The Award Winners of the 66th International Film Festival

Mannheim/Heidelberg, 18. November 2017 – The Award Winners have now been officially announced. The International Jury oft he 66th International Film Festival Mannheim-Heidelberg

– Claudia Landsberger, Christian Juhl Lemche und Clemens Klopfenstein –

awards the GRAND NEWCOMER AWARD MANNHEIM-HEIDELBERG to “See you in Texas” von Vito Palmieri / Italy.


Statement of the jury: The jury would like to give the Grand Newcomer Award Mannheim-Heidelberg to a film for drawing an intimate and delicate portrait of a young farmer’s couple , torn between their dreams and ambitions.. A beautiful example of the Renaissance of Neo Realismo.



Special Newcomer Award Mannheim-Heidelberg goes to “Wailings in the Forest” von Bagane Fiola / Philippines
Statement of the jury: Transcending a classic ethnographical film, taking the audience on an exciting and extraordinay journey into the secrets of the Matigsalug people in the Philipines, surprising us that life in the jungle is not so different from our Western daily lives.

The award goes to “Wailings in the Forest”.


Special Achievement Award

Sabit Kurmanbekov für „Returnee“ / Kazakhstan


Statement of the jury: For a visually dramatic and emotionally touching story about a family returning to their homeland, overcoming cultural and religious differences.
SPECIAL MENTION for portraying the subtle ugly dynamics of power, even in a sunny paradise, one Special Mention goes to the director of “The Watchman”/ Alejandro Andújar / Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Brazil.


A brilliant satire depicting the financial mechanisms of religion, against the backdrop of an ordinary family drama. A second Special Mention goes to the scriptwriter of “Holy Air” Shady Srour.


Impressive portrait of a tormented character burdened by a life long sin. The third Special Mention goes to the lead actor Cezmi Baskin in the film „Murtaza“ / Cezmi Baskin / Turkey.


International Film Critics´Prize

– Kata Gyürke (Hungary), Isabella Heller (Germany) und Geir Kamsvag (Norway) –

goes to “Zer” directed by Kazim Öz / Turkey, Germany


Statement of the jury: This year´s International Film Critics´Prize of the International Film Festival Mannheim-Heidelberg goes to „Zer“ directed by Kazim Öz, a filmmaker who didn´t make but composed a film. The search for a song leading a young musician from New York to Turkey makes him discover the hidden Kurdish roots of his family and its painful past – and makes us witness the hidden pain of a nation. After watching „Zer“, a film full of music, humor, love and poetry, we want to say „Spass, Kazim“ – but since we are in Germany we will just say „Dankezer“.



Prize of the ecumenical juy

– Christoph Strack, Linda Dombrovszky, Johannes Feisthauer (Deutschland), Franz Günther Weyrich and Prof. Dr. Jean-Michel Zucker – the award goes to „Life Beyond Me“ – Olivier Peyon / France, Uruguay

To whom belongs a child? „Life Beyond Me“ focuses this problem in an impressive emotional way. The film tells the painful process of respecting this basic question and stresses the importance of telling the truth. The ethical challenge is more than only a juridical case. The eyes of the protagonists are finally open for the perspective and dignity of the child with all consequences for their own life.

Special Mention

„Returnee“ – Sabit Kurmabekov / Kazakhstan


„Returnee“ is a small and as well paradigmatic story on the importance of men‘s roots and the quest for the fatherland in times of worldwide migration.


Recommendations of the Cinema Operators
– Elke Hoffmann, Werner Hoffmann, Dr Hans Heid, and Melanie Hoffmann


How far can you go to make money? In this polished comedy from Israel with a loving eye for detail, none of the major religions there get off easy. With quick-witted jokes and brilliant camera work, “Holy Air” was able to convince us that marketing is often just hot air.


Is it possible to undo what has been done and start life over anew? This film makes that seem astoundingly easy to pull off successfully! This intelligent thriller “Origami” offers endless possibilities to bend time, much like the Japanese art of folding paper.


Can a family ever forgive their stepson after he was involved in the motorcycle crash that killed their biological son? Excellent actors, convincing dialogues and a special in-depth psychological narrative structure make the film “While We Live” a cinematic event that you won’t soon forget.



Audience Award Mannheim-Heidelberg ex aequo


„Life Beyond Me“ directed by Olivier Peyon




“Zer” directed by Kazim Öz