I am your man, a sci-fi romantic comedy from director Maria Schrader, starring Downton abbey star Dan Stevens as a German-speaking romantic robot, won the Golden Lola for Best Film at the German Film Prize 2021, the best prizes in German cinema.
Schrader, fresh out of his Emmy win (for best achievement for a limited series in Netflix Unorthodox), chose the best director Lola for I am your man. Schrader and co-writer Jan Schomburg won the award for best screenplay for their I am your man screenplay, an adaptation of a short story by German writer Emma Braslavsky. Maren Eggert, who embodies the robot’s human love interest, won the Best Actress Lola award for her performance, a role that previously earned her Best Actress Silver Bear at the Berlin Film Festival, where I am your man premiered earlier this year.
The film is Germany’s official candidacy for the 2022 Oscars in the category of best international feature film.
For Best Actor, Stevens lost to German star Oliver Masucci of Dark and Look who’s back celebrity, who in turn won the Lola Trophy as legendary director Rainer Werner Fassbinder in Oskar Roehler’s film Enfant terrible.
The award for best documentary went to Maria Speth for Mr. Bachmann and his class, a heartwarming portrait of an unorthodox teacher and his sixth graders, most of them from immigrant families. The film was another Berlin Film Festival success, where it won the Silver Bear Jury Prize and the Berlin Film Festival’s inaugural Audience Award. The best children’s film went to the Mongolian set of Byambasuren Davaa Veins of the world.
Lorna Ishema won Best Supporting Actress for Sarah Blasskiewitz Ivie with Ivie, in which she plays an Afro-German woman in search of her roots after the death of her father. Thorsten Merten chose Best Supporting Actor Lola for his performance in Curveball, director Johannes Naber’s bitter political satire on the true story of the German government’s involvement in false intelligence on weapons of mass destruction used to justify the US invasion of Iraq.
In the technical categories, Tides, a.k.a The colony, Tim Fehlbaum’s post-apocalyptic sci-fi drama set on a future Earth decimated by an environmental disaster, won four Lolas: best visual effects for Denis Behnke, best set design for dystopian landscapes by Julian R. Wagner, best film music for composer Lorenz Dangel and best hairstyles and makeup for Sabine Schumann. The best costume design went to Tanja Hausner for her period outfits in The royal game, Philipp Stölzl’s adaptation of the German literary classic of the same name by Stefan Zweig. Hanno Lentz won the award for Best Lola Photography for his experimental lens of another literary adaptation: Dominik Graf’s Fabian: Go to dogs, adapted from the novel by Erich Kästner, the film also winning best editor honors for Claudia Wolscht.
The prize for best sound design was awarded to Pascal Capitolin and Richard Borowski for their work on the musical documentary by Enrique Sánchez Lansch A symphony of noise.
The 2021 Lola Awards were held in person in Berlin in front of a crowd of 1,200 people (all fully vaccinated or freshly tested), a big change from last year’s online event. The German Film Academy, whose 2,100 members have chosen tonight’s winners, hopes the Lolas will help revive the local film industry, which is only now coming out of movie closures imposed due to the coronavirus pandemic. . Most German cinemas have reopened, but capacity and various other security restrictions remain in place.
Among this year’s nominees, none are what you might call a box office success and few will be known to a wider German audience. Simon Verhoeven’s comedy Night life, which wasn’t nominated in any of the main categories but received the Lola for Most Successful German Film of the Year, earned $ 14 million at the box office, more than all of the nominees combined. Even that has a lot to do with timing: Night life was released early last year in Germany before the country entered the COVID-19 lockdown.
Complete list of the 2021 German Film Prize winners
I am your man, producer: Lisa Blumenberg
Mr. Bachmann and his class, producer: Maria Speth
Best Children’s Film
Veins of the world, producers: Eva Kemme, Ansgar Frerich, Tobias N. Siebert
I am your man, director: Maria Schrader
I am your man, screenwriters: Jan Schomburg, Maria Schrader
Maren Eggert for I am your man
Oliver Masucci for Enfant terrible
Best Supporting Actress
Lorna Ishema for Ivie with Ivie
Best Supporting Actor
Thorsten Merten for Curveball
Fabian: Go to dogs, director of photography: Hanno Lentz
Fabian: Go to dogs, editor: Claudia Wolscht
Better sound design
A symphony of noise, sound designers: Pascal Capitolin, Richard Borowski
Best Film Music
Tides, composer: Lorenz Dangel
Tides, scenographer: Julian R. Wagner
Best costume design
The royal game, costume designer: Tanja Hausner
Best hair and makeup
Tides, hairdresser and make-up artist: Sabine Schumann
Better visual effects
Tides, VFX Artist: Denis Behnke
Most successful German film
Night life, director: Simon Verhoeven, producers: Max Wiedemann, Quirin Berg
Lifetime Achievement Award