The teacher’s roomİlker Çatak’s disturbing look at a teacher at the end of her Latin beat our multi-Oscar winner No news from the Western Front to win the top prize for best film at the 2023 German Film Awards, known as the Lolas.
Çatak won Best Director Lola and his drama also won Best Screenplay and Best Editing awards as well as Best Actress award for star Leonie Benesch.
But All quiet did not go home empty handed. The first German-language adaptation of Erich Maria Remarque’s classic 1929 anti-war novel won nine Lolas, including the second Lola Silver for Best Picture.
holy spider, Ali Abbasi’s Iranian serial killer film, which premiered at Cannes last year and was largely financed from Germany, won third prize Lola in bronze.
This year’s Lolas were held in an atmosphere of turbulence and self-examination. Recent revelations about the behavior of Till Schweiger, one of Germany’s biggest stars, on the set of manta manta 2 — this year’s biggest German blockbuster — have sparked calls for a binding ‘code of conduct’ to prevent abuse and exploitation. Schweiger has been charged with numerous incidents of bullying and at least one physical altercation after arriving on set drunk. manta manta 2 producer Constantin Film has launched an independent investigation into the allegations.
Germany’s Culture Minister Claudia Roth has called on the German film industry to clean up its law, suggesting that otherwise the government could make rules of conduct binding on any film receiving state subsidies.
Legendary director Volker Schlöndorff (The tin drum, The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum), the winner of this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award, referenced the debate in his acceptance speech. “We don’t need a code of conduct… Respect and decency, as in life, is all that’s needed.” But Schlöndorff admitted that reforms are needed, both in German industry and within the German Film Academy, which hands out the Lolas.
Even the nominations were controversial this year. AG Kino, an association of German arthouse cinema owners, announced the 12 nominations No news from the Western Frontwho noted that the Netflix film was barely released in theaters before appearing online, and criticized the German Film Academy for ignoring A firethe new film from arthouse favorite Christian Petzold, which debuted in competition at the Berlin Film Festival, where it won the Silver Bear.
The global success of All quiet – which won four Oscars this year, including the award for best international feature film – has sparked a wider debate within Germany about the country’s film subsidy system. Edward Berger’s new adaptation of the anti-war classic was made without any German state support. The German Ministry of Culture, which provides the prize money for the Lola awards – the trophies come with lucrative cash grants, including $536,000 (€500,000) for the best film award – has used All quiet as an example of how streaming services have revolutionized the film industry and as an argument for a major overhaul of the country’s bureaucratic film financing system. The German funding model still favors traditional releases – in order to receive state aid, most projects must guarantee to be shown in cinemas – even though fewer Germans watch local films in theatres. One proposal is to have Netflix and other major streaming companies contribute more to the financing of German films. Culture Minister Roth would also like to see a decoupling of funding for commercial films or films aimed at a commercial audience, and documentaries, shorts, premieres and artistic films.
The full list of winners of the German Film Prize 2023 follows.
Best Feature Film
The teacher’s roomproduced by Ingo Fliess
Best Feature Film in Silver
No news from the Western Frontproduced by Malte Grunert
Best feature film in bronze
Holy spiderproduced by Sol Bondy and Jacob Jarek
Ilker Catak for The teacher’s room
Johannes Duncker and Ilker Catak The teacher’s room
Best Leading Actress
Leonie Benesch for The teacher’s room
Best Leading Actor
Felix Kammerer for No news from the Western Front
Best Supporting Actress
Jördis Triebel for In a country that no longer exists
Best Supporting Actor
Albrecht Schuch for No news from the Western Front
James Friend for No news from the Western Front
Gesa Jäger for The teacher’s room
Frank Kruse, Markus Stemler, Viktor Prášil, Lars Ginzel and Alexander Buck No news from the Western Front
Best Original Score
Volker Bertelmann for No news from the Western Front
Best set design
Christian M. Goldbeck for No news from the Western Front
Best Costume Design
Tanja Hausner for Sisi & Ich
Best hair and makeup
Heike Merker for No news from the Western Front
Best visual effects
Frank Petzold, Viktor Müller and Markus Frank No news from the Western Front
Elfriede Jelinek – Die Sprache von der Leine lassenproduced by Martina Haubrich and Claudia Wohlgenannt
Best Children’s Movie
Mission Ulja Funkproduced by Roshanak Behesht Nedjad
Most commercially successful film
The school of magical animals part 2
Honor for lifetime achievement