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BERLIN — “The Lives of Others” (Das Leben der Anderen), Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck’s hard-hitting drama about communist East Germany’s domestic spying program, and Hans-Christian Schmid’s fact-based exorcist drama “Requiem” are in the lead to take top honors at the German Film Awards after the German Film Academy announced nominations for the Lolas in Berlin Thursday (March 23).

Curiously overlooked for this year’s Berlin Film Festival, Henckel von Donnersmarck’s debut feature film garnered 11 nominations, including feature, director, screenplay and actor for Ulrich Muehe. Pic has received rave reviews for its uncompromising portrayal of the East German Stasi secret police, its terrifying system of domestic surveillance and the corruption of absolute power while also illuminating an issue that has ironically become a grave topic of concern in the U.S. 17 years after the fall of communism.

“Requiem,” which screened in Competition at this year’s Berlinale, followed with 10 Lola noms, among them feature, director and actress for Sandra Hueller. Pic tells the story of a troubled young woman who seeks help from a Catholic priest following a breakdown and ends up undergoing an exorcism.

Other strong contenders included Andreas Dresen’s “Summer in Berlin” (Sommer vorm Balkon), which picked up six noms, including feature, director and female thesp for its two lead actresses, Inka Friedrich and Nadja Uhl; Detlev Buck’s “Tough Enough” (Knallhart), about a German teen forced to live in Berlin’s rough immigrant district; Hany Abu-Assad’s Palestinian suicide bomber tale “Paradise Now,” a French-German-Dutch-Israeli coproduction; and Vanessa Jopp’s “Happy As One” (Komm naeher), about jaded thirtysomethings trying to escape loneliness and find love in the big city.

Nominees were chosen by the 700 members of the German Film Academy.

The federal government bestows Euros 2.85 million ($3.4 million) towards the Lola’s various monetary prizes.

Ceremony will be held May 12 in Berlin and hosted by comedian and filmmaker Michael Herbig.

Complete list of nominations

Film

“Tough Enough,” producer Claus Boje

“Happy As One,” producer Oliver Simon

“The Lives of Others,” producers Quirin Berg, Max Wiedemann

“Paradise Now,” producers Gerhard Meixner, Roman Paul

“Requiem,” producer Hans-Christian Schmid

“Summer in Berlin,” producers Peter Rommel, Stefan Arndt

Director

Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck (“The Lives of Others”)

Andreas Dresen (“Summer in Berlin”)

Hans-Christian Schmid (“Requiem”)

Actress

Inka Friedrich (“Summer in Berlin”)

Sandra Hueller (“Requiem”)

Jasmin Tabatabai (“Unveiled”)

Nadja Uhl (“Summer in Berlin”)

Actor

Moritz Bleibtreu (“The Elementary Particles”)

Ulrich Muehe (“The Lives of Others”)

Milan Peschel (“Netto”)

Supporting Actress

Meret Becker (“Happy As One”)

Martina Gedeck (“The Elementary Particles”)

Imogen Kogge (“Requiem”)

Supporting Actor

Burghart Klaussner (“Requiem”)

Andreas Schmidt (“Summer in Berlin”)

Ulrich Tukur (“The Lives of Others”)

Screenplay

Hany Abu Assad, Bero Beyer (“Paradise Now”)

Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck (“The Lives of Others”)

Wolfgang Kohlhaase (“Summer in Berlin”)

Bernd Lange (“Requiem”)

Cinematography

Hagen Bogdanski (“The Lives of Others”)

Michael Hammon (“Willenbrock”)

Juergen Juerges (“Shadows of Time”)

Documentary

“Into Great Silence,” producers Philip Groening, Elda Guidinetti, Andres Pfaeffli, Michael Weber

“Lost Children,” producer Oliver Stoltz

Children’s Film

“The Cave of the Yellow Dog,” producer Stephan Schesch

“The Treasure of the White Falcons,” producers Tom Spiess, Soenke Wortmann