Since 1986, the Berlin International Film Festival has presented the Berlinale Camera to film personalities or institutions to which it feels particularly indebted and wishes to express its thanks.
At the 62nd Berlin International Film Festival, Haro Senft, one of the pioneers of New German Cinema as well as a tireless advocate of German children films will be awarded the Berlinale Camera.
Haro Senft, born in Budweis (České Budějovice), is one of the founding fathers of New German Cinema. He was the initiator of DOC 59, a group based in Munich at the end of the 1950s; many of its members went on to sign the Oberhausen Manifesto in 1962. In the oppressive fusty atmosphere of the post-war years, these two groups were highly active cells of a new era in the Federal Republic of Germany. For his film Kahl, about the construction of the first German atomic power plant, Haro Senft earned an Oscar nomination in 1961. He also played a substantial role in the founding of the Board of Young German Film. His first full-length fictional film, Der sanfte Lauf, featured Bruno Ganz in his first major role. Senft was a founding member as well as the long-standing chairman of the Association of New German Feature Film Producers. In 1971 he resigned from all his positions related to film policy and devoted himself unlike anyone else to developing a culture of children’s films. With his films Ein Tag mit dem Wind (1978) and Jacob hinter der blauen Tür (1987) he set the standard for the genre. In the 1980s, he co-produced several features, including Doris Dörrie’s Im Innern des Wals (In the Belly of the Whale, 1984) and Tevfik Başer’s Lebwohl Fremde (1989). Since Haro Senft can no longer travel, Dieter Kosslick awarded him his Berlinale Camera at his residence in Munich prior to the Festival. On February 15, 2012, at Kino Arsenal, the Berlinale will present the film Ein Tag mit dem Wind in his honour. Before it begins, a recording will be screened of Haro Senft receiving his award.
Since 2004, the Berlinale Camera has been sponsored by the Düsseldorf-based goldsmith Georg Hornemann. The trophy was redesigned for the Berlinale in 2008. Modelled on a real camera, it now has 128 components. From swivel head to tripod it has been crafted and assembled with great artistry, and many of its silver and titanium parts are movable.
January 18, 2012