Filmfestival Münster 2019 - The award winners

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French director Quarxx receives the directing prize for "Tous les dieux du ciel" - intensive psychostudy convinced the jury

After five festival days, the 18th Filmfestival Münster came to an end on 22 September with the festive announcement of this year's award winners. Despite the unusually sunny and warm weather for this season, numerous film fans found their way to the 45 screenings with around eighty short and feature films, took part in the extensive film talks and discussions and voted for the Audience Award.

"The orientation of the competitions and other sections towards European film art proved to be the right decision. Especially in the short film competition, the extension to the whole of Europe brought a new variety of innovative voices and perspectives," said festival directors Carsten Happe and Risna Olthuis.

In the second year of returning to the Schloßtheater, the atmosphere of traditional film theatre has proved to be a perfect match for the festival. Around 70 filmmakers and jury members felt that they were in good hands at the festival and were able to talk to the audience in a relaxed atmosphere.

The prize for Best Director in the European Feature Film Competition, endowed with 5,000 euros, went to the French director Quarxx for his feature film debut "Tous les dieux du ciel" (All the Gods in the Sky). Quarxx has already celebrated great success with his short films at renowned international festivals such as Sundance and Clermont-Ferrand.

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"Tous les dieux du ciel" (All the Gods in the Sky) by Quarxx

With his debut film "Tous les dieux du ciel", the French director and screenwriter Quarxx succeeds in making an extremely uncompromising film about guilt and atonement, which does not linger with bagatelles and is told with all drama and harshness. It is the story of the siblings Simon and Estelle, who have to spend their lives together in the loneliness of the French province due to an accident in a dangerous child's game. The director takes the viewer on a journey into the confused inner world of his brother, who has been caring for his severely disfigured and handicapped sister for almost 30 years. "A courageous film for the cinema, for the screen and hopefully also for a large audience," judges the jury, consisting of actor Götz Otto, Dutch film curator Johan Bunt and Cologne producer Herbert Schwering.

In the short film competition with entries from 14 European countries, prizes totalling 4,000 euros were awarded. The Grand Prize of the Filmwerkstatt, endowed with 3,000 euros, goes to "Aquarium", the short film debut of Italian director Lorenzo Puntoni.

In just 15 minutes he immerses the underwater paradise of a leisure pool in bloody horrors and artistically changes from one genre to the next. "Again and again the sound changes without warning, but with great effect. All aspects of filmmaking are to the point, sharp, beautifully executed and avoid the obvious, yet one doesn't outshine the other," the jury said in their laudation.

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"Aquarium" by Lorenzo Puntoni

A special mention goes to the young actress Linde van der Storm in the Dutch short film "Tot het einde van de wereld" (Till the End of the World) by Florence Bouvy. "She raises the film to an unexpectedly emotionally complex level and shows her vulnerability as well as her strength with a maturity without which the production would have failed."

Charlie Manton's British contribution "November 1st" was awarded the Audience Prize in the Short Film Competition, donated by the Münstersche Filmtheater-Betriebe and endowed with 1,000 euros. The intensive mother-daughter drama captivates in particular with the performances of its leading actresses Lindsay Duncan and Sophia Myles.

In the section Westfalen Connection "Absence of Light" by Beatrice Aliné was voted best film. The Westfalen Initiative donated the prize money of 500 euros.

The 19th Münster Film Festival will take place in autumn 2021.