"Blaga's Lessons" wins the Ecumenical Jury's prize at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival 2023
The Ecumenical Jury awarded "Juniors" by Hugo Thomas at the 2023 Zlín Film Festival
The Ecumenical Jury: Celebrating Artistic Excellence and Human Values at the Cannes Film Festival
The 44th edition of the Film Festival Max Ophüls Preis took place from January 23 to 29 in the city of Saarbrücken, Germany. This is considered the most important newcomer film festival in the German-speaking world, giving voice to and presenting the works of new and young talents from Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Luxembourg.
A big focus of the Festival is shining a light on young female directors, who take this chance to make a significant leap in their professional future as the festival goes beyond screening the films but also features discussions, workshops, and networking events.
The ecumenical jury present at the Max Ophüls Preis gives their prize in the feature film competition to a movie that demonstrates real artistic talent and succeeds in sensitizing the audience to spiritual, human, or social issues and values. The prize of INTERFILM and SIGNIS is endowed with 2,500 euros and is jointly donated by the Catholic Adult Education Saarland-Landesarbeitsgemeinschaft e.V. and the Landesarbeitsgemeinschaft für Evangelische Erwachsenenbildung im Saarland e.V., represented by the Protestant Academy in Saarland.a
This year’s winner is “Franky Five Star” directed by Birgit Möller, Germany, 2023. The jury’s motivation reads:
“What does it mean to be oneself? Can one also be many? In young Franky's head live a whole bunch of weird birds, like the strict concierge, the seductive chambermaid, and an oddball elevator boy. Just when Franky thinks she has managed to get her real life together, the hotel staff interferes and mixes everything up. Reality and Franky's fantastic mental hotel are connected by a lift - until it breaks down. Despite her peculiarity, Franky just wants to find love. Playfully, director Birgit Möller and lead actress Lena Urzendowsky lead us through Franky's rollercoaster of emotions. The film brings lightness to the complex and topical subject of psychological stress. This makes it possible for us to visit Franky's head cinema and feel comfortable there. An extraordinary, vibrant film that builds a bridge between worlds”.
The members of the ecumenical jury were Tom Alesch, Germany (President); Sabrina Maas, Germany; Christa Miranda, Switzerland; and David Sedláček, Czech Republic.