Film Award Cologne
Tarsem is the winner of the Film Award Cologne in 2011 and subject of our retrospective. Indian-born director Tarsem Singh has been renowned as a visual prodigy of the international filmmaking community for some time now. His music videos (including the multiple award winning one for R.E.M.s hit »Losing My Religion«) and commercials (including some legendary ones for Pepsi) caused quite a stir internationally. His debut feature THE CELL, scripted as a routine horror thriller taking place for the most part within the deranged mind of a serial killer, gave him the opportunity to show his whole palette of disturbing and yet hauntingly beautiful images. His second film, his labor of love THE FALL, Tarsem financed out of his own pocket and shot for four years in more than 20 countries over four continents. His third feature »immortals« is due in cinemas this November.
TV Spielfilm Award
Screenwriter and director Todd Haynes, winner of this year’s TV Spielfilm Award, once came to New York as an art student. He went on to direct cult short films, won Sundance with his feature film debut and could not be stopped since: His often controversial, complex and artistically crafted films POISON, SAFE, VELVET GOLDMINE, FAR FROM HEAVEN and I’M NOT THERE garnered awards in Venice, Berlin and Cannes and earned Haynes an Oscar nomination as best director. His sensitive, thoughtful films are characterized by an elegant disintegration of deadlocked structures – be it the bourgeois values system, sexual gender stereotypes or cinematic conventions. The Cologne Conference presents Haynes’ five-part HBO mini-series MILDRED PIERCE, based on the novel by James M. Cain, in this year’s »Top Ten« section.
The Hollywood Reporter Award
British screenwriter and producer Paul Abbott, winner of this year’s Hollywood Reporter Award is an old acquaintance to the Cologne conference audience: He worked as an author and producer on the the crime series CRACKER and created both the British social sitcom SHAMELESS and the political thriller miniseries STATE OF PLAY – all of them programs that were presented at the Cologne Conference in recent years. This year Abbott is again present at the festival, with two new series: his US adaptation of his own SHAMELESS series about a neglected, impoverished, colorful and fun-loving family in Chicago’s South Side; and the miniseries EXILE, a both investigative and personal father-son conspiracy story.
German Casting Award
The public is still oblivious as to what exactly casting directors do, although their work is as complex as it is crucial: by reviewing tapes and personal meetings, with diplomacy and knowledge of human nature they try to predict, sometimes months before the cameras start rolling, whether it’s the unknown newcomer, the hyped star or the all but forgotten veteran, who can bring that certain feeling to a role.
Casting director Sophie Molitoris has a reputation for doing miracles on a regular basis in that respect: Ever since the art history and philosophy graduate has opened her own casting agency in 1988, she has found new or seemingly familiar faces for extraordinary characters. She earned her stripes helping Fatih Akin working through the complex process of casting the German Cinema of Cultures; and over 23 years now she has provided surprising and convincing casting choices for both cinema and TV productions.
For her casting of the »Herr Lehmann«-prequel NEUE VAHR SÜD Sophie Molitoris is this year’s recipient of the German Casting Award.