The Philara Collection in Düsseldorf-Flingern played host this year to the 3rd presentation ceremony for the Wim Wenders Grant of the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW. The annually awarded grant, endowed with a total of 100,000 euros in project funding, is intended to provide young filmmakers with the necessary autonomy required for the independent and uncompromising development of their ideas for cinema.
From a total of 26 submitted applications, the jury, under the chairmanship of Wim Wenders, chose four projects from up-and-coming filmmakers: a tale of modern exhaustion, a love story based on the work of Raymond Federman, a coming-of-age film set in Cuba and a hybrid science fiction/documentary work inspired by 3D printers.
In the final round, which took place today, seven preselected applicants presented their projects personally in front of the jury. In addition to the quality of the presented material, the visual conception of the projects was of particular importance in the jury’s final selection. Aside from Wim Wenders himself, the jury also consists of Petra Müller, CEO of the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW, and Mirko Derpmann, creative director and member of the management team at Scholz & Friends Agenda.
“As in the previous years, we were impressed by the diversity and originality of the submissions. I would like to express my warmest appreciation to all of the applicants for sharing their projects with us,” commented Petra Müller, CEO of the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW. “In the end, we chose four projects that promise to deliver distinct visions and unique approaches to film. Congratulations to 2016’s grant recipients, who can now set out to develop their ideas.”
“This year for the first time we were able to see the results from the recipients of the last years’ grants. The high quality and originality of these first samples of their work have shown us that we are on the right track here with our development grant. We can hardly wait to get to see the completed films on the big screen,” remarked jury chairman Wim Wenders. “Personally though, I was happiest to see how equally thrilled the participants in this year’s final round were once again too. Even though we can’t select all of the projects in the end, I sincerely wish all of the applicants the best of luck in their further endeavors, I congratulate the selected recipients and I look forward to the next colloquium with great anticipation.”
An evening of talks between the grant recipients from 2014 and 2015 and the jury members took place already on the eve of the presentation ceremony. The grant recipients presented the current status of their projects to the jury members and were able to share their experiences in developing their films with their peers and the jury members.
Among the projects selected for 2016:
“Ein Liebesfilm” by Tim Großkurth, Cologne, experimental film, 28,000 euros
Moinous and Selene meet for the first time at a street crossing. Or, to put it more precisely, they don’t really meet but rather almost meet, as they smile at one another in passing. What would have occurred if they had spoken to one another? Fantasy and reality remain intertwined in their imaginations, until they encounter one another a second time. An experimental love story based on a novel by Raymond Federman.
“Hello My Friend” by Bettina Blümner, Berlin, fiction feature, 30,000 euros
Students Benjamin, Katharina and Judith travel to Cuba to investigate the disappearance of Katharina’s brother. But Katharina herself seems more interested in the possibilities of female sex tourism, while Benjamin dreams of a romantic relationship with Judith, who for her part has fallen hard for a Cuban dancer, whom she in turn pays to express his “true feelings”. The protagonists become enmeshed in a web of self-deception, emotions and desires. Their search is filmed exclusively with the use of mobile telephone cameras.
“Stella Nova” by Kai Gero Lenke, Achim, documentary/fictional science fiction, 22,000 euros
Taking the current state of development in the field of biological 3D printing as the departure point for its narrative, this hybrid work located somewhere between science fiction and documentary film combines the already possible with a breathtaking vision of the future. An essay on a device unfolds into a feature film treating the dissolution of time, space and identity.
“Formen moderner Erschöpfung” by Sascha Hilpert, Berlin, documentary essay film, 20,000 euros
The history of anxiety as a personal experience and as a reflection on political circumstances: The legendary Barner sanatorium is at the same time a clinic and a monument. This place where “burn-outs” today still hope to be cured also once harbored and treated neurasthenics at the turn of the 20th century. An archeology of overload, spanning from the beginning of the modern era up to today’s casualties of exhaustion.
The Wim Wenders Grant was presented for the first time in 2014. Since then, eight grants worth a total of 195,000 euros have been awarded. A jury under the chairmanship of Wim Wenders selects the grant recipients in the scope of a two-stage application process. After an initial pre-selection, the candidates are invited to present their projects to the jury personally. In addition to thematic criteria, the jury is above all interested in seeing a convincing formal and visual approach to the realization of the project ideas.
Wim Wenders and his wife Donata Wenders founded the Wim Wenders Stiftung in 2012 with the support of the Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia, the City of Düsseldorf, the Film- und Medienstiftung and private donors. Laura Schmidt serves as the foundation’s managing director. In addition to preserving the artistic life’s work of Wim Wenders, the foundation aims to serve as a platform for exchange and research in the fields of film, art and media. As a logical extension of this work, the Wim Wenders Grant, awarded by the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW, is intended to support up-and-coming filmmakers and video artists.
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For further information, please contact: Film- und Medienstiftung NRW, Erna Kiefer, Tel.: 0211-93050-22, email@example.com
Photo:Tim Großkurth, Bettina Blümner, Sascha Hilpert,Kai Gero Lenke. Jury: Mirko Derpmann (Scholz & Friends Agenda), Wim Wenders, Petra Müller (Film- und Medienstiftung NRW) © Anna Kaduk / Film- und Medienstiftung NRW