Sarah Silverman Wins Big at Oldenburg Fest

Sarah Silverman - H 2015
Courtesy of UTA

Sarah Silverman - H 2015

The comedian takes best actress honors for her dramatic turn in Adam Salky’s 'I Smile Back.'

Sarah Silverman has won her first-ever honor for a dramatic role, winning this year's Seymour Cassel Award, the best acting prize, at Germany's Oldenburg Film Festival for her starring role in I Smile Back.

Silverman, who plays a woman struggling with severe depression in the Adam Salky-directed drama, shared the prize ex-aquino with Serbian actor Nikola Rakocevic, who was honored for his turn as a video game ace turned assassin in Dusan Milic’s Travelator. The winners were chosen by the festival’s advisory board, which consists of director RP Kahl, actress Deborah Kara Unger and director Buddy Giovinazzo.

Tom Sommerlatte’s comedic drama Summers Downstairs, which made its debut at this year’s Berlinale, picked up the audience award for best film in Oldenburg. It won over the edgier, more depressing fare, which made up much of this year's program.

Oldenburg's best short film went to Dutch director Martijn de Jong’s Free, a 50-minute feature following the friendship between a prison inmate and a young girl.

The Oldenburg festival, which prides itself as Germany's answer to Sundance, has endured a series of budget cuts in recent years. But the 22nd edition marked a bounce back of sorts, with attendance up some 10 percent over last year's event.