This year, the HOF GOLD PRIZE of the Friedrich Baur Foundation, awarded by the Bavarian Academy of Fine Arts in memoriam Heinz Badewitz was presented for the fourth time. It is one of the most highly endowed prizes for up-and-coming filmmakers to be offered in Germany. The prize is awarded to directors for their first full-length feature film produced in Germany and premiered in Hof.
Currently, the HOF GOLD PRIZE is endowed with a value of approx. € 36,000 in certified gold, combined with a year of mentoring. This year, director, producer and head of the Film and Media Arts Department of the Bavarian Academy of Fine Arts, Philip Gröning, has taken on the task of mentoring. In addition to the gold bar, the prize winners also receive a "Heinz Badewitz Prize" stele, which was designed at Selb School of Design.
This year, the HOF GOLD PRIZE of the Friedrich Baur Foundation, awarded by the Bavarian Academy of Fine Arts in memoriam Heinz Badewitz 2021 goes in equal parts to
Director LUKAS RÖDER for his film GEHIRNTATTOO and
Director ALISA KOLOSOVA for her film CHARLY
The cinema is a measuring device.
Here, cinema measures - and only cinema can do this - how our interactions with images have become simultaneously radically personal and radically public. And how this changes all our relationships. (...) A film that is, on the one hand, about the mental illnesses that define its three characters. And a film in which, on the other hand, the roles shift over the course of time. One defines itself as healthier compared to another, perceiving that as sicker. Where equality is lost and relationships of exploitation, relationships of demarcation slowly become clearer: The images, even in the seemingly private sphere, follow their own logic, demand intensification, demand shaping. Media reality that seems to be security, and at the same time becomes more paranoid. Mutual attraction that can no longer be distinguished from manipulation. Feelings of fear, which are also fantasies of power. Social media are one thing above all else: accelerators and densifiers.
All this is so exciting because nothing actually happens. Very little is spoken, and yet I watch spellbound. Because it is real. And at the same time, I know that it is not real. This is the perfect description of the new reality. The cinema is a measuring device. The measurement takes place in the viewer. In this case, in me. I have rarely experienced more poignant figures in a narrative. They have stayed with me.
The cinema is a measuring device.
It can measure everything. But the heart of that measurement is the viewers themselves. How Charly, after the breakup of her key relationship, wanders through Germany as if in a dream, rebuilding and healing herself and her world view - that is one thing told here. But how this Germany, various people and situations, all of which have disappeared in the exploitation of the media, slowly become visible again in this film, that is the other issue. It's not something that's told. Instead, it's something that happens to the viewer. In the best sense of the word. An almost imperceptible opening of the senses. You can't wish for an opening. An opening just happens. And that is the problem. Torn between the improper nature of her desires and her personal strength, Charly experiences the breakup of her relationship, and that is only consistent. To emerge from the impropriety of one's own desires is all the more difficult, the stronger one is. The people Charly meets also pursue improper desires, living in a society where impropriety is the norm. Following Charly's wandering journey, ultimately the film's form shifts as well: away from a logic of personal and narrative functioning and towards a logic of interconnectedness, coincidences that seem pointless yet come to make sense. This is what we watch. A shedding of skin that becomes growth. Slow, multilayered, poetic.
And it stayed with me. Stayed in the heart of this measuring device cinema, which I am myself - inevitably, as a viewer. Stayed as a description of our society. And one of the possible antidotes. A turning away from desires.
Our sincere congratulations to both prize winners: we will be looking forward to their next films in Hof.
With best regards,
Ana Radica and the Filmtage Team