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The award winners of the 17th Oldenburg International Film Festival

“Picco” has been honored with the “German Independence Award – Best German Film”.The Audience Award went to “The Happy Poet” by Paul Gordon. “Salvation Insurance” by Jeremy Bradley and Reuben Sack has been honored as “Best Short Film”.
The 17th Oldenburg International Film Festival drew to a close this evening with the award ceremony for the German Independence Awards. The number of visitors was 14,500, and because of smaller cinemas as well as a reduction in screenings – twelve less than last year –it was comparably higher than in 2009. The retrospective was dedicated to American filmmaker Radley Metzger. Actor Timothy Bottoms was honored for his life’s work with a tribute.
Winner of the “German Independence Award – Best German Film” is the important and touching drama “Picco” by Philip Koch. The 4,000 Euro award was presented by Mayor Prof. Dr. Gerd Schwandner and the members of the international Jury, Deborah Kara Unger, Jesse Scolaro, Travis Stevens, F. X. Feeney and Dorka Gryllus. Based on a true story, the film showcases the brutal reality of everyday life in a German juvenile detention facility. The jury stated: “PICCO – a portrait of hell-on-earth in the form of a boy’s prison. The power struggles, and the moral quicksand in which the young hero may drown: These things are depicted with such harrowing realism that one may wish to flee; yet the film is as hypnotic as it is universal. The savagery and moral tragedy PICCO describes can be applied to adolescent life in any country. One need not have ever been to prison to know first-hand the fears and self-treacheries of its young protagonist. On a purely formal level, the film is closely woven, expertly shot and cut so as to keep us emotionally inside its walls, and yet keep just enough distance to suffer, and wonder, and try to interpret what we’re living through with the characters. The film is vivid and heart-breaking in any language.”
The audience voted for “The Happy Poet” by Paul Gordon to win the Audience Award. The director accepted the “German Independence Award – Audience Award” from Peter Göttelmann, marketing director of the EWE. “The Happy Poet” is a subtle and clever comedy about a lovely poet who keenly strives for his goals. Following the world premiere at the SXSW Film Festival, Paul Gordon celebrated the German premiere in Oldenburg. The EWE sponsored award is worth 2,000 Euro.
“Salvation Insurance” by Jeremy Bradley and Reuben Sack was honored as “Best Short Film” by the members of the short film jury, Thomas Darchinger, Norbert Kneißl and Dagmar Schmidt. The award is worth 500 Euro.
The festival closed with the world premiere of “Pound of Flesh” in attendance of director Tamar Simon Hoffs and actors Timothy Bottoms and Whitney Able.

Best regards
Sabina Poppen, Christine Strüver and Team

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