You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Karlovy Vary Competition Title ‘Babai’ Wins Big at German New Talent Awards

KARLOVY VARY, Czech Republic — “Babai,” which has its international premiere in competition at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival this week, was the big winner at the Munich Film Festival’s German Cinema New Talent Awards on Friday. The jury described “Babai” as a “masterpiece.”

The director award went to “Babai’s” Visar Morina, who is from Kosovo but moved to Germany as a child. His feature debut tells the story of 10-year-old Nori, who lives in Kosovo. His father Gezim dominates his world, but one day Gezim leaves for work in Germany. Nori refuses to accept this sudden disappearance.

“The film forces us to cry — tears of rage, helplessness and mourning — and then casts us back into life full of hope, even more strength and especially responsibility. Responsibility for our lives. For life itself. The lives people live. With each other. ‘Babai’ is a masterpiece from a young master for whom we have great respect and gratitude,” said the jury.

Morina also took the screenplay award. The jury said: “When all the fears of failure finally disappear. The fear of not being good enough. Of being ostracized and alone. When all the wrong things don’t mean anything, a soft voice can be heard. Precious and shy. Relentless, not sugary in the least — but full of truth and love. ‘Babai’ is written in this voice from the very first to the very last line. It had us spellbound, moved and overwhelmed,” the jury said.

And the film took the award for actor, which was shared by Astrit Kabashi and Val Maloku, who — in their first film roles — play the father and son. They “convinced and moved us,” said the jury. “How the son, like a small adult, confronts his father for leaving him, for betraying him by leaving for Germany without him, just ‘beat it,’ is unforgettable. The father, on the other hand, is torn between his understandable desire for a new chance in life, and his feelings for his son, who forces him to take responsibility and fulfill his obligations as a father,” the jury added.

“Both of them perform so naturally, it is almost as if it was their own story. Through them, we understand what happens to people when their desire to live a normal life of self-determination remains unfulfilled, and they have to struggle to make that wish come true,” the jury said, adding Maloku’s and Kabashi’s performances “startled and touched us to the core.”

“Babai” is produced by NiKo Film’s Nicole Gerhards. She is a very experienced producer so was not eligible for the German Cinema New Talent Award for best production, which went to producers Sonja Ewers and Steve Hudson of Cologne-based Gringo Films for comedy “Happy Hour.” The movie, which was directed by Franz Müller, “blew away the entire jury and was absolutely impressive on all levels,” said the jury. It follows a warmhearted group of fortysomething friends on a journey of self-discovery in Ireland.

“This witty and wise comedy stands out because of its first-rate screenplay, perfect timing, a brilliant sense of humor, charm and marvelous camera work,” the jury said. “A successful low-budget production through and through with a brilliant cast that will have great potential at the box office.”

More Film

  • Vice Christian Bale Sam Rockwell Playback

    'Vice' Reviews: What the Critics Are Saying

    Reviews are in for Adam McKay’s Dick Cheney biopic, and it’s not all awards-season buzz. Despite garnering six nominations for this year’s Golden Globes, McKay’s kitschy approach to the politically charged film has polarized reviewers, prompting a mix of scathing critiques and celebratory praise for the director’s distinct film style. What critics can agree on, however, [...]

  • Lena Waithe Brian Tyree Henry

    Lena Waithe, Brian Tyree Henry to Present $125k in Annual Film Independent Grants

    Writer-creator Lena Waithe and actor Brian Tyree Henry will present a quarter of a million dollars in filmmaker grants come January as hosts of the annual Independent Spirit Awards nominee brunch. Waithe, this year’s Spirit Awards honorary chair, and Henry will dole out the prizes in four categories, including a $50,000 unrestricted grant for a [...]

  • Piero Tosi Luchino Visconti

    How Costume Designer Piero Tosi Dressed Up Cinema

    One of international cinema’s undisputed greats in costume design, Piero Tosi’s work first faced the awards season spotlight 64 years ago with only his third film, Luchino Visconti’s masterwork “Senso,” which competed for the Golden Lion in Venice in 1954. Nominated for five Oscars for costume design and recipient of an honorary Oscar in 2013, [...]

  • RYAN GOSLING as Neil Armstrong in

    Big Breakthroughs Seen in Below-the-Line Categories

    Is 2018 an anomaly, or is it a harbinger of things to come? The awards derbies of recent years have seen a predominance of indie films at the expense of big studio features — resulting in a slate of Oscar contenders devoid not only of genuine blockbusters but also of more modest mid-budget crowd-pleasers. This [...]

  • Fox Germany Veteran Vincent De La

    Fox Germany Veteran Vincent De La Tour Heading to Paramount Pictures

    20th Century Fox veteran Vincent de la Tour is joining Paramount Pictures in a role covering Austria, Germany and Switzerland. He will be executive vice president for theatrical and home media for those territories, overseeing the local teams and reporting to Cameron Saunders, Paramount’s EVP of international theatrical distribution, and Bob Buchi, president of worldwide [...]

  • Editorial use only. No book cover

    Oscar Noise Dominated by Academy Itself, Not the Movies

    For most of its 91 years, Oscar has been surrounded by hoopla. Now it’s surrounded by noise, which isn’t the same thing. For decades, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences’ attitude toward the media was: “Don’t talk about the organization; instead, talk about the creative members and their movies.” But in the internet [...]

  • Crazy Rich Asians

    Diverse Lineup of Actors Jostle for Awards Attention

    It’s been less than four years since #OscarsSoWhite became a hot topic at the Academy Awards after 2015 films like “Creed” and “Straight Outta Compton” failed to land major nominations for people of color. (It actually began the year before but picked up steam when, for the second year in a row, no people of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content