Cinema industry selects the films of the year

Photo: AG Kino – Gilde eV

The 22nd Film Art Fair ended on Friday in Leipzig, where the Gilde Film Awards were presented again this year.


The film art fair ends with optimistic words and encouragement. However, one thing is certain: regardless of whether the chairman of the AG Kino, Christian Bräuer, emphasizes the campfire feeling or director Volker Schlöndorff appeals for the upcoming Berlinale to become a big cinema celebration – the problems remain. And they weigh heavily: dwindling audiences, the energy crisis, digitization and so on and so forth. As part of the trade fair, the industry discussed such problems and how they could be overcome in rounds of talks and workshops, in addition to viewing all sorts of films.

The highlight of the fair this year was the presentation of the Gilde Film Awards, with which cinema operators have honored selected films since 1977. At least the main prize should hardly have surprised anyone on Thursday: Best International Film was Ruben Östlund’s Cannes winner “Triangle of Sadness”. They seem to be longing for a potential hit with the audience, which they are now once again putting on the podium. It is a film that looks at capitalist self-portrayal and ostentatious culture with all sorts of glee and a penchant for excess.

Östlund’s satire tells the story of a group of rich and impostors who capsize a luxury yacht and try to create a new social order on a deserted island. The film will hit theaters on October 13th. Actress Sunnyi Melles was one of the guests at the ceremony to accept the award. Melles convinces in “Triangle of Sadness” with radical physical exertion as a seasick oligarch’s wife.

The drama “Mittagsstunden” by Lars Jessen, which has been in cinemas since this week, was also recognized as the best German feature film production. With the film, Jessen adapted Dörte Hansen’s novel of the same name, which uses a family story to illuminate the change and decay of a northern German village. A calmly told work that focuses on forgotten spheres, dying country life, flushing memories into the present. Charly Hübner mimics the protagonist who has to deal with the secrets of the parents’ generation.

As part of the Gilde Film Awards, not only feature films but also documentaries are awarded prizes. The prize for the best documentary film in 2022 goes to Lutz Pehnert’s “Bettina”, which traces the eventful life story of the GDR songwriter Bettina Wegner. Wegner himself was present at the award ceremony and gave a short, modest acceptance speech. In addition, the documentary film prize went ex aequo to “Der Waldmacher”, in which Volker Schlöndorff portrayed the agricultural scientist Tony Rinaudo.

Other trophies at the award ceremony went to “We could just as well be dead” by Natalia Sinelnikova (Best Young Cinema Film), the comedy “History of Franz” by Johannes Schmid (Best Children’s Film) and “The Ordinaries” by Sophie Linnenbaum, which won the Audience Award the fair won. The ones from the streaming platform Bad supported youth jury chose “Passengers of the Night”, “Close” as well as “The Ordinaries” as their favourites.

The 22nd Leipzig Film Art Fair took place from September 19th to 23rd. You can find an overview of the program here here. Selected events can also be streamed as recordings on the website.



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