German pubcaster dominates Blue Panther honors


MUNICH - The government of Bavaria, Germany's biggest and wealthiest state as well as a major media center, held its annual TV awards -- the "Blue Panthers" -- on Friday in Munich.

As usual, the extensive German pubcasting system picked up on most of the awards, wrapping up nine of the 13 Panthers on offer.

But there were a few surprises.  Small-time commercial channel Vox won a special prize for an episode of its travel show "Voxtours" about Ethiopia's Surma tribe called "Journey to the Last Gladiators." And Friedemann Fromm was named best director for two different episodes of two different shows.

This year's prizes were awarded for the first time in five categories: informational broadcasts, television films, series, entertainment programs and cultural/educational offerings.

A complete list of winners follows:

Best screenplay: Daniel Speck for "Meine verruckte turkische Hochzeit" (My Crazy Turkish Wedding) -- ProSieben

Best informational report: Ralf Benkoe for "Ein Deutscher im All (A German in Space) -- RTL

Best camera aork: Holly Fink for "Die Flucht" (The Escape) -- ARD, Arte

Best direction: Friedemann Fromm for "Vom Ende der Eiszeit" (On the End of the Ice Age) / NDR, ARD, Arte and "Tatort" (Crime Scene) -- BR, ARD

Best sports documentary: Manfred Oldenburg for "Das verflixte dritte Tor - Wembley '66: Die wahre Geschichte" (The Cursed Third Goal -- Wembley '66: The True Story) - ZDF

Best documentary: Juliane Schuhler for "Marcel - Ein Kampfchen, das war' schon" (Marcel - A Little Fight Would Be Nice) -- BR

Best performance in a comedy series: Cordula Stratmann for "Schillerstra´┐Że" (Schiller Street) -- Sat.1

Best actress in a TV film: Rosemarie Fendel fur "Das zweite Leben" (The Second Life) -- ARD/BR

Best actor in a TV film: Friedrich von Thun for "Helen, Fred und Ted" -- ARD/BR/NDR

Best actress in a series: Saskia Vester for "KDD - Kriminaldauerdienst" (Criminal Investigations) -- ZDF

Best actor in a series: Christian Ulmen for "Dr. Psycho" -- ProSieben

Best upcoming actor/actress: Rosalie Thomass for her role in "Polizeiruf 110" (Police Emergency 110) -- BR, ARD

Special prize: Richard Gress, Producer, Author, Director, Cameraman and Editor for "Voxtours: Reise zu den letzten Gladiatoren" (Journey to the Last Gladiators) -- Vox