The Berlinale has been even more committed to supporting the next generation of film makers since 2006, when it introduced the Best First Feature Award. This year again, a dedicated, three-person international jury will decide on the best debut film. The award is endowed with 50,000 Euros, donated by the GWFF (Gesellschaft zur Wahrnehmung von Film- und Fernsehrecht), a society dedicated to safeguarding film and television rights. In 2008 the director and producer of the winning film will be awarded with a high-quality viewfinder as both a useful instrument and memorable trophy.
26 feature films from various sections will compete for the award: Competition (2 films), Panorama (7 films), Generation Kplus (3 films), and 14plus (4 films) as well as debut films from the Forum section (10). The winners will be announced at the official award ceremony in the Berlinale-Palast on February 16. The prize money is to be split between the producer and the director of the chosen First Feature.
Jury for the Best First Feature
Ben Barenholtz (USA) Producer, Distributor
Ben Barenholtz is one of the key protagonists in America’s independent film scene. In 1968 he opened the New York Elgin Cinema which became a legendary forum for independent filmmakers with its Midnight Movies. Barenholtz is also a successful producer and distributor. He produced several of the Coen brothers’ films, including the drama Barton Fink which won the 1991 Golden Palm in Cannes.
Dominique Cabrera (France) Director
Born in Algeria, the director first studied literature and then went to the Paris Film Academy. In 1996 she made her first feature film L’autre côté de la mer. In 1999 she presented the film Nadia And The Hippos in the Cannes –series ‘Un Certain Regard’. She was a guest at the 2004 Berlinale Forum with her drama A Wonderful Spell. Dominique Cabrera is also active as an actress and book author.
Jasmila Zbanic (Bosnia and Hercegovina) Director, Screenwriter
The director, who comes from Sarajevo, celebrated her feature film debut and an international success with Grbavica. The drama surrounding the aftermath of the war in Bosnia was awarded the Golden Bear at the 2006 Berlinale. In 1997 Jasmila Zbanic founded the artists‘ association and subsequent film production company Deblokada. In 2004 she presented a series of art videos and documentary films at the Kasseler Kunsthalle Fridericianum.
The following 26 films will be competing for the Best First Feature Award:
Feuerherz by Luigi Falorni, Germany/Austria
Il y a longtemps que je t’aime (I’ve Loved You So Long) by Philippe Claudel, France/Germany
Generation Kplus (3)
Hey Hey it's Esther Blueburger by Cathy Randall, Australia
Titanics ti liv (The Ten Lives of Titanic the Cat) by Grethe Bøe, Norway
TOUS A L’OUEST, Une aventure de Lucky Luke (GO WEST! A Lucky Luke adventure) by Olivier Jean-Marie, France
Generation 14plus (4)
The Black Balloon by Elissa Down, Australia
Ciao bella by Mani Maserrat-Agah, Sweden
September by Peter Carstairs, Australia
Sita Sings the Blues by Nina Paley, USA
3 días (Before The Fall) by F. Javier Gutiérrez, Spain
Arumdabda (Beautiful) by Jaihong Juhn, Republic of Korea
Chiko by Özgür Yildirim, Germany
Filth And Wisdom by Madonna, Great Britain
Le ring (The Fight) by Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette, Canada
Love And Other Crimes by Stefan Arsenijevic, Germany, Serbia, Austria, Slovenia
Tout est parfait (Everything Is Fine) by Yves-Christian Fournier, Canada
Corroboree by Ben Hackworth, Australia
Asyl – Park and Love Hotel by Kumasaka Izuru, Japan
Nacht vor Augen by Brigitte Bertele, Germay
Son of a Lion by Benjamin Gilmour, Australia, Pakistan
Regarde-moi by Audrey Estrougo, France
Tatil Kitabi by Seyfi Teoman, Turkey
Nirvana by Igor Voloshin, Russia
Sweet Food City by Gao Wendong, China
La terramadre by Nello La Marca, Italy
El Camino by Ishtar Yasin Gutiérrez, Costa Rica/France
January 25, 2008