'Temporary Difficulties' Wins 2018 Oldenburg Film Festival

Temporary Difficulties
Courtesy of Oldenburg Film Festival

Victoria Carmen Sonne and Gabriela Ramos take acting honors at the 25th edition of the German indie fest.

Russian drama Temporary Difficulties from director Mikhail Raskhodnikov has taken the top prize, the German Independence Award, at the 25th Oldenburg Film Festival.

Temporary Difficulties follows Sascha, a young boy, born with polio, who slowly learns to overcome his paralysis and walk on his own. The story, which begins with Sascha's childhood in Soviet Russia and jumps forward to his adult life as a successful business coach in modern-day Russia, parallels the country's own rise from the paralysis of Cold War communism. 

In an unusual move, Oldenburg this year awarded both its acting honors, called the Seymour Cassel Awards, to women: Victoria Carmen Sonne won for her leading role in Isabella Eklof's Scandinavian drama Holiday and Gabriela Ramos for her performance in the Cuba-set psychological horror film Is That You?, from director Rudy Riveron Sanchez.

“This year, there have been so many truly wonderful performances by male and female actors, but in particular it has been an incredible year of outstanding performances by women — from Marisa Tomei, Emily Mortimer, Elle Fanning, Molly Ringwald, Sienna Miller, to Doro Muggler just to name a few. It is thrilling to see such rich roles and strong representation,” the festival said in a statement.

Hollywood veteran Keith Carradine (Nashville, The Duellists) was honored with Oldenburg's lifetime achievement award, while this year's retrospective paid tribute to the work of British cult director Bruce Robinson (Withnail & I, The Rum Diary)