MADRID — “Toni Erdmann,” German Maren Ade’s breakout Cannes competition hit, has snagged the 2016 Intl. Federation of Film Critics (Fipresci) Grand Prix for best film of the past year, the first time the prestigious honor has gone to a film made by a woman.
The Fipresci Grand Prix will be presented to Ade at the San Sebastian Film Festival’s opening night gala ceremony on Sept. 16, a tradition that goes back to 1999.
Chosen by 475 Fipresci members from three finalists — the other two were Charlie Kaufman’s “Anomalisa” and Jim Jarmusch’s “Paterson” — “Toni Erdmann’s” triumph reflects critical reaction at Cannes where, though the movie failed to score an official prize, it did win the Fipresci nod for best film in competition.
A “stunningly singular” third feature, according to Variety’s Guy Lodge, “Toni Erdmann” was one of the best-reviewed Cannes competition movies in the last decade. Lodge called it a “unique study of an estranged but mutually depressive father and daughter” which is “a humane, hilarious triumph.”
Sony Pictures Classics’ acquisition of “Toni Erdmann” for North and Latin America was one of the centerpiece deals of this year’s Cannes Festival.
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“I feel extremely honored to be chosen by the people who have seen the most films over the year. And thank you so much for giving ‘Toni’ such a great start in Cannes,” Ade said of the Fipresci Grand Prix.
Sold by The Match Factory, “Toni Erdmann” is a Komplizen Film production in co-production with Coop99, KNM, Missing Link Films and SWR/WDR/ARTE.
The Fipresci Grand Prix will stoke speculation that “Toni Erdmann” will be a foreign-language Oscar contender. Fipresci Cannes competition winner “Son of Saul” went on to Oscar glory, snagging an Academy Award in the foreign-language category. Fipresci’s 2015 Grand Prix winner “Mad Max: Fury Road” took six Academy Awards. “Erdmann” is one of eight German films on a long-list to become Germany’s 2017 Oscar entry. The country’s candidate will be announced later this week.