Andreas Dresen's 'Gundermann' Leads German Film Awards With 10 Nominations

Pandora Filmproduktion

Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck’s Oscar-nominated 'Never Look Away' picked up just one mention, for best supporting actor.

Andreas Dresen's Gundermann, a biopic about East German singer-songwriter Gerhard Gundermann leads the pack for this year's German Film Awards, picking up 10 nominations, including mentions for best film, best director and best actor for star Alexander Scheer.

The feature, which traces Gudermann's extraordinary and contradictory life, was a sleeper success in Germany. Nearly unknown in western Germany, Gundermann was a folk hero in the east, both for his songs and for his lifestyle. Even after becoming a successful recording artist, Gudermann stayed true to his roots, continuing to work as a digger driver. But like so many in former East Germany, his life was also intertwined with the country's socialist dictatorship. Files uncovered after his death in 1998 revealed Gudermann informed on his friends and bandmates for the secret police.

Going up against Gudermann for the best film honor, the Golden Lola, are Markus Goller’s road-trip comedy 25 km/h, Caroline Link’s dramedy biopic The Boy Needs Fresh Air, Aron Lehmann’s rom-com The Most Beautiful Girl In The World, Wolfgang Fischer’s refugee drama Styx and Christian Petzold’s drama Transit.

Link is guaranteed at least one one trophy at the German Film Awards ceremony, to be held May 3 in Berlin, for the most commercially successful German film of the past year. Based on the autobiographical book by German comedian Hape Kerkeling, The Boy Needs Fresh Air grossed $32 million locally.

Fatih Akin’s serial killer drama The Golden Glove, which premiered last month at the Berlin International Film Festival, missed out in the best film category but still picked up five Lola noms, including a best actor mention for star Jonas Dassler.

But Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck’s Oscar-nominated Never Look Away was snubbed. The sweeping period epic, loosely based on the life of German artist Gerhard Richter, received just one Lola nom: for Oliver Masucci for best supporting actor.

Margarethe von Trotta, director of such classics as The Lost Honour Of Katharina Blum, Rosa Luxemburg and Hannah Arendt, will receive this year's Honorary Lola for her lifetime contribution to German cinema.

The full list of 2019 German Film Prize nominees is below.

Best Film
Styx — producer Marcos Kantis
Transit — producers Florian Koerner von Gustorf, Michael Weber, Antonin Dedet
The Most Beautiful Girl in the World — producers Sebastian Zuhr, Timm Oberwelland, Peter Eiff, Theodor Gringel
25km/h — producers Markus Goller, Oliver Ziegenbalg
Gundermann — producers Claudia Steffen, Christoph Friedel
The Boy Needs Fresh Air — producers Sebastian Werninger, Nico Hofmann, Hermann Florin

Best Documentary
Of Fathers and Sons — producers Ansgar Frerich, Eva Kemme, Tobias N. Siebert, Hans Robert Eisenhauer
Elternschule — producer Ingo Fliess
Hi, A.I. — producer Stefan Kloos

Best Children's Film
Rocca - Verandert die Welt — producers Tobias Rosen, Steffi Ackermann, Willi Geike
Jim Knopf and Lukas the Engine Driver — producer Christian Becker

Best Director
Wolfgang Fischer for Styx
Caroline Link for The Boy Needs Fresh Air
Andreas Dresen for Gundermann

Best Screenplay
Lars Kraume, Aron Lehmann and Judy Horney for The Most Beautiful Girl in the World
David Nawrath and Paul Salisbury for Atlas
Ruth Toma for The Boy Needs Fresh Air
Laila Stieler for Gundermann

Best Actress
Susanne Wolff for Styx
Aenne Schwarz for Alles ist gut
Luise Heyer for Das schonste Paar

Best Actor
Jonas Dassler for The Golden Glove
Rainer Bock for Atlas
Alexander Scheer for Gundermann

Best Supporting Actress
Margarethe Tiesel for The Golden Glove
Luise Heyer for The Boy Needs Fresh Air
Eva Weissenborn for Gundermann

Best Supporting Actor
Oliver Masucci for Never Look Away
Alexander Fehling for Das Ende der Wahrheit
Martin Wuttke for Gluck ist was für Weicheier

Best Cinematography
Benedict Neuenfels for Styx
Felix Leiberg for Vom Lokführer, der die Liebe suchte...
Judith Kaufmann for Nur eine Frau
Andreas Hofer for Gundermann
Judith Kaufmann for The Boy Needs Fresh Air

Best Editing
Anne Fabini for Of Fathers and Sons
Monika Willi for Styx
Ana de Mier y Ortuno for The Most Beautiful Girl in the World
Jorg Hauschild for Gundermann

Best Sound Design
Dominik Schleier, Christian Conrad and Martin Steyer for Transit
Andreas Turnwald, Uwe Dresch, Andre Zimmermann and Tobias Fleig for Styx
Roland Winke, Christian Bischoff, Chrissy Rebay for Ballon

Best Film Score 
Gerd Baumann for Trautmann
Hochzeitskapelle for Wackersdorf
Ralf Wengenmayr and Marvin Miller for Ballon

Best Set Design
Tamo Kunz for The Golden Glove
Susanne Hopf for Gundermann
Matthias Musse for Jim Knopf and Lukas the Engine Driver

Best Costume Design
Anke Winckler for Trautmann
Katrin Aschendorf for The Golden Glove
Sabine Greunig for Gundermann

Best Makeup
Maike Heinlein, Daniel Schroder and Lisa Edelmann for The Golden Glove
Birger Laube and Heike Merker for Eleanor & Colette
Grit Kosse and Uta Spikermann for Gundermann

Most Successful Film
Caroline Link for The Boy Needs Fresh Air

Honorary Lola
Margarethe von Trotta