Fatih Akin's 'Heaven' ascends at Lolas

Drama takes home four awards

BERLIN -- German director Fatih Akin proved he's not just the darling of the Festival de Cannes as his cross-cultural drama "The Edge of Heaven" won big at the German Film Awards on Friday night, taking home four Lolas, including best picture, director, editing and a screenplay nod for his script.

It is the second best film Lola for Akin, whose international breakthrough "Head-On" swept the awards in 2004.

This year's victory is particularly sweet, however. Akin has repeatedly butted heads with the German Film Academy, criticizing the way the academy selects its Lola nominees.

Hoisting his golden statue Friday night, he made reference to the public spat, addressing star Til Schweiger, who recently resigned from the German academy after his boxoffice smash "Rabbit Without Ears" was snubbed in the Lola nominations.

"Just watch, Til, we're going to join (the academy) again!" Akin said.

"Heaven," a series of interlocking stories set in Germany and Istanbul, beat out the favorite: the moving drama "Cherry Blossoms" from veteran director Doris Dorrie. In the best film category, Dorrie had to make do with the runner-up Silver Lola.

But "Cherry Blossoms" star Elmar Wepper did take home the best actor Lola for his role as a widower dying of cancer who travels to Tokyo to fulfill the dream of his dead wife.

German star Nina Hoss added a best actress Lola to her Silver Berlin Bear for her starring role as a woman desperate to escape a violent past in Christian Petzold's mysterious thriller "Yella."

While "Heaven" was an unexpected winner, the biggest surprise of the night was Armin Volckers' funky Berlin blaxploitation comedy "Leroy," which won two Lolas: for best children's or youth film and best score for composer Ali N. Askin.

A complete list of Lola winners is on the next page.

Best film
"The Edge of Heaven," director: Fatih Akin (read THR's review)

Best film (silver)
"Cherry Blossoms," director: Doris Dorrie (review)

Best film (bronze)
"The Wave," director: Denis Gansel (review)

Best director
Fatih Akin, "The Edge of Heaven"

Best actor
Elmar Wepper, "Cherry Blossoms"

Best actress
Nina Hoss, "Yella" (review)

Best screenplay
Fatih Akin, "The Edge of Heaven"

Best supporting actor
Frederick Lau, "The Wave"

Best supporting actress
Christine Schorn, "According to the Plan"

Best documentary
"Pool of Princesses," director: Bettina Blumner

Best children or youth film
"Leroy," director: Armin Volckers

Best cinematography
Benedict Neuenfels, "Love Life"

Best editing
Andrew Bird, "The Edge of Heaven"

Best production design
Erwin Prib, "Absurdistan" (review)

Best costume design
Sabine Greunig, "Cherry Blossoms"

Best score
Ali N. Askin, "Leroy"

Best sound design
Dirk W. Jakob, Martin Steyer, Pawel Wdwovczak, "Trade" (review)

Honorary Lola for Lifetime Achievement
Alexander Kluge