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. 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. The prize money is to be split between the producer and the director of the winning film. Additionally, the director will be awarded with a high-quality viewfinder as both a useful instrument and memorable trophy.
Debut feature films from the sections Competition, Panorama, Forum, Generation and for the first time also debut films from the Perspektive Deutsches Kino will compete for the award in 2012. The winners will be announced at the official award ceremony in the Berlinale Palast on February 19.
A three-person jury will decide on the Best First Feature:
Moritz Rinke (Germany)
The dramatist and novelist received the 1997 PEN Club Literature Award for his second play “The Man Who Never Yet Saw Woman's Nakedness”. His new adaptation of “Die Nibelungen” became one of the most successful German theatre productions. In 2008 Franziska Stünkel filmed his award-winning work “The Vineta Republic”, and in 2010 his first novel “Der Mann, der durch das Jahrhundert fiel” became a bestseller.
Hania Mroué (Lebanon)
Hania Mroué is founder and director of the Metropolis Art Cinema, the first art-house cinema in Lebanon opened in 2006. Since 2001 she is the Managing Director of the Arab film festival “Cinema Days of Beirut”. For the release of Arab and international auteur films she started the MC Distribution company. At the Doha Film Institute she is in charge as Chief Arab programmer for the Doha Tribeca Film festival and DFI’s year round initiatives.
Matthew Modine (USA)
The performances of the award-winning American actor include Stanley Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket, Robert Altman’s Short Cuts and Alan Parker’s Birdy. Matthew Modine made his screenplay/directorial feature debut with If...Dog…Rabbit. Jesus Was a Commie, his award winning short film, is currently playing at festivals around the globe. His recent roles include Girl in Progress, Family Weekend and The Dark Knight Rises.
The following 27 films have qualified for the Best First Feature Award:
Cherry by Stephen Elliot, USA
Chocó (Choco) by Jhonny Hendrix Hinestroza, Columbia
HIGHWAY by Deepak Rauniyar, Nepal/USA
Kuma by Umut Dag, Austria
My Brother the Devil** by Sally El Hosaini, Great Britain
Sharqiya by Ami Livne, Israel/France/Germany
Ang Babae sa Septic Tank (The Woman in the Septic Tank) by Marlon N. Rivera, the Philippines
Francine by Brian M. Cassidy and Melanie Shatzky, USA/Canada
Hemel by Sacha Polak, Netherlands/Spain
Kashi (Choked) by Joong-Hyun Kim, Republic of Korea
Koi ni itaru yamai (The End of Puberty) by Kimura Shoko, Japan
Příliš mladá noc (A Night Too Young) by Olmo Omerzu, Czech Republic/ Slovenia
Salsipuedes by Mariano Luque, Argentina
Tepenin Ardı (Beyond the Hill) by Emin Alper Turkey/Greece
ARCADIA by Olivia Silver, USA
Kauwboy by Boudewijn Koole, Netherlands
Kikoeteru, furi wo sita dake (Just Pretended to Hear) by Kaori Imaizumi, Japan
Pacha by Héctor Ferreiro, Bolivia/Mexico
Comes A Bright Day by Simon Aboud, Great Britain
Electrick Children by Rebecca Thomas, USA
Joven & Alocada (Young & Wild)** by Marialy Rivas, Chile
Nosilatiaj. La Belleza (Beauty) by Daniela Seggiaro, Argentina
Un Mundo Secreto (A Secret World) by Gabriel Mariño, Mexico
Una Noche by Lucy Mulloy, USA/Cuba/Great Britain
Perspektive Deutsches Kino (3)
DIE VERMISSTEN (REPORTED MISSING) by Jan Speckenbach, Germany
Gegen Morgen (Before Tomorrow) by Joachim Schoenfeld, Germany
Westerland by Tim Staffel, Germany
** The films denoted with ** are no longer qualified for candidacy if they win an award at the Sundance Film Festival.
January 26, 2012