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41st Max Ophüls Prize Film Festival (January 20-26, 2020)

All competition juries of the 41st Max Ophüls Prize film festival at a glance

At the 41st edition of the Max Ophüls Prize film festival, a total of six juries award prizes in the four competition categories:

Feature Film Jury Competition

The feature film jury decides on a total of five prizes: Max Ophüls Prize: Best Feature Film (endowed by the Film Festival Max Ophüls Prize and State Capital Saarbrücken with € 36,000), Max Ophüls Prize: Best Director (Film Prize of the Saarland Prime Minister, endowed with € 5,500, the prize is awarded by a distribution grant of EUR 5,500 supplements and thus achieves prize money of EUR 11,000), the two prizes for the best young actors: Max Ophüls Prize: Best Young Actors (endowed by SHS Strukturholding Saar GmbH and the festival sponsors with EUR 3,000 each) and the Max Ophüls Prize for the socially relevant film (endowed by the Federal Center for Political Education and Deutschlandfunk Kultur with € 5,000).

Susanne Heinrich
The pastor's daughter from East Germany wrote four books between the ages of 19 and 25. From 2012 to 2019 she studied directing at the German Film and Television Academy in Berlin. With her graduation film THE MELANCHOLIC GIRL she won the Max Ophüls Prize: Best Feature Film in 2019.

Cüneyt Kaya
The author and director developed several documentaries on the development of refugees in Europe on behalf of the EU from 2004 to 2006. In 2013, his film debut UMMAH - UNTER FREUNDEN was premiered at the Max Ophüls Preis film festival. In 2020 he published the feature film BETONRAUSCH, the first Netflix original production in feature length (production UFA Fiction).

Heike Parplies
The editor's filmography includes films such as DER WALD VOR LAUTER BÄUMEN and ALL OTHERS. For TONI ERDMANN she was awarded the German Film Award, among others. Her latest feature film project A VIDA INVISÍVEL DE EURÍDICE GUSMÃO won the Certain Regard in Cannes 2019.

Franziska Weisz
The actress made her film debut with HUNDSTAGE, which was awarded in 1999 in Venice. Her second film HOTEL premiered in Cannes in 2004. This was followed by roles in several Berlinale films, including KREUZWEG, which received the Silver Bear in 2014. Since 2015 she has been seen as an investigator in the NDR “crime scene”.

Jonas Weydemann
He founded the film production Weydemann Bros with his brother. Their films have won numerous awards, including a Silver Bear and a Golden Goblet. Weydemann is Germany coordinator of EAVE, teaches at the producer workshop TTB and is a member of the German and the European Film Academy.


Jury short film / medium film competition

The jury for short film and medium length film awards the following prizes in each of the two competition categories: Max Ophüls Prize: Best medium length film (endowed by the Saarland Minister for Education and Culture Christine Streichert-Clivot with € 5,000) and the Max Ophüls Prize: Best short film (endowed from Stadtwerke Saarbrücken GmbH with € 5,000).

Neelesha Barthel
She has been working as a freelance camerawoman, editor and director for film and advertising productions since 1999 and has also worked as an actress since 1995. Her first film MARRY ME - BUT PLEASE IN INDIAN! came to German cinemas in 2015. Her most recent television feature was the comedy "Fortunately there is a carpenter".

Jane Chirwa
After studying drama at the Vorpommern Theater Academy, she appeared in a number of films, including SOLNESS, VOR DER MORGENRÖTE and SCHUBERT IN LOVE. In addition, she also starred for the Netflix series "Berlin Station" and the new ZDF crime series "Bloody Beginners".

David Armati Lechner
He graduated from HFF Munich in 2018 and has been a managing partner with Trini Götze since 2017 The trimafilm The productions include the feature films EVERYTHING IS GOOD by Eva Trobisch and MY END, YOUR START by Mariko Minoguchi and the ZDF series “Fett und Fett” by Chiara Grabmayr and Jakob Schreier.

