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FilmFestival Cottbus Increases Prize Money

The FilmFestival Cottbus – Festival of Eastern European Cinema will increase the prize money. This is to be announced by Festival Director Roland Rust on the occasion of the reception at the befriended 44th International Film Festival in the Czech town of Karlovy Vary. The “DIALOG Prize for Intercultural Communication”, endowed by the German Foreign Office, will come with an amount of 3,000 euros in the future. Through new prize sponsors, the “Prize for Best Debut Film” could also be raised to 3,000 euros. “Until now, the prize has been awarded by the student organisations of the regional universities and academies,” festival director Roland Rust explains. “This year, the prize will be directly endowed for the first time by the three partner universities of the festival, Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus, the Lausitz University of Applied Sciences and the Film & Television Academy ‘Konrad Wolf’.” The total value of the prizes awarded at the 19th FilmFestival Cottbus (11/10-11/15/2009) will thus increase by 3,000 euros to 70,000 euros.

Prominent persons at the festival reception in Karlovy Vary
The FilmFestival Cottbus traditionally presents itself at the renowned Czech A-Festival with a festival film and a reception. Together with the Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg GmbH, one of its main supporters, as well as the East-West co-production market Connecting Cottbus, the Cottbus festival invites to an East European Brunch at Grandhotel Pupp on Monday, July 6, 2009. International guests will be greeted by Festival Director Roland Rust, the Managing Director of the Medienboard Kirsten Niehuus, and Gabriele Brunnenmeyer, Artistic Director of Connecting Cottbus.

Moreover, this year’s Cottbus reception is expecting a special prominent person: Director Andreas Dresen and members of his team will be greeted as guests,among them Wolfgang Kohlhaase (screenplay) as well as leading actors Henry Hübchen, Sylvester Groth and Markus Hering. WHISKY WITH VODKA (WHISKY MIT VODKA), the new film of the Potsdam-based filmmaker, will have its international premiere in the competition of the festival in Karlovy Vary. Dresen has been associated with the FilmFestival Cottbus for a long time, among other things, as a member of the international festival jury in 2005.

In addition to the reception, the festival will also be represented by a contribution in the competition series “East of the West” with: SCRATCH (RYSA). The film deals with the shadow that the unofficial collaboration with the secret service casts on his family. For his psychodrama, the Polish director and screenwriter Michal Rosa was awarded the Special Prize at the 18th FilmFestival Cottbus. The feature film will be screened in Karlovy Vary on July 9 and 10, 2009.

Cottbus 2009: Black Sea and Times of Change
At the reception, Rust will present an outlook on the 19th FilmFestival Cottbus. This year’s focus is on “New Cinema from the Black Sea”, curated by the Berlin-based film journalist and expert on Eastern Europe, Bernd Buder. The festival thus offers a view of the in Germany for the most part unknown productions from the states bordering the Black Sea, Georgia, Russia, the Ukraine, Bulgaria, Romania, as well as Turkey. The retrospective curated by the Berlin-based film expert Karin Fritzsche, in turn, addresses the “Times of Change” in the two decades since the Iron Curtain went down.

The East-West co-production market Connecting Cottbus within the frame of the FilmFestival Cottbus will take place on November 12 and 13. Up until July 24, 2009, producers can apply with a project for participating in this year’s pitching. Feature film materials are being sought that are suitable for cross-border advancement or coproductions between Eastern and Western Europe. In addition to the public pitching, Connecting Cottbus offers representatives of the selected projects an all-day preparation workshop and the possibility of intensive One2One meetings.
One of the current successful results is the Polish-German contribution to the competition of the 44th Film Festival Karlovy Vary, PIGGIES (SWINKI) by the director Robert Glinski. The material was presented by the Polish producer Widark Film & Television Production in 2005 at Connecting Cottbus, where they found the German co-production partner 42 Films.

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