The Five Lakes Film Festival is once again riding the wave of success. Although the pandemic recently emptied the halls and dragged the cinema deep into the crisis, the 16th major event, which ended on Sunday night, attracted around 19,500 visitors. This is the second-best result in the history of the film festival. Only in 2019 did more cineastes and art house fans flock to the cinemas and to the open-air screenings in Gauting , Starnberg, Seefeld and Wörthsee, at that time there were around 21,000. In the previous years 2020 and 2021, there were corona requirements and masks were compulsory in the cinemas applied, which is one of the reasons why the number of visitors fell to around 14,000 each time. Festival director Matthias Helwig speaks of an “outstanding result” that he never expected.
According to him, “Kino & Klima” proved to be a success this year. The open-air performances with Wolf Gaudlitz’ new cinema mobile in Weßling also attracted an “extraordinarily large number of visitors”, and the “kitchen brigade” also proved to be a crowd favourite. The result shows that viewers “appreciate quality films”. The 62-year-old sums it up: “This must be the way of the future, as was also the tenor in many discussions with filmmakers: The traditional funding guidelines in Germany and Europe must be fundamentally changed so that more exciting film projects can be realized. Because only if viewers If you experience something extraordinary in the cinema, the cinema as a cultural asset can be secured permanently – not through junk prices or watering can subsidies.”
Helwig awarded five of the festival prizes in Gauting on Saturday. The most important award, the Five Lakes Film Prize, endowed with 5,000 euros and donated by the Starnberg District Office, went to the Belgian school bullying drama “Playgrund” by director and screenwriter Laura Wandel. The jurors found that the young actors conveyed the emotional abyss of two siblings and the feeling of threat so touchingly that one could not escape the events. The jury awarded the documentary film prize to “What Remains On The Way” by Jakob Krese and Danilo do Carmo. The documentary tells the story of a migrant caravan. The award comes with 3,000 euros, donated by the Kreissparkasse München, Starnberg, Ebersberg. The Swiss comedy “The Art Of Love” by Philippe Weibel won the SZ audience prize and thus a newspaper advertisement worth 5000 euros.
Francesco Sossai’s “Other Cannibals” triumphed in the Perspektive feature film series, while Kosovar director Blerta Basholli received the Horizonte Human Rights Prize for “Hive”. Of all the award winners, only the producer of “What Ramains On The Way”, Annika Mayer, who came from Starnberg and now lives in Berlin, and the filmmakers Blerta Basholli and Kaltrina Krasniqi were able to come to the ceremony. The other winners sent greetings. Krasniqi didn’t receive an award for her Kosovar drama “Vera Dreams Of The Sea” about a strong woman, but she did receive an honorable mention. The third mayor of Starnberg, Christiane Falk, had a surprise ready for the ceremony: she read out a homage to the festival, in which ten film titles were hidden.