German Film Academy Awards Announce Nominees
German Alpine Western The Dark Valley is this year's front-runner for the German Film Academy Awards, the Lolas, receiving nine nominations, including for best picture.
The visually stunning genre piece, from Viennese director Andreas Prochaska (an editor on Michael Haneke's Funny Games) stars British actor Sam Riley (On the Road, Control) as a mysterious stranger who arrives at a 19th century Austrian mountain village with revenge on his mind.
Based on a 2010 best-seller by Thomas Willmann, The Dark Valley garnered Lola noms in all the technical categories as well as for best director and a best supporting nom for veteran Austrian actor Tobias Moretti. Film Movement has picked up North American rights to The Dark Valley and plans a limited co-release of the feature with sister label RAM releasing in early 2015.
Another period drama, Edgar Reitz's Home From Home: Chronicle of a Vision, garnered six Lola nominations, including ones for best film and best director. The black-and-white epic is the latest in Reitz's acclaimed Heimat series, which traces the history of the German people.
The German Academy honors, called the Lolas, are the country's top film honor. The German Academy announced this year's nominations on Friday in Berlin.
A surprise nominee this year was the school days comedy Suck Me Shakespeer, which picked up four Lola nominations, including for best picture. Shakespeer was the No. 1 German film last year -- it has earned more than $70 million at the local box office -- but the more art-house-leaning German Film Academy traditionally snubs such mainstream films.
A comedy of a different sort -- the dark modern-day fairy tale Finsterworld, the feature debut from documentary filmmaker Frauke Finsterwalder -- received four Lola nominations, including for best film, best screenplay (which Finsterwalder co-wrote with her husband, Christian Kracht, based on his own short stories) and a pair of best supporting acting noms: for actress Sandra Huller and for actor Michael Maertens.
The other Lola best picture nominees are Georg Maas' GDR spy drama Two Lives -- which made the foreign language Oscar shortlist -- and Love Steaks from director Jakob Lass, which already has a strong festival career behind it, having won awards at both the Max Ophuls and Munich film festivals.
Another critical favorite, the dark psychological drama Nothing Bad Can Happen from first-timer Katrin Gebbe, was snubbed in the best picture category. But the film, which debuted in Cannes last year, picked up a best director nomination for Gebbe as well as one for best film music.
The winners of this year's Lolas will be announced in Berlin May 9.
The full list:
Home From Home: Chronicle of a Vision -- Christian Reitz, producer
Suck Me Shakespeer -- Lena Schomann, Christian Becker, producers
The Dark Valley -- Helmut Grasser, Stefan Arndt, producers
Finsterworld -- Tobias Walker, Philipp Worm, producers
Love Steaks -- Ines Schiller, Golo Schultz, producers
Two Lives -- Dieter Zeppenfeld, Rudi Teichmann, Axel Helgeland, producers
Carla Juri, Wetlands
Juliane Kohler, Two Lives
Jordis Triebel, Westen
Sascha Alexander Gersak, Five Years
Dieter Hallervorden, Sein letztes Rennen
Hanno Koffle, Free Fall
Best Supporting Actress
Jella Haase, Suck Me Shakespeer
Sandra Huller , Finsterworld
Katja Riemann , Suck Me Shakespeer
Best Supporting Actor
Michael Maertens, Finsterworld
Tobias Moretti, The Dark Valley
Kida Khodr Ramadan, Ummah: Unter Freunden
Suck Me Shakespeer -- Bora Dagtekin, screenwriter
Finsterworld -- Frauke Finsterwalder, Christian Kracht, screenwriters
Home From Home: Chronicle of a Vision -- Edgar Reitz, Gert Heidenreich, screenwriters
Best Children's Film
Bibi & Tina -- Christoph Daniel, Marc Schmidheiny, Detlev Buck, Sonja Schmitt, producers
Ostwind -- Ewa Karlstroom, Andreas Ulmke-Smeaton, producers
Sputnik -- Marcel Lenz, Guido Schwab, Dorothe Beinemeier, Leontine Petit, Joost de Vries, producers
Alphabet -- Mathias Forberg, Peter Rommel, producers
Beltracchi – Die Kunst Der Falschung -- Arne Birkenstock, Helmut G. Weber, Thomas Springer, producers
Master of the Universe - Marc Bauder, producer
Mr. Morgan's Last Love -- Michael Bertl, cinematographer
The Physician -- Hagen Bogdanski, cinematographer
Run Boy Run -- Daniel Gottschalk, cinematographer
The Dark Valley -- Thomas W. Kiennast, cinematographer
Home From Home: Chronicle of a Vision -- Gernot Roll, cinematographer
Houston -- Anne Fabini, editor
Two Lives -- Hansjorg Weissbrich, editor
Wetlands -- Andreas Wodraschke, editor
Best Set Design
The Dark Valley -- Claus Rudolf Amler, set designer
Home From Home: Chronicle of a Vision -- Toni Gerg, Hucky Hornberger, set designers
The Physician -- Udo Kramer, set designer
Best Costume Design
Home From Home: Chronicle of a Vision -- Esther Amuser, costume designer
The Dark Valley -- Natascha Curtius-Noss, costume designer
The Physician -- Thomas Olah, costume designer
The Dark Valley -- Helene Lang, Roman Braunhofer, makeup artists
Run Boy Run -- Kitty Kratschke, Juliane Hubner, makeup artists
The Physician -- Heike Merker, makeup artist
Best Film Music
Ostwind -- Annette Focks, composer
Nothing Bad Can Happen -- Johannes Lehniger, Peter Folk, composers
Finsterworld -- Michaela Melian, composer
The Dark Valley -- Matthias Weber, composer
Best Sound Design
3096 Days -- Michael Kranz, Stefan Busch, Roland Winke, sound designers
The Physician -- Guido Zettier, Max Thomas Meindl, Benjamin Rosenkind, sound designers
The Dark Valley -- Dietmar Zuson, Christof Ebhardt, Tschangis Chahrokh, sound designers