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OH BOY wins big at Oldenburg Film Festival

Five days of Film Festival action: Packed with great films, exciting stars, inspiring conversations, exclusive receptions and sizzling partys. For 19 years the festival turns the late summer in Oldenburg into a unique gathering spot for international and German independent cinema. UNION SQUARE director Nancy Savoca, who already attended the festival way back in 1994, was spot on when she observed: „ The Oldenburg festival has grown bigger, but it has retained its unique independent spirit.“
Five world premiers, six international premiers and 18 German premiers offered the one of kind chance to discover passionate and individual film making. Directors and actors presented their works and were only too willing to answer the questions of the audience, in the almost always sold out theatres. The chapel of Oldenburg prison became one of the world‘s most unusual cinemas for the seventh year in a row. One of the highlights there was definitely the cool prison gig by Butch Walker, making this the only rock concert this year where no extra security was needed.
13.000 people visited the screenings - less than last year, but because of the fewer films shown, the festival had about the same capacity per screening.
The festival started on Wednesday with the grand premier of Jan Ole Gerster‘s OH BOY at the EWE Arena Oldenburg. More than 1000 in the audience were excited by the festive opening and cheered the wonderful melancholic comedy with Tom Schilling. How good the festival‘s decision was to make this film it‘s opening, became evident this Sunday when the jury and the audience selected the film as winner of the two main awards.
Oscar winner Mira Sorvino was the acclaimed star of the festival and headed the all-female international jury made up of Lana Morgan, Gabrielle Miller, Debbie Rochon, and Tamar Simon Hoffs. Together with Oldenburg‘s mayor Prof. Dr. Gerd Schwandner they handed out the awards during the festive Closing Night Gala.
The German Independence Award - Best German Film went to:
OH BOY by Jan Ole Gerster
The five jury members were honored to glimpse a slice of everyday life of German twentysomethings, seen through the eyes of young, independent film makers. All films in the competition had themes of searching for human contact and unspoken truths. The films deal with generational conflicts and show people who are desperate to find a way forward in their lives. OH BOY not only captured these themes masterfully but also entertained and touched the audience on a very universal level.
The jury made a special mention of Lola Randl‘s DIE LIBELLE UND DAS NASHORN, which enchanted by the powerful presentation of and special chemistry between its two stars Fritzi Haberlandt and Mario Adorf.
The Seymour Cassel German Independence Award went to:
Tom Schilling for his performance in OH BOY.
The German Independence Award - Best Short Film went to:
UNRAVEL by Meghna Gupta
UNRAVEL is a 14 minute masterpiece. Without going for the easy cliches, director Meghna Gupta shows the reality of Indian factory workers who recycle western clothes as part of globalization. The film is touching without becoming sentimental and showed a nice sense of humor.
In addition the short film jury, made up of Jan Hinrik Drevs, Maren-Kea Freese, and Amon Thein made a special mention of A LITTLE SUICIDE by Anna Lilly Amirpour.
EWE CEO for marketing Peter Göttelmann presented the German Independence Award - EWE Audience Award, which also went to Jan Ole Gerster‘s OH BOY.
Closing Night film and the crowning finale of the festival was the world premier of LOST ANGELES the latest directorial work by Hollywood star cinematographer Phedon Papamichael, who was also honored with a retrospective of his works at this year‘s festival and who presented his films in person.
Other film highlights this year were the moving premier of Peter Næss‘ INTO THE WHITE with David Kross and Florian Lukas, the comedy TIM SANDER GOES TO HOLLYWOOD with Matthias Schweighöfer. The best audience reactions were given to Jan Cvitkovi?‘s ARCHEO, Joseph Rezwin‘s GAZZARA and Matthew Lillard‘s FAT KID RULES THE WORLD.
Among the prominent star guests this year were Deborah Kara Unger, David Kross, Tom Schilling, Florian Lukas, Jakob Diehl, Jean-Claude Brisseau, RP Kahl, Birgit Stein, Tim Sander, Nancy Savoca, Marc Hosemann, Anatole Taubmann, Thekla Carola Wied, Butch Walker, Anja Plaschg, Christopher Coppola, Buddy Giovinazzo, or Dan Mirvish

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