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Berlin: Karl Baumgartner to Receive Berlinale Camera

Aki Kaurismaki to present award to German indie producer, distributor

LONDON — The Berlin Film Festival will award the Berlinale Camera to Karl “Baumi” Baumgartner, one of Germany’s leading producers and independent distributors.

The award is presented to folk in the film biz to whom the fest feels particularly indebted and to whom it wishes to express its thanks.

The Berlinale Camera will be awarded to Baumgartner at 4.00 p.m. on Feb. 8 at the CinemaxX 9. It will be followed by the film “Boheemielamaa” (La vie de boheme, 1992) by Aki Kaurismaki who, together with festival director Dieter Kosslick, will give a speech in Baumgartner’s honor.

As a producer, Baumgartner has brought the best of world cinema to German audiences.

In 1982, together with Reinhard Brundig, he launched Pandora Film Distribution and it developed into one of the most important companies in the field of arthouse cinema.

Pandora Film discovered filmmakers such as Andrej Tarkovsky, Jim Jarmusch, Sally Potter, Kim Ki Duk and Aki Kaurismaki, as well as many others. With Jane Campion’s “The Piano” in 1993, Baumgartner celebrated his first great success as distributor. It was followed by Emir Kusturica’s Palme d’Or winning “Underground” (1995), executive produced by Pandora Film.

As a producer, Baumgartner has participated several times in the Berlin Film Festival — in the Competition section with “Super 8 Stories” by Emir Kusturica (out of competition, 2001), “My Sweet Home” by Filippos Tsitos (2001), Sam Garbarski’s “Irina Palm” (2007), and Jasmila Zbanic’s “Na putu” (On the Path, 2010).

His most recent contribution to the Berlinale Competition was as co-producer of “Kebun binatang” (Postcards from the Zoo, 2012) by Edwin, and “Layla Fourie” (2013) by Pia Marais.

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