This evening, Film- und Medienstiftung NRW and the Wim Wenders Stiftungcelebrated a little milestone together at the Filmwerkstatt Düsseldorf: for the fifth year in a row the two foundations jointly presented the winners of the Wim Wenders Grant. The grant programme, endowed with a total of 100,000 euros annually, aims to encourage young filmmakers in their efforts to explore new creative means for innovative visual storytelling, allowing them to pursue their ideas independently.
Out of 20 submissions, the jury chaired by Wim Wenders chose four projects for funding. Apart from the quality of the projects’ content, the originality of their visual conception was the primary deciding factor for the jury. Alongside to chairman Wim Wenders, the jury also included Petra Müller, CEO of Film- und Medienstiftung NRW, and Mirko Derpmann, creative director of Scholz & Friends Agency.
Since 2016, a colloquium brings together the current grant holders with those from the previous years. In this event, which takes place on the day after the grant presentation, all participants come together with Wim Wenders and the other jury members to report on the current status of their funded projects, show early samples of their work and support one another in the development of their projects.
The Wim Wenders Grant was awarded for the first time in 2014. To date, 21 projects have been supported in total, with an overall funding sum of 495,000 Euros. A jury chaired by Wim Wenders selects the grant recipients in a two-stage application process. After an initial pre-selection, the remaining candidates are invited to present their projects to the jury. In addition to thematic criteria, the jury is interested in convincing formal and visual approaches to the realization of the projects. Through the grant, young filmmakers residing in Germany, and in particular in North Rhine-Westphalia, are supported in their efforts to tell stories with new means and thus enrich film language.
Rosemarie’s Celebration by Anna Mönnich, Elke Brugger, Benjamin Chimoy, Juan Ortiz (as Lagerfeuer-Writers’ Room), Cologne
VR series, 36,000 euros
In this series, told in a straightforward narrative style, the viewer experiences the action from the perspective of the main character. Career woman Simone wakes up with amnesia. As soon as she comes to her senses, she falls right back into a deep sleep. Her spirit leaves the room. Observing her family, she begins to grasp her fate: she has survived an accident, but only by way of her twin brother’s death and organ donation. The viewers are able to select the plotlines they wish to follow by adjusting their VR headset.
Die Poesie des Unvollkommenen by Annkatrin Hausmann, Cologne
Fiction feature, 25,000 euros
This character drama portrays an unusual and internationally successful clown who has to come to terms with the end of his career. While he struggles to win his way back into his audience’s hearts, his already shaky relationship with his daughter is in great jeopardy. The film deals with the desire for recognition, the fear of failure and the search for one’s true self.
All Is Loneliness by Andrea Roggon, Stuttgart
Documentary essay film, 21,400 euros
With her documentary essay film, Andrea Roggon seeks to capture the feeling of loneliness in a genuine and authentic way. So her protagonists can express themselves freely, their voices will not be attributable to the faces of the individuals on screen. This highly conscious stylistic approach nevertheless generates a strong thematic connection, making the conditions of both “good” and “bad” loneliness emotionally accessible to the viewer.
Dieses Leben by Philipp Hönig, Cologne
Fiction feature, 17.600 Euro
Six different characters attempt to come to terms with their current living situations. All of them are united by their search for solutions and answers. The narrative is non-linear here, and does not focus on any character in particular. Time and space are in a state of constant flux. The characters’ fragmentary thoughts are superimposed over the images. These elements create space for the viewers to reflect on their own lives.