news / Press release
This year, the director and graduate of the ifs Internationale Filmschule Köln, Pauline Schläger, has been awarded the Hof Gold Prize of the 57th International Hof Film Festival for the ifs graduation film »Dann lieber sterben« (»Then rather die«).
The Hofer Gold Award of the Friedrich Baur Foundation honours the first work of a director for a feature film of German production that is premiering in Hof. It is currently worth around 35,000 € in certified gold and is thus the most highly endowed prize for young directors in Germany. The prize is awarded by the Bavarian Academy of Fine Arts in memory of Heinz Badewitz. Associated with it is artistic advice to the prize-winner on the development of a new film for over a year by this year's mentor for the Gold Prize, the media artist Corinna Schnitt.
The feature film »Dann lieber sterben« (director & screenplay: Pauline Schläger; Idea: Jana Thüring, Pauline Schläger, Julius Nerlich; production & screenplay: Julius Nerlich; DoP: Marcel Reiter; editing & sound design: Ivan Kolesov; production design: Kira Thönnes; 57 min.) shows the different reactions of a group of friends to the suicide attempt of their friend Arthur. Everyone tries frantically to say and do the right thing. But as if that were not enough, the group of friends also has to put a giant rabbit in the ground. Despite the uncertainties, the friends finally find their own personal way to deal with all this. The ifs graduation film was funded by the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW. »Dann lieber sterben« is still available for streaming on the festival website until 6 November.
Mentor Corinna Schnitt explains the decision as follows (excerpt): "A thoroughly successful film, with great camera work by Marcel Reiter. Director Pauline Schläger, with her very precise powers of observation, shaped by her co-writer Jana Neef [note: meanwhile Jana Thüring] and co-writer Julius Nerlich, tackles an important and sensitive topic in our society: mental health and how we deal with it."
The intermediate shades between tragedy, silliness and comedy, the facets of wordlessness are, in the view of the jury members, carried by the outstanding performances of the actors and actresses.
Director and award winner Pauline Schläger: "I didn't expect this award at all, so my joy was all the greater. »Dann lieber sterben« is a project of the heart, the product of great teamwork. I wish that we continue to work on talking more openly and without prejudice about mental health, and maybe the film can provide an impetus. Thank you, dear Hofer Filmtage, for this wonderful and formative time with you and thank you dear Film- und Medienstiftung NRW and ifs for having the courage to believe in our tragicomedy from the beginning. For Hilde!"
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