'Vincent Wants to Sea' Surprise Lola Winner

Tourette's Syndrome rom-com wins best film and best actor honors at German Film Awards.

BERLIN – Ralf Huettner's sleeper hit Vincent Wants to Sea was the surprise best picture winner at the 61st German Film Awards, Germany's version of the Oscars. Vincent, a  featuring a man with Tourette Syndrome and an anorexic, beat out features from more seasoned directors including Tom Tykwer to take the country's top film honor. 

Florian David Fitz, whose better known as a TV performer here, won best actor for his starring performance in Vincent as a Tourette's sufferer who, once in his life, wants to see the ocean. Fitz also wrote the script to Vincent.

“I know what it sounds like: frustrated TV actor writes himself a handicapped role so he can win prizes,” joked Fitz as he hefted his Lola. “I promise, that's wasn't my intention ... But it worked.”

Unlike last year's Lolas, where Michael Haneke's The White Ribbon won 10 prizes, there was no sweep this year. The honors were spread wide. 

Tom Tykwer won best director for his menage-a-trois dramedy Three, Tykwer's first German-language film in 10 years. Three star Sophie Rois also won Best Actress for her role as a 40-something woman caught between two men. Three also took the best editor Lola. (You can read THR's review of Three here.)

Yasemin Samdereli's immigration comedy Almanya took the runner-up best film silver Lola and Samdereli shared the best screenplay honor with her sister Nesrin Samdereli for their script, which they based on the real-life story of their grandparents' immigration to Germany. (You can read THR's review of Almanya here.)

Another big winner was Chris Kraus' period drama The Poll Diaries, which took home four Lolas, including one for best supporting actor Richy Muller.

Florian Micoud Cossen's powerful debut The Day I Was Not Born picked up two Lolas – for best score and the best supporting actress nod for Argentinian actress Beatriz Spelzini. 

Veteran auteur Wim Wenders won documentary for Pina, his 3D dance film on the life and work of late choreograph Pina Bauch. 

But the biggest applause of the evening was for screenwriter Wolfgang Kohlhaase, who received a lifetime achievement honor. 

“A film script is a mixture of poetry and instruction manual,” said the still-active 80-year-old Kohlhaase, who recently finished the script to Dan Tang's German-Chinese co-production I Phone You. “We need people to tell stories, to give us hope. (This honor) both pleases and inspires me. And one needs both. Whatever age you are.”

A full list of 2011 Lola winners follows after the jump.

Winners of the 61st German Film Awards

BEST FILM IN GOLD

Vincent Wants To Sea 

Dir. Ralf Huettner

BEST FILM IN SILVER

Almanya 

Dir. Yasemin Samdereli

BEST FILM IN BRONZE

If Not Us, Who?

Dir. Andres Veiel

BEST DIRECTOR

Tom Tykwer for Three

BEST ACTRESS

Sophie Rois for Three

BEST ACTOR

Florian David Fitz for Vincent Wants To Sea

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Beatriz Spelzini for The Day I Was Not Born

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Richy Muller for The Poll Diaries

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

Wolfgang Kohlhase

BEST DOCUMENTARY

Pina Dir. Wim Wenders

BEST CHILDREN'S FILM 

Chandani: The Daughter of the Elephant Whisperer

Dir. Arne Birkenstock

BEST SCREENPLAY

Nesrin Samdereli, Yasemin Samdereli for Almanya

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

Daniela Knapp for The Poll Diaries

BEST EDITOR

Mathilde Bonnefoy for Three

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

Silke Buhr for The Poll Diaries

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

Gioia Raspe for The Poll Diaries

BEST MAKE-UP

Kitty Kratschke and Heike Merker for Goethe! 

BEST FILM SCORE

Matthias Klein for The Day I Was Not Born

BEST SCORE

Matthias Klein The Day I Was Not Born

BEST SOUND DESIGN

Ansgar Frerich, Sabine Panossian, and Niklas Kammertons for Pianomania

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