'Flower,' 'Kater' share Bavarian film prize

Best director nod awarded to Juraj Herz for 'Habermann'

BERLIN -- Sherry Horman's fashion biopic "Desert Flower" and the political drama "Der Grosse Kater" (The Big Tom-Cat) from director Wolfgang Panzer tied for the top prize as Best Film at the Bavarian Film Awards this weekend.

"Flower" producers Peter Herrmann and Dietmar Guntsche and "Kater" producer Wolfgang Behr will share the €200,000 ($287,000) award that comes with the honor, cash that has to be invested in new film projects.

Acting legend Barbara Sukowa added a Bavarian best actress trophy to her trophy cabinet, taking the honor for her portrayal of Medieval nun and proto-feminist Hildegard von Bingen in "Vision" from Magarethe von Trotta.

Best director went to Juraj Herz for his period drama "Habermann," with lead Mark Waschke taking the best actor prize for his role as a mill owner whose life is transformed with the onset of World War II.

Benjamin Heisenberg received the best newcomer nod for his sophomore effort, "The Robber," which will premiere in competition at the Berlin International Film Festival next month.

"Vicky the Viking" from Michael Herbig won the best family film prize while best screenplay honors went to Simon Verhoeven for his script to comedy hit "Men in the City."

Success seems to have bred success at the Bavarian awards this year. While not all the winners have been released in cinemas yet, those that have are among the year's top performers. "Vicky" has earned some $40 million for distribution Constantin; "Men in the City" more than $20 million for Warners in Germany; "Desert Flower" around $10 million for Majestic and Concorde has ticked up close to $5 million in ticket sales for "Vision."