'In Full Bloom' Wins Oldenburg Independence Award

In Full Bloom
Courtesy of the Oldenburg Film Festival

The post-WW2 boxing drama from Adam VillaSeñor and Reza Ghassemi tells the story of a washed-up American fighter given one last shot in a match against the reigning champion of Japan.

In Full Bloom, a period boxing drama from directors Adam VillaSeñor and Reza Ghassemi has won the top prize, the German Independence Award, at this year's Oldenburg International Film Festival.

The drama, which had its international premiere at the German indie fest, is set in post-WW2 Japan.

Undefeated Japanese Champion Masahiro (Yusuke Ogasawara) is preparing for the biggest fight of his life: A showdown with Clint Sullivan (Tyler Wood), a down-and-out American pugilist enlisted to defend his country's honor and redeem himself in the process. In Full Bloom also won Oldenburg's inaugural best first film award.

The Seymour Cassel Award, named for the late American star of Faces and The Killing of a Chinese Bookie, went to Zachary Ray Sherman for his role as a MAGA loner in Rob Lambert's thriller Cuck, and to Patrycja Planik, who plays a Russian emigrant in New York who decides to walk back to her home in Andreas Horvath's Lillian.

Tito, the debut drama from actress-turned-director Grace Glowicki, won Oldenburg's first Audacity Award, for a work that pushes the limits of cinema. The feature, which premiered at this year's South by Southwest festival — where it won the Adam Yauch Hörnblowér Award — stars Glowicki and Ben Petrie.