwerin

System Crasher wins the 2019 Filmkunstfest
System Crasher by Nora Fingscheidt

At the end of the 29th edition of the Filmkunstfest (30 April-5 May), which is held in the town of Schwerin in the northeast of Germany, nearly all of the prizes went to System Crasher [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Nora Fingscheidt
film profile
]
 by Nora Fingscheidt. The film premiered at this year's Berlinale, where it won one of the Silver Bears, the Alfred Bauer Prize, awarded to a film that “opens up new perspectives on cinematic art” – and this is exactly what the feature-film juries in Schwerin thought, too.

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The main jury, composed of German and Austrian film professionals, such as actresses Anna Thalbach and Jutta Hoffmann, director Wolfgang Fischer (Styx [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Wolfgang Fischer
film profile
]
), set designer Susanne Hopf and editor Hansjörg Weißbrich, chose the overall winner of the festival from among ten features.

The main jury and the FIPRESCI jury agreed unanimously on the outstanding qualities of System Crasher. Besides the FIPRESCI Prize, the film won the Awards for Best Film and Best Sound Design, and the Sponsorship Award from the DEFA Foundation. A second movie was able to convince the jury as well: it gave the NDR (Norddeutscher Rundfunk) Award for Best Director to Austria’s Marie Kreutzer for her film The Ground Beneath My Feet [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Marie Kreutzer
film profile
]
. Her lead actress, Valerie Pachner, won the Award for Most Promising Actor.

The competition included a selection of first features as well as films by more experienced directors. Among the most promising contributions were Midnight Runner [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Hannes Baumgartner
film profile
]
 by young Swiss director Hannes Baumgartner, about a young man who is suffering the effects of psychological trauma, and the unusual multilayer romantic comedy-drama The Components of Love [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
 by German director Miriam Bliese.

Petting statt Pershing by Petra Lüschow, meanwhile, is a rather clumsy attempt at a comedy set in the 1980s. Despite the convincing performances by the German cast, with Anna Florkowski as the main character, 17-year-old Ursula, and Christina Große and Thorsten Merten playing her parents, the screenplay is lacking in relevance and rigour. La Palma by Eric Brehmer suffers from the same problem. The movie is supposed to be an entertaining comedy-drama about a summertime relationship, but ends up being an embarrassing assortment of clichés verging on tastelessness. Two more films, by the most experienced directors in the competition, suffered from a lack of inspiration, and the absence of a coherent script and an attractive visual language. All My Loving [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Edward Berger tells the story of three siblings and Und der Zukunft zugewandt by Bernd Böhlich depicts the fate of three women in the GDR.

All of the films already have a distributor attached, and they either have already been released in cinemas or will be shortly, mainly in Germany, Switzerland and Austria. The Filmkunstfest considers itself a festival aimed specifically at the public, focusing on films from the German-speaking regions. 

Here is the complete list of award winners at the Filmkunstfest Schwerin:

Best Feature Film Award
System Crasher [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Nora Fingscheidt
film profile
]
 – Nora Fingscheidt (Germany)

NDR Award for Best Direction
Marie Kreutzer – The Ground Beneath My Feet [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Marie Kreutzer
film profile
]
(Austria)

DEFA Foundation Sponsorship Award
System Crasher – Nora Fingscheidt

Award for Best Sound Design
System Crasher – Nora Fingscheidt

Award for Most Promising Actor
Valerie Pachner – The Ground Beneath My Feet

FIPRESCI Award
System Crasher – Nora Fingscheidt

Audience Award
A Regular Woman [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
 – Sherry Hormann (Germany)

Award for Best Documentary
Let the Bell Ring [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
 – Christin Freitag (Germany)

Award for Best Cinematography in a Documentary
Daniel Samer - Congo Calling (Germany/Belgium/Congo)

Award for Best Short Film
Midas oder die schwarze Leinwand – Hannah Dörr (Germany)

LEO Young Jury Award
Cleo [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
 – Erik Schmitt (Germany)

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