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Fatih Akin to Receive Douglas Sirk Award at Filmfest Hamburg

LONDON — Filmfest Hamburg is to honor Hamburg-based director Fatih Akin with its Douglas Sirk Award, which is presented to a personality for outstanding achievements within film culture and the film industry.

Festival director Albert Wiederspiel said the award was in recognition of Akin’s work as both a director and a producer.

“His films, which are strongly rooted in Hamburg, have put the city on the world map of cinema,” Wiederspiel said. “He has set an example for a whole generation of filmmakers — both in Turkey and Germany.”

Wiederspiel added that Akin’s films were “a starting point for a movement of German filmmakers of Turkish origin.”

The award will be presented at the German premiere of Akin’s drama “The Cut.” The film completes Akin’s “Love, Death and the Devil” trilogy, which began in 2004 with “Gegen die Wand” (Head-On), and continued with “Auf der anderen Seite” (The Edge of Heaven) in 2007.

“The Cut,” which features Tahar Rahim (“A Prophet”) in the starring role, explores the dark side of what humans are capable of. The film is a co-production between Germany, France, Italy, Russia, Poland, Canada and Turkey, and received funding from Filmfoerderung Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein, among others. It is scheduled for release in Germany on Oct. 16 by Pandora Film Verleih.

Akin is one of the most successful directors in Germany. His films — encompassing gangster films, family sagas, love stories and road movies — defy boundaries set between genres, and stand for young, unconventional cinema, the fest said.

Akin was born in Hamburg in 1973, the son of Turkish immigrants. On completing high school, he studied visual communications at the Hamburger Hochschule fuer bildende Kuenste (HfbK). His debut as a film director was in 1998 with “Kurz und schmerzlos” (Short Sharp Shock).

His fourth film, “Head-On,” was awarded the Golden Bear at the Berlinale, the German Film Award and the European Film Award.

In 2005, Akin was a member of the jury at Cannes Film Festival, where his film “Auf der anderen Seite” (The Edge of Heaven) world premiered in 2007, and received the screenplay award.

Previous Douglas Sirk Award recipients include Tilda Swinton, Kim Ki-duk, Andreas Dresen and Peter Rommel.

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