First Time Fest awards

Love Steaks takes top prize.

by Anne-Katrin Titze

Lana Cooper and Franz Rogowski in Jakob Lass's First Time Fest Grand Prize Winner Love Steaks
Lana Cooper and Franz Rogowski in Jakob Lass's First Time Fest Grand Prize Winner Love Steaks

Love Steaks, directed by Jakob Lass is the First Time Fest (Second Time Around) Grand Prize Winner and Gesa Jäger, first time editor won Outstanding Achievement in Editing. Marieke Niestadt won Outstanding Achievement in Directing for Bittersweet.

Marieke Niestadt, Outstanding Achievement in Directing for Bittersweet
Marieke Niestadt, Outstanding Achievement in Directing for Bittersweet Photo: Anne-Katrin Titze

Mona Fastvold's The Sleepwalker (Søvngjengeren) received two awards, Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography to Zachery Galler and Outstanding Achievement in Scoring to the composing team of Kato Ådland and Sondre Lerche.

Outstanding Achievement in Writing goes to Yael Reuveny for her film Farewell, Herr Schwarz (Schnee Von Gestern) with Outstanding Achievement in Acting going to Hill Harper in Tommy Oliver's 1982. In addition, Oliver received the inaugural Scandinavian Locations Special Jury Prize at the celebration of first time filmmakers that took place in New York City from April 3 - 7

The industry jury consisted of Village Voice Chief Film Critic Stephanie Zacharek, Nicholas Haden-Guest and Anne-Katrin Titze.

1982 director Tommy Oliver upon being notified he was awarded the inaugural Scandinavian Locations Special Jury Prize: "I'm humbled and honored to have my film chosen for a special jury award. On behalf of everyone who worked on 1982, thank you so much."

Farewell, Herr Schwarz director/screenwriter Yael Reuveny on receiving Outstanding Achievement in Writing: "I am writing from Berlin to thank you for a wonderful festival and for this award. I am especially excited to receive the storytelling award because this is exactly what 'Farewell Herr Schwarz' is about: The power and importance of storytelling in families and in the lives of individuals.

"Thank you for giving me the chance to show this film to an American audience, enjoy your closing party and I wish I could be there with you all."

Gesa Jäger, Outstanding Achievement in Editing for Love Steaks
Gesa Jäger, Outstanding Achievement in Editing for Love Steaks

Hill Harper on his Outstanding Achievement in Acting Award for his role in 1982: "Thank you so much. It is such an honor to be recognised for my portrayal of Tim in the film 1982. Having the opportunity to play a strong husband and father in Tommy Oliver's powerful and groundbreaking film is something I am very proud of. As an actor, we can only hope to have the opportunity to play such roles that are simultaneously heart wrenching and heroic. Thanks to all who saw 1982 and please spread the word about the film!"

Here are the winners in full, along with why these filmmakers were selected by the jury:

Grand Prize Winner of Theatrical Distribution from Cinema Libre Studio

Love Steaks (Germany)

To Love Steaks, a beautiful love story, told with candor, that evokes the behind-the-scenes madness of the restaurant and resort world. Funny, audacious, touching, and brilliantly acted and directed.

Outstanding Achievement in Directing

Marieke Niestadt for Bittersweet (USA/Netherlands)

To Bittersweet, a disarming and beautifully constructed documentary that opens up the world of women's boxing and, more specifically, charts one woman's experience in that brutal, challenging world.

Outstanding Achievement in Writing

Yael Reuveny, screenwriter/director for Farewell, Herr Schwarz (Schnee von gestern) (Germany/Israel)

To Farewell, Herr Schwarz, for its evocative use of language in telling the story of one woman's exploration of painful family truths.

Scandinavian Locations Special Jury Prize awarded to 1982 director Tommy Oliver: "I'm humbled and honored to have my film chosen for a special jury award."
Scandinavian Locations Special Jury Prize awarded to 1982 director Tommy Oliver: "I'm humbled and honored to have my film chosen for a special jury award." Photo: Anne-Katrin Titze

Outstanding Achievement in Acting

Hill Harper for 1982 (USA)

To Hill Harper for 1982. Harper's portrayal of a father who takes action to protect his family in early Eighties Philadelphia is simultaneously tender and tough-minded, an intimate and ultimately glorious performance.

Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography

Zachery Galler for The Sleepwalker (Søvngjengeren) (Norway/USA)

To The Sleepwalker, whose subtle, gorgeous visuals set the tone for a tense drama in which four individuals stumble into a web of unsettling secrets.

Outstanding Achievement in Editing

Gesa Jäger for Love Steaks (Germany)

To Love Steaks, whose editing work - lively, adventurous and precise - brilliantly captures both the breakneck pace of restaurant work and the more languorous, tentative pace of budding romance.

Outstanding Achievement in Scoring

Kato Ådland and Sondre Lerche for The Sleepwalker (Søvngjengeren) (Norway/USA)

To The Sleepwalker, for its evocative and original approach to storytelling through sound, sounds that linger after you've gone.

Special Jury Prize

Tommy Oliver for his film 1982 (USA).

To 1982. A man struggles to keep his family together in a threatening environment, a Philadelphia neighborhood of the early 1980s. Deeply evocative of a specific era and place, 1982 shows a bold, imaginative spirit.

Farewell, Herr Schwarz director Yael Reuveny - Outstanding Achievement in Writing: "The power and importance of storytelling in families and in the lives of individuals."
Farewell, Herr Schwarz director Yael Reuveny - Outstanding Achievement in Writing: "The power and importance of storytelling in families and in the lives of individuals." Photo: Anne-Katrin Titze
First Time Fest Jurors - Stephanie Zacharek, Nicholas Haden-Guest and Anne-Katrin Titze deliberating
First Time Fest Jurors - Stephanie Zacharek, Nicholas Haden-Guest and Anne-Katrin Titze deliberating Photo: Anne-Katrin Titze

The competition filmmakers who attended their screenings for the "Hot Seat" from the jurors are:

Yael Reuveny (Farewell, Herr Schwarz); Tommy Oliver (1982); Mona Fastvold (The Sleepwalker); Mikael Berg (Miss Julie); Jayce Bartok (Fall to Rise); Rok Bicek (Class Enemy); Serene Meshel-Dillman (Getting To The Nutcracker); Marieke Niestadt (Bittersweet); Josephine Decker (Butter On The Latch).

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