The Hof Critics Award is presented for a feature film debut from Germany, Austria or Switzerland. It is intended to honor a director who, together with the production company, addresses socially relevant issues and breaks new creative and innovative ground. The non-endowed prize is awarded by the Swiss Association of Film Journalists and the Professional Association of German Media Journalists. This year's winners are:
"In his feature debut THE BOY WHO OWNS THE WORLD, he is able to convey, all in black and white yet blooming with imagination and creativity, a fever-dream-like idea of two characters finding and saving each other in their complex worlds driven by manifold impressions."
"In the interaction of cinematographer Henrik Lande Anderson's images with the film's score, sound and sound design, the film uses precise tableaux to sketch out her impossible journey [note: that, of the lead actress] as an allegory for life in darkening times." The jury, the film critics Susanne Gottlieb (Vienna), Holger Heiland (Berlin) and Teresa Vena (Switzerland)
Robert Gwisdek was born in Berlin in 1984 and studied acting at the Babelsberg Konrad Wolf Film University. In addition to his acting and directing activities, he is also a singer in a band.
Laurens Pérol, born 1995, studied at Nordland College of fine Arts and Film in Kabelvåg, Lofoten/ Norway and works as a cinematographer and director. He was represented with a short film at the Film Festival in both 2020 and 2021.
For eight years now, the GRANIT - Hof Documentary Film Prize has been awarded as part of the Hof International Film Festival. The prize, endowed with 7,500 €, is donated by the Hof-based "Hermann and Bertl Müller Foundation" for the best long documentary film from Germany, Austria or Switzerland. This year's three-member jury consists of Paola Calvo and Patrick Jasim from the Berlin-based directing duo Tumult, as well as Franziska Schönenberger, writer and director from Munich. In 2023 they award the prize to
"FRANK MEYER is a film that could not be more topical in theme and form. It is a film that should be on the screen and that impressively proves that cinema documentaries from Germany can be fresh and lively."
Leonhard Hofmann was born in Nicaragua in 1987 and grew up in Germany. He has a Bachelor's degree in Motion Pictures and has been studying directing at the Babelsberg Konrad Wolf Film University since 2015. Riccardo Dejan Jurkovic, born in 1988, studied Motion Pictures at the university in his hometown Darmstadt and is currently doing postgraduate studies at the Academy of Media Arts in Cologne. He works as a freelance filmmaker.
In addition, the jury awarded two special mentions.
„Die Regisseurin hat den Mut, ihre Protagonistin selbst sprechen zu lassen, und entwickelt zusammen mit ihrem Kameramann Bernd Effenberger mit minimalen Mitteln eine klare und starke Filmsprache, die uns ganz nah an die Protagonistin heranführt, ohne ihr den Raum zu nehmen.“
"The director has the courage to let her protagonist speak for herself and, together with her cinematographer Bernd Effenberger, develops a clear and strong film language with minimal means that brings us very close to the protagonist without taking away her space."
Gudrun Gruber was born in 1984 in Leoben, Austria. She studied art at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna and documentary film at the HFF Munich. RESTORATION is her graduation film at the HFF - University of Film and Television Munich.
"The film team manages to establish an amazing closeness to people who are excluded because of their rebel past. Markus Schröder does not shy away from the complexity of the conflict and deals with universal themes such as guilt, remorse and forgiveness in his film in an impressive way."
Markus Schröder, born in 1982, is a native of Kulmbach. After studying directing in Buenos Aires, he works as a director for documentaries, feature films and commercials.
We send our congratulations to all winners!