German Film Awards 2021: Four Lolas Awarded to MDM-Funded Films
"Fabian" by Dominik Graf was among the big winners at the 71st German Film Awards in Berlin. The drama, which was shot mostly in Görlitz, snatched up not only the silver Lola (second place) in the Best Fiction Film category, but also the awards for Best Cinematography and Best Editing. Lorna Ishema won the gold Lola in the Best Supporting Actress category for her performance in the humorous drama "Precious Ivie" by Sarah Blaßkiewitz.
Dominik Graf’s "Fabian", a film of great cinematographic uniqueness, is an adaptation of the eponymous novel by Erich Kästner; it stars Tom Schilling, Saskia Rosendahl, and Albrecht Schuch. The film is set in Berlin in the late 1920s, where Jakob Fabian, a literature scholar, is making ends meet with a copywriting gig, while his friend Labude is juggling political activism and the pursuit of his postdoctoral degree. The two live the Bohemian dream, drifting in and out of bars, artists’ studios, and brothels, until Fabian becomes infatuated with Cornelia Battenberg. The main shooting location, which was the basis for 510,000 euros worth of funding from MDM, was the town of Görlitz, where the cast and crew spent four weeks in the summer of 2019. Additional scenes were shot in Kleinwelka (near the city of Bautzen), in Berlin, and at Babelsberg Studio. "Fabian" was co-produced by Lupa Film, DCM Pictures, the public television networks ZDF and ARTE, AMILUX Film, and Babelsberg Studio. It received additional funding from Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, FFF (Film and Television Fund) Bavaria, BKM (German Federal Commissioner for Cultural and Media Affairs), and DFFF (German Federal Film Fund).
In her debut film "Precious Ivie", which was shot mostly in Leipzig, Sarah Blaßkiewitz tells the story of a young woman with partial African background (Ivie, played by Haley Louise Jones), whose half-sister Naomi (Lorna Ishema) turns her life upside down with the news of the death and impending burial in Africa of the father they shared. As the sisters gradually get to know each other, bit by bit Ivie starts to question her earlier self-perception. The film, which is the result of a co-production with the television network ZDF’s Das kleine Fernsehspiel program, received 120,000 euros in production funding from MDM and was additionally backed by Nordmedia and Kuratorium Junger Deutscher Film.
The German Film Awards are the most renowned awards in the German filmmaking world and worth the most prize money. Annually, the approximately 2,000 members of the German Film Academy pick the winners of the Lolas, which total prize money of almost three million euros, underwritten by the German Federal Commissioner for Cultural and Media Affairs. The main prize, the Lola for Best Fiction Film, is awarded in the gold, silver, and bronze version.