Nothing is as coveted among young filmmakers as that small golden figure called Oscar. No fewer than 1,749 works by young filmmakers were submitted to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 2016. Eventually, three German productions were able to win out against the great international competition at the 43rd Student Academy Awards.
Alex Schaad from the University of Television and Film Munich (HFF) received the Oscar for the Best Foreign Language Film for his work Invention of Trust. In the final he was able to leave behind six international competitors. In the run-up to the Oscar ceremony, Schaad has already received great encouragement at the 2016 Max Ophüls Prize in Saarbrücken. His 30-minute film was shot in Munich in only four days. It tells the story of how a teacher, Michael Gewa, is blackmailed by a shady Internet firm that threatens to publish his private Internet data and has to fight for his good name.
In good company
The bronze medal in the Foreign Narrative category went to Where the Woods End by Felix Ahrens. His Bachelor assignment for the Film University Babelsberg Konrad Wolf, which was completed in cooperation with the Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk (MDR), tells the story of a young policewoman who accidentally shoots dead a man during a routine check on the German-Czech border. Pangs of conscience lead the young woman to seek out the victim’s family, where the story takes an unexpected turn. The winners also include Ahmad Saleh, graduate of the Academy of Media Arts Cologne. His short film, Ayny – My Second Eye, a German-Jordanian coproduction, receives the prize in the newly created category Best Foreign Animation.
Young German filmmakers are traditionally very successful at the Student Academy Awards. Three prizes already went to Germany in 2015. These successes make the young directors members of an illustrious circle. After all, their predecessors include, among others, Robert Zemeckis (Forrest Gump) and Spike Lee (Inside Man). The 17 trophies in seven different categories are being awarded on 22 September 2016 in Los Angeles.
Presentation of the Student Academy Awards on 22 September 2016 in Los Angeles