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Berlinale Camera 2009: In Honour of Claude Chabrol and Günter Rohrbach

Since 1986, the Berlin International Film Festival has presented the Berlinale Camera to film personalities or institutions to which it feels particularly indebted and it wishes to express its thanks with this award.

French director Claude Chabrol, and German film and television producer Günter Rohrbach will be awarded the Berlinale Camera at the Berlinale 2009 for their great service to cinema and lifetime achievements in film.

Alongside psychological dramas, French director and master of world cinema Claude Chabrol has often made crime films in which he critically analyses the French bourgeoisie. He has received countless prizes for his films, including the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2003 European Film Awards. After completing his studies, Claude Chabrol first worked as a film critic. For his directorial debut, Le Beau Serge (Bitter Reunion), he won the Prix Jean Vigo and one of the main awards at the Locarno International Film Festival in 1958. With Les Cousins (The Cousins), the first Nouvelle Vague film to screen at the Berlinale, Claude Chabrol won the Golden Bear in 1959. Since then this distinguished director has been invited several times to present films in the Berlinale Competition, e.g., Les Noces rouges (Wedding in Blood, 1973), La Fleur du Mal (The Flower of Evil, 2003), and most recently, in 2006, L'Ivresse du pouvoir (A Comedy of Power). To celebrate the 50th anniversary of his Golden Bear, Claude Chabrol will receive the Berlinale Camera for his extraordinary oeuvre; on this occasion, his latest film, Bellamy, will screen in the Berlinale Special.

Claude Chabrol will be awarded the Berlinale Camera in the Cinema Paris in the Institut Français at 9:45 pm on February 8. Following the ceremony, his film Bellamy will be presented.

Günter Rohrbach is one of Germany’s most important and successful film and television producers. After completing his studies, he worked as assistant director and journalist. Günter Rohrbach’s career as producer began at WDR in the early 1960s, where he was head of the teleplay department until 1979. During this period he produced teleplays by R. W. Fassbinder, Reinhard Hauff, Wolfgang Petersen, Wim Wenders, Peter Zadek, and others. As CEO of Bavaria Film (1979-1994), he produced many teleplays and feature films for the screen, including Wolfgang Petersen’s Das Boot (The Boat), Helmut Dietl’s Schtonk, Dominik Graf’s Die Sieger (The Invincibles), Josef Vilsmaier’s Stalingrad, Loriot’s Ödipussi and Pappa ante Portas, as well as R. W. Fassbinder’s Berlin Alexanderplatz. Since 1994 he has been an independent producer. He has screened a number of films at the Berlinale, including Aimée & Jaguar by Max Färberböck (which opened the Festival in 1999). Over the years, he has won many prizes, e.g., the German Film Award, Bavarian Film Award, and Adolf Grimme Award. Currently, Günter Rohrbach is president of the German Film Academy.

Günter Rohrbach will be awarded the Berlinale Camera in the Friedrichstadtpalast at 9:00 pm on February 9. Following the ceremony, Hermine Huntgeburth’s film Effi Briest, which was produced by Günter Rohrbach, will have its world premiere.

Since 2004, Düsseldorf goldsmith and artist Georg Hornemann has donated the award, which was redesigned for the Berlinale in 2008. With its 128 components, the Berlinale Camera is modelled on a real camera. Many of its silver and titanium parts, from swivel head to tripod, are movable and crafted with the artistic expertise of a goldsmith.

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