Faggots wins the Audacity Award at the Oldenburg Film Festival
by Teresa Vena
- The black-and-white, experimental satire by first-time directors Dominik Krawiecki and Patrycja Płanik was among the discoveries in Oldenburg
After a hybrid edition in 2020, the Oldenburg International Film Festival (15-19 September) went back to a physical iteration this year. For the 28th time, it showed a selection of arthouse productions from all around the world. Several films celebrated their world premieres in Oldenburg, such as the drama Leberhaken, the first feature by German director Torsten Rüther, which opened the festival.
On the programme were various debuts and many “ambitious and risk-taking” works representing different genres, ranging from the neo-western The Last Victim by Naveen A Chathapuram to the tragicomedy A Glimpse of Happiness by Raffaël Enaul. Over the course of five days, the audience came together at the so-called “European Sundance” and “Germany's leading independent film festival”, as some of the media have put it, to honour young and unconventional filmmaking. The gathering counted a total of 7,000 visitors, and among its guests, it welcomed Italian director and producer Ovidio G Assonitis, to whom it dedicated a retrospective, and Mattie Do from Laos, who received the event’s annual tribute.
A series of prizes were awarded during proceedings. Among the most important is the Seymour Cassel Award, which goes to both the best male and the best female actor. Dakota Loesch was considered Best Actor for his main role in Anchorage, for which he was also responsible for directing alongside Scott Monahan. Meanwhile, Best Actress was bestowed upon Eaindra Kyaw Zin for her performance in the thriller What Happened to the Wolf? (Myanmar).
Another crucial prize, the Spirit of Cinema Award, went to an Asian production – namely, to the Thai-set The Maestro by British director Paul Spurrier. The jury appreciated “its power to tell a utopian and lovingly cheeky story to overcome the pandemic with images and music”.
The main prize, the German Independence Award for the best film chosen from the festival's independent section, went to the aforementioned Anchorage by Scott Monahan and Dakota Loesch. Finally, maybe the most interesting of all the prizes is the Audacity Award, given to an original, daring and audacious film. This year, it went to the Polish-Swiss production Faggots by Dominik Krawiecki and Patrycja Płanik, which uses poetic black and white to unfurl a satirical horror tale about some homosexual men who are the last survivors of a mysterious plague.
Here is the complete list of award winners at the Oldenburg International Film Festival:
German Independence Award – Best Film
Anchorage – Scott Monahan and Dakota Loesch (USA)
Seymour Cassel Award – Best Actress
Eaindra Kyaw Zin – What Happened to the Wolf? (Myanmar)
Seymour Cassel Award – Best Actor
Dakota Loesch - Anchorage
Faggots - Dominik Krawiecki and Patrycja Płanik (Poland/Switzerland)
Spirit of Cinema Award
The Maestro - Paul Spurrier (Thailand)
German Independence Award – Best Short Film
Wal#4 - Lucas Camps (Netherlands)
German Independence Award – Best Short Film – Special Mention
American Morning – Robbie Bryan (USA)
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