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    4th Achtung Berlin! – New Berlin Film Award 2008

    By Ron Holloway | August 21, 2008

    The Fourth Achtung Berlin! – New Berlin Film Award (16-22 April 2008) under Hajo Schäfer added on extra screenings to accommodate an overall attendance topping 10,000 at Kino Babylon. Indeed, Achtung Berlin has become an vital showcase of films produced in Berlin and surrounding Land Brandenburg. This year, five juries were summoned to decide on awards for features, shorts, documentaries, experimental and animation films.

    The New Berlin Award for Best Feature Film went to Christian Klandt’s Weltstadt (World City) (Germany, 2008), the story of two youths in a provincial Brandenburg town whose drug-and-alcohol abuse leads to a senseless crime. The New Berlin Award for Best Documentary went to Bangladesh born Shaheen Dill-Riaz’s Eisenfresser (Iron-Eater) (Germany, 2008), about the dangers of dismantling old freighters in Dhaka. Both filmmakers studied at the “Konrad Wolf“ Film School in Potsdam-Babelsberg.

    Two documentary entries were already standouts in the Perspektive Deutsches Kino at this year’s Berlinale: Ayat Najafi and David Assmann’s Football Under Cover (Germany, 2008), the warming account of how a Berlin Kreuzberg girls soccer team managed to play a test match against the Iranian national girls team (see Berlinale report for details), and Sebastian Heidinger’s Drifter (Germany, 2007), a chronicle of young drug addicts who relate the ups and downs of life around Bahnhof Zoo in Berlin. Also, Alexandru Solomon’s Cold Waves (Germany, 2008) chronicles the fumbling efforts of the Ceausescu regime to halt Radio Free Europe broadcasts from Munich by prominent Romanian dissidents who daily delivered news on timely Romanian political and social affairs. Click www.achtungberlin.de.

    – Ron Holloway

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