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Home From Home, the latest in Edgar Reitz Heimat epic chronicling the history of the German people, won best film at this year’s German Film Awards, the Lolas.
The film acts as a prequel to Reitz’s first three Heimat sagas, which trace the lives of the Simon family from 1919 to 2000 through the tragedies and triumphs of German history. For Home From Home, Reitz jumps back a hundred years to look at the Simons of the 18th century, living in desperate poverty and longing to immigrate to Brazil in search of a better life.
The 81-year-old Reitz won Lolas for best director and for best screenplay, which he shared with Gert Heidenreich. Heidenreich used his acceptance speech to remind the audience how Germany had once also been a country of poor migrants and to appeal to Germans to welcome today’s immigrants.
The runner-up Silver Lola went to The Dark Valley, Andreas Prochaska‘s genre-friendly Alpine Western, starring British actor Sam Riley, which missed out on the top prize but went home with the most trophies, winning a total of 8 Lolas, including best supporting actor for veteran film and TV star Tobias Moretti and a virtual sweep of the technical categories, including best makeup, best costume, best sound design, best film music, best set design and best cinematography for Thomas W. Kiennast.
Two Lives, a Stasi drama from Georg Maas, which was Germany’s official (unsuccessful) candidate for this year’s foreign language Oscar, took the third-place Bronze Lola. The film also won the best editing Lola for Hansjorg Weissbrich.
Beloved TV comedian Dieter Hallervorden — sort of a German Benny Hill — won the best actor Lola for a rare dramatic role, as an aging former marathon runner who trains for a final competition in His Last Race.
Rising star Jordis Triebel won the best actress honor for her starring role in Christian Schwochow‘s 1980s period drama West, the story of a woman who escapes from East to West Germany, only to find herself imprisoned and interrogated by the American secret service, who suspect she may be a spy.
Sandra Huller won best supporting actress for her role as a uptight documentary filmmaker in Frauke Finsterwalder‘s dark comedy Finsterworld.
Bora Dagtekin‘s comedy blockbuster, Suck Me Shakespeer, had a box office gross ($71 million) that is more than that of all the other best picture contenders combined. While the comedy didn’t scoop up the top prize Friday night, it did take home the prize for most successful feature for selling more than 7 million tickets in Germany.
The prize for best children’s film went to Windstorm, a story of a girl and her horse, from director Katja von Garnier.
Beltracchi: The Art of Forgery, Arne Birkenstock‘s portrait of the notorious art forger Wolfgang Beltrachhi responsible for the biggest art forgery scandal of the postwar era, won the Lola for best documentary.
Helmut Dietl, Germany’s premiere cinematic satirist and director of the Oscar-nominated Schtonk! (1992) received a lifetime achievement Lola, presented to him by Germany’s A-list comedian Michael “Bully” Herbig.
The inaugural Bernd Eichinger Prize, honoring German producers who have been particularly successful outside the country and named in honor of Germany’s most successful producer, was awarded to Gerhard Meixner and Roman Paul of Berlin’s Razor Films, whose features have included the Oscar-nominated Waltz With Bashir and Paradise Now.
The 2014 Lolas were handed out at a gala ceremony in Berlin’s Tempodrom concert hall Friday night, hosted by Jan Josef Liefers, star of Germany’s top TV crime drama Tatort.
The members of Germany’s film academy picks the Lola winners, who also receive cash bursaries, including an impressive $687,000 (€500,000) for best film.
German Film Prize 2014 Winners
Home From Home, Edgar Reitz
Best Film in Silver
The Dark Valley, Andreas Prochaska
Best Film in Bronze
Two Lives, Georg Maas
Beltracchi: The Art of Forgery, Arne Birkenstock
Best Children’s Film
Windstorm, Katja von Garnier
Edgar Reitz, Gert Heidenreich for Home From Home
Edgar Reitz for Home From Home
Jordis Triebel for West
Dieter Hallervorden for His Last Race
Best Supporting Actress
Sandra Huller for Finsterworld
Best Supporting Actor
Tobias Moretti for The Dark Valley
Thomas W. Kiennast for The Dark Valley
Hansjorg Weissbrich for Two Lives
Best Set Design
Claus Rudolf Amler for The Dark Valley
Best Costume Design
Natascha Curtius-Hoss for The Dark Valley
Best Make Up
Helene Lang, Roman Braunhofer for The Dark Valley
Best Film Music
Matthias Weber for The Dark Valley
Best Sound Design
Dietmar Zuson, Christof Ebhardt, Tschangis Chahrokh for The Dark Valley
Highest Cinema Attendance
Suck Me Shakespeer (7 million tickets, $71 million box office)
Bernd Eichinger Prize
Lifetime Achievement Honor