Hype around Werner Herzog, two prizes, large presence in the competition and a “Focus Germany” with many guests: it was a very good year for German cinema at the latest edition of the Shanghai International Film Festival. Three productions were in the running for the prestigious Golden Goblet Award – HANNA’S SLEEPING DOGS by Andreas Gruber, which won the festival’s Best Screenplay award, HEAR THE SILENCE by Ed Ehrenberg, and SALT AND FIRE by Werner Herzog. ED SIEGER’S MOLLY MONSTER by Ted Sieger, Michael Ekblad and Matthias Bruhn picked up the prize for Best Animation Film. The festival’s Focus Germany, which was staged for the 13th year in cooperation with German Films, and the German films screening in other sections were presented by the largest ever delegation (over 30 directors, actors and crew members) attending since the beginning of this collaboration.

A total of 42 German films and co-productions were shown in Shanghai, including NICK: OFF DUTY by Christian Alvart in the Jackie Chan Action Movie Week. Director Ansgar Ahlers of BACH IN BRAZIL and DoP Matthias Märcks representing the Spectrum title YOHJI YAMAMOTO | DRESSMAKER, were among those reporting back about well-attended cinemas and enthusiastic audiences.

The Focus Germany opened with the Silver Lola winner A HEAVY HEART by Thomas Stuber with the director in attendance; and the sidebar’s nine titles showed the whole range of contemporary German cinema, from comedy through psychological thriller and drama to historical biopic.

Andreas Gruber (photo © Shanghai International Film Festival)