Jury competition documentary

The documentary jury awards the prizes for the Max Ophüls Prize: Best Documentary (endowed by Saarland Medien GmbH with € 7,500) and the Max Ophüls Prize: Best Music in a Documentary (endowed by the Strecker Foundation with € 5,000).

Sigrun Köhler
Under the label "Böller und Brot" she has made seven cinema documentaries with Wiltrud Baier, including SCHOTTER WIE HEU, WHERE'S THE BEER AND WHEN DO WE GET PAID? and WHO'S AFRAID OF SIBYLLE BERG. In 2012, they received the Grimme Prize for ALARM AM HAUPTBAHNHOF.

Damian Scholl
The composer studied composition (UdK Berlin) and film music (Film University Babelsberg Konrad Wolf). He was awarded the Deutschlandfunk Prize and the WDR Filmscore Award. For his music for the documentary BEUYS, he received the German Documentary Music Prize.

Joana Scrinzi
The editor made her cinema debut in 2008 with MÄRZ von Händl Klaus, with whom she worked again in 2016 at KATER. For this film she received a nomination for the Austrian Film Award. In 2018 she won the Diagonal Award for GWENDOLYN and NOT FROM BAD PARENTS. Scrinzi is a member of the Academy of Austrian Film.

Screenplay Jury

The screenplay jury awards the Max Ophüls Prize: Fritz Raff Screenplay Prize (endowed by ZDF and SR with € 13,000).

Oliver Hottong
studied German literature and linguistics as well as musicology. He works as a cultural journalist at Saarländischer Rundfunk and has accompanied the Max Ophüls Prize film festival for 20 years as a film expert and long-time moderator of SR Talks.

Eva Katharina Klöcker
In addition to studying in Saarbrücken, Metz and Babelsberg, she worked as a screen editor, and has been with ZDF since 2015. As an editor, she initially supervised feature films and documentaries in the small television game and now various primetime programs. Since 2018 she has also been a supervisor at the Munich script workshop.

Elena von Saucken
She produced several short and medium-length films, including POLAR by Michael Koch, winner of the German Short Film Award 2010. She made her debut as an author in 2009 with the multi-award-winning feature film DAS LIED IN MIR by Florian Cossen. She received the Tankred Dorst Prize for her screenplay for the Canadian-German co-production COCONUT HERO.

Ecumenical jury

The award is given to a film from the Spiel fi lm competition, which with real artistic talent succeeds in sensitizing viewers to spiritual, human or social questions and values. The INTERFILM and SIGNIS prize is endowed with 2,500 euros and is jointly sponsored by the Catholic Adult Education Saarland-Landesarbeitsgemeinschaft eV and the Landesarbeitsgemeinschaft für Evangelische Adult Education in Saarland eV, represented by the Evangelische Akademie in Saarland.

Dr. Hermann Kocher
The doctor of theology works as a pastor in Langnau in the Emmental and works as a freelance supervisor and coach. He is also Vice President of Interfilm Switzerland.

Théo Peporté
The former head of the Communication and Press Center of the Catholic Church in Luxembourg was treasurer of SIGNIS World from 2003 to 2010 and delegate of SIGNIS Europe from 2001 to 2017. He is a member of the SIGNIS Cinema Desk.

Birgit Persch-Klein
The certified media educator is director of Catholic Adult Education Saarbrücken and works in various media projects. From 2006 to 2009 she was the director of AK Films at the Exodus youth café.

Marisa Winter
The photographer and camerawoman is the chair of the forum for medium-length films, which annually awards the Big Shorts Awards in Berlin. In addition, she is a member of the selection advisory board of the Günter Rohrbach Film Award and a committee member of the Saarland film funding.

youth jury

A Franco-German youth jury in cooperation with the Volkshochschule Regionalverband Saarbrücken has been appointed for the 41st Max Ophüls Prize 2020 film festival. It awards the Max Ophüls Prize: Prize of the youth jury, donated by the Federal Center for Political Education and the State Center for Political Education Saarland.

Justus Almstedt, Anna Burgardt, Tom Kurzyca, Sasha-Thea Rukover, Francesco Sanfilippo


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