“System Crasher,” Nora Fingscheidt’s social drama about a troubled young girl, swept the 70th German Film Awards on Friday, winning a total of eight Lolas, including best film, director, actress and actor.
Forced to revamp this year’s ceremony due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the German Film Academy did away with its traditional gala event and instead produced a stripped-down show tailor-made for television that proved uniquely spontaneous, innovative and entertaining.
Hosted by actor Edin Hasanovic (“Skylines”), the show, broadcast live from Berlin and airing on ARD’s Das Erste, featured guest entertainers, actors and presenters in the studio as well as filmmakers, award winners and musicians taking part via video feed from their homes, including a musical performance by Gregory Porter from Los Angeles.
In addition to best film and director awards, “System Crasher” won Fingscheidt the screenplay Lola, best actress for Helena Zengel, supporting actress for Gabriela Maria Schmeide and best actor for Albrecht Schuch, who also took best supporting actor for Burhan Qurbani’s “Berlin Alexanderplatz.”
Produced by Peter Hartwig, Jonas Weydemann and Jakob D. Weydemann, “System Crasher” also won Lolas for editors Stephan Bechinger and Julia Kovalenko and sound designers Corinna Zink, Jonathan Schorr, Dominik Leube, Oscar Stiebitz and Gregor Bonse.
“Berlin Alexanderplatz,” a modern re-working of Alfred Döblin’s 1929 novel that follows an undocumented African immigrant struggling to survive in Berlin, won the runner-up Silver Lola for best film as well as prizes for cinematographer Yoshi Heimrath, film score composer Dascha Dauenhauer and production designer Silke Buhr.
The Bronze Lola went to Ilker Çatak’s “I Was, I Am, I Will Be,” the story of a German woman and a young Turkish Kurd that also explores timely aspects of global disparities.
Maryam Zaree’s “Born in Evin,” about the filmmaker’s quest to find out the circumstances surrounding her birth inside an Iranian prison, won best documentary, while Caroline Link’s historical family drama “When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit” took the best children’s film prize.
Costume designer Sabine Böbbis and makeup artists Astrid Weber and Hannah Fischleder picked up Lolas for their work on Hermine Huntgeburth’s “Lindenberg! Mach dein Ding,” a biopic about German rock star Udo Lindenberg.
The visual effects and animation award went to Jan Stoltz and Claudius Urban for Dani Levy’s comedy “The Kangaroo Chronicles,” while Bora Dagtekin’s “The Perfect Secret” took the prize for most admissions.
The German Film Academy honored veteran filmmaker Edgar Reitz, best known for his epic five-picture historical saga “Heimat,” with a lifetime achievement award.
The ceremony also paid tribute to the many talents who died the past year, among them director Joseph Vilsmaier (“Comedian Harmonists”), producer Tom Zickler and filmmaker, journalist and Variety contributor Andrew Horn.