Honorary award winner 2021: Wim Wenders 

42. Filmfestival Max Ophüls Preis (17.–24.01.2021)

The 42nd edition of the Max Ophüls Preis film festival awards the honorary award for services to young German-language film to director, photographer and producer Wim Wenders . As a central actor in film history and the present day, he has been pursuing his artistic vision for over half a century and links his work in a unique way with the subsequent film generation.

Festival director Svenja Böttger : ” For decades, like no other, Wim Wenders has been using his high reputation, extensive experience and official tasks to support young filmmakers in their creative endeavors by all means – be it through artistic integration into their own work, through mediation or the award of Scholarships. I am very pleased to be able to present Mr. Wenders with our honorary award on behalf of this tireless commitment. “

Born in Düsseldorf, Wim Wenders began studying in 1967 at the newly founded University for Television and Film in Munich. Along with other key figures in the young film scene at the time, such as Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Werner Schroeter and Rudolf Thome, he was one of the pioneers of the New German Cinema and in 1971 belonged to the founding generation of the film publishing house of the authors. In 2003 he co-founded the German Film Academy and has been President of the European Film Academy since 1996. (Photo © Donata Wenders)

Wim Wenders has made over 60 films to date and has received countless prizes for his work, including several main prizes in Cannes, Berlin, Venice and Locarno. His career is characterized by great curiosity and openness to technological innovations, which he was not infrequently incubator. He was one of the first to shoot his documentary BUENA VISTA SOCIAL CLUB (1999) completely with digital cameras. With PINA (2011) he discovered 3D film for himself and perfected it. For DAS SALZ DER ERDE (2014) he developed the technology of the “teleprompter darkroom” and created a completely new interview setting for his protagonist, the Brazilian photographer Sebastião Salgado.

Wim Wenders has always maintained a close relationship with the next generation of films and links his work with them on various levels. In his productions he often occupies central positions such as camera or editing with young colleagues. As a long-time professor at the Hamburg University of Fine Arts, he was directly involved in teaching and training. With his production company Road Movies he produces projects for up-and-coming talents. And together with the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW, the “Wim Wenders Foundation” has been awarding a scholarship program since 2014 to promote innovative cinematic storytelling. The program, endowed by the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW with a total of up to 100,000 euros, supports young filmmakers inTo tell projects with new means and to enrich the visual language. The Max Ophüls Preis film festival has already benefited from this, because with the funded productions DRAUSSEN IN MEINEM KOPF (2018) by Eibe Maleen Krebs and Valentin Riedl’s LOST IN FACE (2020), it presented two films that were even awarded prizes in the end.

The pre-recorded award ceremony will be shown free of charge on the festival’s streaming platform   as part of the online opening of the 42nd Max Ophüls Preis film festival on January 17, 2021 at 7.30 p.m.


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