Berlinale: Press Releases

Press Releases 2006


Feb 06, 2006:
Festival to Honour Ballhaus, Böttcher and Kardish

The Berlinale Camera is awarded to film personalities or institutions to which the Berlin International Film Festival feels especially attached and would like to express its thanks. The Berlinale Camera has been awarded every year since 1986. It has been sponsored by the Düsseldorf jeweller Georg Hornemann since 2004.

At this year’s 56th Berlin International Film Festival, German cinematographer Michael Ballhaus, curator of the Museum of Modern Art in New York Laurence Kardish, and German director Jürgen Böttcher, also known as the painter Strawalde, will be honoured for their contributions to film.

Michael Ballhaus

Michael Ballhaus first became internationally known as cinematographer for Rainer Fassbinder. Since shooting After Hours in 1985, he has worked as director of photography on Martin Scorsese productions. With a team of his own, he has been responsible for all camera and light effects in these films. Michael Ballhaus has made over 80 cinema movies, working with directors such as Volker Schlöndorff, Wolfgang Petersen, Mike Nichols and Francis Ford Coppola. He has been a regular Berlinale guest and was President of the International Jury at the Berlinale in 1990.

The Berlinale Camera will be awarded to Michael Ballhaus on February 12 at 12 noon in the Filmpalast Berlin. Swiss film critic Thomas Binotto will present the award to him. Following the ceremony, there will be a screening of The Color of Money (directed by Martin Scorsese, 1986).

Laurence Kardish

In autumn, the Museum of Modern Art in New York regularly presents the film series “New German Cinema”. The festival was launched in 1972 when, in conjunction with the Goethe Institute, Laurence Kardish invited young German filmmakers to New York. Ever since, Kardish – as curator of the MoMa’s Department of Film and Media and coordinator of the series – has selected the programme in close collaboration with German Films (formerly Export Union of German Cinema). One of the most successful programmes was the Fassbinder Retrospective for the 10th anniversary of his death.

Laurence Kardish will receive his Berlinale Camera on February 16 at 9:30 p.m. in the Filmpalast Berlin. Award presenter and speaker Juliane Lorenz worked with Kardish on her documentary Life, Love & Celluloid. Following the presentation of the Berlinale Camera, Tacita Dean’s film The Uncles will be screened, in which Kardish participates in a discussion about film pioneers Basil Dean und Michael Balcon.

Jürgen Böttcher (aka Strawalde)

Documentary filmmaker and director Jürgen Böttcher worked until 1991 at the DEFA documentary film studio in Berlin. He belonged to a circle of artists who opposed the former GDR government. Early on Böttcher also devoted himself to painting and attained international recognition in the art world under the pseudonym Strawalde, naming himself after the village of his childhood. In 1994 Jürgen Böttcher was awarded the title of “Officier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres” for his oeuvre by French President François Mitterrand. Retrospectives of his films have been held at the Centre Pompidou in Paris (1986), the Edinburgh 42nd International Film Festival (1988) and the Deutsches Filmmuseum in Frankfurt/Main (1989)


To celebrate the Berlinale Camera to be presented to Jürgen Böttcher on 17 February at 9:30 p.m. in the Filmpalast Berlin, there will be a screening of his documentary The Wall. Film historian Enno Patalas will speak in his honour.

Press Office

February 6, 2006